Bailey caravans and motorhomes are built for true four-season touring, but should you wish to winterize your leisure vehicle, here’s how.
Drain the hot and cold water systems. Turn off the pump and open the drain valve (usually a yellow toggle switch next to the heater). Open all of the taps inside your caravan or motorhome, including the shower. Position the tap in the middle, allowing both hot and cold to remain open simultaneously. Draining the system before returning home, or reaching the storage yard, will aid the emptying process. Check the shower head and hose is also empty.
Fresh water tank. If your caravan or motorhome has an inboard fresh water tank, turn off the water pump and open the taps. Open the water tank drain valve
Motorhome waste water tank. Open the drain valve
Aquaroll. Empty any remaining water and unscrew the Aquaroll top before storing. Ours live in the shower when not in use.
Emptying the toilet flush – reservoir inside toilet unit. Open the external toilet door and find the black pipe that’s usually located inside the upper edge of the door frame. Unhook the pipe and remove the stopper. Drain until empty.
Emptying the toilet flush – fresh water. Once the main water system and tank has been drained, operate the flush until empty.
Emptying the toilet cassette. Empty in the usual way, making sure to clean it thoroughly. Some folks leave the toilet ‘blade’ open, while others close it. If closing, lubricate the donut-shaped seal with Thetford Seal Lubricant or olive oil.
If you have an inboard water filter, moisture can sit next to the threads, cracking the housing if it freezes. Either remove the filter or change before using again.
Alde heating? This type of heating is a wet system containing antifreeze and should be checked/serviced at the specified intervals. If necessary, DIY checks can be made from the expansion tank with a hydrometer. Alde anti-freeze can be purchased separately
Batteries dislike cold weather and unless a solar panel is providing a trickle charge, or 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. Milenco make a handy charger/maintainer.
Turn gas bottles off.
Keep the fridge and freezer doors ajar. The fridge may have a storage catch, which secures the door while allowing sufficient airflow.
The fridge vent cover might be one of the most overlooked winterizing tools for caravan and motorhomers but is also one of the most useful. It helps to keep your fridge working properly and efficiently in temperatures below 8°c and will help to keep your caravan free of bugs and frost over the storage season.
Inflate to the correct pressure and check overall condition. 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/year) format. It’s good practice to change the tyres every 5-years.
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.
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 checking and maintenance
Lubricate external locks, hinges, and catches with WD40 or similar
Check antifreeze and oil levels in the engine bay.
Give the inside a thorough clean. Forgotten crumbs or unseen spillages can become mouldy if left unattended.
Airflow is your friend so pull the seating/bedding cushions an inch or so away from the wall.
To cover or not to cover. Breathable covers keep out the elements surprisingly well but make sure it has a soft inner layer to prevent scratches. Only fit if your caravan or motorhome is clean as road grime is a surprisingly effective abrasive. Don’t forget to cover your caravan hitch as well.