Whether you are a fair-weather camper or a hardened, all-year-round adventurer, this year is a little different. Caravanners across the country have been forced to hang up their awnings a little early as restricted movement sees empty campsites and full caravan storage facilities.
A caravan or motorhome is a serious investment, so for first-timers and old halnds, it is important that you take time to prepare your van for the long winter months. Here’s what you need to do.
Draining helps to prevent burst pipes and damp. Make sure you completely drain:
- Your fresh and waste-water systems and make sure that all taps are left open.
- The toilet flush - give the cassette a good clean while you’re at it.
- The water heater – you will usually find a yellow switch under the bed.
Allowing air to circulate freely is important to prevent condensation.
- Remove soft furnishings so that they are away from the walls (preferably store them elsewhere).
- Open all cupboards and lockers – ensure your fridge is left open, too.
- Lift carpets and mats.
- Help to prevent damp by either running a small dehumidifier or putting damp traps in your van or motorhome (a bowl of salt can do the trick).
Disconnecting amenities will help to keep your caravan safe when it is not in use.
- Disconnect the gas to avoid a winter leak.
- Check your alarm battery.
- Disconnect your leisure battery and keep it on trickle charge.
Basic checks to prevent damp and damage.
- If you are anything like most of the caravan and motorhome owners in the country, you are hoping to be off as soon as it is warm and safe enough to do so. Check your tyres for damage - if in doubt, replace the tyres or make a note to get them replaced before you go anywhere.
- Check window and skylight seals – if you spot any signs of wear and tear, get in touch with your local caravan specialist asap.
- Book your service – an annual service with your local caravan and motorhome servicing centre will give you peace of mind in the knowledge that your caravan or motorhome is watertight and secure for another year as well as helping to maintain its value.
Once you have made all the relevant checks, left cupboards open and removed anything that could retain moisture, your final job is a deep clean – all those crumbs and other leftovers from your year of fun which, if left, could cause unpleasant smells, staining or even rodent infestations.
Don’t forget to book your service – with the rise in caravan and motorhome sales, servicing centres are likely to be busy over the coming years.