At a first glance, phrases like ‘habitation service, ‘gas safety inspection’’ and ‘servicing’ can seem daunting and unfamiliar. Your motorhome is essentially a home on wheels, as such, it requires the same level of habitation and safety checks that you would have at home. This is important regardless of whether or not you are hiring out, but vital if you do decide to do so. Checks and services are not only a legal requirement for hiring out, they also protect you by ensuring you’re not at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning or other issues. They can save your holidays by pinpointing risks and solving them beforehand. They’re also cost-effective, as preempting damage is far cheaper than fixing it later. And finally, if carried out by a business approved to do so, they should keep your warranty valid and the overall worth of your motorhome strong so that you’re getting everything you paid for.
To ensure you’re getting the right servicing and checks done on your motorhome, we’ll be taking you through the basics of motorhome servicing and where to go for it.
Why should I get my motorhome serviced?
Motorhomes require regular servicing to ensure that the habitation areas are safe and liveable. For example, a gas-fuelled appliance requires regular checking to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. But with annual servicing by a competent gas engineer and an audible carbon monoxide alarm, you can significantly reduce the potential danger. During the servicing, the technician will also look for signs of water ingress, as this damp can lead to numerous health complications.
In order to hire out your motorhome, your motorhome needs to be checked by a Gas Safe registered (GSr) technician, providing a signed and dated gas checksheet. As long as the engineer is GSr, this can be done alongside general servicing.
How often should I get my motorhome serviced?
Mechanical servicing on the chassis and engine of your motorhome should be carried out at least every two years. This is also dependent on the mileage undertaken, as they recommend getting serviced at least every 30k miles. Many manufacturers will require an annual habitation service as part of the terms of their warranty, so arranging this is an excellent way of protecting your long-term investment.
It is recommended to get a full gas check annually, and if you plan to hire out, you should do a gas soundness check before each new hire.
People often wonder how much a habitation service will cost, fearing dramatic prices and unclear additions to the bill. It’s difficult to obtain an average, as the costs vary nationwide. But a good habitation check will cost around £200, and likely more, and should take a minimum of three hours.
What is the Approved Workshop Scheme?
The Approved Workshop Scheme (also known as AWS) aims to bridge this gap and provide you with all the servicing needs for your motorhome. They’re a joint enterprise between the NCC (National Caravan Council), The Caravan and Motorhome Club, and The Camping and Caravanning Club. Aside from these major names in the motorhome community, the AWS is the only scheme to be supported by all the major UK manufacturers.
The AWS is the UK’s largest group of independently assessed workshops, with over 520 fixed and mobile Approved Workshops across the UK. They hold strict requirements to be eligible, as all workshops must pass an annual inspection by a team of independent assessors and comply with their rigorous standards. As a motorhome owner, this allows you to know that the right things are being done by the right people and to an exceptional standard.
Approved Workshops guarantee they will:
- Provide an estimate for any additional servicing or repair work over £150
- Only start work with your express authority
- Give a realistic estimated time for completion and collection
- Carry out all work using care, skill and professional judgement
- Use genuine spare parts where available
- Always provide you with a checklist of work done
- Contact you for whether they should continue if additional work is identified
- Notify you (in writing) of faults that are not rectified, with an honest professional assessment of the urgency in required repairs
- Display a detailed and visible list of prices and labour rates
Whether you plan to hire out your motorhome or keep it for your use, ensure that you are using a fully qualified technician. We all know the value of your motorhome, it’s important that it gets the right servicing which is guaranteed with an Approved workshop.
Where can I find a workshop near me?
An approved workshop is never too far away, and with AWS you can easily find one close to home or whatever location you’re currently at. You can filter locations based on what you’re exactly looking for and then use their map function.
Find an AWS approved workshop.
Note: using a Gas Safe registered technician is not a requirement for general servicing of campervans and motorhomes that are owned and used on a private domestic basis unless hired out for reward.