FAQsThe decision to purchase a Caravan or Motorhome is often surrounded by many questions. To make this easier we've compiled our 101 most frequently asked questions! Benefits of buying a JaycoHeading Off RoadOperating my RVRV MaintenanceRV Weights & LoadingStoring your RVTowing & SafetyPurchasing an RVWarranty & Ownership Benefits of buying a Jayco Are there any regulations that Jayco has to comply with when manufacturing Caravans? Yes, Jayco RV’s must be built to comply with all Australian Design Regulations. Do Jayco build their caravans in Australia or overseas? The designing and construction of all Jayco RV’s occur in a purpose built state of the art manufacturing complex in Victoria. Watch the short video tour of the factory. Do Jayco use an Aluminium or Timber frame in their Caravans? We use, predominantly, an aluminium frame for extra strength and longevity including galvanised plating for secure fitment of internal furniture. How resilient is the interior furniture in a Jayco Caravan? The strength and elegance of protective curved extrusions is due to the aluminium framed furniture and high-resilience Dunlop foam is used for the cushion inserts for years of comfort and support. How well built are the Jayco cabinets? Our cabinets incorporate an Aluminium frame work beneath the seating areas for lightweight and strength, ply fronts to all drawers and cabinets, and veneer covered solid timber frameworks to kitchen cabinets with the fronts screwed securely in place as opposed to stapled. What are the benefits of a Fibreglass Caravan exterior? Apart from the aesthetics of the fibreglass exterior, it is aerodynamic, makes cleaning easier, has better water seals and is less likely to be damaged due to hail. What are the benefits of a Jayco Expanda? Expandas offer many key advantages: Due to the beds being fitted externally on an Expanda, it means that the living space is maximised They are compact to tow, yet almost double in size when set up for camping You can still navigate the inside of an expanda when the beds are packed away, allowing good access to the fridge and cupboards for packing and for a quick stop on the side of the road. They afford you the comforts of a traditional Caravan while offering a genuine Camping feel with the canvas bed ends What is the resale value like on a Pre-loved Jayco? Jayco RV’s have proven their consistently high resale value, time and time again. Why do Jayco use Nitrogen to fill the Caravan tyres? Nitrogen reduces tyre wear & tear, fuel usage and the risk of blowouts whilst improving the ride and handling. Heading Off Road Can I take my Caravan off-road? If you’ve purchased an Outback or Off-Road designed Caravan you will be able to venture onto unsealed roads and some outback roads. However you must always exercise caution by planning your trip to ensure the road is safe and accessible at your time of travel and know your capabilities as a driver as well as the capabilities of your tow vehicle and caravan before heading off-road. If considering towing on the beach, this should only be attempted by very experienced beach drivers who have good local knowledge of the beach you intend to tow on. Conditions can change very quickly when beach driving, and a good knowledge of the tides and beach conditions is essential before towing on the sand. It is best to travel on an outgoing or low tide as opposed to an incoming tide. A support vehicle is also recommended for those who aren't confident or don't own suitable recovery equipment. Can I tow my caravan on a dirt road if it isn’t an off-road caravan? Yes you can, provided the road isn’t too heavily corrugated. Please ensure the road is in good enough condition at the time of travel. If the road is heavily corrugated we do not recommend towing a standard caravan. Do I need a Solar Panel, Generator or both for my Caravan? A Solar panel will allow you to charge a 12V Caravan battery allowing you to operate your 12V appliances only, unless an inverter is used to convert 12V to 240V. There are limitations with using inverters and they can be quite hefty in consumption. A generator will supply 240V power which will enable you to run 240V appliances such as the Caravan Air Conditioner. Some Caravanners may choose to carry both, as generators are not always allowed in National Parks, therefore the solar still allows the Caravan batteries to be re-charged to operate 12V lighting and appliances when free camping. View our range of Alternative Power solutions here. Do I need to anything special to maintain my off-road caravan? No, an off-road caravan requires the same maintenance as an on-road model. What is an Off Road or Outback Caravan? Off Road or Outback usually means the Caravan has 15'' or 16'' Off Road wheels and tyres, a stronger chassis, additional ground clearance and can be towed to places such as National Parks, onto Beaches or off the beaten track. They may also feature the use of an upgraded suspension such as the J-Tech Independant Suspension. Operating my RV Can I tow my Caravan with the roof hatch open? We wouldn’t recommend driving with the roof hatch open. Can I use Swap ‘n’ Go gas bottles? Yes, you can use Swap 'n' Go gas bottles however we recommend that you maintain and fill your original bottles supplied with the caravan as they'll be stamped correctly for use on caravans. Can I use the corner stabilisers to level the van? No, the corner stabilisers are only designed to meet the ground and prevent the caravan from rocking on the suspension. You shouldn't attempt to lift the weight of the caravan on the corner stabilisers. You should level the caravan by using the jockey wheel to level from front to back, and RV Levelling Ramps to level from side to side. Can I walk into my Caravan without lowering the stabiliser legs? Yes, however we wouldn’t recommend an extended period or staying overnight without the legs down to stabilise the caravan. Do I need to roll in the Caravan awning when it is windy? It is a good idea to roll in the awning in windy conditions and at the very least using an awning tie down kit to stabilise the awning. You can choose from a range of Awning Tie-down kits here. Does the Caravan toilet need to be emptied before travelling? It isn’t essential, however we recommend the toilet being emptied before travel, as you don't want to arrive at your next destination to a nasty surprise! How do I know how much gas is left in the Caravan gas bottles? We still recommend the old trick of pouring hot water down the side of the bottle and seeing where the condensation occurs. Generally speaking this method gives an accurate indication of the gas level, however there are gauges that you can purchase if you wish. How do I level the Caravan from front to back? Your jockey wheel is the device you use to level your caravan from front to back. It's always a good idea to mount a T-level to A-frame to make this job easier. How do I level the Caravan from side to side? Levelling from side to side requires the use of RV levelling ramps placed under the appropriate side to be lifted. How do I recharge the battery in my Jayco Caravan? There is an in-built charger for your auxiliary battery in all late model Jayco’s. If your caravan doesn't have an in-built charger, you can view some charger options here. What equipment do I need to take on a Caravan trip? It's a good idea to consider how much space you have for extra equipment as well as your own personal requirements. While it is at your own discretion we recommend considering the following: Hydraulic Jack and handle to lift the Caravan, allowing for the removal of a wheel when changing a flat tyre. One complete Spare Wheel Wheel brace An extra set of wheel bearings to suit your Caravan Tube of sealant in case the roof or one of the windows develops a leak Rivet gun and spare rivets Cordless drill and driver for general repairs General tool kit with an assortment of tools Spare fuses for the Tow vehicle and Caravan Spare light globes for the Caravan Torch Wet Wipes to clean your hands after any dirty work on the road Spare set of Caravan keys Grease for tow ball coupling RV Levelling Ramps to level the caravan on site Hammer for the Annexe Pegs Tyre gauge Fire Extinguisher 2 x Wheel Chocks First Aid Kit T-level to level the Caravan Portable Toilet Chemical & Quick break down Toilet Paper 10m Sullage Hose or bucket 10m Food Grade Water supply hose 240V | 15 amp power lead – 10 metres is the recommended length Roll of Tape Cable Ties What happens if I leave the 12V pump in my Caravan on during travel? If the 12V pump is left on during transit the pump will be continually searching for water as it splashes around the tank and over an extended period of time this could lead to burn out. What is the drawbar of a Caravan? The drawbar is the metal A- frame at the front of the caravan that attaches the caravan to your tow vehicle. Why is the water spluttering out of the tap in my Caravan? This means the tanks are either out of water, there could be an air lock or the tank breathers are full of water. RV Maintenance Can I change the Anode in my Caravan Hot Water System myself? Whilst it is possible for an experienced handyman, there are a series of safety procedures which must be followed. It is best practice to let an experienced Caravan technician replace the Anode during a service. To purchase a replacement Anode, click here. Do I need a special drinking water hose for my Caravan? Yes you do, you should always a non-toxic Food Grade Drinking Water hose. Do I need to flush or clean my Caravan Watertank? Yes, it's recommended to flush your caravan watertanks in between uses and re-fill with fresh water before heading away. Tank Cleaning products can be purchased to help clean your watertank. Do I need to have a smoke alarm fitted in my Caravan? Every Caravan or Motorhome should be equipped with a suitable smoke alarm as required by law. Older Caravans or Motorhomes without a smoke alarm installed, will require a smoke alarm to pass a Gas Certificate at time of sale. Does my electric brake controller need to be adjusted from time to time? Yes, your electric brake controller will need to be adjusted from time to time and this generally is gauged by the feel of the brakes if you want to maintain smooth braking between the tow vehicle and the caravan at all times. If you feel the trailer brakes are activating too heavily or not enough this is a good indication that some adjustment needs to occur by either increasing or decreasing the braking power. Does the Caravan jockey wheel need any maintenance? Yes, the jockey wheel does need to be maintained. They are generally fitted with ball bearings in them that may need to be replaced from time to time. How do I know the correct tyre pressure for my Caravan tyres? There is no single answer to this question as it depends on the size of your tyres, the weight of your vehicle and on what surface you plan to travel. Please refer to your handbook. How often do I need to check the pressure in the Caravan tyres? Always check the pressure in your tyres before each trip as a safety measure and if you’re doing extended travelling they need to be checked regularly. How often do I need to have my Caravan serviced? A new Caravan should be serviced once after 3 months or 1,000km then every 10,000 kilometres or Annually, whichever expires first. To find out more about our range of Caravan Services, click here. Is a Jayco Caravan chassis protected from corrosion? A lightweight yet super strong hot dipped galvanised Endurance Chassis offers lifelong protection against corrosion. However some components of the running gear and chassis fittings are not galvanised and require minimal maintenance. Is it necessary to adjust the handbrake cable of my Caravan? Yes, it is necessary to adjust the handbrake cable. This will be adjusted when you have an annual service performed on your caravan by your service provider and will require adjustment from time to time apart from that. Is there a wear in period for new brakes on my Caravan? Yes there is a break in period for new brakes. Generally they will continue to wear in over the first 1- 2 thousand kilometres and be aware that they may need to be readjusted regularly during this period. What if I need to refill my Jayco Caravan tyres and can’t get Nitrogen? It’s completely fine to refill your tyres with air however Brisbane Camperland use Nitrogen and this is included with your scheduled services. What maintenance does a Caravan Slide-out require? Whilst Caravan Slide-outs don't require a great deal of maintenace, it's recommended that you conduct regular inspections of the Slide-out seals, keep the Slide-out roof surface clear of debris such as leaves, and ensure that all wiring to the motors is free from obstruction or damage. Where can we take our Jayco Caravan for a service while we are travelling? Jayco is proudly Australia’s largest dealer, offering a service network of over 100 locations throughout Australia, offering you nationwide support. To find a location near you, click here. Where do I get the electric brake controller serviced? The electric brake system generally will not need to be serviced unless of course you notice that it is not working as it is supposed to in which case you would need to have it serviced by a qualified auto electrician. RV Weights & Loading What is personal load, when referring to Caravan weights? The Personal load is the total weight of any items added by you to your caravan eg, Clothes, Food, Water, Cutlery & Crockery, Camp Furniture, Gas, etc. Please note that any items that you install in your Caravan, after it was originally manufactured, such as an Awning, Extra Battery, TV, Bikes, etc, will form part of your Personal load. Where do I store the heaviest items in my Caravan? Heavier items should be stowed over the axles or just forward of the axles. Where is the best place to have my generator installed in my Caravan? Much consideration should go into the installation of the generator and each caravan is unique depending on the location of accessories like the gas bottle/s and fuel storage. We recommend consulting a professional. Storing your RV Can I store my Caravan with water in the watertank? Yes, you can however it is recommended to flush them out before using on your trip. When flushing the tanks you can use products such as Tank Clean to assist in cleaning the tanks. How do I avoid my Caravan tyres from getting flat spot? There are devices available to be purchased to save your tyres from getting flat spot. Click here to find out more. How do I care for the vinyl on my Pop Top Caravan when not in use? As a regular maintenance check on your Pop Top Caravan it’s a good idea to pop the roof and air the caravan out every now and then. This will also ensure everything is in good working order for your next trip. We also recommend the use of Damp Rid to rid the caravan on moisture. Any small rips or tears in your Pop Top sleeve can be repaired using Tear Aid. How do I prevent mould in my Caravan fridge when not in use? Leaving the fridge door slightly ajar when the fridge is turned off is necessary to keep the fridge free from mould. Towing & Safety Are safety chains compulsory when towing a Caravan? Yes safety chains are required by law. Are there any restrictions to the type of tyres I should have fitted to my Caravan? Generally light track radials are recommended for caravans. Can I connect the brake safe break away cord to the ‘D’ shackles? No. The brake safe system must be attached to the drawbar itself and not an attachment. Can I travel with loose items on the floor of the Caravan? Yes you can but very carefully. Make sure all items are secured and not likely to slide around. Do I brake or accelerate if the Caravan slides on gravel? Remain calm and very gently apply the brakes whilst steering Do I have to install towing mirrors when towing a Caravan? It is recommended at all times to install towing mirrors as they offer superior vision along both sides of the caravan. To view our range of Towing Mirrors, click here. Do I need to have an electric brake controller fitted to my tow vehicle before towing a Caravan? Yes, you need to have an Electric Brake Controller fitted so you can adjust the braking capacity of your caravan under tow. Do I need to take a course in towing before buying a Caravan? Whilst it’s not a legal requirement, if you aren’t confident in your towing capabilities it is recommended to participate in a towing course before hitting the road. A key training provider to our industry is Tow-Ed. How do I activate the brakes on the Caravan? The electric brakes on the caravan are controlled by the electric brake controller installed in the tow vehicle. This control unit uses the brake light circuit in your car to activate the trailer brakes in your caravan. How do I know my vehicles towing capacity? You can find your vehicle’s towing capacity in your tow vehicle manual. Is it ok to travel with my Caravan watertanks full? Yes, it’s perfectly fine to travel with the tanks full provided the tow vehicle has the towing capacity to handle the weight. However, if you are travelling to a location where you have a guaranteed supply of fresh water, you may choose to travel with only enough water for an emergency situation or roadside stop, as full tanks will add additional weight. Is the speed limit, for towing a Caravan, the same in each state? Maintain vigilance in checking for sign posted speed zones at all times and stick to the speed limit, this cannot be stressed enough. However speed limits for towing do vary in some states so it is always a good idea to check beforehand. Is there a way I can calculate the allowable personal load of my caravan? To calculate your allowable personal load, deduct the TARE weight from the ATM as stamped on the trailer plate. In general, for a single axle this allowance should be approximately 300kgs and for a tandem axle 400kgs, however on some models this allowable load may be higher. What are ‘D’ shackles? ‘D’ shackles are constructed from steel and are used to connect the safety chains from the caravan to the tow vehicle. What do I do if my caravan starts to sway when towing? Avoid jerky or sudden movements both with braking and steering and apply the brakes gently whilst steering slow and steady out of the sway. What happens if I exceed the total allowable payload in my Caravan? In the event of an accident you could be held liable or if pulled over by the authorities they can fine you and make you leave your caravan behind until you adjust your payload. What is a friction sway control? Friction sway controllers are designed to be used in conjunction with a weight distribution system to prevent caravan sway. What is a Weight Distribution Device? A Weight Distribution Device is a load levelling device used to help eliminate sway as well as level the connection between car and caravan and reduce tyre wear. When using a Weight Distribution System, the ball weight remains the same, however the load is evenly distributed through the vehicle's chassis to all four wheels. It is important that the capacity of the Weight Distribution System is correctly chosen and that the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations are always followed. View our Weight Distribution Hitches here. What is A-Frame Towing? It is the device commonly used to flat tow a vehicle behind a Motorhome without the vehicle being lifted off the ground. What is ATM on a Caravan VIN plate? ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) - This is the tare mass of your caravan plus its maximum payload. It’s the maximum your caravan is allowed to weigh in transit. This is a rating set by the manufacturer and cannot be exceeded. What is Electronic Stability Control or ESC? Electronic Stability Control is a computerised technology that improves the vehicle’s stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction. What is GCVM? Gross Combination Vehicle Mass is the maximum allowable weight of the trailer, tow vehicle and the load in the tow vehicle and trailer, including passengers. What is GTM on a Caravan VIN plate? GTM or Gross Trailer Mass – This is the maximum weight of the loaded caravan that can be supported by its wheels, not counting the portion supported by the car when hitched – or jockey wheel when parked. This rating is set by the manufacturer and cannot be exceeded. In simple terms, the GTM is the ATM minus the Ball Weight. What is meant by Tow Ball Load? Tow Ball Load is the proportion of the trailer weight that is transferred to the rear of the tow vehicle. What is TARE weight on a Caravan VIN plate? The TARE is the empty weight of your Caravan. It is a measure of the weight on all wheels plus the ball weight when the caravan contains no payload. The TARE does not include Water, Gas or any of your personal items, as they form part of your personal payload. What is the difference between the brakes on my vehicle and the Caravan brakes? The brakes on the caravan are electric drum brakes and the brakes on most modern vehicles are disc brakes. What is the function of a brake safe system on a Caravan? The brake safe system is a device used to activate the caravan brakes in the event of the caravan uncoupling from the tow vehicle. What is Tow Vehicle Axle Load? Most commonly this is only important where the vehicle is capable of carrying a load over the rear axle in addition to the load imposed by the ball load. What speed should I travel at when towing my Caravan? Always stick to the speed limit that is sign posted & if you want to sit below, try to sit at a speed that allows other road users to overtake without going over the limit themselves. What type of tow vehicle do I need to tow a Caravan? The best practice is to decide on your caravan first. Once you’ve chosen your preferred Caravan, establish what the ATM and maximum Ball Weights are. Once you know these weights, you can match a suitable tow vehicle to the caravan, by ensuring that the tow vehicle has a towing capacity which is equal to or greater than the ATM and maximum Ball Weight of the Caravan you’ve chosen. The vehicles manufacturer establishes a recommended towing capacity which must not be exceeded. Before purchasing a tow vehicle, you should also consider the types of places you wish to travel to, and decide on a vehicle which is going to have suitable power to tow your Caravan into these areas. For example, if you plan to tow your Caravan on the beach, we’d recommend choosing a vehicle with off road ability, as well as ample engine power to ensure you’ll have the power to get you out of a sticky situation when towing. When towing a Caravan, do I need to carry spare fuel? Yes. It is always a good idea to travel with spare fuel in an appropriate container specific for the job. When towing my Caravan, what is a safe distance I should keep from the vehicle in front? Due to the fact that it takes a significantly longer amount of time to pull up a caravan as opposed to a car on its own, it’s just common sense that you will need to increase your distance between yourself and the vehicle in front. A good rule of thumb is, when towing, double the distance you would usually maintain when not towing. When towing my Caravan, what should I check before driving off? Always check that the hitch is tight, the chains are connected, and that the caravan lights are connected and working properly. Regularly check the caravan's bearings, brakes and tyres for excessive heat by feeling them. This check can be done when stopping for lunch or at a fuel stop. We always recommend using a towing tips checklist to ensure the caravan is right to travel and you haven't forgotten anything. An example checklist is given below. Caravan hitch properly connected Safety chains properly connected Caravan handbrake dis-engaged Roof hatches clipped down Gas bottles turned off All cupboards and drawers properly shut Jockey wheel up/off Stabilising jacks wound up Step pushed up Fridge set to DC and door secured Door and windows shut and locked Auxiliary battery charger on Check tyre pressure (including spare) Television stowed properly Toilet emptied Awning locked for travel Be sure to re-check items that you have used at any lunch stops, particularly the fridge door catch!! If you do forget, the consequences are generally that bad and annoying that you will only make the mistake once! Where can I find the ATM of my Caravan? All Australian caravans built since 1989 are required to have a VIN plate attached to them. You can find the ATM, along with other specifications, stamped on the plate. The VIN plate will usually be located on the A-Frame, inside the Front Boot or Tunnel Boot or just inside the Main Door of the caravan. Will I need a NEW towbar fitted to my car before towing a Caravan? As long as your tow bar hasn’t been in an accident and it comply’s with the towing safety standards for the caravan you are towing then you don’t need a new towbar. Purchasing an RV Can I make some changes to the Caravan layout of a particular Jayco model I like? If you are buying a new Jayco, they offfer a range of different module configurations, meaning that we can make minor layout changes in particular models. Check with our sales team to find out more. Do you need to be young and fit to set up a Jayco Camper Trailer? A certain level of mobility is required to set up a Camper Trailer however most people of varying ages and fitness levels are able to put up a Jayco Camper Trailer. How do I know I’m getting value for my money in a Caravan? You get more for less money from a manufacturer that has the largest buying power in Australia, that's why so many Australians choose to buy a Jayco RV. How do I know what size Caravan will be best for me? A number of things to consider are vehicle size, family size, how many people it needs to sleep, storage areas and storage space for your caravan at home and tow vehicle capacity. So working through all of these aspects is a necessary part of the decision making process to work out what size caravan is best for you. Should I buy a new or used Caravan? Buying new offers peace of mind with warranty support and back up, however buying used offers the benefits that someone else has spent additional money on improvements and extras, making it a more economical purchase. What is a Camper Trailer? The term Camper Trailer can be used to describe many different styles of camping trailer. It is often used to describe a basic tent style camper built onto a box trailer, however can also be used to describe a Jayco wind-up Camper Trailer. The Jayco wind-up Camper Trailers are essentially a low profile caravan with a wind up roof and push out bed sections at each end of the camper. They are easy to tow and great for smaller vehicles. What is the difference between a Caravan and a Pop Top? A caravan has solid walls on all sides of the structure, can vary in length from 3 to over 10 metres (including drawbar) with a maximum of 4.3 metres in height and require very little time to set up. A Pop-Top has a vinyl or fabric insert connecting the sides of the caravan to the roof. The roof is able to be lowered for travel, because of this insert, therefore reducing wind resistance and lowering the centre of gravity when towing. What's the difference between a Campervan and a Motorhome? A Campervan refers to a commercial van which has been fitted out for use as a motorised camper. A Motorhome refers to an RV, where a manufacturer has purchased a vehicle cab chassis and fabricated a completely new body on the rear to be used as a Motorhome. They are generally larger in size than a Campervan. Warranty & Ownership Can I modify my caravan? The bottom line is that you shouldn’t add to or modify your caravan without expert advice. As soon as you alter your caravan’s specifications the VIN plate becomes null and void and you will require another engineering certificate and a vehicle modification plate. Failure to do this could affect your insurance and roadworthy certification. Is there warranty on a Jayco Camper Trailer winder system? The original purchaser will receive a 12 month warranty on the Jayco Camper and a lifetime warranty on their Camper Trailer roof lifter system. What can I do if something goes wrong with my Caravan while we are driving? When you purchase a brand new Jayco product, you will automatically receive 24 hour roadside assistance for 3 years from the date of delivery. This will cover towing to safety if required. For any Jayco warranty concerns, click here to locate your nearest service centre. What warranty do Jayco offer on NEW caravans? When you purchase a brand new Jayco product you receive a comprehensive 12 month warranty, Australia wide.