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Prepare for the winter of your caravan or motorhome

General preparations for the winter holiday

  • Refuel with winter diesel before preparing for winter. This prevents condensation and thus rust formation inside the tank.

  • Add antifreeze to the windshield washer reservoir and, if possible, check the antifreeze properties of the coolant or have it checked at a service station.

  • Increase tire pressure by half a bar to compensate for air loss over time and to prevent punctures.

  • Then empty all water tanks and toilets and clean them if necessary. It is important to make sure that the water heater is completely drained and that all taps are open so that the water can flow through the pipes. We often forget the hose in the shower stall: it must be placed on the floor so that it can be emptied. Water pumps usually have a small clear pre-filter: don't forget to turn it on, drain the water and clean the filter. Then briefly run the water pump to finish pumping the last drops of water out of the lines. Finally, activate the toilet flush button so the water is drained from the solenoid valve. Turn off the water pump.

Karavanınızın veya karavanınızın kışını hazırlayın
Karavanınızın veya karavanınızın kışını hazırlayın

Preparing the exterior for winter

  • Wash thoroughly, including wheel hoods. It is recommended to use a high pressure cleaner.

  • Don't forget the lower body and check the lower body .

  • Look for signs of rust or damage, treat and repair them.

  • Clean windows . Be sure to use products suitable for synthetic windows. Glass cleaners can cloud the windows.

  • Clean the awning and allow it to dry thoroughly. Grease joints if necessary.

  • Clean antennas and satellite reception setup

  • Gas: close the gas valve and allow residual gas to escape from the lines. Then remove the hoses. During the winter, it is best to remove the gas cylinders and store them in a dry place.

  • Park the vehicle on level ground and level the uneven ground if necessary. Balance the caravan using the supports.

  • It is recommended to increase the tire pressure (up to 0.5 bar)

  • Raise the vehicle slightly using a jack to relieve the tires.

Exterior and roof cleaning

The next important step: a thorough cleaning of the exterior followed by the cleaning of the roof. Most of the time it is possible to get over it. For simple vehicles, it is better to hold on to the edge to prevent the roof from hanging down in the middle. Remember to remove the stones from the bottom of your shoes so as not to scratch the roof while walking, and be careful not to create a dent when you kneel on it. If necessary, it will be sufficient to insert a rigid foam board purchased at the DIY store to distribute the pressure.

clean windows

Cleaning acrylic glass windows requires great care. Alcohol-based cleaning products should never be used because they affect the acrylic glass very quickly and create small cracks. Use only clean water or special cleaners for acrylic glass. There is a special acrylic polish to remove minor scratches. On the upside, a wax treatment will ensure that the paint retains its shine for many years to come. For surfaces made of synthetic material or glass fiber reinforced plastic, there are special products that refresh matte surfaces.

Underbody cleaning

As with most motorhomes and entry-level motorhomes, be sure to check the underbody, especially if it's made of wood. Therefore, it should be checked whether the underbody protection, which should prevent moisture from penetrating into the wood, is still properly present or is peeling off in places. In this case, action must be taken quickly, otherwise the wood will soon begin to mold, which will lead to costly repairs. The most affected areas are the junction areas between the side walls and the floor. Contact caravan/caravan dealers for required products or treatment.

rubber seals

Finally, rubber seals running along doors, windows, and shutters should be cleaned before treating them with a sealant maintenance spray or pencil. Beware of silicone-based products: they are not always approved for maintenance.

Preparing the interior for winter

  • Take out food and drink.

  • Empty the refrigerator, defrost and clean it thoroughly. Make sure the refrigerator door and freezer compartment door are ajar.

  • Clean the oven and hobs.

  • Clean the furniture preferably with a furniture polish.

  • To prevent mold growth, do not leave the flooring as is, but raise the structure to allow air circulation - the same goes for mattresses.

  • Empty all cabinets and leave the doors open.

  • Carpets, towels, papers etc. remove it. vehicle in winter, as they can store moisture.

  • Clean bathrooms and toilets.

  • Do not turn off the taps, leave them open.

  • Disconnect the onboard battery starting from the negative terminal. Keep dry in winter and protect from frost.

  • Check the gaskets for possible leaks. Apply or replace silicone spray if necessary.

  • Lubricate locks and hinges.

  • Hydraulic system and shower head, pumps etc. Rinse accessories thoroughly. using a disinfectant. Make sure any remaining water is drained. It is best to mount the vehicle in a slightly inclined position. The tank must be completely dry in winter.

  • Do not forget to bleed the water heater and open the antifreeze valve!

  • Close all gas shut-off valves.

  • Clean the heater/heater block.

  • If necessary, install a dehumidifier.

Caravan-specific tips

  • If you are leaving your caravan outside during the winter, water, snow, etc. can flow out.

  • Grease all hinges, support wheel and parking brake.

  • Cover the drawbar with a protective cover.

  • Leave enough room for air circulation when lining your caravan with tarp.

  • We recommend making the necessary repairs before preparing the caravan for winter.

  • If possible, move your camper about once a month to avoid tire damage or downtime damage. Ventilate the interior thoroughly.

Special camper tips

  • Fully charge the battery.

  • Fill the caravan with fuel to avoid the risk of condensation in the tank (be careful, diesel expands, so don't fill it to the bottom).

  • Dry the brakes: drive at low speed, brake lightly.

  • Lift the caravan and place the tires on the jack stands to lighten them.

  • Lift the wipers.

  • Recharge the battery at regular intervals of several weeks, ventilate it well and replace the dry aggregate.

  • If your caravan is left outside in the winter, park it on a slight slope so that rainwater can run off the roof and not freeze at low temperatures.

  • Make the necessary repairs without waiting for spring.

at the wintering site

After the vehicle is mounted in the wintering place, engage first gear and release the handbrake. If the ground is sloping, possibly use chocks to block the wheels.

close all

Finally, it would be wise to respect some rules inside. Mice regularly settle in the passenger compartment and sometimes significantly damage mattresses, upholstery and fabrics. Be sure to close any openings where mice can enter the vehicle. Also remember to remove any food stored in the vehicle as these attract rats.

watch out for humidity

The presence of moisture inside the vehicle can cause major problems in the winter months. It is therefore recommended to remove all upholstery/mattresses from the vehicle whenever possible and store them in a dry cellar. If this is not possible, arrange the floors and mattresses in the vehicle so that they are well ventilated from all sides and do not come into direct contact with the exterior walls. Open all shutters and doors to ensure good ventilation. You can also place a large, flat crate on the floor and fill it with cat litter to reduce the humidity in the air.

If the conditions do not allow the storage of the vehicle under a roof in winter, it is recommended to cover the bodywork with a special tarpaulin to protect it from winter weather. We are talking about a special tarpaulin, as long as it needs to breathe. Opting for a cheap polyethylene linoleum is definitely not recommended. It may be affordable and completely waterproof, but not breathable. In this case, moisture in the air under the tarpaulin and in the vehicle will not be able to evaporate if it flows out during the winter, which will facilitate the appearance of rust and corrosion. Worse still, mold can form inside the caravan, which should be strictly avoided for health reasons.

Special caravan protective covers made of textile (non-woven) are quite suitable. At a cost that starts at around 300 Francs, they do their job perfectly and are both water resistant and breathable. Canvas resists the penetration of rain or snow for an extremely long time, and if the moisture eventually passes, it will go out as soon as the air dries.

These covers are available in a variety of sizes and in the most diverse formats, including for cabin caravans . In either case, it's important to fasten the cover properly so it can weather the storm, making sure the lashing straps don't scratch the body and there are no water pockets that could increase humidity. It is best to stretch the protective cover with two people and use a double ladder.

caravan cover

The cover is waterproof, breathable and UV resistant. It is particularly resistant and effectively protects the paintwork against sun, snow, dust, dirt, tree sap, mold and other harmful elements.

The cover is waterproof, breathable and UV resistant. It is particularly resistant and effectively protects the paintwork against sun, snow, dust, dirt, tree sap, mold and other harmful elements.

  • Check all gaskets regularly, at least every two years.

  • It's worth taking the time to prepare for the winter: By spending half a day to winterize your campervan in the fall, you'll avoid moisture or rust problems in the spring. And as soon as the sun returns, the camper or caravan is ready to come out of hibernation and set off again without the slightest problem.

  • Inspections during the winter holidays: It is recommended to have your camping vehicle inspected once a month. This is to make sure everything is in order, there are no traces of moisture anywhere or even water leaks.

  • Freshwater: If there's one topic that has been divisive and hotly debated for years, it's freshwater. Some are of the opinion that it is best to drain the water completely and leave the faucets open so that the pipes can dry out. Others prefer to fill the circuit with fresh water and add antifreeze and chemicals to prevent the water from freezing or becoming unfit for consumption.


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