Prepare your caravan for winter

With the sunny weather drawing to a close and the temperature beginning to dip, caravan owners may not have too many more opportunities to take their tourer on the road again this year.
As such, thoughts may soon begin turning to what to do with the vehicles when they are not in use during the off-season.

Those who decide they are not going to employ their caravan again in 2011 should therefore think about how best to store their model before bringing it out for spring and summer 2012.

The National Caravan Council (NCC), which is the trade association for the tourer industry in the UK - covering motorhomes, caravan holiday homes and park abodes - has suggested there are a number of actions owners can put into practice to make sure they are prepared as well as they should be for the cold season.

A spokeswoman from the group advised people to remove the upholstery from the vehicles, as well as valuable items such as the radio and television.

Doing so will enable the owner to give the interior a thorough clean, in addition to draining down the water pipes and tanks.

The industry figure explained there are numerous sources to help individuals carry out these tasks, such as a guide to overwintering from the Caravan Club and the tourer handbook people are given when they purchase their model.

She pointed out: "On the subject of servicing - which should always be done by an approved workshop to ensure that the work is carried out by trained, experienced professionals - there is no time like the present.

"Come spring, everyone will be rushing to get their caravan or motorhome serviced before the season starts, so you may find your local workshop all booked up."

One aspect caravan enthusiasts may wish to bear in mind is the coming into effect of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement law, which means keeping an uninsured motor is now illegal - unless it is declared as being 'off the road'.

The NCC representative observed this even applies if a vehicle is locked away in a garage or left unused on a driveway - so caravan owners may be wise to consider a Statutory Off-Road Notification.

On the issue of insurance, the spokeswoman noted the Caravan Safety and Security Group - a joint venture between the NCC, the Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club - recommends people take out year-round policies for their tourers.

She explained this is advisable because caravans that are not in use can still be stolen or damaged.

Choosing to store a vehicle over the winter is a significant consideration for owners - and is something many people opt for, with the NCC source stating: "Not only does this mean the vehicle is out of the way, but this can be looked upon favourably by insurers who may even provide generous discounts on the policy premium."

She added individuals should select sites that display the Caravan Storage Site Owners' Association logo, as this is an official register of venues deemed safe and secure.