Once you’ve finished using your caravan for the summer, what should you do? Is it ok to just lock the door and come back in the spring?
Well, there’s no end of information elsewhere so I’ve collated the best information here as well as adding my experience on what you should do to prepare your caravan for winter.
Did you know that before the winter kicks in you need to make sure your caravan is winter ready? It’s not something I knew about. The dealer where I bought our first caravan from probably told me all about it but at that stage I was just saying yes to everything. He was showing me how the cooker worked, how the fridge and heating worked. To be honest I forgot everything as soon as I hooked the caravan up to take it on my maiden tow.
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Why Do You Need To Do It? (Interior)
The reason for draining the water down is that it could prevent frost damage to the pipe work. The sort of damage you won’t notice until you have a flood on your hands, or rather on your floor. It could also prevent damage to your water heater. When I’m told that sort of thing by a salesman I just assume he wants me back to the dealership so he can charge me £400 to winterise my caravan. But even I can understand that frozen water can damage stuff, it’s done it to pipes in my house.
But, it’s not just damage that you need to think about. Stagnant water, which comes about if water is sitting in the pipes for a period of time is particularly unpleasant. It provides an incubator for bacteria and parasites. So, what you don’t want is for that first swig of water in the new caravan season to taste vile and end up making you ill. However, if we get a little less “Daily Mail headline” about things, the likelihood is that you’ll run to cold water tap for a while anyway before using. Better safe than sorry though and these are all common sense precautions.
Where Exactly Is This Water?
Other Things To Consider
Now, I’m not saying I do all of these but in an article about winterising your caravan, it makes perfect sense for it to be here. By the way, all this becomes second nature when you’ve gone through it a few times. Some could be done every time you used the caravan, it’s all about developing good habits.
- Move all the soft furnishings away from the exterior walls to help prevent damp
- Leave cupboard doors open to assist ventilation
- Use dehumidifier
- Remove all bedding and clothes
- Remove road wheels
- Occasionally rotate road wheels
- Remove food from cupboards and fridge
- Clean fridge
- Vacuum carpets
- Leave hand break off. Prevents drum brakes locking
- Remove the battery, bring him to charge
People differ in what they do come winter time. Many empty the water tank and even toilet flush water after every trip and I can see the value in doing that. At the very least you need to clear water of pipes before the frosts set in. Some insurance companies need you to have done this by 1st November, I believe CaravanGuard is one such insurer that needs this done.
Whatever you do and however you do it, it doesn’t take too long at all and as mentioned earlier, it does become second nature. How much of the above list you do, is of course, up to you. Some like to polish and cover the caravan before the winter. I’ve even read some put a small electric oil heater in the caravan to prevent it from going below zero in the caravan. I’m not sure i’d be happy with that even though our caravan is on the drive. Some also leave the heating on to ensure the caravan doesn’t go below zero, which could help. If you’re happy with the additional energy bills and your caravan is on your drive, but it’s not something we do, although the thought has crossed my mind.
Lastly, if you really don’t fancy blowing down the shower tube (yuck), or maybe you just don’t have enough puff, there are products available to help…Make sure you look at the right one for your system (Whale or Truma etc)
CV YouTube Video on How To Winterise Your Caravan
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