Which bright spark thought up the saying “all good things must come to an end” – pretty sombre stuff right? Kind of like getting back home from your big trip during the Christmas break. What’s even more depressing? Unpacking your rig and or trailer – joy. Another saying we like to throw around here at Club 4X4 HQ is “if you’re gonna do a job, do it right” – we think this rings true here; stay with me! The way you unpack and the things you do when you get home can make world of difference to the ease with which you can get back out again!
So what are the things you need to do before you get back into another awesome work year?
- The Fridge! – We’ve all been there. That disgusting moment when you open the fridge and realise you didn’t completely empty it after the last trip. Having not only done it myself, but had it done to me when one of the team take the GU out for an event or trip – there is NOTHING worse. Empty it out, give it a wipe and air it out! I put a d shackle between the door and the body of our Dometic Waeco when it’s not in use, which gives about an inch of space in our Ashwood Timber Drawer System where it can breath.
- What’s worse than packing up your gear wet? the smell of mould, that’s what! It’s inevitable that you will pack your swag, tent, rooftop tent or awning wet some day. The key is remembering that you did and opening it up to dry out when you get home.
- Replenish what you used – this may not happen immediately, but go through your stores and make sure you’ve replenished things like band-aids and other consumables. We’ve had customers send us photos of their setups where they group things in tubs – for example spices and condiments in a tub – first aid and medical gear in another. This modular setup is clever because it’s easy to remove and restock when you have everything in one place.
- Rotate and align your tyres – we’ve paid the penalty of not rotating tyres enough on our GU – travelling 120km daily on scalloped and noisy tyres isn’t much chop! Our rule of thumb is a rotation, balance and alignment every 10,000 kms – your ears and arms will thank you for it.
- Servicing – if you’re lucky enough you may have racked up a fair few kays on your trip. While you may not have done enough to warrant a log book service, think about the type of driving that you did. Was there a lot of dust? Were you towing? It’s likely you put more strain on your rig than the normal daily commute, so it might be worthwhile doing your basic oil and filter changes or inspections. If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated touring rig this wont matter as much, but still a good thing to do.
- Wash even though you prefer it dirty – this one will drive conversation – I know a lot of fourby enthusiasts out there wear the layers of mud on their trucks as a trophy. Personally, I like to keep all my possessions in top condition (nevermind that the GU is covered in wrap to look dirty!). Seriously though, there’s nothing fun about trying to get all the mud off your paint or underside after letting it bake on for a few weeks. What you also don’t know is what you’ve driven through and what damage it may cause to the different materials on your setup.
- Storing your trailer – this is a big one – we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve seen customers spring a leak in their van or trailer due to neglect, rotten seals and damaged materials on pop-tops. These things are all preventable with a bit of maintenance. It’s really a bit of all of the 6 points above, but generally it’s about making sure you store it dry and remove any potential contaminants – stay on top of maintaining your seals and any awnings or canvas associated with pop tops or camper trailers. Like anything, if you take care of it, it will take care of you.
What are your tips for maintaining your setup when you’re not using it?