As Brits opt for more staycations than ever, caravans and static homes are becoming more popular than ever. The North Wales coast, Devon, Cornwall, the Scottish Highland coast – new parks open every year to make the most of the Great British urge to holiday at home.
But alas, the winter winds are tapping at the door and the first tentative decisions about when to turn on the heating have arrived. It’s time to prepare sheds, caravans and conservatories for winter.
Static caravans and mobile caravans both need to be prepared for winter. Even in relatively moderate parts of the UK, the damp weather and chills can lead to a host of nasty shocks when the spring arrives. All caravans need to be protected from the elements and stored sensibly to minimise their exposure to the fickle and harsh UK climate.
Empty Everything Out
The Henry Hoover that was bought just for the caravan can stay, but pretty much everything else needs to be removed. All personal items and valuables should be removed, along with bed linen, sleeping bags, cushions, rugs and curtains.
A huge part of keeping the caravan empty is about maximising the airflow and minimising the places where mildew and mould can form (e.g. under rugs and between curtains and the window glass. It’s important that all cupboards are empty and all electrical items removed. The good news is that the Henry Hoover bags can stay, but that’s about it!
Clean the Caravan
Before shutting the door for the winter, it’s essential to give the place a thorough clean. Patches of damp can develop in improperly dried areas, e.g. a wet sink. And before shutting Henry Hoover away for the winter, give him a last dance with one of his new vacuum bags (or her Hetty Hoover bags!) so the caravan begins its winter storage time as dust-free as possible!
Open Interior Doors, Draws and Cupboards
Creating an airflow minimises the chances of damp and, surprisingly, break-ins. All drawers, cupboards and interior doors should be left open. Some owners put up window screens to shield the interior, but this can make the caravan an attractive squatting property, especially if in an isolated spot.
Drain All Water
The pipes in most caravans – static and mobile – are vulnerable to environmental damage. It’s common for pipes to freeze because they’re exposed. The best way to combat this is to drain all the water from the pipes before closing the caravan up for the winter.
Most caravans come with instructions to help owners drain water pipes. For large or complicated types, calling in the professionals or site maintenance representatives can be a good idea to make sure the job is done properly.