Prevention is better than repair.
How to correctly maintain the gaskets and seals of your camper.
Campers are built to last, but of course some materials, such as seals, are more liable to wear and tear. And both rapid temperature changes and friction tend to quicken their deterioration.
Ideally, seals and gaskets should be renewed every 4 to 5 years. This would prevent any water or air infiltrating into the vehicle, so helping to extend the life of your camper.
Firstly, when the vehicle is not in use, it should be moved often, to avoid leaving it parked and so exposed to the sun or dampness for long periods of time.
If it is stored in the countryside, check that the grass is not high enough to brush against the lower trim or the bumpers, and that it doesn’t grow up under the floor of the camper.
The screw seals must be replaced as soon as you notice them becoming harder and less elastic. To make them last longer, you can try applying silicone oil or vaseline to lubricate them, at least once a year. This also goes for the window seals and the parts in soft plastic which protect the vehicle from dampness and bad weather conditions.
When replacing the seal, once you have removed the old one, it is important to thoroughly clean the aluminium or plastic site where the new one will be installed.
Always start from the high part of the trim and always from the centre, so that the weight is balanced and the screw cover seal you have just installed is not removed by the weight of the one yet to be installed. Lay the seal on to the side of the site of the trim. Next, with the aid of a flathead screwdriver, also insert it into the other side. Usually this can be done very quickly in the straight sections.
Immediately afterwards use a silicone gun to apply silicone to the corners and curves, and then, at the end, to seal the edges of the seal.
Perform frequent checks on the condition of the insulation in the skylight runners and the trim, check the window hinges and the integrity of the windows. If there are any doubts about their integrity, consult a specialised technician immediately. Other essential elements to be checked are the screws and bolts which are subject to strain, that is, those used to attach bicycle racks, verandas, steps, luggage racks etc.
In any case, it is always advisable to visit your dealer regularly: having your camper checked by an expert will save you a whole lot of worry.
What’s more, with Fiat Ducato Camper and Fiat Camper Assistance, you can rely on over 6,500 Fiat Professional workshops all over Europe, always on hand to service campers on Ducato bases.
Prevention is always better than repair!