How to prepare your Caravan or Motorhome for the Winter. From our friends at CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners Association).
So, you’ve just returned from the last trip of the season, and selected a secure storage site for your caravan. Is it as simple as leaving your van in its plot, or do you need to do some prep work before storing it away for winter?
The Habitation Section
To keep your vehicle and ultimately your investment safe, here are some things you’ll need to do. And here’s our guide:
Gas cylinders should be disconnected or removed from your caravan. If your caravan is going into a storage facility, check the gas cylinder policy.
Give your caravan a thorough clean using suitable cleaning products for each type of surface (walls, windows, metalwork). Consider using a wax coating product to protect the exterior. Owners can get lots of advice and products with discount as an Engineer Aftercare customer from ValetPRO.
You’ll need to take a look at your car to caravan13-pin or 12N/12S connectors for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Wipes the electrical contacts over and spray with WD-40 to protect against water damage.
If your leisure battery isn’t needed to run your caravan alarm system, it’s best to remove it and store in a cool, dry place. You can then top it up at home, when necessary. Don’t forget to remove batteries from other electrical items in your caravan too. Check out this post for leisure battery maintenance advice.
Give all the windows a check to make sure the rubber seal is in good condition.
After every use, your caravan awning should be cleaned and dried thoroughly. Make sure it’s completely dry before storing somewhere dry.
You may want to cover your caravan to protect it during the winter months. This blog post has more information.
Remove any filters from your system to prevent any remaining water held from freezing during the colder months.
You’ll need to open all taps including the shower. If you’ve got a lever control it’ll need to be moved to a central position between hot and cold. Put a plug in any sinks, and open the caravan’s drain taps.
Refer your caravan model’s manual to check how to drain down the water heater.
Your toilet will need flushing and emptying. Refer to manufacturers guide for specifics.
Your caravan should be stored on a level plot, with corner steadies lowered. If you can, place chocks under the wheels.
If possible, turn the wheels to avoid them being in one position for long periods of time. This can be achieved by moving the caravan back and forth, or jacking it up to rotate each wheel.
Ensure you remove everything from your fridge/freezer and clean it out. Make sure doors are left ajar so that air can circulate.
Interior / Furnishings / Blinds
Leave your caravan interior ready for the next season ahead of time by giving it a thorough clean before storage.
Ideally, remove upholstery and store somewhere warm and dry to keep it damp free and not on view to potential thieves.
Blinds are best left open to prevent strain on the springs.
Any air vents should be left uncovered so that air can circulate inside around the caravan. You may even want to consider a dehumidifier or some moisture adsorbing crystals.
All valuables should be removed from your caravan whilst in storage.
Hitch locks and wheel clamps are useful deterrents to potential thieves, but remember to check both your insurance policy and storage conditions for any specific requirements.
The Motor Section to Motorhomes and Campervans
The motor section requires a different set of preparations, most importantly is disconnection or removal of the Battery to the engine, or if on a home drive a trickle charger can be applied periodically. Windscreen washer bottles too should be filled with the correct cleaner fluid that does not freeze. (The water in the engine coolant should already be treated. If in doubt, consult with a manufacturer or main dealer for advice on your specific vehicle make and model.