A caravan is essentially a superstructure or build-up to a standard van. Most often Fiets are used for this conversion because they are the cheapest and therefore the price of the caravan should be lower. Even though it doesn’t look like it in reality.
How does it work in practice? The caravan company Hymer, as an example, buys a cab and chassis from Fiat and does the rest in their factory. This has its advantage, all the motor and common parts of the van can be repaired in any workshop.
“If you need to change the oil or the brakes, you take it to a Fiat or Volkswagen garage, for example.”
Where will they fix your caravan part?
The caravan dealer and garage only provides repairs and maintenance and after-sales checks of the caravan part. They can replace a window, repair a shower or fit a solar panel. It’s best to take your caravan to an authorised garage for that brand. They can order genuine spare parts such as a faucet.
Basically, however, any caravan repair shop will fix your caravan. If something goes wrong on holiday or a longer trip, you don’t have to stress. There’s bound to be a caravan repair shop or dealer somewhere nearby that will be able to help you.
MOT and Emission tests
Just like a caravan, a caravan has to pass a roadworthiness and emissions test. Only the technical parts are checked as for a standard car, i.e. brakes, lights, chassis and first aid kit. Nothing special from the caravan equipment is checked and they don’t care. So they don’t check the gas system either.
Not every country has a law that makes it mandatory to check the gas system of a caravan. However, these checks are common in some countries and must be carried out every 2 years, similar to an MOT. However, we still have this check done. Why?
“You may not be allowed to camp in Germany”
In Germany, car and caravan checks are a common thing, apart from the scales they sometimes do mobile STKs. Whether they also check gas tests on motorways I have no idea, but I have heard of checks before entering a campsite.
The check is done by a review engineer with a gas detector, the result is a report and a sticker that is stuck to the back of the motorhome. As this is not needed everywhere, almost no caravan service provides it. It costs a few euros though, I see no reason not to have it.