Parts & Accessories

Winterizing your caravan (16 tips for winter)

28th November 2019 | Lee Davey
Each Bailey caravan benefits from a rigorous development programme that includes a punishing regime of extreme temperature testing.

 

The insulating properties of the outer Alu-Tech bodyshell, coupled with a carefully designed heating system, ensure that ‘Grade 3’ is exceeded, an award granted to tourers that offer year-round comfort.

Having tested cold weather performance in Truma’s cold chamber at -30’C, and during a trip 300km inside the Arctic Circle, the following tips are aimed at maximising your winter trip potential or settling your caravan into hibernation for the chillier months.

Four Season Touring

If you use your caravan all-year-round, and temperatures are likely to fall between trips, the following steps will help to protect it:

  • Drain the water system. Before returning home (or reaching the storage yard), open the yellow toggle switch that drains the water heater. With it open (facing upwards), open all taps and allow the motion when travelling to aid the emptying process. However, it’s illegal to discharge water onto the carriageway so don’t open the drain valve before joining the M5.
  • Remove the top from your Aquaroll before storing. Ours live in the shower when not in use.
  • Charge the battery every few weeks.
  • The loo. Thetford state that correctly diluted loo chemicals can prevent toilet cassettes from freezing at temperatures as low as -20’C. The flush is easily forgotten but make sure it’s drained down.
  • Turn the gas bottles off.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer doors ajar.
  • Correctly inflated tyres are a must. It’s also a good opportunity to check the tyre’s date of manufacture which can be found on the sidewall in a four-digit (month and year) format.
  • Secure your caravan. Future trips depend on your caravan staying where it is!
Storing Your caravan During the Winter Months?

These are in addition to the ‘Four Season Touring’ steps above:

  • Give the inside a thorough clean. Forgotten crumbs or unseen spillages can become mouldy if left unattended.
  • Airflow is your friend so make life a little easier by pulling the seating/bedding cushions an inch or so away from the wall.
  • If you have an inboard water filter, moisture can sit next to the threads and crack the housing if it freezes. Either remove the filter or change it before using again.
  • Leaving the blinds down for extended periods can weaken the internal springs. If you’d like to screen the inside of your caravan it may be better to close the curtains.
  • The ‘blade’ in the toilet cassette can become stuck against the rubber seal if left closed for longer periods. Thetford sell a lubricant for the rubber seal, or olive oil is a handy substitute.
  • Moisture traps that use dehumidifying crystals can be extremely effective and remove surprising amounts of water from the air inside your caravan. Some may need regular maintenance.
  • Batteries hate the cold and unless your security precautions require a permanent 12-volt supply, it may be prudent to remove it and store in a warm(er) part of the garage. Keep it topped up by charging every few weeks.
  • To cover or not to cover. Breathable covers keep out the elements surprisingly well and we used one regularly with our first caravan, until the frequency of our trips increased. If you choose to cover up during winter, make sure your caravan is clean as road grime is a surprisingly effective abrasive. Don’t forget to cover the hitch as well.

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