The autumn months are closing in and you are probably daydreaming of cosy evenings tucked up in your home in front of a roaring fire. Although the warm summer nights camping or journeying in your motorhome may be behind you for another year, it still needs to be prepared for the cold winter months ahead.
Preserving the condition of your vehicle during the winter is important if you want to be able to get back on the road when the sun starts showing its face again. From making sure it’s waterproof to preventing frost damage, there are a few things to consider when retiring your motorhome at the end of the season.
Let’s take a look at the different areas that need to be prepped and steps you can take to avoid damage from the elements.
Inside Your Motorhome
It’s been your home away from home for months, so the inside of your motorhome is likely still full of little bits and bobs you have used or accumulated over the summertime. Materials and electronics react differently in the cold weather than they do in the warmth, so it’s imperative to remove anything that may be damaged. Elements that should be looked at are:
- Your valuables
From televisions to music players, there could be all manner of items that have sat inside your motorhome over the summer that could be attractive to thieves. Removing any valuables from the vehicle will hopefully deter would-be burglars. Not only that but keeping things like electronics in a cold motorhome over the winter could stop them working – resulting in some very bored kids next year!
- Kitchen and bathroom
A deep clean of all kitchen and bathroom areas is very important as any bacteria that doesn’t get cleaned away is likely to grow and get worse. Baked on food or bits left in the fridge could also lead to vermin infestations (which are unlikely to be covered by your motorhome insurance policy). Make sure you sterilise all bathroom elements as well, giving it a thorough once over
- Soft furnishings
Cushions, sheets and mattresses can be a hotbed for mould to develop, and if your motorhome isn’t fully sealed from the elements, you could see some very smelly and very annoying damp take over your motorhome. Remove as many of these things as possible – which you’ll probably want to do anyway after a long sticky summer!
- Blinds and screens
It may seem weird to leave your blinds open over the winter, but it can stop them from losing tension or damaging the mechanisms. Plus, it could be helpful deterrent for thieves as they will see there is nothing of value in your motorhome for them to steal
Outside Your Motorhome
The inside is sorted, but what about the exterior of your motorhome? There are various nooks and crannies on the body of a motorhome, and they all need to be cleaned thoroughly in order to prevent damage to both the inside and outside. Let’s look at a couple of points to consider:
- Cleaning & waxing
The outside of your motorhome needs to be cleaned completely and thoroughly. Any dirt or sand can cause the body to corrode, so making sure you take the time to double and triple check for any leftover mud could make all the difference to you for next year’s season. You can also add a couple of layers of wax which can really help keep out the frost.
- Remove the wheels
If you can, it is a good idea to remove the wheels and have your motorhome raised from the ground on axle stands. This way, you can store the wheels in a place where they will not be affected by the winter weather, preventing them from going flat. You must check with your insurance provider about this as some brokers will not cover a caravan if the wheels have been removed
- Good quality cover
Getting a high-quality cover for your motorhome is a good idea for winter. You can find them with all sorts of features, from UV-resistance and, of course, water-proofing. It will give you that much more peace of mind against things like bugs and vermin, cold and frost, and of course, mould.
Other Important Elements to Consider
One of the most important parts of preparing your motorhome for winter storage is the water system. If there is water left in the pipes after your summer season is over, it can cause the pipes themselves to expand as the water starts to get colder. Even a very small amount could end up causing considerable damage.
Before you close up your motorhome for winter, make sure you leave all the taps running to get rid of any excess water, as well as removing any plugs. You should also turn on your water pumps, both inside and out, and run them until there is no water left. You can also prevent any damage from leftover water by using a non-toxic antifreeze in the water system – this will stop the leftover water from freezing.
Your battery is also an important element to think about. If you intend to turn on the engine now and again over the winter then you should of course leave the battery in, but you must make sure if is fully charged before this time, as a discharged battery will freeze noticeably quicker. However, if you are storing your motorhome away and don’t intend on checking on it until the next season, make sure you remove the battery.
It’s also a good idea to check on your motorhome every now and again to make sure everything is still in working order. Check for damp of infestations so you can be sure to nip these issues in the bud before they become larger problems that you will only notice when it’s time to get back on the road next year. Preparation is key to most journeys, but preparation even during the off-season can make all the difference to you next summer!
Collaborative guest post written by a brand.
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash