When you own a caravan, you may use it for many years before it ever needs any type of repairs; however, it's still good to give it a thorough inspection every year or as often as needed, so you can spot minor damage before it becomes a major repair job. Note a few common defects and signs of damage that are often overlooked by caravan owners, and why it's so important to have these addressed as soon as possible.
Windows in a caravan may be more prone to damage than windows in a home, as caravan windows are exposed to flying debris when you're travelling down the highway, and may also get hit by kayaks and other equipment you unload from the caravan roof. This damage can cause cracks in the glass as well as around the frame; in turn, your caravan might suffer water leaks and resultant damage to the body and frame under the windows. Give window frames a good visual inspection as needed; if you notice any dents or dings, or that the windows don't open and close smoothly, you want to have these problems repaired as soon as possible.
Because the undercarriage of the caravan is exposed to wet roads, damp soil, rainwater, and the like, it's not unusual for it to suffer water damage over the years. If you notice a spongy or soft feeling in the floor under your feet, this often signals damage to that subfloor or frame of the caravan itself. Once that undercarriage or subfloor gets soft, it's more likely to crack, split, or break. You may even see the floor dip and curve in certain areas, as the wood of the caravan body swells and then curves and cups when exposed to water and humidity. When you notice these problems with the caravan floor, have the framework replaced or repaired as soon as possible.
Side panels of a caravan are prone to dents and dings, as the lightweight aluminium used to make those panels can be hit by flying rocks and other debris when you're driving down the road or when it's raining outside. Inspect the body of the caravan regularly to see if any of those dents and dings have broken through the metal; an opening in the body can allow rainwater and humidity to collect along the wood frame, leading to mould and softened wood that is likely to crack and break. Have open areas of the metal patched up as soon as possible, to protect the caravan body and keep any resultant mould from spreading along the wood frame.