So, you’ve had your last caravanning trip of the season and it’s time to put your unit into hibernation until spring. No matter where you store it, there are lots of things you can do to ensure that everything is in good working order when you get it out again for next season’s touring.
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Much of this relates to draining down water systems to prevent any possible damage from icing, ensuring best possible ventilation around the ‘van, and checking the internal and external fabric is set-up for long-term storage. As well as the cold, other climate factors to be aware of include damp and even air pollution.
Also, this Data Sheet offers advice on tyres, security and other issues. All of this is based on common sense and tried-and-trusted techniques found to work when putting your caravan away over the winter. Follow these simple procedures and you’re well on the way to trouble-free caravanning the following season.
Where to store?
It’s up to you where you choose to store your caravan, but generally the choice boils down to outside your home or at some kind of remote storage compound – a campsite, specialist storage site, local farm or similar.
To find a good storage area near you check Your Big Sites Book or go online at myccc.co.uk/storage for any nearby Club Sites offering storage facilities. You can also contact the Caravan Storage Site Owners Association – CaSSOA (cassoa.co.uk, 0843 216 5802), which offers a range of sites throughout the country graded according to security provisions. Security should be one of your priorities, an inexpensive location on a farm may prove to be a false economy if your caravan is damaged or not there come spring.
Caravans are of course designed for use outside, but it’s not ideal for them to sit around in one place for long periods. Shelter can be great, but it’s not a good idea to be directly under a tree. Leaves, branches, bird droppings… indeed anything that could drop out of the sky is a potential cause of damage to your caravan. There are a few sites that offer undercover storage, but these are rare. Before signing up, visit the site and check out how and where the caravan will be stored.
The plots on some sites can be rather close, limiting the use of your towcar and requiring a good deal of manoeuvring to get in place. This can be reasonable if the surfacing is hard, but if the surface is loose gravel or grass, without a motor mover you may find parking hard work. Also check out the written conditions and facilities – some sites will park up the caravans for you, some may have restricted access times, some may have battery charging and cleaning facilities available. Ask if the site has a vermin-control programme in place – infestation with mice can ruin a caravan and such damage is excluded from the majority of insurance policies. Having decided where to store your caravan over winter, be sure to advise your insurer.