Overwintering Your Caravan

 

Overwintering

overwintering your caravanWith winter just around the corner, if you haven’t already thought about overwintering your caravan then now is definitely the time. Make sure you give your caravan a good clean and check bodywork for any signs of wear and tear. If your caravan has not recently been serviced, apply grease to any moving mechanical parts or linkages, such as corner steady rotating screws and the spare wheel carrier if you have one. Store your caravan with the corner steadies down and the handbrake off, if possible. Remember to use wheel chocks to be on the safe side. If you cannot store your caravan undercover then try to park it somewhere sheltered but avoid under the trees.

Tyres

Caravan tyres are the same as any other tyre in so much as they don’t fare well if left standing around on the same area of tread for prolonged periods. You may wish to consider moving the caravan every few weeks just to prevent any problems. This is also a good time to check that tyre pressures are correct. Tyre rubber can degrade in constant sunlight so if you can protect them then this will prolong their life. Storing your caravan undercover is the perfect solution but is not always possible. Avoid using plastic bags around your wheels as this may cause condensation in the hub and damage the wheel and bearings.

Electrics

Check your 12N and 12S (7-pin) or 13-pin car to caravan connectors for signs of wear or tear. Electrical contacts should be cleaned and then wiped over with petroleum jelly or sprayed with a water dispersant such as WD40 (after checking it will not affect the plastic). Remember to disconnect your leisure battery. If possible it is always best to periodically re-charge your battery although this may not always be possible. However, if a battery is left discharged for a period of time it can never be fully recharged again.

Internally

  • It goes without saying that cleaning the kitchen thoroughly should prevent the appearance of mould. Remember to leave the fridge door open – there is usually a special catch provided for this. Only use cleaning products that are specifically designed for caravan use. Househould products may cause damage to surfaces and seals.
  • Cushions are best left propped upright away from the caravan walls. Good ventilation will prevent mildew occurring, especially in units with solid ply bed bases (as opposed to slats). Covering upholstery in breathable cotton sheets will help keep the dust at bay. Even better is to store them at home in a warm dry environment.
  • Fixed beds are best left in the open position to aid air circulation.
  • Blinds should be left open. The springs gradually stretch over a period of time and will eventually fail to work correctly.
  • Leaving locker and wardrobe doors open helps ventilation.
  • Make sure all rooflights and windows are fully closed.
  • Apply a light coat of thin oil to hinges or a water dispersant such as WD40 to protect against rust. Be careful not to get it on door surfaces.

Water Systems

During the winter months it is advisable to drain down the water systems in your caravan in order to protect against frost damage. Although you can never be 100% sure that this will protect you against frost damage, it is still the best way to minimize the risks. South West Caravans Services can offer a Drain Down Service for customers whose caravan may be in storage some distance from their home. A Drain Down is also included as part of our Full Service at this time of year for customers who have finished caravanning for the season.

We hope this has given you a few tips and ideas for overwintering your caravan. Should you have any questions why not send us a message through our Contact Form?