Getting your caravan ready for winter

Now that the clocks have gone back and the thermometer has tumbled only the hardiest will be still be planning to use their caravan. Before you put it into hibernation though there are a number of tasks that should be carried out to ensure everything is working properly for next year. 
 Give the exterior a good clean paying particular attention to any mould you may find, as if left over the winter this could permanently mark the surface. Once cleaned you may want to put on a breathable cover or use an overwintering coating to protect it from the worst of the elements. 
 It is not a good idea to leave your tyres standing on the same bit of tread for any length of time. So, it is worthwhile finding the time to turn them every 6 to 8 weeks to prevent any problems and also at the same time check their pressure. 
 Wash and vacuum the interior thoroughly making sure the fridge door is left open to encourage air circulation and prevent mould. Similarly, all cushions should be stood upright and away from the wall to prevent mildew. 
Water & toilet 
 Make sure you drain down the system to prevent frost damage, even just the smallest amount left in say a tap can cause damage that could be expensive to put right. Similarly, your toilet should be thoroughly drained and also cleaned to avoid unpleasant surprises in the spring. 
Gas & electrics 
 Make sure that all gas valves are closed, or the regulators are disconnected from the cylinders. Also caps or cloths should be fitted over the ends of any open pipe work. If you intend to leave any electric batteries in the van over winter make sure that they are isolated from all equipment. As a further safeguard, disconnect all plugs to ensure that anything that could drain the battery cant. For further details see the Camping and caravanning club help and advice section, For more helpful information on your caravan or motorhome and its security then see our blog Phantom News