Unless you’re a dedicated year-round tourer, it’s likely that you’ll be thinking about putting your caravan or motorhome into hibernation as temperatures here in the UK plummet.
To help you care for your vehicle during the winter months, Webbs’ Service Managers Danny Woodward, Barry Tredgold and Tom Dickson share their expertise and explain the key steps you can take to ensure everything stays in tip-top condition:
1. Water System
Even the tiniest bit of water left in the system can freeze and split the pipework, resulting in damage that is painfully expensive to repair. It’s therefore imperative that you thoroughly drain down your water system before you store your vehicle for winter. Ensure that taps are left in the open position to let air circulate, lift all drain valves, and remove your shower hose if possible too. It’s also a good idea to remove any in-line water filters, as they’re equally susceptible to freezing.
Give the interior of your caravan or motorhome a thorough clean, and aim to create the best possible circulation of air to stop damp, mildew and condensation from taking hold. Leave cupboard and wardrobe doors open, and leave fixed beds in the upright position. Seat cushions and upholstery are best pulled away from walls, or better still, removed altogether and stored somewhere warm and dry.
Although they should be kept shut for security purposes, opening windows and rooflights from time to time can be useful, as it allows some fresh air to flow through the interior.
Make sure no food is inadvertently left in the kitchen – or anywhere else for that matter! It’s essential to leave the fridge door ajar too, to keep it mould and odour free.
Cold weather is not good news for batteries, so it’s good practice to start your vehicle periodically throughout the winter to prevent the battery from going flat. If possible, remove the leisure battery and put it on a trickle charge once a month to keep it ticking over.
If you have the facility to hook up your mains lead, popping the heating on low for the odd day here and there can help keep damp and condensation in check. Make sure you unplug the mains lead once you’re finished though.
The exterior of your caravan or motorhome will really benefit from a thorough once-over, paying particular attention to removing any mould which, left unchecked, could cause permanent discolouring. This is a good opportunity to inspect your vehicle’s bodywork for damage, and to apply a coating of winter wax to stop algae and dirt from sticking. Once spring arrives, simply wash off the wax and your exterior will look clean and shiny.
Following these few simple but important steps can make all the difference to the condition of your vehicle and will ensure that, come spring, you’re ready to hit the open road once again. For more help and advice on winter care for your caravan or motorhome, give the friendly team at Webbs a call.