Looking After Your Static Caravan Chassis
Looking after your static caravan chassis is an important part of the maintenance of your static caravan. As the structural base of your static caravan, the strength and integrity of your chassis is essential to the leisure home’s overall utility.
Maintaining the chassis is part of the minimum level of maintenance required by most insurance policies. Here are a few tips to help you in caring for the condition of your static caravan chassis.
What type of chassis?
The first thing for you to do is to identify the type of chassis on your static caravan. Static caravan chassis are made of steel and fall into three categories:
These are steel structures that have been constructed by welding steel struts into a lattice pattern, which are then painted with special paint to protect them from corrosion. This type of chassis is found on the older models of static caravan.
These are chassis that are made from steel struts, which have been immersed in zinc in a process that binds the zinc to the iron in the steel. Because the steel parts have been treated with zinc before the cutting and construction of the chassis, there is a possibility that corrosion can occur at the welded joints and cut ends of the chassis’ structure.
Galvanised chassis are made using the same process but fully assembled and welded before being treated with zinc. This means that all the joins and cut ends are also protected. This makes them the most reliable type of chassis, needing the least maintenance. However, they also cost the most of the three types. Whether you think it is worth the extra cost to assure yourself of a chassis with less maintenance and a longer life will depend on your own circumstances. Brand new static caravans will usually have galvanised chassis.
The underside of your static caravan should be inspected when siting it and then regularly, about twice a year, especially before and after the winter season. As a great many static caravans are sited near the coast, they are vulnerable to corrosion, which is made worse by the salt in the sea air.
Pay particular attention to joins and strut ends in the structure, to the corner footings or jack stands and to the overall shape to make sure it is doing its job. Remember, your beloved holiday home depends entirely on the soundness of the chassis.
Repairs and maintenance
The first thing you may have to do is to remove the skirting, if you have one around your static caravan. Some skirting will have removable access panels but sometimes these will not provide enough space to carry out repairs. If you are unsure, you should consult the people who fitted the skirting or your park management. They should be able to offer advice on how to do this with the least disruption or damage to the underlying structure.
Any scratches or gaps you find in the chassis paint should be painted over or sprayed with special chassis paint. This is available from static home manufacturers and other outlets. Your park management should be able to help you find a supplier nearby.
While this is not a complicated or particularly skilled job, it is messy and can be difficult in such a confined space. It could be too much for you and well worth getting a professional company to carry out the work. Again, your park management should be able to recommend someone and your neighbours will probably be able to help too.
It is also a good idea to regularly grease and wind the jack stands to make sure they are free from corrosion and do not get stuck. Take this opportunity to clean and oil the hitch handle and jockey wheel too, to prevent seizing and corrosion.
If you do detect significant damage, hire a specialist who can guarantee their work, to replace the affected struts. Insist on a photographic record being taken or take your own and remember to inform your insurance company of any work that has been carried out.
This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist provider of insurance for holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday lodges and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.