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Advice

Everything You Need To Know About Caravan Maintenance And Storage

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Caravan home by water

If you are planning to invest in a caravan, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. Most people regard their caravan as a second home, one that just happens to be on wheels and can be towed with a car just about anywhere.

Caravans continue to grow in popularity as an increasing number of people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of life flock to them, but like most things with gears, joints and other moving parts, they require regular maintenance to operate as intended. With that in mind, here are some important aspects of good caravan care to ensure your unit lasts for many years.

Secure Storage

You’ve probably heard of someone who had their caravan stolen from the driveway. Unfortunately, caravans and motorhomes are very high on the list of most stolen vehicles in the western world, so such incidences are not uncommon.

Australia, in particular, has one of the highest rates of vehicle theft, with almost 100,000 vehicles stolen each year and an estimated 500 caravans stolen in 2015, according to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. A 2011 report by the West Australian Office of Crime Prevention stated that “motivated offenders had detailed knowledge of various makes of caravans, were aware that locks on vans and canvas annexes are easily accessible and knew how to enter a van where people are asleep without making the van rock.”

More caravans on the road means more thefts, which means you must take extra precautions to protect your treasured home on wheels. When not using the caravan, make sure to store it somewhere secure. A quick search on the web will reveal many , so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a caravan park close to your home.

Maintenance Tasks

Caravans are big-ticket mechanized items that, if not treated with love and care, can cost you an arm and a leg in repair costs, or worst yet, put your life at risk. The last thing anyone wants is to have a tyre blowout or the handbrake to fail while on the go.

You should conduct a thorough inspection of your caravan at least once a year (take it to a service shop, if you have to), checking the electrics and mechanical elements, as well as habitation areas like the gas and water systems. There are many things that can break or fail to operate as designed.

It is also worth noting that a caravan that has been sitting idle for a few months must be fully checked before use, as inactivity can cause many small issues. And, of course, never set out on any journey without first carrying out the following seven maintenance procedures:

1. Visual Inspection

Prior to setting off on any journey, you should spend some time to walk around the exterior, checking for any signs of a problem. Tyres should be checked for general wear and tear. If there is more than enough tread and no bulges or tears on the tyre walls, you are good to go.

Worn tyres should obviously be replaced prior to using the Caravan, for the sake of your safety.

2. Check the Gas Connection

The gas pipes should be inspected for signs of corrosion, especially if the unit has been sitting in storage for a few months. Also check that the gas bottle is firmly secured.

Fire up all the stoves and check that the flame is blue, not yellow or green, which might indicate a partial blockage, something that needs immediate attention.

3. Awnings

You probably have a couple of awnings that provide exterior shade. Make sure they are ready for summer by by opening them fully to check for tears or signs of excess wear and lubricate the mechanisms to ensure the awnings have smooth movement.

4. Check Jockey Wheel and Hitch Head

These should be lubricated at all times and thoroughly checked to ensure they are working properly.

5. Fire Extinguishers, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

You should have both of these in your caravan, and the fire extinguishers should be checked for expiry dates, and, of course, replaced if necessary. The might just save your life on day, so check the batteries are in good shape. If you haven’t got a carbon monoxide alarm, this is something you need to remedy, as carbon monoxide is a by-product from burning LPG gas.

6. Check your Vehicle and Caravan Lighting

Hook up the caravan and connect the electrical connection, which will allow you to check that the rear lights on the caravan are working. This should include the indicators and the stop lights, which can be checked if you have someone standing at the rear of the unit.

7. Check the Handbrake

If the unit is supported by the four retractable legs, there is no need to leave the handbrake on, in fact, when in storage, the handbrake should not be applied, as it might stick, especially of left on for a few months.

Have It All Done For Your

In addition to providing safe and secure storage for your Caravan when not in use, many caravan storage facilities also offer maintenance services. Just call them a few days prior to your journey for them to carry out a full maintenance check.

Whatever you decide on doing, make sure it protects your Caravan from theft and doesn’t put your life at risk.

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Accessories

Top 5 Tips For Buying The Perfect Car Cover

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BMW protected by car cover

Your car protects you from the environment and other hazards; how about you return the favor?

So you own a pretty car and want it to look its best everyday and every hour. If the risk of environmental damage keeps you awake night, it’s time you became familiar with the world of car covers.

Car covers aren’t exactly the most glamorous car-related topic to discuss, but if you want to save thousands of dollars in damages caused by harsh weather, people, or pets, a car cover is a definite must-have.

Buying a car cover is fairly straightforward. You go to a vendor, select a cover best suited for your car, and you’re done… unless you own a luxury car. Things get a bit more complicated when dealing with luxury cars.

Covers come in all shapes and sizes and are made with different materials to provide different levels of protection. When you are the proud owner of an expensive car, having the right cover helps ensure the car stays in perfect shape for years to come. Hare a few important things to keep in mind when buying car covers.

  • Never buy cheap — you’ll get what you pay for. If you have an expensive car, get a costly car cover that provides the right protection.
  • Always purchase from a reputable car covers dealer. Make sure they are willing to help you if something goes wrong.
  • Ask plenty of questions from the vendor such as what will happen if you run into a problem. Will they help you out? How long have they been selling car covers? Where do they buy their car covers from? These questions will help you understand who you’re dealing with.

In addition to those pointers, make sure to consider the following five tips.

1. Understanding Your Needs

Now that you know how important it is to buy from a reputable car cover dealer, it is now time to understand what your real needs are. Will you be protecting your car for the long term? Is the cover just to protect from winter or summer, or both? What kind of vehicle do you have?

Car covers come in different shape and sizes and they are to provide different protection levels. Ideally, you should know the difference between generic fit, tailored fit, and custom fit car covers. Let’s have a detailed look at these.

2. Custom Fit Car Covers

When buying a car cover for a luxury vehicle, such as a Mustang, you’ll need to focus all your attention on getting a custom fit car cover. Many vendors have ready to be bought and used, but it isn’t always the case for many other cars.

With custom fit car covers, the car cover vendor will use advanced technology to get the measurements of your ride and make a perfectly accurate cover for your car. You can even pick the type of material you want the cover to be made off.

3. Car Covers For Large Vehicles

Not everyone owns a sedan, and an increasing number of us love large vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks. Many vendors have that fit most big vehicles, but if you have a custom truck or SUV, you may want to look into custom fit covers.

Once again, with custom fit covers, a car cover manufacturer or dealer will take measurements of your car and let you pick the material to make the cover from. Make sure to pick the material that best protects your car in your given region.

4. Heavy Duty Car Covers

Developed primarily for environments that experience intense sun or snow throughout the year, heavy duty car covers are ideal for protecting your car from UV rays and heavy snow fall. These covers are made with special outdoor car cover material and offer the best protection money can buy.

5. Sun Covers For Cars

As the name suggests, these premium car covers are designed to protect your car from harsh sun rays no matter how hot the day gets. If you live in a region with very hot weather, you may consider buying a . They are made with special outdoor car cover material and usually come with a minimum of 5-6 years of warranty.

Final Words

Car covers are crucial in keeping your car safe from environmental damages. Whether your car is parked in a garage, or out in the sun, with a cover over it, you will minimize any potential damages are minimized, saving you thousands of dollars in the process. Never overlook the importance of a car cover.

Have any questions or additional tips? Let is know in the comments below.

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Advice

Hate Road Kill? Here’s How To Avoid Hitting A Deer With Your Car

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Dear crossing road with cars

Long considered innocent creatures of the wild, deer have become a dangerous force to be reckoned with for motorists.

Many of us have experienced it — you know, minding your business while driving, then suddenly encountering several deer standing on the side of the road and hoping that none dart out in front of your car.

As the deer populations grow and urban habitats continue to encroach upon their environments, there has been an increase in deer-car collisions, with a significant number resulting in fatalities. In fact, over 1 million people hit a deer every year in the United States alone, and the estimates that the average deer collision costs approximately $3,510 in damages.

Needless to say, you don’t want to hit a deer and the clueless creatures don’t want to be hit by you, so it’s important to educate yourself on why they run onto the road and how to avoid hitting one.

Deer crossing road

Why Did The Deer Cross The Road?

During “The rut”, male deer, also known as “bucks” (the kind with antlers), follow around does, waiting for them to go into heat. And when the does are eventually become ready to mate, the bucks become extremely reckless. A deer who would normally hide in thick brush all day may be out following and chasing does around.

Deer travel in herds. If you see one, you can bet there’s another nearby. There could be two, three, or even fifteen. You might be surrounded by deer and not know it.

It’s also important to note that the eyes of deer operate differently than ours. Have you heard of the deer stuck in the headlights? When blasted by headlights, Bambi and friends actually become “frozen” for several seconds until their eyes adjust, making them prime targets for a collision.

Deer Crossing Sign

Avoiding Deer-Related Accidents

If a deer runs into the path of your car, slow down and do not swerve into oncoming traffic to evade it. You won’t be able to avoid the deer and likely end up hitting a guardrail or tree instead, causing more injuries.

You are actually better off hitting the deer and very likely to survive the collision if you keep the car straight in its lane. Braking firmly and releasing the brake just before the impact causes the nose of your car to come back up, reducing the chance of the deer smashing into your windshield.

Be on the lookout for deer during “the rut” and when , which is usually at night around dawn and dusk, and from 12:00 – 2:00 AM. You are also more likely to encounter deer from mid-October to mid-January in most areas in the US and Canada.

Finally, make sure to pay special attention to deer crossing signs in areas where the antelopes cohabit and avoid distractions like eating or texting while driving.

Woman Driving

Drive Safely And Responsibly

According to , Pennsylvanians have more accidents with deer than any other state. However, according to , you’re most likely to hit a deer in West Virginia, where 1 in 64 drivers will hit a deer.

Remember, your insurance will cover deer related accidents, and it’s your responsibility not to injure other drivers even if an animal runs into the path of your car. If you see a deer, slow down and keep the car straight — you’re very likely to survive the accident this way if you do hit the deer.

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6 Ways To Avoid Getting Your Driver’s Licence Suspended

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Police Pull-Over, Ticket

Driving is a privilege, not a right, and there are many ways you can lose that privilege.

Having your license suspended can put you in the serious predicament of not being able to drive and having to rely on public transportation or other people to commute to and from work, run errands, and just get around. If you don’t want to find yourself in this situation, avoid getting your driver’s licence suspended by following the laws and behaving appropriately.

Here are six of the best ways to avoid a suspended license and maintain your driving privileges.

Driving Too Close, rear end collision

1. Don’t Cause Accidents

Most fender bender accidents will not result in a suspended license; however, if you are responsible for a serious accident that causes injury or death, and if the accident was due to driver negligence, your license may be suspended.

Doing everything in your power to avoid all accidents, serious or otherwise, will keep you from having a suspended license. This means paying attention to everything you’re doing while behind the wheel and taking all necessary precautions to stay safe. Follow the rules of the road, and don’t let yourself drive distracted.

Drunk Driving, Glass With Car Keys

2. Don’t Drive Under The Influence

If you are caught driving under the influence of any prohibited substance, be it narcotics or too much alcohol, your license could be suspended. The national blood alcohol level you cannot exceed is .08, and this means different amounts of alcohol for different people.

Never get being the wheel of any car if you feel at all buzzed, not unless you deliberately want to cause injury or death to yourself or someone else, which would be downright immoral. Here are several key ways driving under the influence can get your license suspended:

  • Refusing to perform a sobriety test when pulled over
  • Refusing to give blood or urine samples for testing
  • Positive test results for legal, illegal, or prescription drugs that could cause you to be under the influence
  • Being convicted of a DUI or DWI

to find out more about driving under the influence.

Distracted Driving Teen Driver Hitting Man

3. Don’t Drive Recklessly

Traffic laws exist for a reason, and it’s not so you could drive recklessly. However, should you get caught driving recklessly , rest assured your license may be suspended.

Driving recklessly refers to driving in an aggressive manner that could put you or other drivers at risk. Examples include driving at high speeds, aggressively swerving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and driving on the shoulders of the roads.

The more serious your reckless driving, the more likely you will get your license suspended. Instead of putting yourself or anyone else at risk, make it habit to follow the rules of the road, especially the posted speed limits.

Parking tickets under windshield wiper, close-up

4. Always Pay Your Fines

If you receive any sort of fine, such as a traffic fine, a civil penalty, tolls, or a speeding ticket, you must pay them. Failing to so could result in the courts suspending your license.

Always take fines seriously, making sure to pay them in full and in a timely fashion. In some states, a court can suspend your license for refusal to pay other fees or dues, such as child support, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the full extent of the laws that apply to you.

Signing car insurance papers

5. Keep Your Car Insurance Current

The law stipulates that you must have car insurance before you can drive. If you are ever caught driving without car insurance or with expired insurance, your licence could be suspended until the issue regarding the insurance is resolved.

With so many out there, you are bound to find one that fits your needs and budget. If you don’t have insurance, don’t get behind the wheel of a car and put yourself at risk of losing your licence.

Man in courtroom

6. Show Up To Court

If you received a traffic violation that requires you to show up to court, be sure to show up. Missing your court date will likely end with your license becoming suspended.

You will receive multiple communications regarding your court date, so be sure to read them carefully and mark down all relvant dates in a calendar. You should also let someone else know so they can remind you about the date and ensure you show up.

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