Protecting Caravans – Waterproofing the caravan
Our caravan has followed us for more than 20,000km, copping its fair share of wet weather and rough roads along the way.
Prior to leaving Melbourne we spent an afternoon inspecting the caravan for watertightness. We checked the silicone joints for cracks and also sprayed the caravan’s exterior with a high-pressure hose to test the external joints and hatches.
This simple process gave us enough confidence that the seals were in good condition to keep us dry, as when we opened up the van there was no sign of water.
So far we’ve only had one minor hiccup with water damage and this was when the caravan tap broke. In this case the non-slip shelf lining proved to be a cheap way to prevent water damage, as it soaked up most of the water and dried out quickly.
This lining has been an easy way to protect the caravan in many respects; it also stops our crockery from sliding around, protects the shelves from signs of wear and from collecting dust.
When it comes to keeping the dust out of our caravan, prevention has proven to be the best cure, especially when travelling through areas like the Pilbara and Outback Queensland.
We lay shade cloth or a turf mat outside the front door to avoid traipsing dust in when we step into the caravan, and we try to be diligent removing our shoes (just as you would at home).
When we’re towing on rough roads the corrugations can be destructive, and we’ve noticed the van’s seals have started to perish a lot more since we’ve put it through its paces.
Because of this we take great care when lowering the A-frame to ensure all the seals are where they should be so we don’t create gaps for the dust to seep in.
Thankfully we haven’t had any horror incidents relating to dust, but we do think we’ll look into replacing the seals at the end of our trip to keep it in good nick.
Cleaning the exterior
We can’t stop the red dust coating the caravan as we drive along unsealed roads, but we can be diligent cleaning its exterior when we complete an off-road stint.
Because our windows are made of plexiglass and are like a glass composition, they scratch easily and it’s recommended not to rub the windows when dust is present. So we hose off dust before washing the windows with a soft wet cloth, and so far the van is looking unscathed.
Protecting our van while on the road
Prior to travelling we make sure the air vents are completely closed and stay that way at all times of our journey. If left open they could let in dust and water and also cause damage to the hatch from excessive vibration.
Applying some simple low-cost measures and a little TLC has gone a long way to help us avoid any dramas with water and dust as we caravan around the country.
Drew and Court are a Melbourne couple who are travelling around Australia for the next 10 months. They’re writing about their experiences for Without a Hitch, giving us the real story of life on the road.