In this month’s blog, we’re giving you some tips on how best to prepare your holiday home for the winter months. If you’re away from your caravan over winter, it is important to prepare it for the cold, wet weather.
Winterising your caravan will not only give you peace of mind while you are away from the park, but it will also prevent any problems from occurring that you will need to deal with when you return for a relaxing week away!
You should make sure that your holiday home is kept aired and dry over the winter months. By leaving your radiators on the frost setting and using a timer so that they come on for a few minutes every hour, your pipes will be protected against hard frosts and will be kept warm to protect them from damage.
Leaving your boiler operating during winter will also prevent it from seizing up. It is a good idea to have your heating system serviced before the winter to check that everything is in working order!
- Don’t forget to remove all the water from the system while leaving your caravan over the winter. Follow these steps, and you won’t go wrong!
- Turn off your water by the stopcock under the caravan. Drain all of the water from the system by opening up the taps and letting them run dry.
- Leave the taps open.
- Flush the toilet to empty the system. Then pour a small amount of antifreeze into your toilet bowl and cistern to prevent any freezing and cracking of the ceramics.
- Disconnect shower from taps and pour more antifreeze down all plugholes.
- Open all drain valves under the caravan.
- Most importantly, drain off your water heater. Usually, they have a drain plug fitted. If not, disconnect a pipe.
- Never close off the air vents in your caravan at any time as this could cause condensation.
- Gas cylinders should be removed and stored in a cool, well-ventilated location away from the caravan.
- Unplug all appliances to avoid the risk of fire.
- Remove batteries from clocks etc. that might corrode over the winter. Fit new batteries when you return in the spring.
- Clean out the freezer and refrigerator and empty and defrost the freezer. Remove all the items from the fridge, then wash the interior thoroughly. The doors and these appliances should be propped open to allow the air to circulate. This will reduce the risk of mould and mildew growth.
- Degrease and clean the oven and hob
- Remove any fresh food from the kitchen cupboards and remove bottles that could freeze.
- Ideally, remove towels, bedding and linens from your caravan to prevent them from becoming damp and mouldy. If you cannot take your sofa cushions home, prop up the seat cushions and pull away from the sidewalls to allow a free flow of air.
- Strip the beds and take down the curtains, cover any soft furnishings, which are to be left in the caravan with a sheet to protect it from any sun damage.
- Clean all flooring; vacuum the carpets to ensure all crumbs or other sources of food are completely removed.
- Take home any indoor plants or flowers.
- Remove or hide from view any valuable items such as televisions, computers and music systems.
- Take all the rubbish from the caravan and dispose of it in the recycling bins provided at the park.
- Leave all doors and drawers propped open in the caravan to allow the air to flow.
- Place a few bowls of salt around your caravan to help to prevent against damp.
- Lubricate door hinges & window locks with a dab of petroleum jelly to ensure they open smoothly when you return. Close and lock all external windows and doors.
Unbelievably, mice can get into a space as small as a wedding ring, so make sure you have wire mesh placed securely over any hole or air vent to stop the little critters from getting inside!
Tidy the outside decking areas and garden, store away garden furniture, garden ornaments and other accessories, and leave nothing outside that will blow away in strong winds. If you have an outdoor storage unit, ensure it is securely locked, and the window is covered to keep the contents out of sight.
Finally, enjoy your time at home, and we look forward to seeing you back at the parks soon!
The Maguire Family.