Caravan Winter Storage Basics
Author: Tahlia Maynard Date Posted:2 October 2016
Although some campers use their RV year ‘round, most of us are forced to put it into storage for the seemingly never-ending winter months. Most experienced campers are well aware that winter storage requires more than simply throwing on a cover, but new campers can be a bit unsure as to what they should be doing to keep their caravan in tip-top shape while in disuse. If you’re a new camper who is preparing to put their caravan in storage for the first time, this article is for you.
Pick a Place
Pop-top caravans with lowered roofs can safely be stored in most standard sized home garages. Those of us with conventional caravans, however, will have to find an alternate home for our caravans during these winter months. When selecting a location, make sure that it is safe and secure. A lower storage price means little if you’re forced to have to replace items due to vandalism and/or theft.
Scrub It Clean
Before putting your caravan in storage, you should make sure that every part has been scrubbed to perfection. Even light layers of dirt can act like sandpaper on a caravan’s paint when a caravan cover is rubbing on top of it. Examine metal components for signs of corrosion or rust. If found, the area should be washed and scrubbed with a wire brush or sandpaper. To prevent further damage, a rust inhibitor can also be applied.
Completely remove your 12V battery from the caravan (unless, of course, it’s being used to power a security system). Next, being trickle charging from the main battery system until you achieve a reading of either 12.6 (voltmeter) or 1.27 (hydrometer). If you will be storing the battery during the winter, you’re going to want to check it approximately every 6-8 weeks.
Make the Inside Rounds
The outside of your caravan is not the only thing that will be requiring protection during the winter months. Like the outside, the inside of the caravan should be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned.
Make sure to clean and vacuum all carpets and upholstery as these dirty conditions are often hospitable to the growth of mould. Be sure to scrub all the walls and cupboards of your caravan, leaving them open to encourage air flow. Once thoroughly cleaned, the caravan refrigerator should be left open as well.
Clean all 12N and 12S plugs and coat their pins with petroleum jelly.
DO NOT use WD40 as it has the power to eat way and melt certain types of plastic.
To keep your pipes and water system in good condition, you’re going to want to turn the water pump off. Once this is done, open all of the taps to quicken the draining process. Next, drain your fresh water and storage water tank, being sure to plug the sink basin and water tray. This is to avoid any gross smells escaping into the RV. Finally, remove all filters from the water system and be sure to leave the taps and shower control open when finished.