At the end of the caravan season, it’s worth spending a little time preparing your caravan or motor caravan for the cold winter months ahead so that it’s ready to whisk you away on your first Spring outing next year.
Where to store your caravan or motor caravan
If you have space on your driveway to store your unit for winter, try to find a sheltered spot away from trees that could drop sap or branches and cause damage to your caravan.
Alternatively, the Caravan Storage Site Owners Association cassoa.co.uk will be able to advise you on a secure, approved storage facility. Some caravan sites and local farms also offer winter storage, either outdoors or sheltered inside a barn or warehouse. Be sure to ask about their security provisions and procedures. Check your insurance to check that you are covered for storage sites.
Remove any valuables from your caravan or motor caravan such as television, technology, etc, and and take them home with you. The cold damp weather won’t do them any good, and they will be attractive to thieves. If you’re storing your caravan at home, consider installing a security post or using a wheel clamp, winter wheels (square shaped metal replacement ‘wheels’) or a security tracking device to protect your caravan from theft. Check your caravan insurance as these may be a requirement of your policy.
Whilst caravans are intended to be outside, they’re not designed to sit in the same position for long periods of time so you might want to cover your caravan with either a protective waxy fluid, or a breathable material cover. Fluid coatings are relatively inexpensive and will wash off easily after Winter. Fabric covers must be robust enough to protect from the elements, breathable to prevent mould and condensation build up, and soft enough not to cause damage to your caravan. Whichever option you choose, you are investing in the protection of your caravan bodywork.
Place chocks around your wheels and lower the steadies on your caravan. Release the handbrake.
Empty your caravan
Soft furnishings, bedding, and perishable items need to be removed from your caravan before winter storage to prevent damp, mould and nasty odours developing.
Clean and vacuum your caravan thoroughly and wipe down all surfaces with anti-bacterial to make sure everything is properly clean.
Check the rubber seals on your caravan windows and doors, and replace any seals that have perished or are failing. Clean the exterior bodywork of caravan and make any repairs required.
Disconnect gas cylinders and store them in a cool, ventilated place. Unless your battery is connected to you alarm system, disconnect and remove the main 12V battery. It’s worth charging when you remove it, and check and recharge again before reconnecting at the start of the new season. Also remove batteries from small devices and appliances. Check and clean the electric socket on the car to caravan power cable.
Empty and remove water filters to prevent damage and freezing. Empty onboard water tanks and drain taps and shower, leaving them in the ‘open’ position. Make sure that external drainage plugs are open and put plugs in your sinks and shower tray to prevent water from entering the pipes and freezing. Empty and flush your toilet and leave open. Drain your caravan’s water heater. Check manufacturer guidelines for specific advice.
Throughly clean your fridge, oven, microwave and other appliances and leave the fridge door slightly open so that air can circulate.
Place moisture traps or bowls of salt around your caravan or motor caravan to help absorb condensation during the cold winter months and prevent your caravan from smelling musty and damp. To allow air to circulate, make sure that all vents are uncovered and blinds are opened. Keeping your blinds open will also protect the spring mechanism and deter thieves who will be able to see that the caravan is empty and secure.
Check on your caravan or motor caravan regularly to make sure it is dry and secure, making any repairs required. If you have time, open the windows and roof vents for a few minutes to let the caravan ventilate, and when possible, roll the caravan forward or backwards slightly to prevent the risk of flat spots on your tyres.