Caravan plumbing systems are indispensable when travelling Australia, even more so when you’re planning a trip to rural and remote areas. With limited access to clean water in these off-the-grid locations, ensuring your caravan plumbing is performing correctly is invaluable.
While some more serious caravan plumbing problems may require repairs by experienced caravan service workshops, minor plumbing issues can be fixed by the owners, even if you have limited knowledge of how the plumbing system works.
This guide explain some of the more common problems faced by caravan owners, and how you can fix or temporarily stop the issues from being a serious problem until you can have them fixed professionally.
Caravan plumbing maintenance before your trip
Before you head off on a caravan adventure there are a few plumbing maintenance tasks that should be completed. This will help to prevent some of the serious issues which may require a caravan service experts assistance.
Clean your caravan water tanks
Your caravan will usually have two or more water tanks on board for freshwater. Before and following every trip, it’s important to correctly clean out your freshwater tanks correctly to prevent contamination and the build-up of harmful bacteria and algae.
To do this, follow this guide on how to clean a caravan water system from Without A Hitch.
Although your freshwater tank can usually keep the water safe for long-term use, it’s recommended that you maintain your caravan water tanks by flushing them clean, periodically.
Caravan toilet and wastewater tanks
Cleaning your grey and black water tanks are a slightly different matter as it doesn’t really matter what condition the water is in. The harmful part of these tanks is the unpleasant smell they can give off if not cleaned out thoroughly.
Common household toilet cleaners are not designed for use in your caravan, so it’s recommend you stick to product such as Thetford Aquachem Blue to clean your waste holding tanks.
Check all taps, toilet, shower and laundry machine
Before you take off on your next adventure, run through all plumbing on your caravan to make sure it’s all operating correctly. Check the cold and hot water taps in the sink and shower are working correctly, the toilet is flushing right and the laundry washing machine is drawing in water.
Fix common caravan problems while travelling
Look, some major caravan plumbing issues really should be left to the professionals to fix. However, smaller problems that can be fixed or the issues temporarily reduced by caravan owners will stop you from cutting the holiday short.
To help, we’ve put together a list of the most common caravan plumbing issues we usually hear about and how you can fix it while on the road. These fixes may involve using a few common tools or parts, so before you head off, make sure you speak to your local caravan workshop about which spare parts and tools you should always travel with.
Stop inconsistent or erratic water flow
Have you noticed that the water coming into your caravan is either slow, inconsistent or erratic?
What is likely causing this is the caravan plumbing system that leads to your tap could be blocked, bent or broken. If possible, follow the pipeline and look for any issues along the system that you may be able to kink back out for an easy fix.
If this does not appear to be the problem, you may be having issues with the anode rod in your hot water tank, a filter in the water filler inlets, or your accumulator or surge damper which may require a visit to your local caravan repair shop.
Stop faulty taps from leaking
Like the point above, faulty leaking taps are usually caused by the caravan plumbing system that they are connected to. If you notice issues with the taps in your caravan, inspect the pipes for blocks, bends or cracks.
Fix a leaking caravan shower
Leaks from your shower can cause serious issues if not caught and fixed straight away. It’s recommended that you check the seals around your shower recess every week or so while travelling.
If you notice that water is making it through cracks where it shouldn’t be, purchase some sealant (hopefully you have some stored for situations just like this) and slowly and carefully fill in the cracks. Give your local caravan workshop a call and they’ll discuss which sealant would be best to fix your shower.
If your caravan is new, it possibly has a fibreglass shower cubicle which would require expert repair.
On older caravans, checking the shower for leaks is even more important as seals often wear down and degrade over time.
Identify water damage on benchtops and cupboards
While some water damage on benchtops or cupboards may not ruin your trip, if you do not find the source of the damage promptly, it could get much more severe. Luckily, finding the source of water damage is usually quite straight forward.
Inspect around the area above and close by where you notice the damage. Look for pipes or cracks that could be leaking water onto your benchtops or cupboards. If you notice cracks, carefully use some sealant to help clog the holes and prevent the leak from spreading. If the leak is being caused by loose or cracked plumbing system, stop in at your local caravan workshop or hardware store to purchase some new plumbing pipes or tubes.
Book a caravan service and safety check
Serious caravan plumbing issues can ruin months of planning the perfect adventure, so it’s important to complete a safety and maintenance check before you head off. If you’re not too experienced on the inner workings of your caravan, trust the task to the team at Lewis RV. Contact Lewis RV for a caravan service and safety check today, located conveniently in Guildford, Western Australia.