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10 cool tips for overwintering

Date: 12/11/2012
Source: Camping, Cars & Caravans

With the right preparation, a caravan can survive being parked through the winter without any problem.

1. Wipe off the dust and dirt left at the end of the summer season. Clear out everything that is still around after the summer holidays. Empty storage areas and remove any superfluous cumbersome items so that you don’t take them with you needlessly next season.
2. Stack up all upholstery to let the air circulate. Leave all lids up and flaps open where possible. If air can circulate throughout the caravan, you will avoid condensation building up which is the perfect breeding ground for mildew.
3. Clean tanks and conduits thoroughly. Suitable cleaning products can be found in specialist outlets. Drain every drop of water out of tanks, conduits and thermal units to prevent any freezing up in an unheated vehicle. Then leave all taps open. You can also fill the water system with a special anti-freeze solution which must be thoroughly flushed out in the spring.
4. Treat window and door seals with silicone, talc or glycerine to prevent them from freezing and sticking. Only use acid-free substances on acrylic windows.
5. Clean out the refrigerator thoroughly and always leave the door ajar. Where possible block off openings and ducts to keep insects and small rodents out. Turn off and clamp gas bottles, put on the protective cover – leave the compulsory ventilation in the gas cylinder locker open.
6. Leave the handbreak off otherwise it could seize up during the winter. Secure the coupling with a ball attachment and a suitable lock.
7. Lifting the weight off the caravan wheels will prevent tyres from deteriorating so jack up your caravan. Pump the tyres up by about 0.5 bar over the normal tyre pressure and cover them to protect against UV rays. Suitable wheel covers will guarantee that they will not get any flat spots.
8. Empty batteries can freeze and will go flat. So charge up your battery and disconnect it, otherwise it will discharge and become dead. Better still: recharge it at least every six weeks or simply take it home.
9. A large accumulation of snow on the roof of your caravan can cause serious damage long term. If a heavy snowfall is forecast, prop up the roof from inside. You can either buy props from a specialist outlet or make your own.
10. You can avoid winter dirt accumulating if you cover your caravan. Suitable
covers are on sale in specialist outlets. They should be lightweight and breathable. It is best to tie them down to avoid scratches on the windows and paintwork. You can also consider covering your windows with protective foil.