This guide is a rough checklist that should be followed if you are not going to be using your caravan over an extended period of time.
This guide is intended to give you some guidance on how best to store away your caravan for an extended period including wintering your caravan as well. This is only guidance and we take no responsibility for any advice given. Each caravan is unique and some instructions might vary depending on your caravan.
1. The Water System should be completely drained, the hot and cold water system in the van, you can do this by ensuring all the taps are open and removing the drain plug, located normally on the outside of the van. This might take up to an hour so do not get impatient. A good time to do this is before you head off for your last trip of the year, the return journey should ensure all water is drained. When your back home ensure that the bung is put back in the drain plugs but leave the taps on, to make sure there is no build up in the water pressure.
2. If your caravan comes with a water filter fitted, remove it or leave a note to replace it next season. If you fit the new one before you store the caravan it could get damp and damaged by the cold.
3. Let the water out of all the carriers completely and leave the plugs to off to avoid stagnant water smells.
4. The Bathroom – Completely empty the water holding tank into the toilet cassette and remove the toilet cassette for draining and cleaning. When the cassette is completely cleaned out and rinsed use protectant or something like it to coat the cassette seal and blade. This will help avoid corrosion over the winter months. Leave the blade on open to avoid it sticking.
5. Make sure to plug up all the water inlets and waste outlets to stop smell and bugs / spiders coming in.
6.Take care of your upholstery, take away all cushions, pillows and bedding and if you can, put them in your home. If not, just remove the seats and back cushions and lay them, end on end in the walkway of the caravan.
7. Make sure to leave all internal doors and cupboards open to allow the air to get around.
8. Give all the cupboards a good clean out and ensure that no crumbs, open containers remain in the van. Leaving tinned foods and non-perishable things should be OK for storage.
9. Scrub clean the fridge with a good anti-fungal liquid. Make sure to leave the door open to avoid pressure building up and a stale smell.
10. Make sure all the windows and air vents are locked shut and unobstructed and are entry proof from mice and bugs etc. Close all the blinds and curtains for extra privacy.
11. Take out your leisure battery, if you can, and make sure to keep the charge topped up every 7-8 weeks. Remember if your caravan has an alarm, they normally run off their own separate batteries, so taking out the leisure battery won’t affect the security, (make sure you check out your own caravan to ensure this is the case)
12. If you can try to remove all gas cylinders and store in an safe and ventilated location. If not, ensure that all cylinders are 100% turned off and the gas compartment is locked shut. Remember when storing Butane gas, it begins to freeze at temperatures below 4 degrees C. Propane does not.
13. Plug sockets should be protected from the weather, but not fully sealed as this can encourage condensation. Some moisture defensive sprays, like WD 40 may damage plastics so we suggest that Vaseline is applied around the sockets.
14. If the stereo is of the removable sort, take it and store in the house.
15. Always make sure to carry out occasional inspections of your caravan over winter to ensure that no damp is in the caravan and to make sure it is ok out against the frost. Little tip: Leave bowls of salt throughout the caravan. If the winter has been really bad the bowls have water over the top of the salt level but mostly its just damp. Very cheap way to keep the caravan dry. We use it and never had a damp caravan yet.
1. You can prolong the tyre life, suspension and the running carriage on your caravan if you take the weight off the wheels for just a few weeks of the year. To manage this, support the axles with axles stands and take off the wheels and nuts for storing. Store the wheels out of direct sunlight and keep in a place where contact with oils and greases is avoided.
2. If your caravan is fitted with shock absorbers, give the rods a good clean and coat them with Vaseline, don’t forget to take the Vaseline off before you go on the road again.
3. Make sure that the handbrake is left off, to avoid them sticking.
4. Take care that the awning is regularly washed and clean and completely dry before storing for any period of time, if you don’t do this it can cause mouldy patches on the awning. It is better to store the awning in the house rather than in the caravan if its possible.
5. You can cover your caravan with a large cover but if you do this, make sure you use a breathable cover because if it is not, the cover will cause more harm than doing good.
6. Give the window seals a run-over with olive oil to help preventing them from sticking.
7. Make sure you store the caravan when possible in a garage area or a covered terrace area. It is very important in cases where you are storing the trailer that there is no leaks coming from the roof concentrated into one area as it would force the rain to collate in one section of the covering causing damage.
Roof leaks are easily checked by getting a ladder and visually inspecting to the roof from the side. If not sure about it, you can learn more about leaks here or call a professional like TC Roofers – Roofing Contractors in Dublin to give you a free maintenance check on your roof.
8. Tie down the covers over the caravan to jacks at the back and to the towbar at the front.