Thursday, 01 September 2016 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
As providers of caravan insurance we know all too well the damage winter can cause. That’s why we’ve created this blog to help you prepare for whatever the weather brings.
Where will you keep your caravan?
Unless you’re planning on caravanning all winter, you’ll need a place to store your caravan.
Not everyone stores their caravan on a secure storage site other options may include a garden or driveway. It’s important to consider the surroundings; here are a few questions to ask before deciding where to keep your caravan;
- Are there any trees near my caravan?
- Is my caravan off the road?
- Is my caravan able to be jacked up in this location?
- Is this area known for flooding?
If you’re looking for a secure storage site then CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners' Association) is a good place to start.
There’s more information about motorhome storage here.
Leaving your caravan for long periods
When leaving your caravan parked for a long period of time there are a few precautions you can take to ensure it remains in working condition.
- Use ground anchors to secure your caravan
- Keep your caravan jacked on axle to release pressure on wheels
- Leave the hand brake off and turn the wheels every few weeks to keep lubricated
Preparing your caravan for winter
There’s so much to prepare that sometimes caravan winterisation can seem like a mammoth task. So we’ve broken the list down to help you prioritise.
Let’s start with a good clean to prevent mould growth. Don’t make the job more difficult than it has to be, start by packing all valuables, trinkets and decorative items. Now you can see clearly, you can get started. As well as the usual cleaning regime remember to wipe down walls and ceilings, empty the refrigerator and place any soft furnishings in a warm, dry place.
- Place moisture absorbing crystals around your caravan – they will need changing regularly so only do this if you have access throughout the winter.
- Cover seating with a sheet to prevent damage from sunlight.
- Close all doors to save from warping
- Keep refrigerator door ajar
Once the interior is ready you can start cleaning the exterior – similar to washing a car use soap and water. When cleaning the awning only use warm water and do this on a clear day as you’ll need to place the awning on the ground to wipe off any mud.
There are also some crucial checks you may want to carry out at the end of the summer season;
- Check rubber seals around windows and replace any that look worn
- Check wheels for wear and tear, making a note of any issues in preparation for next summer
The Caravan Drain Down
A complete caravan drain down will help protect your caravan against frost which can lead to burst pipes – which is a nasty surprise. The aim of the caravan drain down is to remove all water from the system.
There are a number of companies and tools you can hire to assist with this task but if you’re more of a DIY person then here are a few things you can do.
- Set all interior and exterior taps to open
- Switch off the pump
- Empty the waste tank
- Block all sinks to prevent smells
- Remove all filters
- Leave shower head hanging to ensure no water is retained
Having access to a 230V electricity supply can help keep your battery in good condition. Alternatively taking your battery home and charging it periodically can also help maintain battery life. Finally remember to disconnect all interior electrics.
First things first ensure gas valves are closed and caps are fitted onto open pipes. Storing cylinders can be difficult as not all storage sites accept them, for more information contact your storage site or head to Caravan Talk.
Finally remove all valuables and keep your caravan secure because winter is coming!