Preparing Your Motorhome for Winter
- Posted by:
- guide, winter, maintenance
- Posted date:
Read our top tips for preparing your motorhome for winter. If you are thinking of storing your motorhome in winter, you will need to take precautions so that it remains in good condition throughout its storage.
Storing your motorhome in winter
It is essential to store your long-term motorhome correctly in the wintertime to ensure that no harm is done to your vehicle over time. The cold winter weather like harsh storms or snow could do plenty of damage to your campervan and its mechanisms, so it's best to allow it to hibernate when it's most unused.
Here are some instructions to bear in mind for winter storage whilst not using your motorhome:
First, it would be best to give your motorhome a thorough clean when you are sure you will not use it over the winter months. Then, remove all the food from your refrigerators, freezers and cupboards. Finally, ensure you clear away any crumbs to keep away pests like rodents.
Be sure to clean your motorhome awnings carefully for winter storage; the windows, door seals and wheel wells; ensures you remove all the moisture before putting the covers on the exterior, as it could cause some damage to the car body or potential solar panels. Keep all taps open to let out any surplus water and lets pressure escape.
The best thing to do is remove your bedding and blankets, and you don't want to come back to your motorhome in the spring or summer and find dirty sheets, potential damp or mould. You can also close all your blinds and curtains as doing so can prevent sun damage from discolouring or ageing the interior.
Turn off and unplug all of your appliances like toasters or kettles, then ensure you turn off the main breaker. You want to prevent your devices from damage or from short-circuiting.
Defrost your freezer and keep all fridge doors and cupboards open to air them out. It can prevent all kinds of terrible smells from emerging and keeps your refrigerator appliances in working order.
Drain the water previously left in your system to look after your pipes. For example, the water in your pipes can begin freezing over during the wintertime and become pure frost; you could risk them expanding to the point of bursting.
As a motorhome owner, you need to ensure you use a dry, robust, breathable covering to ensure that mould cannot seep through the covers and corrode your campervan. Also, check for holes in your exterior cover; you should find them they need to be repaired as soon as possible.
We highly recommend purchasing a dehumidifier to prevent any further moisture arising in your motorhome from condensation and cold air. Ensure you run it periodically but keep it closely monitored. If you cannot purchase a dehumidifier in time, opt for a large tub of silica gel and place it inside your vehicle, this works for removing moisture.
Our advice is to make sure you don't position your motorhome van anywhere near or underneath any trees if there are harsh storms during the winter months. If your motorhome is parked on the grass, ensure you use blocks to raise its height; this will help prevent flat spots from occurring in your tyres due to a lack of tyre pressures.
Various pests like insects and rodents could interfere with your campervan whilst it is not in use, and you must do the utmost to prevent this. It may be helpful to place traps inside and even surrounding your motorhome by any potential entrances. Whilst it's significant for your van and its covering to be breathable, mice, rats, and squirrels tend to spot small holes and make them bigger to climb through, which can cause plenty of property damage. So do your best to seal any openings.
During the winter storage seasons, wasps like to build nests inside motorhomes as they are pretty attracted to the LP gas that emits. To prevent this, strive to cover up all vents and move all deodorants inside your home as insects are attracted to them.
Moisture and rust can develop inside your caravan's engine if you over exhaust it and use it or the gas engines too often during winter months, so ensure you turn it off as much as you can. Store your gas cylinder tanks externally when you take them out.
Use WD40 to lubricate the moving parts of your motorhomes, especially on locks and hinges; you don't want them to freeze up or rust in the cold.
To keep your campervan in good order while storing your motorhome, add an additive to your fuel tank and ensure you change the oil too.
Turn off all LP gas appliances from overrunning and potentially attract pests. It is also best to remove any batteries from your devices and clocks to ensure they get rest time and will still work efficiently when you use your motorhome again.
Finally, it would be best if you also considered completely removing a lot of your perishable devices and their battery like TVs; you don't want to risk your devices getting stolen when leaving your campervan unattended or unused for some time.
Similarly, it is good to remove all valuable items for security to protect yourself and your vehicle from theft. You likely won't be visiting and checking on your motorhomes as often, and you don't want to risk this from happening.
It is also helpful to look after the chassis of your caravan; you can do so by lubricating it, removing, taking out the negative terminal, and cleaning all the batteries inside. Ensure you put them in a place where it's will stay cool but will not freeze over. Out of all the motorhome, ensure you keep tabs on the batteries every few weeks out of everything.
Checklist for Preparing your Motorhome over Winter
Here are some tips of the kinds of things you need to ensure you thoroughly prepare before you start the engine and set off on your travels:
Check all your gas appliances, providing you switch them off alongside the gas bottles.
Check your mains hook up leads and keep them unplugged.
All accessories like bike racks, awning, etc., are mounted securely and stowed away.
Ensure steps, levelling blocks and any rear steadies are retracted or moved away.
Check the sink top and cooker lid are put down.
Ensure the free-standing table is secured and stowed away.
All loose items like pans, pots, kettles, plates, cups/mugs and no heavy items like TVs are put away neatly in your cupboards or any lockers.
Close and lock all roof lights and windows.Lower the TV aerial and satellite dish.
Check that you close and lock all lockers and cupboards before setting off with any heavy items left on high levels.
Check, flush and empty your waste tanks and water tanks.
Then, after the toilet flushes, empty the toilet cassette at a chemical waste point and don't forget to wear your gloves!
Switch your fridge to 12V operation and secure all the items inside for travelling; you don't want the contents rolling around whilst on the road.
Retract back all the cab blinds and secure the latches to avoid them from abruptly flying shut whilst driving.
Check your swivel seats are forward-facing during the journey.
Ensure you have switched off your control panel while travelling.
How often should a motorhome be driven?
Auto-Trail Sales Ltd receive numerous calls each year from new curious motorhome owners, often in the aftermath of the winter period. Many people report that their motorhome vehicle has been left parked up for sometimes more than 2-3 weeks.
Leaving your caravan parked for a long time causes the engine or leisure batteries to run flat. With motorhome vehicles, we strongly advise against parking up and letting your engine do so as it can be even more significant an investment for you to receive repairs or purchase new batteries.
Instead, we suggest that you take your van for a frequent run for at least a good hour each week if possible. Doing so will help you avoid battery issues, crazing tyre walls, and vehicle seizures.
Keeping water flowing in your motorhome
It is essential to keep your water flowing in your motorhome, let fresh water in and allow wastewater to escape.
Several coach builds have double floors to provide heated, shallow cavities below the main floor; this is for holding the water systems in your caravan. On-board is a freshwater tank, sometimes it is underslung and external, which is to access all the heat in the accommodation.
It is essential to insulate the tank when a tank water heater is installed. Insulation is anti-freeze; it allows you to delay the time taken to freeze the tank's content; when tanks freeze, they stay frozen for long periods, so insulation is vital to keep water flowing.
It is now much more straightforward to receive retro-fitting for a tank water heater due to the availability of electrically heated mats. These are fitted to the tank externally, eliminating the need to install the internal heating by drilling it into the tank.
Typical 12V tank heaters are more likely to consume 2.5A up to 5A.
The use of these kinds of water heaters in such cold weather seasons or climates is not entirely sustainable for several periods. Your water tank and external pipes that feed your onboard heating system, as well as the valves and pumps, are all vulnerable to the cold.
In addition, sound water systems see the offtake for freshwater inside your accommodation and distribute it internally. Exposed valve pipe runs, 12V pipe heaters and insulation are all highly effective for keeping the water running.
You are welcome to search our website for further information and advice on insurance policies. It may be best to search through the manual or get into contact with your registered in England manufacturing company if you find extreme faults with your systems.
Are you thinking of buying a Motorhome in the Newcastle area? We offer used and new motorhome stock from the leading brands.