Preparing Your Caravan For Winter

An Effective 1-2-3 Check-list
Your caravan and motorhome begin life as a significant investment.  Then, as you travel and enjoy them they become a central part of family life. Something that you always look forward to, even when everything else is changing.  It is this investment and change, however, that call for motorhome protection, especially in the winter when it’s cold outside.

And it’s not just the frost and snow that can do damage to your caravan, it’s also the sun.  Sunshine may be a rare visitor in the British winter, but UV rays can do real damage, not least to your tyres.

Cleaning your motorhome using specialist solutions for both the bodywork and the wheels will provide strong year-round protection. Following this with a good quality cover that fits well will shield it from all the elements, particularly if this is combined with wheel skirt protectors to provide an added defence against the sun and snow.

Yet there’s much more to preparing for the winter, or ‘winterisation’ as it is often known, than just relying on a good cover. Taking a little time to winterise your caravan can help avoid unnecessary repairs and unwanted costs.  So here’s an easy 1-2-3 check-list to help take the worry out of winterisation.
Caravan Drainage
First, take care of the ‘ins and outs’: by draining each part of the water system, and do the same for the water carriers inside your caravan .  Check and replace your water filter if necessary, and be sure to remove it when not being used so that frost damage is avoided.

Don’t forget to drain the toilet system and clean the cassette tank using the correct chemicals. By using the right products you’ll prolong the life of the system considerably.
Closed on the Outside … Open on the Inside
Secure all windows and doors, as well as plugging any inlet points to keep all unwanted visitors out, human or otherwise. To avoid musty smells, open all storage doors and particularly the fridge-freezer. Some manufacturers recommend fitting a fridge vent winter cover to provide added protection.

To avoid any damp patches forming, one cost-effective prevention is to place a ‘moisture trap’ in the centre of your motorhome.  These inexpensive dehumidifiers use crystals to collect moisture, but remember to empty them periodically.
Removing & Storing Caravan Parts
It’s always a good idea for a caravan to undergo a lifting process every now and then.  Even if it’s just for a short time, the suspension system and wheels will benefit from taking the vehicle’s weight off of them.

When unused for long periods, it’s advisable to store the wheels away from sunlight and under a natural cover (rather than plastic). If it’s not possible to remove the wheels, rotate them occasionally instead and consider implementing a wheel lock for added security.

Always check the tyre pressure before using your caravan as the tyres play a vital role in shock absorption. Tyre pressure monitors are readily available for a little added peace of mind.
Take away the power
if possible take the battery out and remove any gas cylinders if the vehicle is  not to be used for a while. Store these items in a safe, warm place and top up the battery periodically. A portable battery-charger is always a useful addition to any recreational vehicle.

Bring the awning inside, if possible, or at least give it a good clean and ensure it’s completely dry.  Any cushions and mattresses should also be brought inside your home to keep them mould-free and ready for use.

Winterising your caravan will help you protect your investment for years to come – both on and off the road.

Each of the accessories mentioned in this article are available from www.bailey-parts.co.uk