Many caravan owners begin preparing their caravans for winter storage before the season begins. It is important to keep the caravan dry during the winter season and protect it from humidity and cold weather so that when you open the caravan, you do not get any unpleasant surprises once the weather gets warmer. This article is a helpful guide on various ways you can protect your caravan for the winter season and prepare it for storage.
Why do I need to keep my caravan dry over winter?
Ideally, you must take action before the freezing cold arrives or it begins to snow. You may be tempted to do the bare minimum and put the caravan away for storage until the next season. However, if the caravan is not winterised properly, you may find the caravan in less than a desired state when you take off the covers.
If there is water inside the pipes or tank, it may crack or break due to the freezing water occupying more volume. Moreover, any humidity retained inside the caravan can cause dampness and the growth of fungus or mould. Hence, when you prepare the caravan for storage, it is important to ensure you take steps to keep it dry during the winter.
Read on as we provide helpful tips to nudge you in the right direction.
How can I keep my caravan dry during the winter?
Before you get to the internal components of the caravan, here are some tips to consider to keep the caravan dry during the winter.
General winterisation steps
- To prevent the flattening of the tyres over the winter, raise the tyre pressure by at least half a bar to help compensate for the air loss during this time. You can also dismantle them or use thermal covers.
- Refuel your caravan with winter diesel to prevent condensation and the consequent formation of rust inside the tank. You may also want to add anti-freeze to the washer reservoir of the windshield.
- Remove the onboard battery and store it in a cool and dry place to keep it away from frost.
- Close all the gas valves and lubricate hinges and locks
- Drain the water heater and open the faucets to ensure no water is in the pipes. Clean it thoroughly once done and open the anti-freeze valve.
- Examine your gasket to check for any leaks. If required, replace them or use silicone spray. Cleaning the caravan from inside
Cleaning the caravan from inside
While the tips mentioned above cater to the general steps taken for the winterisation of the caravan, you also need to take measures to ensure that your caravan winter ready on the inside.
Start with your refrigerator; empty it, defrost if needed and clean it thoroughly. Once done, keep the door of the refrigerator and freezer section open. Now clean your oven and your furniture. Clear out your cupboards and leave their doors open.
If you have any towels, bedding, cushion or rugs inside the caravan, remove them to prevent moisture retention. Raise the frames slightly for air circulation, and do not leave the upholstery or mattress as it is; otherwise, mould may grow. If possible, get a dehumidifier to remove moisture.
Clearing out the water system
Taking care of the hydraulic system in the caravan is a critical step in preparing the caravan for winter storage. Here are some helpful tips.
- Empty your toilets and water tanks and clean them. Clean the accessories with disinfectant, including the pumps or showerhead.
- If you have a hose in your shower cubicle, empty it by placing it on the floor. Remove water from pre-filters in the water pumps if present and in other such places.
- Once done, run your water pump again to remove any water from the lines and press the toilet flush button to drain water from the solenoid valve.
- Leave the taps open for the duration of the winter.
Finally, switch off your water pump once you have drained the last drops. Remember, water inside the tanks or lines can damage them if it freezes. Make sure that there is no water in the tank.
If your caravan is placed outdoors for the duration of the winter, you must park it so that it remains in good condition for the duration it remains uninhabited.
Firstly, you must park your caravan in a place with good ventilation and ensure that there is no humidity. If parked with other caravans, place it so that there is a reasonable distance to allow air circulation. Cover the top of the caravan with a tarp to prevent it from oxidation, and leave a hole open at the bottom so that the caravan remains dry. As suggested earlier, you can go the extra step by installing a dehumidifier inside.
These steps may seem like a lot, but once you properly store the caravan, you will pat yourself on the back for a job well done when you open the caravan for use in the spring season. The bathroom will have to be clean and fresh, the appliances in a perfect state and the exterior, bright and shiny. If possible, visit your caravan from time to time, open it and allow ventilation.
How can I drain the water from my caravan for the winter?
To drain the water from the caravan in its entirety, turn off your heater and shut down the water supply. Open the taps, turn on the showers, and flush the toilet to let the water out and drain the water completely.
Can I leave bedding inside the caravan for the winter?
It is better to remove the bedding, towels, pillows and cushions from the caravan and store them in a dry place so that they get air circulation and fungus or mould does not form.