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 accommodate 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, overwintering 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 for overwintering. 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.
If you remove the battery, make sure it is stored in a warm and dry place and is charged up every four weeks.
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.
We have received the following e-mail from Mike regarding gas:
For overwintering your caravan you should also shut off the gas and reduce pressure in the pipes by burning off the excess. We had to buy a new regulator because of damage caused by a build-up of a treacly goo when pressurised gas gets very cold.
If, like us, you get fed up of spending hours cleaning off green algae and the general winter build-up of dirt on your caravan then this is the product for you!
I personally think this is a brilliant product which will save you hours.
After giving your caravan a good wash down, I simply spray the overwintering fluid all over the caravan using an ordinary garden sprayer (although you can use a sponge or cloth but this will obviously take a lot longer). This will then provide invisible protection all over your caravan.
When your caravan comes out of hibernation in the spring, you simply need to give it a quick wash and you will be amazed how easily the build up of dirt washes off and there is no sign of green algae.
I gave some to my father-in-law last year because he was always complaining about the number of times he had to clean his conservatory roof because it became covered in dirt and green algae. He used it on that and it worked a treat over winter.
The main plus points:
If you are not regularly using your caravan during winter you 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 you need to do when overwintering your caravan - we hope our ideas help you.