Many people leave their static caravans unattended during the Christmas festivities. Whilst away, there are a number of different ways you can ensure your caravan is left well-kept and will be perfect upon return. We’ve put together a quick guid e to help you if you choose to leave your caravan this winter.
WATER, GAS ELECTRICITY
If you decide to leave your caravan through the winter months, it’s important that you take the time to completely drain any water from the water systems. This prevents anything from freezing, which could lead to a lot of damage! You can avoid any pressure from building up over the winter by leaving your taps on. Not only will this help to drain the water, but it will also stop any pressure from building within the pipes. When you drain the toilet, take the time to clean the water tank to avoid deposits of pollutants during the winter. You should remove any gas cylinders from your caravan and store them in a well ventilated location. If you don’t have an ideal place to store your gas cylinders, ensure their valves are properly turned off, closed and locked shut.
If you plan on leaving your caravan for a long period of time over the winter, your battery will still be used even if everything has been turned off inside the caravan. Therefore, we’d advise completely removing the battery whilst you are not there. Store it in a cool, dry place and ensure you recharge if necessary.
If you plan on leaving your caravan over winter, it’s important you take the time to prep the interior beforehand, too. Ensure you do not leave any perishable items within, as this could cause mould and bacteria to grow, and thus cause some damage. It’s also important to understand that mould can occur due to moisture, which can happen regularly particularly in the winter months. To avoid this, we’d advise placing a few moisture traps or dehumidifiers throughout the caravan whilst you are not there. These work well to stop moisture from occurring within your caravan, and therefore prevent the likelihood of mould. Take the time to remove all cushions and upholstery from your caravan before you leave. Ideally, this should be kept at your home to store, but storing away within the caravan should be fine. If you don’t have the space to take home, stand all cushions on end wherever air can get to them freely, which will prevent them from getting damp. You should remove all bedding for the winter.
WINDOWS AND VENTS
Before leaving your caravan for the winter months, open up all your windows and apply a thin layer of lubricant to all window seals. This is a great way of preventing windows from becoming stuck when you arrive back after winter. You should also ensure that all windows and vents are closed and locked before leaving, as this will stop any insects gaining access. However, make sure you do not block air vents, as this will stop the circulation within the caravan, causing air to become stale and creating worsening damp problems.
Looking after the exterior of your caravan can be difficult and a lot of work, however it is vital if you want to make sure that your caravan does not deteriorate over the winter. Before you leave for winter, give the outside of your caravan a thorough clean. We would advise covering your caravan entirely, which will help to keep the exterior in perfect condition. If you also wish to prevent algae growth, apply a coat of overwintering fluid to give it that extra bit of protection.
When covering your caravan, the best option is to get a custom made cover as it will fit and protect your caravan better than store bought. However, these can and do work well. Ensure that your cover of choice is breathable, so that if there is any moisture it does not become trapped, as this can cause further issues. If you’d like any more information on looking after your caravan throughout the winter months, or what to do about going away for a long period of time during any part of the year, get in touch with a member of the friendly Retreat team by visiting our contact page or by giving us a call on 01278 795006.