Caravans in winter

Winter preparations for your static caravan

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Haven holiday parks are shut at various times over the winter period, meaning this will be a period of hibernation for your holiday home. With this in mind, it’s important to put your caravan to bed properly. Static caravans are more susceptible to the elements than buildings and need extra attention to prepare them for the colder months.

If you're a new owner or on the road to ownership, winter preparations for static caravans might seem a little daunting, but the process is fairly simple and very effective. In this article, we’ll cover the most important methods in “winterising” your holiday home, such as how to improve ventilation, prevent condensation, and how to “drain down” your static caravan. By following our advice below then you can tuck your caravan away for the winter, safe in the knowledge that it will be in full working order when you return in the spring.

Carry out a proper drain down

First and foremost is the infamous “drain down”. This simply means removing all the water from your caravan’s pipes to prevent damage should the temperatures outside fall below zero. It sounds straightforward enough but failing to drain down your caravan properly could result in significant, irreversible damage, as Lindsay, a caravan owner at our Hopton Holiday Park in Norfolk raises.

“When we had the beast from the east, there were so many people at Hopton who hadn’t drained them down and the damage was absolutely astronomical.”

If water is left in the pipes over winter, it could freeze, causing the material to burst. A flooded caravan is not exactly the ideal start to a holiday!

Here's how to do a full drain down:

1. Turn off the pump and disconnect it to stop the water supply.

2. Open the drain down taps under the caravan and turn on all the internal taps in your caravan to get rid of any excess water.

3. When the taps are completely dry, flush the toilet and turn the shower on until they are also fully drained.

4. Remove the showerhead and pipe.

5. Blow through the pipes to get rid of any remaining water (this is made easier if you have access to compressed air.)

6. Put the plugs in the kitchen sink, washroom basin and shower tray.

7. Pour non-toxic antifreeze down the toilet and plug holes (this will bond with any leftover water residue)

Do a deep clean and clear out

Do a deep clean and clear out

Another piece of advice Lindsay gave us was to “make sure you give your carpet a good hoover before you leave”.

This is a simple but vitally important step! We’ve spoken to one owner who told us they didn't realise their kids had spilt something on the carpet before vacating the caravan for the winter. Safe to say, they returned to a more than unpleasant smell in the spring.

Make sure you remember to clear out all the food from your fridge and clean it out with a solution of bicarbonate of soda or similar and leave the door ajar so that air can circulate, as this can also be a source of unpleasant odours. Other key spots to concentrate on are the bathroom and decking area. Investing a little time and effort into doing a full deep clean before saying bye to your caravan is sure to save you time and money in the long term.

Mind the windows

Make sure all windows and doors are locked, not only for security but also as another measure against the threat of damp. It may seem obvious, but it's so easy to overlook this final step. One window left open can make a difference. It may also be worth checking if any of your caravan’s rubber window seals need to be replaced, as these small gaps are prime culprits for letting water sneak into your holiday home.

Many static caravan owners like to leave their curtains open. However, keeping curtains and fabrics away from the windows also stops them from getting mouldy if they’re exposed to too much damp.

Lindsay has a golden tip for getting rid of any of the bad stuff.

“Milton’s sterilising solution takes black mould right off.”

So, the situation is always retrievable!

Good practice

There are loads of other things you can do to prepare for winter effectively. Here's our checklist:

-Remove valuable items when you leave for an extended period of time

-Remove all bedding to keep things fresh

-Move your mattresses away from walls

-Move furniture to the centre of the room

To improve ventilation, make sure you:

-Leave vents uncovered

-Prop open your wardrobes, cupboards and interconnecting doors

-Seal up your duvets in vacuum storage bags or hang them up over doors

-Stack all your cushions from the living room in the middle of the room

-Try to remove soft furnishings and store them in a warm, dry place where possible

Finally, we’ll leave you with Lindsay’s best advice on keeping the moisture away which is as follows: 

“…either cat litter or salt, in bowls, in every room of the caravan. Or damp traps, but salt does a far better job.”

These insider tips are like gold dust, and you’ll be able to find many more from the owners on site should you choose to buy a caravan with us.

If you have questions about buying a holiday home, please don't hesitate to contact us. We'd love to hear from you.