As much as we like to see you here at Venture, we like to see you under happy circumstances and unfortunately that is not always the case. One of the problems we often see in the early spring is cold damage to caravans and it can be an expensive business. As we head into winter, if you intend to give your ‘van a well earned break there are some preparations you need to do to avoid problems. In the last article we looked at preparing the inside of your caravan for the winter months to avoid the problems of burst pipes and other issues; in this article we are going to suggest some work for the outside.
Of course if you are lucky you will have a nice covered area or garage to store your caravan over the cold months. For most of us our caravans are kept in driveways and so forth and that means exposure to the elements. So, before you bed you caravan down for the winter here are some TLC and general maintenance suggestions.
- If you have a van that is fitted with shock absorbers (as a lot of modern caravans are) you probably need to think about cleaning the rods. If you can gain access to the rods it may also be a good idea to coat the rods in some water protective substance such as Vaseline or similar – but remember to clean this off before you next use the caravan.
- Carry out routine maintenance and oil any external moving parts including hinges and locks. It is very easy to assume these will be fine because they will not be being used, but the damp and the cold can cause issues.
- Awnings should be cleaned and dried. This is really important because if stored damp or dirty, even the strongest and best awnings will be prone to mildew and other problems.
- Windows and other seals should be given a little attention. Inspect the seals on your windows, doors and so on to make sure they are not cracking or starting to loosen. We tend to think about the wet weather, but remember there can also be very dry and very cold days which, when combined, can cause cracking in the seals. There are several ways of protecting them including a little bit of olive oil.
- Some people like to jack the caravan up and remove the wheels to take the pressure off the axle. Remove the wheels if the caravan is secure or at least cover the wheels to prevent UV degredation the sides walls, and turn the wheels periodically if you can.
- Cover the hitch with a good quality hitch cover. This will prevent deterioration as well as accidental clothing damage from grease.
- Give the outside a good polish with a bit of elbow grease and an appropriate polishing agent.
- Finally, and we cannot stress this one enough, invest in a cover. The cost of a cover could be less than you think and a good, breathable cover, will really help keep the shine and protect your caravan. We are happy to advise on covers if you pop by and see us.
Remember this is just a quick guide and there is a lot more information available on preparing for the winter. If you have any hints and tips why not share them on our Facebook page?
This blog was written by Dave Brown. Dave is a Director of his family business which began in 1971. He has a wealth of experience in this sector starting as a workshop apprentice straight from school in 1982. Married with two children, Dave has been an enthusiastic Rugby player since the age of 8, only retiring this year. He will now spend more time travelling in his VW Campervan and watching his favourite team, the Northampton Saints.