Summer Holidays: What To Check Before You Hit The Road

There is no denying that 2020 has tested us all. But as government lockdowns ease around the world, people are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Just in time for Summer, many people are considering the possibility of holidays. Due to the countless travel restrictions in place, many are instead opting for ‘staycations’ and hiring camper trailers and caravans.

For road users that are new to camper trailers and caravans, it is key that you understand the risks and limitations of operating them, specifically the wheels. Despite the age, brand or cost of the trailer or caravan, wheel loss is far more prevalent with these than ordinary vehicles. This boils down to a handful of factors including road surface, shock absorbers and stud quality.

Tyre Treads

Although your caravan isn’t used all year round, you may not realise that your tyres are getting worn. It’s critical you check the tread depth before use to avoid using illegal or otherwise unsafe tyres. Plan ahead so that you can have your tyres changed if necessary.

Tyre Pressure

With caravans spending long periods of time parked up during both hot and cold weather, this can often lead to loss of tyre pressure. This can lead to a number of issues including:

  • Loss of handling
  • Poorer fuel consumption
  • Tyre explosion
  • Uneven wear on tyre treads
  • Shorter tyre lifespan

Shock Absorbers

It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking the road less travelled or not, shock absorbers are key for any vehicle. Despite this, many camper trailers and caravans either have springs so stiff that they don’t absorb any motion or lack them entirely. Regardless of what a salesman might tell you, good quality shock absorbers can be the difference between a happy camper or smashed plates and wheel loss incidents.

Brakes

Test your brakes before leaving on a long journey. If the caravan or campervan has been stationary for long periods of time, brakes may have seized. We recommended driving a short journey first to check that you are happy with the brakes. It could be that they are also worn and may need changing, so best to plan ahead with this also.

Wheel Nut Tightness

Whilst wheel studs can corrode and worsen over time, they can also work themselves loose due to vibrations and the weight of the vehicles. They can also become elongated as a result of over-torquing with the incorrect tools or torque value. In order to avoid this, drivers should avoid using air guns for the final tightenings, instead opting for a manual torque wrench. Inspections should be carried out regularly and definitely before a long trip!

As road safety specialists and global leaders in wheel safety, we pride ourselves on providing intelligent safety solutions to all manner of vehicle wheels. Today, our product range includes products for indicating and retaining against unwanted wheel nut movement, along with options for maintenance and security too. Visit our Products page to learn more.

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