Winter maintenance is essential to ensure your home away from home remains in good working order. After a busy summer your caravan, motorhome, campervan or tent will be in need of some TLC to ensure its ready for the upcoming tourism season. Carrying out these essential jobs over the winter months means you'll be ready to go as soon as holiday parks re-open in spring. Travelling to your camping and caravan park of choice will be so much more enjoyable, knowing everything has been serviced or replaced!
As we look forward to staycations in 2021 and begin planning a bumper year of holidays in the UK, here are some winter maintenance tips to get you ready!
Winter caravan care
Image credit: Ladram Bay Holiday Park, Devon
Here's a quick checklist of things to attend to to ensure your caravan is winter ready:
- Leaks and Damage: It is essential to keep your eye on any potential leaks in the winter weather. Inspect regularly. Undetected water issues will create condensation and mildew that can be difficult to deal with.
- Tow Bar: Ensure the tow bar is free from cracks and rust and ensure a replacement is ordered if needed. You don't want this to be an urgent task in the spring!
- Drain Down: Ensure you have correctly drained down. You need to ensure there is no water left to freeze in the pipes.
- Fridge: Make sure your fridge is clean and empty. Leave it with the door open and do the same for cupboards, unless they are large doors that may buckle.
- Wipe Down: Clean all surfaces and ensure there are no food items or crumbs available for furry visitors!
- Remove Items: Ensure you remove items that could be affected by condensation and mould e.g toilet rolls, soft furnishings, towels etc.
- Remove Gas Bottles: Be sure to disconnect and remove gas bottles during the winter. This will avoid accidental leaks. Store them in a suitable area with ventilation. Close the valves to prevent leaks.
- Battery: Your battery will need to be kept at a decent charge. Don't let it run flat.
- Roof Cleanliness: Algae and moss can accumulate quickly on caravan roofs so be sure to use a soft brush to remove any obvious signs.
- Security: Make sure that you meet the terms of your caravan insurance policy, so be clear about whether you need to use an alarm, a hitchlock, wheel clamps, wheel locks or a tracking device.
Image credit: Old Oaks Touring and Glamping Park, Somerset
Much the same as caravans, motorhomes need to be secured over the winter in the same fashion. However, there are some extra checks that are specific to motorhome users
- Winter Motorhoming: If you're likely to be going out and about in winter, you'll be airing it, charging the battery and ensuring mechanical components are used and in good order.
- Fuel: It would be wise to fill the fuel tank, to avoid the issue of condensation.
- Engine Maintenance: Check your oil levels and carry out basic engine maintenance, check there's water in your window washer etc.
- Security: It's worth mentioning, again, that you need to take all the precautions for your motorhome, including those noted in your insurance policy.
Camping equipment winter checks
Photo credit: Oakdown Touring and Holiday Home Park, Devon
Storing camping equipment in winter can be a challenge, especially if you're new to tents and all the related equipment! Here are some tips to get you started:
- Damage: Check your tent for any damage incurred during your last trip and arrange for it to be fixed. You don't want to forget and have a nasty surprise when you're preparing for your first holiday of 2021! Inspect everything, looking for rips, tears, seam issues, issues with zips/poles etc.
- Put It Away Dry: If you put away your tent for winter and it's damp, you will end up with mould and mildew problems, and that smells! It's difficult to get rid of too and you may find the dampness damages your tent. Use a towel to wipe the tent dry.
- Bleach: Consider using a mild bleach solution to not only clean your tent, but protect it from mildew too.
- Clean Your Gas Stove: A gas stove is likely to be one of your most used pieces of equipment. Give it a good clean before packing away for winter.
- Air Sleeping Bags: Most camping equipment benefits from an airing, and sleeping bags are no exception. It's much more appealing to sleep in a fresh smelling sleeping bag come spring than a musty one!
- Clean Your Coolbox: Clean out all your camping equipment (pots and pans etc), but pay particular attention to anything like a coolbox that could harbour crumbs and be an attractive spot for vermin!
Your towing vehicle
Photo credit: Bath Chew Valley Caravan Park, Somerset
Good maintenance is essential for ensuring your vehicle is ready to tow your caravan or stow your camping equipment. Properly maintaining it will reduce the risk of a calamity on holiday and will ensure you get there safely!
When you are ready and able to holiday once more, consider a Best of British holiday park. Not only are all 55 member parks family owned, they also have a very experienced group of staff who can help with all your camping and caravanning queries! We're proud to have a wide selection of parks located in beauty spots across England, Scotland and Wales. Whether you're looking for a countryside or coastal campsite for a couples getaway or family break, we'll have a park that will suit your needs.