If you are one of the millions of caravan, motor home or campervan owners in the UK, it is time to start thinking about preparing your van for winter. For many, the winter preparation is an annual ritual that they have been performing for years, while for the many people across the country that are new to the wonderful word of caravanning and camping, this could be an entirely new experience.
You may be parking your holiday home on wheels up for the winter, or you may intend to keep using it throughout the winter. Whatever your plans, there are a few things that you should do to keep it warm and dry throughout the coldest and wettest months.
Help the air to circulate freely around your van. Soft furnishings like cushions and bedding absorb water and keep moisture in the van. Take everything you can out of the van and store it somewhere else where it will stay dry. If you don’t have the space to move larger items, such as sofa cushions and mattresses, pull them away from the walls so that air can circulate around them. Pull up rugs and mats and leave the cupboards open when your van is not in use. A small dehumidifier works great at keeping damp at bay, as do damp traps – just remember to change them regularly.
Protect your pipes
Combat freezing temperatures by draining pipes completely after every trip during the winter. This includes emptying the toilet flush fluid and draining your heating system; although it may seem like a pain, it is a job worth doing if you want to prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting during a cold snap.
Empty your cupboards
Regardless of whether you are planning on hanging up your awning pegs for the winter, it is a good idea to go through your cupboards and have a good clear out at the end of each summer. Discard out of date food and items that have been open for a while and make a note of items that you need to top up on before next season.
Stay on top of maintenance
You may not be spending long, hot summer’s days in the van for a little while, but if you have a few hours to spare, now is the time to get that maintenance to-do list ticked off. Make a note of niggly repairs like faulty hinges and loose blind brackets and make it your winter mission to get them fixed by the end of the winter. Now is also a great time to book your annual service with a local caravan and motorhome servicing centre. With the rapid rise in van owners over the last two years, your usual service centre may be booked up already; if this is the case, book ahead so that you are ready to hit the road come spring.