In the midst of the thrill of planning a self-drive road trip in your motorhome, some of the important (and less exciting) things can get lost. Your motorhome is not only your accommodation each night, it’s your mode of transport, so you need to be confident that it’s in tip-top shape for both short or long-term adventures. And that means ensuring it is safe to drive.
We spoke with Andrew Lehan, Branch Mechanic at the RSV Sales Centre in Melbourne, to find out all you need to know about servicing your motorhome.
IS SERVICING A MOTORHOME DIFFERENT TO SERVICING A CAR?
Yes, it is. New motorhome owners need to be aware that servicing is time-based rather than kilometre-based. A car will need servicing every 10,000km or 20,000km but with a motorhome it’s about time.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD OWNERS GET THEIR MOTORHOMES SERVICED?
You would have it looked at by a mechanic every six months. You need to take care of its upkeep because it is not only your accommodation, it is your transport. It means you need to look after it a little bit differently than an ordinary passenger car. If it hasn’t had an oil change for a year you would do that and maybe the filters. I recommend having a mechanic you trust look over it during major season changes, so once before the winter and once before the summer. You need to make sure it is ready for what you want to do, whether that is weekend warrioring or going on a long trip around Australia.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF LONG PERIODS OF INACTIVITY FOR A MOTORHOME?
Tyre condition needs to be checked for vehicles which sit in one place for a length of time. They can deteriorate over time without use — the rubber can go hard. Things like brake fluid and coolant is a time-sensitive thing rather than a mileage-sensitive thing and to a point so is engine oil. Brakes can also get a bit sticky and discs can rust. It also depends on the environment in which you store your motorhome. If you park it outside is it more necessary to have to checked.
WHAT DO YOU CHECK IN A SERVICE?
When we do a service we check everything — brakes, lights, tyres, suspension, fuel, oil, air filters to name a few.
HOW LONG DOES A SERVICE TAKE?
For an in-between or ‘minor’ service it could take a few hours maximum. If you had to do the whole nine yards, it comes down to what vehicle it is but generally speaking it would take a day.
DOES THE SIZE OF THE MOTORHOME AND THE ENGINE DICTATE THE TIME IT TAKES TO SERVICE IT OR HOW COMPLICATED IT IS?
No, not the size of the engine pr even if it is petrol or diesel. Some engine brands may take longer than others, but that has to do with the supply of parts for that model. We use a multitude of suppliers and we always look for cost-effective parts. We use original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts or after-market where it meets or exceeds OEM specs. In other words, we don’t use cheap rubbish. We always look after our customers when it comes to part pricing.
DOES RVSC IN MELBOURNE OFFER SERVICING?
Yes, we do. It pays to book in advance so we can schedule it alongside our regular servicing of our rental fleet and vehicles coming off the rental circuit and up for sale through the RV Sales Centre.
IF OWNERS BOUGHT FROM RVSC AND NEEDED A SERVICE WHILE THEY WERE ON THE ROAD, CAN THEY BOOK IN FOR ONE?
Yes, and we are in the planning stages of a pretty exciting nationwide servicing network which will be
very beneficial to motorhome and campervan owners. It gives our customers the peace of mind that their vehicles are being serviced by a team of professionals who are very familiar with the models.