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Winterising Your Caravan

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Winterising Your Caravan

With the colder weather taking a strong hold over the whole of the UK, now is the perfect time to get your caravan winterised and protected from frost and icing damage. Winterising your caravan is an essential part of ensuring your caravan remains in top condition throughout the cold winter months. A caravan is prone to damage from ice and frost due to the high number of water systems and pipework onboard, the effect of freezing water can cause pipework to burst due to the ice expansion, which can be a very costly situation. However, there is a simple fix, winterise!


Snowy Caravan


What Is Winterising?


The main priority of winterising your caravan is to ensure all of the water is drained from the caravan, this goes for both the fresh water and waste water systems. Any water that is left in the tanks or pipework is at risk of freezing and expanding when temperatures drop below zero, causing pipes to burst.

Another issue caused by colder weather, is damp. This is due to a build up of condensation within your caravan caused by the cold air outside and the slightly warmer environment inside your caravan. Damp is common in caravans due to being left unused throughout the winter months with no proper air circulation. Short term damp effects can be mould on materials, furnishings, and carpets, however if left untreated this can become more severe and make it's way into the structural elements of your caravan. If damp penetrates your caravan woodwork or body shell it can cause some major issues, compromising the structural integrity of your caravan, so it is best to do everything you can to avoid this.

Winterising isn’t just about protecting the internal components of your caravan, but also the exterior. We don’t often store caravans inside, because they are just too big! But this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be protected from the worst of the weather. It's always a great idea to make sure your caravan is ready to take on strong winds and heavy downpours. If you’re looking for a little project over lockdown, why not try your hand at making a caravan porch? These are fantastic for protecting your caravan from both wind and rain all year round. But if this sounds like a little too much work we would recommend getting yourself a breathable caravan cover. These stop the worst parts of the weather from effecting your caravan directly, while also providing another protective layer around your caravan. The breathable nature of these covers help promote good airflow throughout your caravan which assist with stopping mould build up.


Should I Winterise My Caravan?


We would always recommend winterising your caravan, even if it is just the bare minimum. Frost and ice damage can be a very expensive issue which may go unnoticed until it is too late. Ensuring all of your water systems are drained thoroughly and sufficient frost protection is in place should be the absolute minimum. But it is also very beneficial in the long term to protect your caravan further to reduce your workload in the spring months.


Winter Caravan

How To Winterise Your Caravan


As we have repeated continuously, the most important element of caravan winterising is the issues that arise due to freezing water! The best way stop your water freezing is…to get rid of all your water. This might sound straightforward but there are often areas of caravan pipework which won’t drain with gravity alone. To really help flush your caravan pipework or all water you can use a drain down system, these pressurise your caravan pipework to blast out any water and debris in your caravan pipes. If you don’t want to purchase any equipment for doing this, the best thing to do is drain as much out of your caravan systems as possible then pour some antifreeze down all of your drains and systems. This approach is not as reliable as using a dedicated drain down system but should get the job done in most conditions.

To stop the worst of the damp, and avoid mould build-up, it is a great idea to remove as many soft furnishings, blankets, pillows and material items as possible. These attracted the most moisture and are also very difficult to get mould off of if it does occur. You should remove these items and store them in a dry environment where they will not be exposed to moisture, it is sometimes worth sealing them in bags to totally eliminate and moisture build up. If sealing your furnishings, you must ensure they are dried thoroughly beforehand to avoid them ‘sweating’ within the bag.

Other things you should do to ensure you caravan is winterised correctly is checking your electrical and gas systems are all safe to be left for long period of time. The best way to do this is to disconnect your caravan batteries where possible, or at least ensure the isolator switches are turned off fully, along with all switches. Gas bottles can be switched off and removed or disconnected to totally eliminate the risk of any leaks occurring.


Leaving Your Caravan


After winterising your caravan, you will probably plan on leaving it for a while, therefore you should pay careful attention to how it is left. Make sure all the windows and doors are closed and locked correctly. Your caravan should be positioned in a safe place where it will be as protect from the elements as possible with all security devices in place. We would recommend you check on your caravan at least once every few weeks to make sure everything remains in order; this means you will be able to deal with any issues before they have enough time to develop into something more serious.