Caravan Servicing

Feb 20, 2017
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Hello

We have our caravan on a site near Scarborough and have decided to tow it to Scotland this year. We bought our van second hand and it is a 2005 caravan. I was thinking it a good idea to get it serviced before we tow it to Scotland and was just wondering roughly how much this would cost and what is included in the service? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Yanda007
 
Nov 11, 2009
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You can have a basic safety service which looks mainly at running gear, brakes, hitch etc and can include gas integrity, or the more comprehensive one which includes damp, internals, habitation etc. Different centres may include different aspects. I always have the NCC full service and at a Swift main dealer costs around £225
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Same here we took ours to the main dealer as it was quite new and cost £24o and that was for the full service as Clive says above but after what happened to us it's not going back there so it's going to where we took it before at a cost of £155 , still a caravan and motor home specialist that does the same servicing , so search about cos prices will vary.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Yanda007 said:
Hello

We have our caravan on a site near Scarborough and have decided to tow it to Scotland this year. We bought our van second hand and it is a 2005 caravan. I was thinking it a good idea to get it serviced before we tow it to Scotland and was just wondering roughly how much this would cost and what is included in the service? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

Yanda007

The National Caravan Council (NCC) has produced a list of items that should be included in a service schedule, however whilst NCC approved service centers should follow the list, they are not formally obliged too, so it would be best for you to contact some convenient service centers and ask then for their various schedules and scale of charges.

If an item you want checked or serviced is not on their schedule, you can ask them to quote you for it.
Be warned, that there is a world of difference between an item that's been "checked" and one that's been serviced, so be clear in what you want serviced, and make sure your intention has been understood by the service company.

If you have any particular items that you want them to look at them make sure you detail that information to them, and i suggest you do it in writing so there can be no doubt.

Don't be afraid to haggle the price before you agree to the work being done.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/find-approved-workshop
Have a look here for the nearest mobile engineer who can service your van on site.
Talk to him and explain what you want doing.
There are basically 3 main service packages, the Full Service, the Habitation Service and the Running gear Service.
Each has its own price.

Here is the check list for the full service : https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/content/S636238770429392359/AWS-TASCS-V7.pdf

Many of the items are just checked for operation and safety, things like the fridge are not "Serviced" as such unless you ask for it to be done, but there will be an extra cost for this.

I believe that most, if not all, mobile engineers carry out flue gas analysis as part of the service, this is to my mind the very best check that you can have done as it proves whether your gas appliances are safe to use.
As flue gas analysis is not a "required" item many dealer and fixed workshops do not offer this, but they should !
 
May 7, 2012
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If the caravan has been sited for any length of time then a service is vital. I would find out if the site allows this and if so get a mobile engineer as suggested by Damien to service it. Frankly unless you know the caravan is roadworthy you should not tow it.
The site operator might be able to help if he knows the local firms.
 
Jan 19, 2002
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Also check the age of the tyres - there should be a 4 digit marking e.g. 2412 - the first two digits are the WEEK and the second two the YEAR. Tyre life on a caravan is expected to be 5 years, naturally not getting the tread worn out but the tyre deteriorating with spending it's life mostly sitting on one spot - and if not being towed have they been properly inflated in that time.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Yanda 007,

What the prof said is so very accurate.

"Be warned, that there is a world of difference between an item that's been "checked" and one that's been serviced, so be clear in what you want serviced"

Most services are the equivalent of a car MOT check, i.e. everything is working as it should.

It does not necessarily mean any corrective adjustments or corrections will be carried out.

The 'faults' identified will most usually incur additional charges, and in some cases this is very much justified.

For me a caravan service is pretty much another charge for doing very little, other than being a means to promote work that required to be done anyway (assuming an honest testercompany), of course you may not have the skills to check things out yourself, but most of the so called 'caravan service' is the bovine version of donkey poo.

I await pelters, :p
 

Damian

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Anseo said:
Yanda 007,

What the prof said is so very accurate.

"Be warned, that there is a world of difference between an item that's been "checked" and one that's been serviced, so be clear in what you want serviced"

Most services are the equivalent of a car MOT check, i.e. everything is working as it should.

It does not necessarily mean any corrective adjustments or corrections will be carried out.

The 'faults' identified will most usually incur additional charges, and in some cases this is very much justified.

For me a caravan service is pretty much another charge for doing very little, other than being a means to promote work that required to be done anyway (assuming an honest testercompany), of course you may not have the skills to check things out yourself, but most of the so called 'caravan service' is the bovine version of donkey poo.

I await pelters, :p

I am not going to decry your posting, but there are some areas that I do not agree with.

As a fully qualified caravan engineer and being Gas Safe LPG registered I think that the term Caravan Service is not the right description and is misleading, it should be called something like Health Check or similar but not include the word "Service".

I disagree with your statement " Most services are the equivalent of a car MOT check, i.e. everything is working as it should."

That should only read that everything is working, however it may not be "as it should" as some items, notably gas appliances can ONLY be said to be working as they should if a flue gas analysis is carried out and as most dealer workshops do not even own a gas analyser they cannot say any gas appliance is working as it should.

Quote " It does not necessarily mean any corrective adjustments or corrections will be carried out."

That depends entirely on what the fault is, if it is potentially life threatening, such as a gas leak or dangerous electrics, those faults MUST be rectified before the caravan is handed back to the owner, and it may well involve extra charges for replacement parts and labour.

Your last paragraph is your view, to which you are entitled, however, a lot of caravan owners simply do not know how various items are supposed to work, and with the ever increasing sophistication of items in terms of complicated electronics controlling just about everything, it is not practical for each owner to have all the necessary test equipment to check their vans.
It is hard enough and expensive enough for caravan engineers to keep up to date and have the latest test equipment to comply with the ever changing regulations as well as being required to go on training courses with appliance manufacturers to keep up to date.
 

Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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Just paid £165 to have ours serviced by a mobile engineer from the Approved Workshops list. Always happy with his work.
Mel
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Damian-Moderator said:
https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/find-approved-workshop

Have a look here for the nearest mobile engineer who can service your van on site.
Talk to him and explain what you want doing.
There are basically 3 main service packages, the Full Service, the Habitation Service and the Running gear Service.
Each has its own price.

Here is the check list for the full service : https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk/content/S636238770429392359/AWS-TASCS-V7.pdf

Many of the items are just checked for operation and safety, things like the fridge are not "Serviced" as such unless you ask for it to be done, but there will be an extra cost for this.

I believe that most, if not all, mobile engineers carry out flue gas analysis as part of the service, this is to my mind the very best check that you can have done as it proves whether your gas appliances are safe to use.
As flue gas analysis is not a "required" item many dealer and fixed workshops do not offer this, but they should !

Interesting your comment on flue gas. Any reason why “most if not all” mobile service technicians do one yet service centres don’t? Does their trade body recommend one?
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Clive,
From the very start of my caravan testing I was never happy with the "if the flame is blue the appliance is OK" system of checking gas appliances,partly because it does not actually tell you anything other than if the gas has lit.

I was the very first engineer to get a flue gas analyser and realised just how important it was to have one, and just how much they are an essential bit of kit to be able to say with no room for error that an appliance is performing correctly.
This was brought home in very serious situations when the Thetford fridges started giving off dangerous quantities of Carbon Monoxide due to corrosion on the burner, but the flame was the correct blue colour !
I attended several caravans over a period of time where the occupants had become very ill due to CO poisoning, and it was only the flue gas analyser that identified the problem.

I pushed as hard as I could to get the NCC to take much more notice of the gas problems but they preferred to go the "dangerous electrics" route, despite the fact that no one had ever been electrocuted in a caravan !

Through various contacts and much pushing the number of mobile engineers who took notice and got the kit grew to the point that now I believe everyone has one.

As far as dealer or fixed workshops are concerned, because it has not been made mandatory by the NCC to perform gas analysis they simply have not bought the kit and sent their guys on the relevant training course in its operation.
The training organisations have, as a result of my input, a special course for caravan gas engineers .

The trade body , the NCC , is pathetic to be honest. They just do not seem to care as long as they get their annual subscription. They had no one who was Gas safe on the staff so getting anywhere was a non starter.

One of their most interesting dictats about electrics was that batteries should be charged inside a sealed box !!!!!

It was shot down as the worst thing that anyone would want to do unless you happen to be an urban terrorist !!!
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Thank you Damian,

I agree with what you say, I do not have the appropriate gas testing equipment (or the knowledge to interpret the readings).

Electrics, and brakes and damp and physical inspection of structure and chassis - I can trust what I find via my own understanding of the components.

If I I could pay for a gas check only then that would suffice for me, assuming it would would meet insurance and warranty requirements.

My Last mobile tester charged just under £200.00, I was present through the entire procedure; in future I will just try to have a gas integrity test, the other aspects of the 'so called service' were donkey poo (to me).

No disregard to anyone but a "caravan service" can be a 'misnomer'.

John
 

Damian

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Quote " If I I could pay for a gas check only then that would suffice for me, assuming it would would meet insurance and warranty requirements."

Unfortunately the warranty conditions insist on a full service as per the AWS service schedule.

I guess this came about as both makers and dealers are NCC members and were protecting their income revenue.
Unfortunately for them the advent of independent mobile engineers has dented the maker/dealer setup, and the makers were almost forced to accept that independent engineers who qualified for inclusion in the AWS scheme could also do the annual service, but not repair work on the fabric of the van unless specially trained by the makers.

Individual appliances come under their own warranty and engineers must attend regular training with each appliance maker to be able to carry out warranty repairs without going through dealers.
 
Aug 23, 2009
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Just had our twin axle done at home £228.

A new check/test was done this year on the carbon monoxide alarm. Boy am I glad it was done!

The test button worked fine, meaning the no more than the battery condition was okay. When the alarm was put into a sealed container with carbon monoxide it did not work within the specified 5 mins. This test was repeated and still failed so I have replaced the unit.

Another potential life saving part of a caravan service whether the unit is towed or not.
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Martin24 said:
Just had our twin axle done at home £228.

A new check/test was done this year on the carbon monoxide alarm. Boy am I glad it was done!

The test button worked fine, meaning the no more than the battery condition was okay. When the alarm was put into a sealed container with carbon monoxide it did not work within the specified 5 mins. This test was repeated and still failed so I have replaced the unit.

Another potential life saving part of a caravan service whether the unit is towed or not.

Thanks for this Martin, my CO2 detector was not placed in a carbon monoxide container, I should have spotted that, now I will have to have it tested properly.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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On my last service the Mobile engineer told me that I had a domestic type fitted, caravans Motor homes and boats require a more vibration proof type. They look exactly the same. So the ones from BandQ etc are not suitable. Google kidde carbon Monoxide detectors.
 

Damian

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Quote " So the ones from BandQ etc are not suitable."

Yes they are.
The major alarms from Fire Angel, Kidde, First Alert and others all comply with BSEN50291.2010 P1&p2

Any alarm under £10 is useless !!
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Damian-Moderator said:
Quote " So the ones from BandQ etc are not suitable."

Yes they are.
The major alarms from Fire Angel, Kidde, First Alert and others all comply with BSEN50291.2010 P1&p2

Any alarm under £10 is useless !!

Thanks Damian, But you have to check what your buying, obviously. Keddie 7co and 7 dco, for caravans and boats, from Kiddie website.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I was recently doing a few things in my fathers apartment and a Fire Angel ST620 alarm started to chirp as I was in bed. I took it down to remove the battery but it was a 10 year sealed cell unit. Looking at the back it had a replace date in 2022 and a Batch and Support telephone number. So next day I rang their tech support in Coventry and gave them the details. It was one of a batch released for installation by the LFRS. They sent me a replacement via return but not the mounting plate. Excellent service.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
Damian-Moderator said:
Quote " So the ones from BandQ etc are not suitable."

Yes they are.
The major alarms from Fire Angel, Kidde, First Alert and others all comply with BSEN50291.2010 P1&p2

Any alarm under £10 is useless !!

Thanks Damian, But you have to check what your buying, obviously. Keddie 7co and 7 dco, for caravans and boats, from Kiddie website.

Fireangel also make CO detectors suitable for use in caravans.
 

Damian

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Quote " Thanks Damian, But you have to check what your buying, obviously. Keddie 7co and 7 dco, for caravans and boats, from Kiddie website "

Nothing obvious at all, Kidde are not the only ones that are suitable for caravans (forget boats unless you take your van on the Norfolk Broads)

There are no moving parts in any of the detectors so vibration is a minor consideration and as per usual with anything the NCC say, take it with a pinch of salt, they are not the B all and End all of technical information.

This information from your service engineer sounds like yet another NCC fudge to be honest.
Reminds me of the PIR testing that they tried to foist on caravan owners for no good reason apart from making a lot of money from engineers on worthless courses.

Fire Angel, First Alert et al as long as they comply with the latest regulation, which is BSEN 50291.2010.P1P2 are suitable .
 

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