Over Winter Storage of a Caravan Tourer
By following the checklist below, our touring caravan has always survived the winters without suffering any damage caused by the winter weather:
- All water mixer taps left wide open in mid position, shower head raised up fully and all drain points opened (do this on site last visit to make sure every last drop of water was drained during the journey home).
- WC flush tank fully drained and casette emptied (do this on site on last visit).
- Put plugs into the sinks (stops the spiders crawling up the wastes).
- Made sure the outside waste flaps were firmly closed.
- Clear out all food items and provisions, even the tins.
- Remove all bedding and towels, etc..
- Clean out all the cupboards.
- Wash out the fridge and door left wedged open.
- Ensure all windows and vents fully closed and locked.
- Ensure all security devices are fitted properly and locked.
- Disconnect the gas bottles and shut off the supply (we do this every trip anyway).
- Disconnect and remove the battery (this will be discharged / recharged at home).
- If a security alarm is fitted then the battery should be left on to power the alarm system.
- Wash the exterior body work with Fenwicks Caravan Cleaner.
- Rinse off with Fenwicks Bobby Dazzler.
- Wax the exterior body work with Fenwicks Over Winter Wax (do not wax the acrylic wondows as they may scratch if waxed).
- Vacuum clean the floors and carpets.
- Spray spider repellant all over the interior (we do this after every trip).
- Release the handbrake (saves brakes from seizing) and chock the wheels.
- Fit our breathable cover over the caravan and strap it firmly (with this cover on we leave the blinds fully open as the cover stops any sun bleaching of the upholstery / curtains).
- It's very important to clean and wax the caravan before fitting the cover to prevent dirt and grit scratching the body, paint and windows.
- Emptied a tub or two of Nippon ant powder around and over all the corner steadies, wheels and jockey wheel to deter insects and vermin from entering via the legs and wheels.
- If you do not have or use a cover, then leave the blinds closed to save your upholstery from getting sun bleached. Your springs may weaken on the blinds but this is a small price to pay compared to the cost of replacing upholstery.
- Some people take home all the upholstery and carpets. We don't need to as we don't suffer from damp at all. Apart from that, we don't have the spare storage space at home for the bulky cushions.
- Do not use a tarpaline or plastic sheet to cover the 'van. Always use a proper breathable cover made with a soft material or your 'van could get badly scratched.
- If you have a damp or condensation problem then you can use a couple of damp traps to help absorb condensation in the 'van, i.e., the crystal type; cat litter in a bowl works very well or even salt in a bowl does the trick also. Always place these on trays in case water spills over.
- Do not cover up ventilation holes and grilles. If you do, this will cause the 'van air to go stale and it will smell aweful. Maintaining ventilation is essential to avoid this and dampness.
- Some people fit winter wheels. This avoids flat spots developing in the rubber tyres and is also an added security device. I think these are essential if you over winter on a hard standings but maybe not so important on soft grass.
Your main enemies are damp, frost, sun bleaching and bugs. So anything you can do to protect from these will pay dividends in keeping your pride and joy in tip top condition over the winter period.
Hope this helps you to keep yours in tip top order over the winter.
The above is a photo of our caravan with our winter cover fitted.