With the final days of summer bringing the season to a close, you may want to close up your caravan for the winter months.
Rather than simply abandoning it, there are a number of measures you may take in order to ensure that emerges from its hibernation practically as intact, well maintained and free of damage as when it was closed down for the winter.
You may decide to keep your touring caravan outside your house. Not only is this more likely to attract critical comments from your neighbours it is also much less secure an environment than a purpose designed storage facility.
The Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) for example has been in existence since 1999 and during that time approved more than 500 secure sites in various parts of the country.
Since storage at an accredited CaSSOA site, rather than outside your own house or in the local farmer’s field, is considerably more secure, you are likely to find touring caravan insurance quotes that are cost-effective if you identify an accredited site as your choice of storage location.
Certainly, at Cover4Caravans, we offer discounts on the cost of your cover if storage is to be on an approved site – typically up to 10%.
Choosing a storage site
When selecting a storage site, security is likely to be one of your principal concerns, so it is helpful that CaSSOA grades its accredited sites according to security standards and provisions.
Although you may prefer that your caravan is stored under cover, the Camping and Caravanning Club points out that storage sites providing such shelter are few and far between.
In the absence of such shelter you may be tempted to cover your caravan with a tarpaulin or polythene sheets to protect it from the elements.
The advice from the Caravan Club, however, is to avoid such covers, which may end up preventing your caravan from “breathing” and therefore encouraging the growth of mould from condensation. In addition the restraining ropes and cords may also scratch or damage the windows and skin or your caravan.
Indeed, your caravan is going to breathe more easily if as many of the air vents as possible are left open.
To relieve pressure on and to prevent deterioration of the tyres, the ideal solution may be to use axle jacks and supports so that the whole caravan is off the ground – but secured still with steadies on each corner and with the handbrake off (to prevent it sticking into the applied position).
Wheel clamps may provide an additional level of security even when the caravan is being stored on a secure storage site.
Water systems – including that used for heating – need to be drained down to prevent pipes bursting during cold snaps.
Gas cylinders need to be disconnected and stored separately in a cool place – a security measure upon which most storage sites are likely to insist.
Thoroughly cleaning down the bodywork not only helps tackle the ingrained dirt of a summer season, it also gives you an opportunity to inspect the outside of your caravan for any damage or other matters requiring attention.
The underside of the chassis may also benefit from the same kind of attention, especially if you have been out and about when roads have been salted to deal with ice in the winter.