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16-07-2010, 12:52   #1
Aidan_M_M
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Tip for the week..... Wash your camper regularly.

following from the Alko-chassis thread about greasing them , Peasant gave me the go-ahead to post a "weekly tip" , here's the first in hopefully a regular series of simple things I've picked up in the workshop. We start with the basics...


Most motorhomes I see are pretty clean , but still there's the few dirty ones out there . Crud , and mud , and sediment , if not shifted , builds up in the seams , seals and joints of the MH . Over time , this turns to a mossy type of growth , and can actually push the seams apart . And in winter , it holds moisture in the joint , which when it freezes expands even further , and rapidly makes the problem worse .
Regular cleaning , with a good Car-Wash type brush will prevent this . On the roof , where it can be worst , something a bit stiffer , like a sweeping brush , might be better . And don't let anyone tell you you can't use a Power Washer... You Can , as long as you exercise a bit of common sense .
Don't direct the high pressure spray into the edges of windows , vents , seams etc .

A bit of car-wash shampoo helps soften grime , or the likes of Fenwickes Caravan cleaner , or my own personal favourite , Traffic Film Remover (from the likes of Concept) .

And god forbid , if there is a dodgy seal or leak lurking secretly , if you wash the camper regularly , chances are you'll find it! Sure it's a nuisance , but better to find it and get it fixed than to leave it lurking , and quietly destroying the timberwork...

After the effort , your 'van will look better , and keep the smile on your face .

Last edited by peasant; 22-07-2010 at 21:02.
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16-07-2010, 14:54   #2
loobylou
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The outer skin of my camper has a "dimpled" type finish. The "valleys" between the dimples hold dirt that at this stage is unshiftable. This gives the whole camper a very dull, grey look.
I have tried all types of cleaner but nothing seems to work. Have tried using a nailbrush and plenty of elbow grease to no effect.
Has anyone got any suggestions?
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16-07-2010, 15:23   #3
Aidan_M_M
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Traffic Film Remover , or Cif cream on a nail brush .
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16-07-2010, 20:04   #4
coolvale
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any tips on getting into the middle of the roof. what is the possibility of doing damage by walking on it ?
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16-07-2010, 20:51   #5
Aidan_M_M
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invest in a proper carwash type brush , with an extendable handle . If in any doubt about the roof , work off of a scaffold or ladder . bit Awkward , but better safe than sorry .

Most factory builts are fine to walk on , in the area behind the Overcab section , but if in doubt , keep close to the edges . Also make sure you've no pebbles or stones trapped in the grips of your shoes .
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22-07-2010, 12:43   #6
Aidan_M_M
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Tip for the week No.2 ... Leaving your camper plugged into mains.

A lot of customers tell me they leave the Camper plugged into main at home permanently , between trips away . The thiking being that it keeps the battery topped up , and the fridge cold , maybe also a little Dimplex type heater turned on to keep it aired out . Good idea you'd think? No , it seems.
From what I've seen , even though the charging system should tail off to a tiny charge , all batteries prefer to go through cycles of charging and discharging . Whereas constantly charging , even at a trickle , will eventually cook the battery cells . I've seen it with Dry Cell , Calcium , Gel , Acid , Leisure and ordinary types , none of them seem to like it . They'd be fine for a few months , maybe a year , then they seem to deteriorate .

Also , fridges..... I've discussed it with the tech guys in Dometic/Electrolux , and Thetford , and they say Motorhome fridges aren't designed to be left on permanently . Sure they'll work , but the life span of them is a lot less than a typical household fridge . So being on constantly means they may last only a few years , rather than a decade .

What we find works fine is to plug in the camper for a day or two a week , it's plenty to keep a healthy battery charged , and to keep a fridge in good working order . Also in these times of income worries , you'll lower your ESB bill a wee bit .

If you do like to keep a heater working over the winter , see if you can disable the charger , or else run an extension lead through the window for it .

Hope that is useful to ye.
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22-07-2010, 13:21   #7
coolvale
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what about solar panels. some campers have them connected all the time to keep the leisure battery up ?
your advise is welcome.
thanks
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22-07-2010, 13:41   #8
 
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Originally Posted by coolvale View Post
what about solar panels. some campers have them connected all the time to keep the leisure battery up ?
your advise is welcome.
thanks
If you cover the solar panel or panels with some heavy duty black plastic that should stop them working.
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22-07-2010, 14:11   #9
spaceHopper
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Originally Posted by coolvale View Post
what about solar panels. some campers have them connected all the time to keep the leisure battery up ?
your advise is welcome.
thanks
If you have a good solar charge regulator it will switch off the charging when the battery nears full.

Instead of pluging in all the time, plug in a day or so before you go and freeze a few bottles of water at home then put them in the fridge as well to get it cold then stock up before you go with food and drinks from your own fridge so it's cold.
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22-07-2010, 15:56   #10
Aidan_M_M
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Solar panels don't charge constantly folks.... what about when it gets dark?

I like them for that reason .
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22-07-2010, 20:49   #11
defike
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I intend to put up solar panel to charge and a dehumidifier on a timer maybe 2 hours a day to discharge the battery.
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22-07-2010, 21:01   #12
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Aidan's tips now new and improved ...condensed and stickied
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22-07-2010, 23:18   #13
Aidan_M_M
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Originally Posted by defike View Post
I intend to put up solar panel to charge and a dehumidifier on a timer maybe 2 hours a day to discharge the battery.
Have you a 12v Dehumidifier?
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23-07-2010, 15:04   #14
defike
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Argos sell a small 220v one which is actually 12v when you remove the transformer and rectifier.
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28-07-2010, 14:26   #15
NCG
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Originally Posted by defike View Post
Argos sell a small 220v one which is actually 12v when you remove the transformer and rectifier.
Could you tell me which one? They have a few and obviously don't get into the voltage details on the website. Thanks.
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