The Simple Guide to preparing your caravan for Winter

25/10/2014

With October nearly at an end and the beginning of a chill to the air outside, it may be time to start thinking about the storage of your touring caravan over the coming winter months. Being unattended and unused for a few months, coupled with the harshness of winter weather, can lead to numerous problems for your caravan, and you, if the relevant preparations are not made.

 


With October nearly at an end and the beginning of a chill to the air outside, it may be time to start thinking about the storage of your touring caravan over the coming winter months. Being unattended and unused for a few months, coupled with the harshness of winter weather, can lead to numerous problems for your caravan, and you, if the relevant preparations are not made.

To help you with these preparations we have produced the following short guide, so that when the winter months are over you will hopefully avoid any nasty surprises when you go to use your caravan for the first time in Spring.

 

Winter preparations to the inside of your touring caravan

Damp proof your caravan

Damp is the enemy over the winter months and can cause serious problems if it is left to take hold inside your caravan and gets in to the woodwork or body shell. There are a number of steps you can take to try and prevent damp from entering your caravan and to limit the damage it can do if it does.

- Remove as many soft furnishings as possible and store away from the caravan in dry conditions. Soft furnishings are often quite expensive to replace and so it is wise to take precautions to protect them.

- Give the caravan a full clean with an antibacterial disinfectant including the inside of all cupboards and any storage spaces.

- Leave cupboard doors and fridge doors propped open to prevent any unwanted odours building up.

- Ensure all ventilation points to the van are not obstructed to allow air to circulate freely.

- As an added precaution you can leave a couple of bowls of salt out to help soak up any condensation. Just make sure that you leave them on a tray in case the water spills over!

Drain water systems and tanks.

You may need to refer to your individual water systems manual to check the correct way to drain the system and ensure it is completed fully.

Failure to drain the systems completely may lead to the pipes bursting if any water left in them freezes.

Once the system has been drained we would recommend opening all the taps in the caravan and even pouring a little anti-freeze down the kitchen and bathroom plug holes just to be on the safe side. You will also need to ensure that the toilet is fully drained, including both the main tank and header tank.

Once you have fully drained all relevant systems pop the plugs in your kitchen and bathroom sinks to stop any unwanted visitors crawling up!

Security precautions and checks

It is very important that all windows and doors are securely locked and security devices fully engaged when your caravan is laid up for winter. If your security device is linked to the battery you will need to leave the battery in the caravan, but it will be worth taking it out from time to time to charge and stop it from going flat.

Any gas bottles should be disconnected and removed from the caravan to avoid any accidental leakage of gas over the winter. You can store these in a garage until needed but make sure that you double check the taps are securely turned to the closed position before you put them away.

Remove any valuables from the van and make it clear to any passers by that you have done so by leaving cupboard doors visibly open. This should help detract any unwanted attention.

 

Winter preparations to the outside of your touring caravan

Protect the wheels of your caravan

If your caravan is going to be left in one place for the duration of winter you need to take some steps to ensure your tyres are not going to be compromised.

Being left in one position can put a lot of pressure on one area of a tyre which can lead to it becoming cracked, warped or damaged. To avoid the expense of a set of new tyres come spring we would recommend ensuring the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure level and moving the van periodically throughout the winter months.

Another option to consider is purchasing a set of winter wheels which completely replace your caravans existing wheels and therefore prevent any tyre degradation. Just make sure that you store the removed tyres in a dry place away from any direct sunlight.

Winter wheels also have the added benefit of making your caravan secure as it cannot be towed away whilst these are fixed on.

 

Consider investing in a caravan cover

The best way to protect your caravan from the elements is with a caravan cover . We would recommend a specifically designed one for your caravan's make and model to ensure that it fits perfectly and therefore provides the best level of cover.

Make sure that it is made of a high quality breathable fabric to prevent any condensation building up as this can cause more harm than good. Additionally, make sure the inside of the cover is made from a soft and lightweight material that will not scratch the paintwork of your caravan when you are putting it on and taking it off.

If you are unable to purchase a caravan cover it is a good idea to wax the outside of your caravan to help prevent dirt and rain sticking to the outside as much.

Fenwick's make an overwintering product which is a unique formula specifically designed to protect caravans and motor homes during winter storage by providing a protective layer. This can be easily removed come spring and makes the first clean after winter much easier!

 

We hope you find this guide useful and it helps to keep your caravan in top condition ready for your first holiday in the new season!

*Please note simple caravan insurance cannot be held responsible for any advice given in this article. If in doubt please consult an expert.