Caravanning Now - Prepare your caravan for the winter

If you are one an all year around caravanners, then the only advice I can offer is to switch your gas cylinders and regulator from butane to propane.

If you don't intend to use your van in the winter then the following is a list of things to do (most important at the top then decreasing in importance:

Drain the hot and cold water systems and leave the taps open. This will allow the water to drain from the system and the micro switches in the tabs are less likely to stop working when left on.

Then close all of your drain outlets to stop small creatures climbing in though the holes.

Empty and rinse out the toilet and drain the fresh water flush part of the toilet system.

If you've got a cassette toilet put some Silicon spray (or olive oil) on the sliding trap, to stop the seals sticking to the trap. (See here too)

When you park your caravan, don't leave the handbrake on. (This is to stop it jamming on over winter.)

If on a storage site then disconnect the battery, remove it from the caravan and store it in your garage or shed (preferably somewhere frost free) where you can recharge it every couple of months.

Remove your gas bottles if your storage site don't allow them to be left in the caravan.

Spray WD40 on all of the electrical connections and on any piano hinges.

Prop the fridge door open. If you don't have a setting on the lock then a thick tea towel, near the hinge, will open the door enough to allow the air to circulate into the fridge to stop any mould.

If you're storing at home, with power available, then cover all of your floor vents and place a dehumidifier in the caravan, on a timer to a come on a couple of times a day for three or four hours each time. (Don't forget to remove any moisture collected).

If your insurance company permit it, then remove the wheels and install the caravan on axle stands or 'winter wheels' to protect your tyres. If you keep the van somewhere convenient then move it backwards or forwards every month to stop the tyres flat spotting.

Use Fenwicks over winter fluid fluid on the caravan. Apparently it can be washed off in the spring and protects the paint work

Buy and use a cover on the caravan (especially if you have to store it under a tree as I used to do)

Remove your cushions and seats and store them in your home. This will allow the air to circulate within the lockers.

This is a summary of the advice given by Paul Sansom, Dave K, Michael Haselhof, Hugh and others in response to a question re Winterising on uk.rec.caravanning from Pat Joyce.