A great habit to get into before setting off on your camper trailer journey is to conduct safety check, just to be certain that you have taken all possible steps to ensure the safety of you and fellow road users.
A good place to commence the inspection of your camper trailer is the coupling, primarily because it makes a good start and end point.
- Start by ensuring that the pins and clips of the off road coupling are in place properly and the ball coupling is seated correctly, with the locking mechanism clipped in.
- Next, check your safety chains – if you have double chains, ensure that they are crossed over and properly secured to your vehicle with big enough shackles – and don’t take shortcuts – padlocks and carabiners are not strong enough.
- Lights are important!
- After ensuring that everything is properly secured you should check that your lights are working properly. The trailer plug and socket connector can inevitably be a problem if the camper trailer has not been used for a while. Continuous wiggling of the connection will usually get your lights working but a little preventative care will help too. Giving the male connection a scrub with a kitchen scouring pad will make the connections work well, while a spray with WD40 or similar should make the female connection on your tow vehicle work like new.
- Next, there’s some basics checks to be done – if you have an Anderson plug to recharge the camper’s batteries while travelling, make sure that it is securely snapped into place properly. Then check to make sure the jockey wheel is secured properly or stowed away.
- Give the gas bottles and jerry cans a tug to make sure that they are safely secured in their proper places. While you’re at it, check to see that all gas bottles are turned off and that a plastic cap is fitted over the nozzle to prevent dust from clogging the outlet.
- Next, it’s time to check your tyre pressure and then make sure that the stabilising legs on the camper are safely wound up.
- Finally, you need to ensure that the camper itself is safely packed down. For soft floor campers you should ensure that the travel cover is fastened by either bungie straps or with velcro and zips. If your camper is a hardtop, flip-over or wind-up, the over-center latches should be closed. It’s a good idea to check the tailgate at the same time and ensure that it is closed properly.
Once you’ve ensured everything is fully secured, you’re in a good position to start your trip with confidence.