Cover4Caravans » Things to do before storing your caravan

Things to do before storing your caravan

It’s that rather sad time of year once again for many touring caravan owners who need to put their pride and joy into temporary storage during the coming winter months.

As with many things, thorough preparation may pay dividends in the long run and in the case of storing your caravan, some of the following considerations might prove important:

Choosing your storage site

  • probably your first decision is just where you plan to store your caravan;
  • the website Go Caravanning identifies the four broad choices as keeping the trailer on your own property at home, storing it in the open air, storing it under cover, and arranging seasonal storage on a caravan site;
  • your choice may be influenced not only by the price of storage but, more critically, by the security offered by the respective options;

Security

  • keeping your caravan secure whilst it is in storage is clearly a concern for your insurers;
  • one of the first things to establish, therefore, is whether your present insurer is going to continue to extend comprehensive cover whilst the caravan is at your chosen storage site;
  • some storage facilities are purpose designed with security in mind;
  • CaSSOA registered storage sites – of which there are 500 or more situated across the UK – are specially graded according to the level of security, access, facilities and the effective measures in place to prevent theft and vandalism;
  • the heightened level of security offered by a CaSSOA storage site allows us here at Cover4Caravans to offer a significant discount (up to 15%) on annual touring caravan insurance premiums for owners who make use of such secure storage facilities;
  • a further level of security may be achieved by ensuring your caravan has a valid “log book”, confirming your ownership and the trailer’s history, by formally registering it under the Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme (CRiS);

Preparing your caravan for storage

  • your basic aim, of course, is to ensure that your caravan remains in peak condition during storage so that it is all ready to take to the road again come the Spring;
  • fire remains one of the major risks of destruction of your caravan, even, or especially, when it is over-wintering in storage;
  • to lessen this risk, all gas cylinders need to be disconnected and stored separately in a locked compound, advises the Caravan Club       ;
  • to guard against the serious damage that might be caused to water systems during freezing weather, you need to thoroughly drain both drinking, waste and heating systems of any water – paying particular attention to drying out all fittings, valves and taps, by blowing hot air from your vacuum cleaner through the pipes;
  • mould is one of the worst enemies of any caravan owner, especially when the trailer is not in use for any length of time – make certain, therefore, to let the interior continue to breathe by keeping open all air vents and removing any soft furnishings that might be especially vulnerable to the damp;
  • as a further aid to ventilation, leave open all cupboard and storage locker doors – remembering of course also to empty the fridge;
  • strategically placed saucers of bicarbonate of soda may also help to absorb damp laden air inside your caravan;
  • it might still be the Autumn, but a thorough Spring clean at this time of the year may help to ensure that your caravan is neat, tidy, clean and ready to go when the new season begins;
  • before eventually taking it out of storage and hitching up your tourer for the new season, remember that you have a legal responsibility for ensuring that it is fully roadworthy – with particular regard to the brakes, lights and running gear;
  • the same workshop might also inspect and check other essential items such as water, gas, electrical, gas, water and heating systems.

Preparation is the key to putting your touring caravan into storage for the winter. Choose your storage site carefully, pay particular attention to the level of security offered by the site you have chosen, make sure that adequate insurance remains in place – taking advantage of those discounts that might be available – perform a range of simple precautions to protect your caravan during the winter, and arrange an annual maintenance service before you hitch up and take to the roads again in the Spring.