Motorhome habitation checks aren’t just important but also a necessity. Motorhome owners need to know the condition of their vehicle before entering the road or taking long trips with friends and family.
Standard habitation service for motorhomes is part of what you need to do as a motorhome owner because imagine how terrible it’ll be having your motorhome stop on the road because of a fault that could have been avoided. Habitation services involve the interior component of your motorhome, like gas systems, roof lights, underslung tanks, co detector, and air conditioning systems.
What is a Motorhome Habitation Check?
Motorhome habitation check is a thorough inspection of the interior component of a motorhome, and it’s usually carried out by a professional, approved mobile service engineer.
When it comes to regular habitation checks, there are mobile-approved workshops that carry out a visual inspection and give you a detailed report at the end of the day.
A full habitation check involves checking for fire risk, damp problems, and ventilation and gas systems.
Why is it Important to Have Motorhome Habitation Service?
Motorhome habitation checks increase the longevity of your motorhome, by ensuring it’s working correctly at all times.
Problems identified early are easier and less costly to fix, than when you ignore them for a long period. Conducting a hab check frequently on your motorhome is recommended, as it’ll help you prevent a more extensive repair.
To avoid ruining your warranty period, you need to always do your own motorhome habitation check, because your motorhome is your living space. Same with every housing unit, you need to take your motorhome life seriously, so you don’t end up with a damaged motorhome.
When you carry out annual habitation checks and maintenance on your campervan, it increases its value, and you’ll have no problem finding a buyer if you are ready to sell.
Checking the habitation area of your vehicle is a sure way of keeping your family safe while on the road because it involves electrical checks and gas checks.
What Does A Motorhome Habitation Service Include?
Most motorhome owners keep wondering why a mobile service engineer takes a lot of hours when it comes to habitation checks, but the truth is that for every little problem areas they spot, they have to perform further inspection to be sure it’s not a serious problem.
Habitation checks involve general observations of your motorhome’s interior, as the mobile engineer will need to inspect every corner of your motorhome for dampness.
The engineer will conduct a full detailed inspection of all the safety elements, like gas appliances, fire extinguishers, water systems, as well as windows locks. Your motorhome’s waste water outlet will be checked as well, to be sure it’s working perfectly.
You need to make sure that there’s electricity in your van when the mobile engineer comes because they’ll need to check your electrical system and other sockets.
Fun fact; not every mobile engineer will carry out in-depth motorhome habitation checks on your vehicle, and that’s why you need to use a professional habitation service, plus always ask them what the hab check will include.
Key Points of a Motorhome Habitation Service
Remember, we said habitation checks vary, and not every mobile engineer will conduct in-depth checks that concern your campervan. That said, let’s look at the general requirements every hab service centre should do.
Having the electricity in your motorhome interrupted while on a trip with your friends will be disastrous and could ruin the fun. It’s the responsibility of your mobile service engineer to check the internal and external lights, including the motorhome’s rooflights because it’s just as important.
They’ll check for electrics like RCD, leisure batteries, fridge, wiring, and plugs. Other electrical systems like sockets and miniature circuit breakers need to be checked, to be sure they are operating at their maximum capacity. Whatever is being observed by your engineer will be recorded in the final readings.
A damp check is the most important because nobody wants to be camping in a motorhome that has water ingress problems. Habitation checks aside, damp checks need to be carried out frequently, to know the condition of your camper.
Usually, a damp report should read 0-15%, but when it’s above this figure, it needs to be checked ASAP. You are required to do a damp test within three months after you have successfully tackled the damp problem to be certain it’s not a recurring incident. And if it is, then you need to learn more about how to spot and prevent damp in your motorhome.
Using an expired fire extinguisher in your motorhome is a recipe for disaster. Imagine there’s a fire outbreak, what then will you use to curb the emergency?
The mobile engineer will have to check the smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, and fire blankets, to make sure everything is functioning as it should. If your fire blanket is not well-secured, you’ll have a hard finding it when you need it the most.
Most campervans have a flame failure device, and if you have that installed, your mobile engineer will check it as well.
To maintain your motorhome and make the living area conducive, you need to take proper care of the bodywork. You can’t expect your motorhome to look expensive and clean if it doesn’t undergo occasional habitation checks.
So, usually, hab checks involve checking the roof, doors, blinds, and windows. That way, you don’t have to deal with emergency damaged seals because they’ve all been individually checked beforehand.
Water & Plumbing System
Your water system is extremely vital and has to be checked on a regular basis. Normally, all taps are checked for unnecessary pressure and leaks, and if a problem is noticed, it’s addressed immediately. You wouldn’t want your holiday getting ruined over something that could have been avoided.
Servicing your toilet flush and valve seal is important as well, to be certain it’s well lubricated and has no leaks or blockages. If you are using a battery-operated flush, the batteries will be checked as well.
For caravan owners who have installed an alde wet heating system, the ethylene glycol antifreeze and water needs to be at an equal mix, and this is something your engineer will check.
The antifreeze mix will also be inspected, so you don’t subject yourself to cold during winter.
Gas System Safety
Your gas supply system will be checked for leaks or any signs of malfunctioning. All gas appliances like the heating system, fridge, gas burner, and boiler will be checked to know if they are working fine and without any gas leaks.
A manometer is used as a detector for gas leaks, and all gas appliances will have to be turned on first.
If your gas supply system is in good working order then you’ll have no issues taking your motorhome for long trips.
Depending on the habitation workshop you are using, a co-room test will be carried out, and for this, all appliances will be switched on and a flue gas analyser runs for 20 minutes at max.
This gas check is important, as it’ll help detect if there’s carbon monoxide present in your motorhome, and proper measures will be taken to purify the air.
Proper ventilation is a must for any vehicle. Poor ventilation will result in damp problems, and they’ll need to be rectified immediately.
All fixed vents will be checked to know if they are working properly because these are all of the things that contribute to the ventilation of your motorhome. The roof of your motorhome will be examined as well to be sure it can open and close properly.
Nobody wants to go for travels on caravans that haven’t undergone damp checks.
The mobile service engineer will have full access to your motorhome to check the bodywork. A damp check will be done, and the damp report will be given to you upon completion.
They’ll also check for cracked panels as this may lead to water ingress.
What’s Not Included in a Habitation Check?
Don’t get confused; a habitation check is for the inspection of the living condition of your motorhome. Not every habitation check involves a damp check and solar panels servicing, so be certain about the workshop you are going to.
On that note, habitation checks don’t include engine checks or any repairs that might be needed. You are in charge of the safe operation of your motorhome, so after you have conducted a habitation check, be sure to also do a full exterior check.
If you notice any faults with your engines, brakes, or chassis, you need to call professional technicians to get them fixed.
Things To Do Before A Motorhome Service
Your engineer needs full access to your motorhome before a habitation check. Whatever you feel may cause obstructions need to be taken away.
For example, we advise that you empty your lockers as those areas will be checked as well for water ingress. You’ll also need to drain your water system, or you can allow them to drain it for you.
Also, make sure there’s gas in your bottles, as it’ll be needed when doing a gas check. Lastly, if you aren’t going to the workshop and they are coming to you, you are required to have a mains electric connection inside your campervan, so they can check all the sockets, water heater, and other electrics.
How Long Does A Motorhome Habitation Check Take?
A proper habitation check should take a minimum of three hours. Every internal appliance should be inspected, including the bodywork of your van. Ideally, a good habitation check involves over 50 different checks and it’ll all be documented in the report.
How Often Does A Motorhome Need A Habitation Check?
It’s recommended you do a habitation check on an annual basis for your motorhome. Habitation check involves your motorhome’s gas systems, expiry date, and replacement date of important appliances, and upon further investigation, you might find out that your motorhome is at risk of water ingress.
So, to maintain safety and value, we recommended you visit an approved habitation service every year, although it’s not mandatory.
Is Habitation Check A Legal Requirement?
Ideally, you are not legally required to carry out habitation checks for your motorhome, unless of course, your insurance company makes it a legal requirement. Most motorhome insurer will tell you the importance of keeping your motorhome in a good condition to keep your insurance active, so what better way to do that than occasional habitation checks?
What are the benefits?
The main benefit of doing habitation checks for motorhomes is to ensure it’s safe to live in. You’ll get to spot any problems with the heating system, gas system, smoke alarm, and water system before it’s too late.
Also, it’ll help maintain the value of your motorhome in case you feel like putting it up for sale later in the future.
How much does a motorhome habitation check cost?
The prices for motorhomes hab check varies depending on what services are being offered. However, it costs from £210 upwards, but be sure to get a list of what it involves before you pay.
How to book a motorhome habitation check?
There are different ways to get your motorhome serviced;
- Take it to the habitation check workshop yourself
- Book a habitation check professional to come to meet you
- Visit their page or website and subscribe to a hab check package. The NCC has a list of approved workshops where habitation checks are carried out following their guidelines/checklist. You can find out more here: https://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk.
Oaktree Motorhome after-sales habitation services
Read more about motorhome habitation other after-sales services in Oaktree Motorhomes that are available to our customers. You can also take a look at our motorhome sales packages to see which options will suit your needs best!
Your motorhome’s durability is of utmost importance, that’s why you need to conduct habitation checks from time to time.
You need to give immediate attention to your motorhome to ensure it’s working properly at all times.
Luckily for you, the collaboration of the national caravan council, motorhome club, and camping caravanning club has formed the creation of specially recognized and approved workshops. These independently assessed workshops are more than qualified to perform a habitation check on your motorhome.
1. Can I do my own campervan or motorhome habitation check?
If you are confident that you can personally do a good habitation check on your motorhome, then go ahead. Search for accurate information online that’s tested and trusted, and you are good to go.