Get your caravan winter-ready with our latest guide
Somehow we’re already in autumn and that means the coldest season is just around the corner. If only there was a handy meme we could use for the onset of the frosty-times? Ah yes…
If you’re a keen caravanner then we’re sure your thoughts are turning to winter storage for your caravan, camper, or motorhome. And what’s the best way to ensure your steed is so fresh, and so clean come the spring?
Whether you’re using the award-winning facilities at blue self storage’s Wentloog facility or doing it yourself on your driveway, there are a few things you can do to prepare your caravan for the winter that’s coming.
So if you’re in a rush here’s our cut-out-and-keep checklist for winter caravan storage.
Our top 5 winter care caravan tips:
- Ventilate – this helps to decimate any mildew
- Drain water to prevent ice damage
- Cover it up with either awning or a waxy coating
- Disconnect completely – that’s your gas and battery (unless it powers an alarm)
- Take care of your tyres
OK, let’s break this down so you can gear up for a successful winter storage season.
The air must flow so the mildew doesn’t grow (our handy rhyme!)
First thing first; it’s a good idea to shut all windows and doors as there is such a thing as too much ventilation. However, you’ll want to air out and keep things flowing within the caravan itself – it’s the best way to beat damp.
Make sure your vents are uncovered, the bed isn’t folded away and that soft furnishings are removed over the winter. If you don’t have the option of removing the cushions etc then make sure they’re away from the caravan walls.
A thorough interior clean will mean you won’t miss anything that’s slipped down the back of the sofa or the cupboard. No one likes returning to a funky caravan come the spring.
One last thing for the inside! You’ll want to prop the fridge open (after emptying, cleaning, and turning it off) and to do the same with wardrobes and cupboards.
Keep it dry
Frost and ice damage is a serious concern when storing a caravan over the winter months. The first step to avoid this is to fully drain your water systems. And by fully drain, we mean fully drain!
Remove shower heads, empty taps, and open the drain taps. Even the tiniest amount of water left in a tap can cause damage after all.
Once you’ve got the water out it’s then time to plug everything up. Don’t forget to sort any internal tanks if your caravan has some too. Oh, and don’t forget the toilet!
Get your coat on
While caravans are designed to withstand everything the Welsh weather can throw at them, it does no harm in giving your motorhome a helping hand over the winter. The two most common options are applying a wax coating or popping on an awning.
If you opt for a cover, pick a breathable one that is soft enough not to damage your unit, while also being tough enough to last the winter. Wax coatings tend to be the cheaper option but will need cleaning off come the spring.
But before you do either it’s a good idea to clean the exterior bodywork and fix any niggles before you store it away for winter. This is especially the case with green or black mould – you don’t want to leave it to thrive till spring. Yet be careful with that power-washer! They’re great for getting rid of stubborn stains but they can do damage to seals and paint if they’re excessively strong.
Finally, it’s a good idea to use products specifically made for caravan cleaning, as they’re designed to be kind to the various materials used in caravan manufacturing.
Switch off and power down
Removing your gas cylinders is recommended when storing away your caravan. Yet that isn’t always practical. If you do leave them in situ, make sure the valves are closed, you disconnect the regulators, and caps are applied.
Electricity now. It’s also a good idea to remove the battery unless it powers the alarm system. Again this isn’t always practical, so if you do have to leave it in place there are a few things you can do. Firstly, use the isolation switch if you have one or simply disconnect it. Secondly, unplug appliances and keep everything off. If you do remove the battery, note that it will discharge, so remember to top up over the winter
Yet while it’s recommended to remove the gas and battery, it is useful to fire up the systems during the winter, in particular, the heating to stave off damp etc and keep everything ticking over. At blue self storage you have 24/7 access, 365 days a year.
Tyre this out
Before we get on to the tyres themselves it’s wise to pick a pitch on level ground. Once you’re on the level it’s time to lower your corner steadies and stick them on pads or blocks. Next, check the tyres and you might want to leave the handbrake off. Consider investing in covers for your tyres too.
It’s worth visiting your caravan in storage and turning the wheels around occasionally to avoid flat spots occurring. You can also take this opportunity to check the pressure of your tyres.
So, there are our top five tips on winter caravan storage. However, we’d also recommend having a nosey through your caravan handbook to see if it has any specific advice for your model.
And if you want to leave your caravan in safe hands this season, check out the dedicated caravan, campervan and motorhome storage at blue self storage.
We’re proud of the gold-award status at our Wentloog (Cardiff) facility given by the Caravan Storage Site Owner’s Association (CaSSOA), have over 30 years of experience, and offer £20 off when you sign up – plus £10 for every caravan storage referral you give us!
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