Overwintering Your Caravan
Overwintering your caravan if you don't use it over the winter months and leave it standing for several months is very important. There are a few jobs which should be done before putting your caravan into hibernation to keep it in tip top condition ready for next year.
Fortunately, our driveway is large enough to accomodate both our caravan and car, which makes life a lot easier. Many people use winter caravan storage facilities when their caravan is not in use. If you intend to use storage facilities make sure you check them first to see how secure your caravan will be when stored there and also advise your insurance company.
The first thing to do when overwintering your caravan is to remove all the contents from inside the caravan (yes, we take out all the junk we have accumulated over the season which can be rather alot), including all the caravan cushions and the mattress from the fixed bed. If they are left in the caravan they could become damp so if you have room in your house it is best to remove them.
After giving the inside of the caravan a good clean and polish (including all the appliances) you have nearly finished the inside. While overwintering your caravan make sure you leave the fridge door open to prevent mould building up inside. We leave all the taps in the open position and put plugs in the drain holes. That's the inside prepared for the winter.
Next, the outside. Make sure all tanks are empty, that includes both hot and cold water. We tend to leave the drain taps open. Don't forget to empty your toilet flush tank as well. If any water is left in these tanks and the weather becomes really cold, the water will freeze and expand which will split the tanks.
Next when overwintering your caravan, remove the toilet cassette and give it a good clean. Warm water and a tiny amount of washing up liquid usually does the trick. Always make sure you use cleaning materials recommended by the manufacturer as unsuitable cleaning materials may cause some damage. Dry the rubber seal and then lubricate it. We usually use olive oil for this but you can get a specialised maintenance spray. Make sure you leave the blade open, then replace the cassette back into place.
Give the outside of the caravan a good wash and polish. After the caravan is dry, we spray it with an overwintering fluid (again, check with your caravan manufacturer which are OK to use). This will give the caravan a protective coat and prevents any excess build up of grime and makes cleaning the caravan easier when it comes out of hibernation. An alternative would be to use a caravan cover. We have never used one but have read about people using them and finding that they have scratched the caravan windows. If you have experience of using a caravan cover (good or bad!), please let us know.
Next, we jack the caravan up and put it on to winter wheels. This takes the pressure off the tyres and prevents flat spots forming.
Now we are nearly done! All that is left is to fit all the security devices. Because we leave our caravan in our driveway, we tend to fit as many as possible. This includes a hitch lock, wheel clamp on one wheel and the integrated Alko wheel lock on the other. We also fit corner steady locks on the rear.
Finally, for added security we put a heavy-duty chain around the chassis and fix it to an anchor point which is concreted in to the driveway. This may all sound a bit excessive, but we would not want to wake up one morning to find our caravan missing.
Even if you are not regularly using your caravan during winter you still need to think about winter tyre care. Please CLICK HERE to find out what you need to be doing and checking.
Well, that's what we do to overwinter our caravan - we hope our ideas help you.