You’ve got itchy feet: the sun is high in the sky and your well-deserved holiday is approaching.
After a few months out of action, it's time to clean up your Ducato-based motorhome and prepare for the next adventure. Have you done all the necessary checks?
Is everything ready? Let’s find out together!
KEEP YOUR RIG IN CHECK
As you know, every vehicle—just like every adventure—is different. Here are some tips to help you best prepare for a wonderful trip in your Ducato.
Raring to spend your summer holidays on the road? Then start preparing your Ducato-based motorhome, beginning with a quick inspection.
First, check the roof and search for leaks. Don’t overlook the seals: make sure they are all clean and undamaged, since they are essential for keeping your rig in perfect condition.
Now you should proceed to the most important stage in preparing for your next outing: check every corner of your motorhome.
A superficial scan won't be enough, you need to start drawing up a list of all the parts to be checked a good few weeks before your scheduled departure date, in order to ensure a thorough and comprehensive inspection. Because there’s no doubt about it, it can really make the difference between a successful holiday and a journey plagued by annoying setbacks!
It makes sense to start with the mechanical components.
After checking the timing belt—which, as a responsible motorhome owner, you will certainly have done in the past—don’t forget to perform a safety check, especially on the headlights and brakes, so make time to examine them thoroughly.
Now for the second item on your checklist: the tyres. These will need to be inspected for wear and tear. If your Ducato-based motorhome is already well travelled, don't be fooled by the thickness of the tread: the tyres can also be affected by sun exposure, long-term storage and ageing, even if they don’t look worn. Then move on to the pressure: carefully check each valve and also ensure that the air suspension is at the correct pressure. Are you sure you haven't forgotten anything? Pay special attention to your spare wheel! Examine it thoroughly and change its position, so as to prevent the brackets from deforming it over time. Now that the second item on your list has been ticked off, move on to the engine battery and leisure battery.
The first thing you should inspect is the expiry date of the batteries. Next, try starting your Ducato-based motorhome to check whether the engine battery responds, especially after a long period of inactivity; also, don't forget to test the leisure battery, by plugging an appliance into a socket or using the alternator.
Now you should check your other utilities, namely gas and water. A common problem in gas pipes is blockages—caused by fuel oil deposits and even webs spun by spiders to protect their eggs—which prevent the gas from flowing freely. Check that there are no crystallised deposits and if necessary, carry out meticulous cleaning.
Proceed to test the water supply: check that the pump is in good condition by adding water to the tanks and checking that they become pressurised.
Don’t overlook the temperature! Test the temperatures reached by your onboard appliances, from the stove for winter heating to the fridge: every piece of equipment must function correctly down to the last detail.
NOW DRAW UP YOUR ITINERARY
You’ve been through your checklist, every item has been examined and your motorhome is now all set for the next adventure. Or almost…
To ensure the success of your holiday, don't forget to keep the logistical aspects of your trip under control.
Start by preparing your itinerary in advance: destinations, stopovers, camp sites, extra services. No matter how well you plan, every road trip can hold some surprises, but it’s good practice to broadly outline the stages of your trip in advance, so you have an idea of what awaits you on the road.
Research route planners and highway regulations, which will differ from country to country: this is the best way to avoid being caught unprepared when you are far from home.
Prepare a box containing basic essentials: an emergency kit, your identity documents and also a digital copy of every document that you will need to keep with you at all times.
Finally, don't forget to write down a backup itinerary, in case you have to change route for whatever reason. That’s right: each itinerary should be customised and customisable for any contingency. Last-minute hitch, sudden delays or change of plan?
Make sure you have brainstormed some alternative destinations and stopovers to consider along the way.
All aboard… happy travels with your Ducato!