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Be Prepared

steve hill

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I know it seems obvious, but having travelled all over Europe in basically just one van, people should be aware that things can and do go seriously wrong with vans, what ever the age/mileage and sometimes it can be a real problem to get them fixed. It is better to know the basics of both the main vehicle and the caravan parts.

I made a list of the main items I could remember having to fix myself or got fixed over the last 25 years. When they don't speak English and you are miles from home, possibly on a beach off road, it helps. Here is my partial list to try make a point.


Van Spares Replacement Issues and where fixed


1st van Fiat Ducato from new for 20 years (180,000)



Main engine shaft bearing seal to gearbox/clutch, leak

Wishbones causing knocking

2 front sub frames rotted

Worn out alternator

All wheel bearings, some twice

Third gear synchromesh never fixed due to high cost.

All brake pipes some twice

Welding for body/chassis rot twice


Caravan side

Fridge 12V heater

Fridge mains heater

Fridge burner

Damp leaks

Blown Air Fan

Toilet pump

Whole toilet cassette

Carver boiler hot water electric circuits twice

Carver boiler gas assembly

Carver boiler case went whilst abroad


In Poland

Fifth gear


In Canaries

Fuel tank (rotted hole) (Not Available anymore bodged later replaced in UK)

Steering pipes (Not Available anymore had made)

Radiator (rotted)(Not Available anymore got from scrap yard later replaced in UK)


In Portugal

2 Shock absorbers


In Spain

2 Tyres cracked Xmas day almost blown (new tyres defective)


Caravan side in Europe

Water pumps and pressure switches x 4


2nd Van Fiat Ducato bought 17000 miles now up to 23000miles had 1year


In Canaries

Sensors then DPF

Disc Rotors and pads on front, missed on a service



Rear leaf spring bearings

Caravan side

Gas Regulator



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