How do I keep my caravan dry in the winter?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do I keep my caravan dry in the winter?  We will share some helpful tips for properly storing your caravan in winter

How do I keep my caravan dry in the winter?

To keep your caravan dry in winter you must take some precautions and protect it from the bad weather and high humidity. To resume the new camping season without any bad surprises next spring, it is important to properly prepare your vehicle before winter arrives.

General preparations to keep your caravan dry in winter: 

  • Before winterizing, refuel with winter diesel. This prevents the formation of condensation and therefore rusting inside the tank.
  • Add antifreeze to the windshield washer reservoir and, if possible, check the antifreeze characteristics of the coolant or have it checked at the service station.
  • Raise the tire pressure by half a bar to compensate for air loss over time and prevent flattening on the tires.
  • Then empty all water tanks and toilets and clean them if necessary. It is important to ensure that the water heater is completely drained and that all faucets are open so that water can flow out of the pipes. 

We often forget the hose in the shower cubicle: it should be placed on the floor so that it can be emptied. Water pumps often incorporate a small transparent pre-filter: don’t forget to open it, remove the water and clean the filter. 

Then run the water pump briefly to finish pumping the last drops of water out of the lines. Finally, activate the toilet flush button so that the water is drained from the solenoid valve. Switch off the water pump.

There are also some steps to take to prepare the inside of your caravan for winter

  • Take out the leftover food and drink.
  • Empty, defrost and thoroughly clean the refrigerator. Make sure that the refrigerator door and the freezer compartment flap remain ajar.
  • Clean the oven and the baking sheets.
  • Clean the furniture, preferably with furniture polish.
  • To prevent mould growth, don’t leave the upholstery as it is, but raise the frame so that air can circulate – the same goes for mattresses.
  • Empty all the cupboards and leave the doors open.
  • Take out rugs, towels, papers, etc. away from the vehicle during winter, as they could store moisture.
  • Clean the washroom and toilets.
  • Do not turn off the taps, but leave them open.
  • Disconnect the onboard battery starting with the negative terminal. Store it in a dry place over winter and away from frost.
  • Inspect the gaskets for any leaks. If necessary, treat them with silicone spray or replace them.
  • Lubricate the locks and hinges.
  • Thoroughly rinse the hydraulic system and accessories such as a showerhead, pumps, etc. using a disinfectant. Make sure that the residual water has drained out. It is best to install the vehicle in a slightly tilted position. The tank should be completely dry during the winter.
  • Remember to bleed the water heater and open the anti-freeze valve!
  • Close all gas shutoff valves.
  • Clean the heater;
  • If necessary, install a dehumidifier.

And some cautions for the outside of the caravan:

  • Wash thoroughly, including wheel arches. It is advisable to use a high-pressure cleaner. Don’t forget the underbody and check the underbody.
  • Look for traces of rust or damage, treat them and restore them.
  • Clean the windows. Be sure to use suitable products for synthetic windows. Glass cleaners can make them cloudy.
  • Clean the awning and let it dry well. If necessary, grease the joints.
  • Clean the antennas and the satellite reception installation
  • Gas: Close the gas valve and allow residual gas to escape from the lines. Then remove the hoses. It is best to take the gas cylinders out and store them in a dry place during the winter.
  • Park the vehicle on level ground and compensate for any unevenness in the ground if necessary. Balance the caravan using the brackets.
  • It is advisable to increase the tire pressure (up to 0.5 bar)
  • Raise the vehicle slightly with a jack to take the load off the tires.

Helpful tips for leaving your caravan parked for the winter

If you are in possession of a caravan, a motorhome or a camper van, or if you plan to acquire one soon, it is likely that you will not be able to inhabit it throughout the year, since the obligations and the work sometimes make it difficult for us to enjoy our vehicle as much as we would like.

That is why sometimes we are forced to park our vehicle for long periods of time waiting for a vacation period in which we can enjoy it as it should. This section offers useful tips to keep your vehicle in good condition during that period of time in which we have our uninhabited vehicle parked in a caravan park.

An important factor to consider is the weather. If we park the caravan outdoors and the weather is cold, it is necessary to pay attention to issues such as water. It is advisable to empty all the tanks because in case of freezing the water occupies more volume and our pipes, the pump or taps can crack and even break.

Humidity is one of the biggest enemies of a parked caravan, so certain precautions must be taken. It is convenient to park it in well-ventilated places with minimal humidity, separating it from other caravans or walls so that the air circulates well.

If you have a caravan, it is advisable to cover the hitch head with a tarp or cover it to protect it from oxidation, but leaving a hole open at the bottom to keep it dry.

If it is not too inconvenient, it is advisable to visit the caravan regularly to open it and ventilate it. If it is in a very humid place, the heating can be turned on to dry the environment.

Putting a dehumidifier can also be a good option, in addition to leaving the aerators open. It is important not to leave anything in contact with the roof of the caravan to avoid condensation.

They may seem obvious, but it is important to cut off the gas and electricity, as well as not to leave anything in the fridge. 

Tires are another important issue to consider, as a vehicle of such weight needs extra care. When parking it, it is advisable to cover the tires with thermal covers, although the really ideal (and complicated) thing would be to dismantle them. It is necessary to lower the legs and place reinforcement legs or braces to relieve the weight on the tires, especially in the central part.

It is also important not to leave the parking brake under tension, because if the lever is not unlocked, it may remain locked.

The bottom line

If you do not use your caravan for a while and store it in a place where the temperature may drop below freezing, we advise you to always empty all the water. When a caravan is unmanned, the heating is off and it is still too cold. In unheated spaces, the water pipes should therefore always be purged.

Are you going to store your caravan for the winter? Then drain all water from the water heater, pipes, water tank and toilets. Purge remains the best solution. This way you avoid a lot of damage.

If you have any questions, comments or tips on how to live in a caravan in winter, please let us know!

FAQ on How do I keep my caravan dry in the winter?

How do I prepare my caravan for wintering?

Here are a few tips to prepare your caravan for wintering:

  1. Empty the water heater. 
  2. Empty and clean the toilet tanks. 
  3. Remove the gas cylinder (s). 
  4. Put the windows in the ventilation position. 
  5. Open the bathroom door. 
  6. Do not unscrew the feet. 
  7. Do not put plastic sheeting on the caravan. 
  8. Put the clean trailer in the garage.

Should you cover a caravan in winter?

Yes, you should cover a caravan in winter with good quality, breathable and light caravan cover. A caravan with a protective cover can be safely stored inside and outside, no matter the season, but especially in winter. 

How to protect a caravan in winter?

The first solution is the most economical: the protective cover. It covers a caravan that usually sleeps outside. It is never advisable to leave a motorhome outdoors for a long period, it is damaged and degrades more quickly (bodywork, gaskets, batteries, tires, etc.)


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