Preparation for your first trip

peedee replied on 03/04/2021 18:12

Posted on 03/04/2021 18:12

What have you done in preparation for when you can take your first trip this year?

I have washed and cleaned off the black streeks of my motorhome and in the process given the body work a thorough inspection. Some paint touching up is necessary and I have procured what is hopefully matching paint and I am waiting for warmer weather to commence this task.

While washing the roof I found one of the 4 solar panel’s feet which should be glued to the roof had come adrift. Managed to lift it just enough to wipe the join clean as best I could and squirt some Sikaflex 512 under the foot and this has thankfully secured it again but regular inspection is probably now necessary until I am confident there will be no more problems.

Chassis cab service and MOT were carried out in December. Batteries checked ok and it started first time but tyres need pumping up all round before the next outing. Windscreen washer topped up with screen wash, oil and lights all checked ok.

I decided to add an external TV aerial connection point for both satellite and terrestrial TV. It was with in trepidation I drilled two holes three centimetres apart in an appropriate place in the side of the van to feed the two coaxial cables into the interior and trunking. The exterior unit was then glued to the side wall with Sikaflex 512. It seems a sturdy enough fix not to bother with any fixing screws.  I still have the internal terminations to complete to make it easy to swap TV aerial feeds.

No habitation problems noticed but the interior needs a tidy up before use and when it warms up the water system needs priming and the fridge vent coves will require removing. Hopefully everything will then be fine after a long layup.


SeasideBill replied on 03/04/2021 18:29

Posted on 03/04/2021 18:29

Not sure I’d ever be happy with a bonded solar panel. Nothing quite like a mechanical fitting, ideally the type made for the marine market.

I had a near miss several years back. Used to own a Triumph TR4A with what’s called a ‘surrey top’. It’s like a targa top with a removable folding metal frame that supports the vinyl top in the central section of the roof. Mine wasn’t secured properly at the front and flew off at speed, luckily nobody on the road behind me, otherwise would have been very nasty. 

EmilysDad replied on 03/04/2021 18:46

Posted on 03/04/2021 18:46

Modern polyurethane glues stick better than then proverbial to a blanket ..... a lot of cars have various panels glued in place now πŸ˜‰ 

JollyKernow replied on 03/04/2021 21:16

Posted on 03/04/2021 21:16


I've been preparing my van for sale so have been doing lots of extra jobs to show it's potential. It's been used all this winter and has been fully serviced cab and hab. Talk of solar mountings, when I installed my 100 watt panel I added a self tapping screw to each corner bracket for peace of mind. Sikaflex is your best friend when doing any installs on the roof. 

Also been spring cleaning the caravan ready to live in for this season. Hab service showed no damp (10 years on) but truma gas fire and blown air need attention. A window at the front was also delaminated but that was an straightforward fix using the bonding agent from the excellent company. Really helpful and knowledgeable.

So, I'm prepared ok but a bit anxious where it comes to a new van. I've bought 4 vans and 2 RV's in my time but had one truly horrible experience which I don't want to repeat. But as the market is sparse I'm not in a hurry.




Takethedogalong replied on 03/04/2021 22:08

Posted on 03/04/2021 22:08

Our MH has had a good wash today. Everything else works fine, except the fridge on gas. OH is currently investigating, don’t think it’s anything major, but we shall need it on gas in Summer. Swopped Fiamma Box off back, bike rack now ready for bikes. We don’t fret about things to be honest, just get on with it. Inside will get a good clean, bedding freshened, food stocked and then she’s ready to rollπŸ₯°


DSB replied on 04/04/2021 01:15

Posted on 04/04/2021 01:15

Caravan cleaned on the outside.  Car cleaned outside and in.. 12 stes booked.  Caravan service booked.  Just need to spruce up the inside of the caravan and make the bed and to put stuff in the caravan and car.  First site: Grafham Water CAMC site.


Rufs replied on 04/04/2021 09:07

Posted on 04/04/2021 09:07

The old girl was serviced in December and no problems, all the outside washed with Fenwicks and then given a rinse off with Bobby Dazzler, thought we had a problem with fridge on electric but all seems ok now , do have a dink off side rear thanks to a sleeping policeman at camping Oyambre in Spain a few years ago, was going to get fixed, but gave it a belt with a club hammer and looks not bad so, so will leave well alonelaughing

I use the caravan at lot at home, just like to sit in and read the newspaper listen to the radio and dream of being away, so apart from returning the bedding and provisions she is ready to go. OH has 2nd jab 1st May so we are off on the 4th to a nice site we have used before in Dorset , then on to Cornwall in June, then Devon in September. 

AnnB replied on 04/04/2021 09:09

Posted on 04/04/2021 09:09

Husband did the outside of ours 2 weeks ago, I cleaned inside last week and there’s just the tea and coffee etc to replace/refill and we are ready. Have been trickle charging the battery over winter and it’s been for a couple of local runs.

We are booked for 2 nights at the Wirral next Monday and have our fingers crossed for that. Don’t want to tempt fate but my Mother in Law is due to come out of hospital after a week in there so hope we can get her settled again with her carers before we go. It’s only an hour and a bit away from home but a good break after a stressful winter.

Takethedogalong replied on 04/04/2021 10:39

Posted on 04/04/2021 10:39

I have been eyeing up the Wirral Site Ann, never been, but looks good cycling territory.😁

comeyras replied on 04/04/2021 10:40

Posted on 04/04/2021 10:40

Cleaned inside and out and serviced (no problems) on Friday so all ready to go when it gets a bit warmer!  A number of UK trips booked but it looks as though our twice postponed Eurotunnel crossing at the end of May will have to be postponed yet again!  We will look at end of Aug/Sep in a few weeks when we may know how how things are developing over there.

AnotherDavid replied on 04/04/2021 11:08

Posted on 04/04/2021 10:39 by Takethedogalong

I have been eyeing up the Wirral Site Ann, never been, but looks good cycling territory.😁

Posted on 04/04/2021 11:08

I have been there probably more times than any other site.and had a week there last autumn We used to windsurf on the marine lake at west Kirby.  Good cycling