END OF SEASON

Aug 28, 2018
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Has the season draws to a close, what are the most impotent we need to do when locking up for the winter?

this is my first caravan, so as much info as possible woul;d be highly greatful

thanks in advance

shakey
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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shakeyblade said:
Has the season draws to a close, what are the most impotent we need to do when locking up for the winter?

this is my first caravan, so as much info as possible woul;d be highly greatful

thanks in advance

shakey
I've no doubt that you'll receive replies which encourage you to use your caravan all year round, but if you do store your caravan for any length of time over the colder months there are some things that you really must do to avoid damage from frost.
Completely drain the water system including the water heater. There should be a drain tap usually under one of the front lockers on the water pipe system, or if your caravan uses the older Carver type system there will be a drain plug on the outside of the caravan on the unit. Open all of the taps, including the shower, remove the flexible shower pipe and make sure that all of the water system is completely drained.
Empty the toilet cassette and the toilet header tank and lubricate the toilet seal using Thetford seal lubricant or olive oil (not petroleum jelly).
Keep the leisure battery charged, cold weather kills batteries.
Leave the fridge door ajar to minimise the risk of mould or odour.
Put the sink and shower plugs in to avoid insect infestation.
Remove all traces of food, toilet tissue or kitchen roll, rodents can use these materials to build nests and foodstuffs will attract them.
Remove bedding, pillows and cushions and place the seat upholstery away from the caravan walls.
Fit wheel clamps, locks and alarms and check that your insurance policy is valid.
No doubt there will be more good suggestions but the draining of the water system is essential, so if you do nothing else, do that.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Remove all bedding and seating but if you cannot store at home lift them away from the seat and bed bases so that air can circulate. Also I open all cupboards, doors, and locker draws too. You have to allow air to circulate.
Don’t clean surfaces with Pledge or Sheen they encourage mould. I just wipe down with plain water and a drop of dishwashing detergent.

Pump tyres up to maximum if you cannot get to the van regularly and rotate them wheels a quarter turn.

Don’t pull spring loaded blinds down it weakens the springs. Pull curtains across or if no curtains hang temporary ones it stops upholstery fading.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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As Parkseys states, all that, we try and get away all year round, but look at places with hard standings, and a pub close by, so if we get locked in by snow its not2 far to go, biggest thing though is drain down the water system. And fridge door open.
 
May 7, 2012
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If being stored for more than say two months it helps to move the caravan at least a quarter turn of the wheels to prevent flat spots on the tyres. This can be a problem as the caravan next to us in storage had that problem.
 
Aug 11, 2018
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If you don't need to have battery in caravan for a security system, then remove it and use a smart charger.

A fully charged battery is OK left for 2 months, but then comes the rub, I use a Lidi smart charger and because I had the ability I monitored it power use on my PC. So return home using motor mover so battery needs recharging and within 20 minutes charger has gone into 0.8A charge mode and by next day 0.1A which for my battery not in best of heath is it. So 24 hours recharged.

However due to an error I left the battery discharged for some time. Now the charging patten is very different, the first bit is the same, but then for two weeks the charger was swapping between 0.1A and 0.8A as it recovered from sulphation. So after that first two months when you come to recharge the battery it will need a week for the battery to absorb the charge, this is the nature of lead acid batteries they take time to charge.

With a new caravan you can simply plug the caravan in and let the built in charger look after the battery, however as the battery gets older the chance of a shorted cell becomes higher, nothing you can do to stop this, but if it happens then you need to stop charging the battery, at first a bed egg smell, then as it over charges the remaining good cells it could in the end explode. So using the caravans built in charger is OK if at home where you will notice the smell, but if unattended you want a battery charger with a very low output so if a cell goes short circuit no further damage will happen. The Lidi charger is great for this, however if there is a power failure it does not auto restart, the Ctek MS 08 will restart automatic, the larger MSX 3.8 is better to recharge a battery but the MS 08 is better for maintaining unattended as max output is 0.8A as is the Lidi charger once it reaches that stage but Ctek can return to 3.8A charge automatic.

I hope you never get a shorted cell on a battery, it does not happen very often, but if you are unlikely to smell the tell tail bad egg smell better not to have a charger able to charge at 18A or more. It will likely take more than a week to dry out battery to a point where a spark could cause it to explode, but it can also damage the built in charger I was lucky charger survived.

I have lived in a touring caravan all year around, I have had pipe freeze, they did not burst, I have had aqua role freeze, real pain to took ages to thaw out again, and no damage, insulation on modern caravans is much improved, likely nothing will freeze inside the caravan, but really don't want to drink water 6 month old so in a weeks time will drain the hot water tank, I find caravan does get damp so I turn on heating on low setting a week before next use.
 
Sep 5, 2016
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Hello Folks, on top of leaving the water system open and hoping that all the water drains out, yesterday I pressurised my system up to one bar and went round the taps and the main drain plug and I removed a litre and a half of water from the system, :)
 
May 29, 2018
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This is great stuff - So I am going to put the van to bed tomorrow - We opened the drain valve after our stay last weekend so I'm assuming that has all gone, as it is a new van I guees i can keep the battery charged by plugging into the EHU adapter every so often - does anyone else do this and how often?

I'm also guessing I need to make sure nothing else switches on when I hook it up (like the fridge or heating)

Another (possibly daft) question: how do we rotate the wheels if it's standing on them and I don't ant it moving? and related to this, is it wise to leave the handbrake off (as one might with a car over a long period?
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Yes. Leave the handbrake off once you have fully chocked the wheels. Leaving it on over window will cause lots of sticking problems when you next come to use it. Otherwise follow all the previous excellent advice. Don’t be tempted to put cling film on the windows. A chemical reaction will take place causing crazing on the poly plastic surface.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Yes leave your handbrake off but by the time you have your wheel clamp on if you have one and your corner steadies down , your drive looked pretty level anyway and it's gravel so wouldn't of thought it would go anywhere anyway .

So when you go to plug it in on your hook up nothing should come on because if you have the same fridge as me you've actually got an on off button your radio may come on but just press the source button and that will switch it off completely , make sure your TV booster aerial is pulled out in your cupboard so no LED is shown which is what I do to stop any battery drain . Leave all your taps in the open position but do not forget to shut them when you go away next time before you start filling the water up as I've once forgot that I switched the shower tap to open and I'll say no more...... :p
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I popped into our fairly local Caravan suppliers, to buy some new Milenco mirror wedge grips. Anyway came out about £70 lighter in the wallet, but if there are any fans of Elsen "double" toilet chemicals the twin packs of blue and Pink and also twin packs of Blue, are now on sale at half price, look for the special packs.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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EH52ARH said:
I popped into our fairly local Caravan suppliers, to buy some new Milenco mirror wedge grips. Anyway came out about £70 lighter in the wallet, but if there are any fans of Elsen "double" toilet chemicals the twin packs of blue and Pink and also twin packs of Blue, are now on sale at half price, look for the special packs.

What for grips? They are just over £9 on Amazon for tow, and a set of mirrors is less than £70. Or have you included numerous packs of toilet fluids too?
 
Nov 16, 2015
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otherclive said:
EH52ARH said:
I popped into our fairly local Caravan suppliers, to buy some new Milenco mirror wedge grips. Anyway came out about £70 lighter in the wallet, but if there are any fans of Elsen "double" toilet chemicals the twin packs of blue and Pink and also twin packs of Blue, are now on sale at half price, look for the special packs.

What for grips? They are just over £9 on Amazon for tow, and a set of mirrors is less than £70. Or have you included numerous packs of toilet fluids too?

Went in for just the grips, £8, but ended up with a new water pump for the aqua roll, the twin pak of Double ble and a few more rock pegs that the tops had broken. When it got to £70, I put on my sunglasses and a pair of wooly mittens so I couldn't get my cards out again
 
May 29, 2018
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EH52ARH said:
I popped into our fairly local Caravan suppliers, to buy some new Milenco mirror wedge grips. Anyway came out about £70 lighter in the wallet, but if there are any fans of Elsen "double" toilet chemicals the twin packs of blue and Pink and also twin packs of Blue, are now on sale at half price, look for the special packs.

I luckily live almost across the road for our dealer so I popped there today and they have the double packs there too.
 

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