Closing your tourer down for winter

category - general

Getting it ready for storage

When using your tourer on its last outing, it's an idea to drain the water system down first. This means emptying the main hot water boiler and opening all the taps to allow any water to drain out. Remember to leave the exterior waste outlets open as well. The water will drain away more as you tow the caravan and any wastewater will be drained from pipes. Do this with the on-board tank too, if your caravan has one.

Make sure you don't leave perishables inside cupboards and prop the fridge door ajar. It's a good idea to lift seat cushions up, standing them on edge and remove all bedding too. If you can, pop the heating on for an hour every few weeks throughout the winter period to help keep the caravan interior aired. 

Turn off your gas and bear in mind that if you’re placing your ‘van in storage, some will not allow you to keep your gas bottles in the caravan. Make sure that any water/waste containers are empty and also the toilet including the header tank. You can take your battery off the van to store at home but it's advised you keep it topped up with charge over the winter period. 

Whether its in storage or on your drive at home, don’t forget to take out valuables, such as TV’s, and make sure the caravan is secure with wheel and coupling locks and all windows are fully closed. 

A good clean

If possible give the caravan a wash down using a quality car shampoo (not washing up liquid) before rinsing off and drying. Add some car polish to the paintwork and make sure the windows have been washed with clean soapy water and rinsed to stop any grit being left in place. Using a quality car polish (liquid is best), polish the windows doing this several times if you want to take any fine scratches out. Don't lean on the roof; use an extension wash brush to take off any leaves etc. A good quality car wax will protect the caravan and make for a spring wash that will be easier to carry out with a polish protection in place.

A high quality cover

If you are going to use a cover for winter make sure it is breathable and tightly fitted - flapping material can cause scratching on the caravans sides and windows. Good quality fitted caravan covers are a good investment and protect your tourer in bad weather.

If you keep your tourer under cover, leave a roof vent open or draught vent also do this in the washroom. Then pull across the insect screen to keep any insects at bay. If you store your tourer at home it makes many of these tasks easier, but in storage compounds make sure you can access your tourer easily. Keep the tyres inflated to the correct pressure and invest in a good quality hitch cover to help keep the hitch dry over winter. Secure the 13 pin plug underneath the cover to keep it protected from water and damp.

A few hours of time spent now preparing your tourer to be standing in the wet and wind will save a lot of bother and possible expense at the start of next season - when all you'll want to be doing is hitching up and hitting the road! 

Huge thanks to Andrew Jenkinson for these tips and advice.