Preparing your Camper Van for Winter
Posted on October 21, 2019
The best way to look after your camper van in the winter is to continue using it. By using it throughout the cold weather, you can keep your engines warm and prevent the camper van from ‘seizing’ up. However, camper van events are sparse and camping in the cold isn’t always appealing, so you may find that your camper van doesn’t get used as much in the winter months. To ensure the longevity and protection of your van, the appropriate measures need to be taken to prepare your camper van for the winter. Even if you do regularly use your camper van in the winter, there will still be periods where it will be parked up in between use, so what actions can you take to prepare your camper van for winter?
Top Tips to Protect your Camper Van in the Winter
Drain your Water System
Your camper van is an amazing motorhome as you may have built-in taps, shower and even a toilet which all use water, making it convenient when you camp. However, have you considered what happens to the water when the temperatures drop below freezing? If water is left in your camper van when you’re not using it, it can freeze up in the cold weather, creating blockages in your system, rust the pipework and damage your camper van. Most camper vans will come with a tap on the outside which allows you to drain the water; if you’re not sure, contact the manufacturer.
Remove Stored Food
Camper vans are great for storing non-perishables to provide you with provisions for a spontaneous trip. However, in the winter you should always remove all food from your camper van and give it a good clean to prevent uninvited visitors. Rodents love to find a good place to stay in colder climates and food is scarce; if there is any trace of food in your camper van, there’s a high chance that these pests will find it and make your camper van their new home.
Take your Camper Van for a Spin
If you’ve decided to hang up your camping gear completely throughout winter, then we strongly advise that you take your camper van for a few long trips down the road. This will air out your camper van, recharge the batteries and stop any of the mechanical components from seizing up.
Spray Lubricant onto Hinges
To prevent your hinges from rusting up in the cold weather, spray oil lubricant onto them occasionally.
Cover Outside Vents
Windy weather, especially during autumn, can be your camper vans’ worst nightmare. During windy conditions, you will find that many leaves and insects will be blown into the vents of your camper van, creating a big job to clean up which can be avoided by covering your vents.
Leave the Fridge Door Open
As there will be no food stored in your camper van, there won’t be a need to keep your fridge on during the winter. Try to get into the habit of leaving your fridge door open when not in use as this can help prevent a build-up of mould inside.
Keep the Tank Filled with Petrol
Unlike water, your tank should always be filled. If it’s empty, there’s space for a cavity to form which can create condensation, damaging your tank and hindering your fuel quality when you next fill up.
Move your Camper Van Occasionally
It’s always a good idea to move your camper van occasionally. This prevents flat spots from forming on your tyres and can deter thieves as they won’t think that your camper van is unattended.
Protect your External Bodywork
You want to protect your camper van, especially if it’s new, you don’t want it losing its shine. One way you can protect it during the winter is to wash it down and apply a protective wax layer. An alternative would be covering your camper van in a breathable cover, particularly useful if you have no plans to use your camper van until spring arrives; both these methods will effectively protect the external bodywork from mould, algae and other environmental damage.
Waterproof your Electrics
You must make sure your exposed electrical connection is protected with a waterproof coating, even if you intend to keep your camper van stored indoors as condensation can still build up due to the cold weather conditions.
Cover your Furniture
Protect your upholstery by covering them in an old sheet to prevent dust from getting engrained into the fabrics as a result of the condensation.
There are many steps that you can take to ensure your camper van is prepared for the winter. Here at Danbury, we are camper van specialists and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, as well as provide free advice to ensure that your camper van survives the colder seasons.