11 NOV 2020
Every motorhome owner’s memories with Ducato are a real treasure: the trips with family and friends, the adventures on the trail of undiscovered places and the freedom to travel in the utmost comfort and safety. Amazing souvenirs that create a deep bond over time, and which we’d hate to lose.
But don’t worry... even if our motorhome has travelled a long way, there are a few things we can do to help keep it in great form. Ready for our next experience together?
Battery and electrics
The first tip starts precisely in the “heart” of our Fiat Ducato-based motorhome, in other words, the battery! In fact, this is a part that tends to deteriorate over time, but there’s a simple rule you can follow that will prevent this happening prematurely.
All you need to do is ensure you turn the engine of your travelling companion on every week, even for only about twenty minutes and, if possible, drive it a short distance. As well as generally helping keep all the mechanical parts “active” in the long term, doing so will also make sure that the battery performs the necessary recharging cycles, and so prevent the starter motor from seizing up.
Taking particular care of this component of our Fiat Ducato-based motorhome is essential. In fact, the component in question is connected to the whole electric system and should it malfunction it could easily cause additional problems to other parts of the vehicle, such as the head lights, interior lighting, and electrical appliances. So, let’s find an excuse to spend a few more minutes on board: we’ll be doing a favour to ourselves and to our beloved four-wheeled friend!
Interiors, bodywork, and damp
Take a step back, damp! For our vehicle, the Number One Enemy is undoubtedly dampness. This can favour the formation of mould during the long periods while not in use, but also affect the bodywork and seals, causing both aesthetic and structural issues that are not always of negligible importance.
One good piece of advice is certainly to air your Fiat Ducato-based motorhome as much as possible by opening the windows often and avoiding leaving surfaces wet for long periods of time. Then, another effective method is to refrain from covering your vehicle with protective canvases too often; although these protect the bodywork from the weather, they can prove particularly harmful when used for long periods.
So, what should we do to safeguard our motorhome from bad weather conditions, while also ensuring that we don’t create any related problems? Our advice for those who don’t have a garage or covered parking space where they can keep their vehicle protected, is to use protective canvases, while also taking care to air the vehicle often. To do this, why not take advantage of the times when we visit the vehicle to turn it on and protect the battery?
Seals and tips for protecting them
Other very important elements we may often take for granted are seals: these prevent water and damp from entering the vehicle and ensure that none of the parts become deteriorated. But like everything else, our seals too need to be checked and replaced!
How do you know when a seal needs to be changed? There are three main thing things to look out for: they might have hardened and therefore no longer fully isolate the area, or they may have shrunk, or been broken. In all these cases, your best bet is to replace them immediately, by visiting a workshop.
Similarly to seals, screws and screw caps also need to be checked every so often and, if they appear rusty, they should be promptly changed to avoid them breaking in the long term due to the vibrations of the vehicle when on the move. But be careful: if you want to tackle these operations yourself, avoid using stainless steel screws. Although stainless steel is rustproof, it is not flexible enough to do the job correctly and risks breaking before long, if not immediately during the installation phase.
The life-extending routine
So, we’ve now looked at a few easy steps you can take to help make our new Fiat Ducato-based motorhome the new Highlander of the road; we hope you’ll take them all on board and that they’ll prove useful. But wait a minute... does that mean we’ve finished already? Absolutely not!
There are lots of little tricks you need to know, and some of these form part of the precautions you should take... like the need to empty the water system when the motorhome is not in use and its maintenance. Or the fact that you need to carefully clean the bodywork with specific products, and that leaving food lying around the vehicle is an absolute recipe for disaster. It is essential that you avoid attracting animals (from mere insects to rodents) that could make dens in the motorhome during long periods when it is not in use, also compromising the mechanical parts.
These are all basic rules, it’s true, but every so often it doesn’t do any harm to repeat them, both as a memo for more experienced motorhome owners, and for our new friends who are about to set off on their first fantastic adventure on board a Fiat Ducato-based motorhome. Happy travels, everyone!