While we would all like autumn to hang on a little longer, winter is already in the air. Before it gets here, there are things you need to do to ensure your static caravan is prepared for the elements. The last thing you want is to come back in the spring to wild animals, rodents, and busted pipes.
Taking these few winterisation steps before closing up for the season will prevent costly repairs and nasty surprises.
The pipelines on a static caravan are largely exposed and vulnerable to freezing temperatures. The best thing you can do it drain all water from the pipes before closing up for the winter. Flush all fresh water and toilet systems and drain them completely. Then drain them according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Because any water left in the pipes through the winter season can freeze in the pipes causing them to burst. If your manufacturer recommends clearing out the u-bends, considering having this type of work completed by trained professionals or the maintenance staff at your site.
Before leaving the caravan for the winter, empty all valuable items of course, and gather all personal items. Bed linens, curtains, cushions, duvets, and even small rugs should be removed to promote airflow and prevent mould and mildew from forming. Heavier items like mattresses and seat cushions can be stood on their sides to promote air circulation.
Consider removing all electrical items to prevent any dampness seeping into the wiring.
All interior doors and cupboards should be opened and cleared of belongings. If you decide not to take the curtains, consider leaving them open to help thwart potential break-ins. Contrary to popular belief, your static is less likely to be broken into if potential thieves can see that there is nothing to steal, and if they can be easily seen.
A thorough check of the exterior of the caravan should also be conducted before leaving for the winter. Your check should include any fittings or fixtures to ensure they will hold up against the cold weather. Any cracks or gaps should be filled to prevent pests from getting in. If the caravan has skylights, ensure they have no cracks and repair any leaks. Check under the caravan also; make sure there is no grass or debris that will be attractive to wildlife.
Tips and Tasks
- Disconnect the water at the stopcock and open the taps throughout the caravan
- Plug the drains to prevent pests
- Double check that the toilet is flushed and water free
- Make sure the water heater is empty
- A little bit of antifreeze can be poured down each drain, to keep any leftover water from freezing
- The electricity should be shut off at the mains
- Turn off and disconnect any bottled gas, which can then be stored inside or, in the case of piped gas, turn the supply off at the mains
- All air vents should be cleaned and clear
- Leave the fridge door ajar. This will stop the air inside getting stale and possibly mildewy. Putting a folded tea towel over the top of the door will stop it shutting completely.
- Salt bowls or silica gel can be placed around the inside of the caravan to help absorb any moisture or alternatively moisture traps can be purchased quite cheaply from stores such as Lakeland or Robert Dyas which are then filled with a special salt. However it is unlikely that these will continue to absorb moisture for the whole of the winter and may need replacing or emptying at some point.
- Before locking up for the last time, check again that you have left nothing valuable in or outside the caravan, and make sure that all cabinets, closets, and interior doors are open
- Take one more walk around the caravan, checking each door and all windows, making sure they are all locked
- Leave your current contact information with the site office workers in case they need you over the winter
If your static caravan is on a site that does not close down during the winter and you think that it is possible that you will use your static caravan during this period, it may be worth considering leaving your central heating system, if you have one, on low at this time to try and prevent any dampness and to stop your pipes from freezing.
It is important to check your insurance policy on your static caravan to see if there are any terms and conditions contained within the policy which specifically relate to the closing down of your caravan during the winter months, for example, employing a professional to drain your water switching off your gas and electricity supply.
Do you have any additional tips for closing down your static caravan for the season? If so, please leave us a comment below.
For a competitive quote on your static caravan insurance, call us today at Lifesure for a free quote on 01480 402460.