Top Tips for storing your caravan/motorhome over the Winter period.
When the temperature drops and many of caravanning community decide to have a break from travelling, it is essential that you store your caravan or motorhome so its ready for when you decide to make your next trip.
As the saying goes ‘if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and failing to prepare in this circumstance can leave you with a massive dent in your trouser pocket. Therefore it seemed only right to share some of the knowledge we have and give you some tips before you lock up your van one last time!
1.) Storing your Motorhome/Caravan
To start off the list, our first thought would be to consider where you’re going to leave your vehicle for the lengthy period ahead. Caravans & motorhomes can be very expensive so you must value the vehicles safety.
If its living on your driveway then it may be safer knowing you can keep a subconscious eye on it. However, if you choose to keep it at a caravan storage site then you must read the reviews and know you’re leaving it with someone you can trust. CaSSoa is the recommended site to visit (https://www.cassoa.co.uk/ ).
Also keep in mind what’s around the caravan such as trees where many leaves and sap may fall onto the caravan and cause damage.
2.) Flush out the Water
Always drain down your vehicle when storing it for a large period of time especially during the colder months. This can stop the risk of anything freezing over, burst pipes and damage to the water systems.
Its essential to leave taps open, open water valves, take off your showerheads, drain any water containers and waste water containers and finally remove water filters to store in a safe place.
3.) Remove Gas
Gas valves should be switched to off and If you use butane gas then removing them is a necessity for you, as the temperature reaches freezing it can off the gas.
Butane gas has a much higher freezing point than propane so will freeze at higher temperatures. Once the gas has frozen it can go off.
If you are storing your caravan at storage site then look into their rules of gas storage with your vehicle as it may vary from site to site.
If storing your gas cylinder separate from your vehicle then make sure you store them away from heat and ideally in the open air.
4.) Body work & Exterior
Give the body work of your caravan/motorhome a good clean using reliable ‘caravan friendly’ products only, reputable dealers are your best bet to make sure you don’t damage your vehicle. BE CAREFUL if pressure washing as you do not want to break any seals or damage the exterior.
Inspect the body whilst cleaning to check for any problems which may get worse over the period unattended, best to get it sorted sooner than later.
A thorough deep clean throughout the caravan is recommended, allowing the caravan to be left in a clean state ready for your return.
Make sure all windows are closed, remove all the contents of the fridge and leave the doors slightly open for ventilation and prevent mould.
6.) Battery & Electrics
You will need to disconnect your 12v battery and store it in a cool place. However, if your battery is connected to your alarm system it may be best to keep it connected or be aware the alarm will not trigger once you’ve removed it. Remember to check the battery level and charge when necessary.
A good tip is to power up the caravan once or twice over this period and power up the heating system to prevent damp and check it runs in its usual manor.
Your caravan needs to be left on level ground throughout its winter hibernation. Make sure you revisit it every month and turn the wheels to prevent any flat tyre spots!
8.) Final tips
- Security measures such as wheel clamps, steering wheel lock & check your insurer doesn’t require anything
- Caravan covers, a good option to cover the exterior.
- A service of the van can be a good idea to know there’s no problems you should be aware of.
Thanks for reading and we hope you and your caravan/motorhome stay safe over the winter period.
Photo credit: Rune Haugseng.
Written by Adam Muskett.