For many caravanners the onset of shorter and colder days means the end to caravanning holidays for another year. However, it doesn’t have to be. If you follow a few hints and tips on winterising your caravan you can enjoy a whole new dimension of caravanning.
One key point to remember if you’ll be using your caravan over the winter is that you should use propane instead of butane. Because butane liquid only boils into a gas at -2C and will often sit at a temperature a few degrees below ambient, it is unreliable during winter. Propane, has a much lower boiling point of -42C meaning there’s no chance of it freezing, giving you a steady and reliable fuel supply.
Winterising your caravan is not something to do just once but is most effective when you make a constant effort with it, even when you’re on holiday.
After every trip away during the winter you should drain your water system to prevent it freezing and causing damage. An insulated bag or cover for your water container will prevent it from freezing during your winter holiday.
It’s also extra important to take good care of mechanical parts during the colder months. Keeping brakes and wheels well maintained with regular cleaning and checks will ensure your safety. Any other moving parts such as windows and doors can be checked and oiled as you see fit.
When on a site during winter, don’t forget to move your electrical cables around. If these are lying on frosty or snowy ground they can quite easily become stuck or damaged. If you’re caravanning in snowy conditions, regularly clear the snow from around your van, unblocking vents. This will also make it easy when it comes to driving off your pitch.
If you’re planning on having an awning up during your holiday it may be an idea to invest in some heavy duty pegs to secure it. Pegs with a long screw thread will go deep into hard ground, allowing your awning to stand up to strong winds.
Be conscious about your power usage. It’s easy to overload your power supply during winter because of the demand for extra heat and light. It may be an idea to take a spare leisure battery, keeping both charged regularly and use only what appliances are necessary.
If you have an older caravan that doesn’t have double glazing, you can buy plastic sheets from DIY stores to provide a temporary extra layer to the windows.
It’s also a good idea to take a dehumidifier on your holiday, as with wet conditions it can quickly become damp inside your caravan. This will also prevent condensation which can be a serious problem during winter.
Stock up for winter
In the eventuality that your caravan water system and on site water supplies should freeze, it’s a good idea to have a stock of bottled water. This will allow for basic hygiene as well as a comforting cup of tea if things don’t got to plan. However, bottled water can be heavy to transport so if you are certain you can buy it on site or at a local shop this may be a better option.
It’s also a good idea to ensure you have the correct equipment to keep you safe when touring. Items such as torches with spare batteries, high-visibility jackets, warning triangles, emergency beacons, thermal blankets and emergency breakdown kits can make a huge difference should the wintery conditions be too much for your car or caravan. Basic car essentials such as de-icer, WD40 and ice scrapers are important but easily forgotten.
Other equipment such as snow shovels, snow chains or grip mats will help you come unstuck should snow and ice affect your ability to drive safely.
Touring in winter can be great fun as long as you’re prepared and have taken the right steps for winterising your caravan.
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