As the camping season comes to a close or when you anticipate long periods of non-use for your caravan, it is essential to prepare it properly for extended storage. Taking the time to complete the necessary processes keeps your caravan in good shape, reduces the danger of damage, and provides a smooth transition when you're ready to hit the road again. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with vital tips to help you prepare your caravan for extended storage.
First and foremost, it's crucial to thoroughly clean and sanitize your caravan before storing it. This includes not only the visible surfaces but also those hard-to-reach areas where mould and mildew can thrive. For more information, you can refer to this helpful guide on removing mould from your caravan. It provides valuable insights and step-by-step instructions on how to effectively tackle mould and create a clean and hygienic environment for your caravan's storage.
Begin by removing all food items and perishables from your caravan. These can attract pests and cause unpleasant odors or damage. Clean the interior thoroughly, including cabinets, countertops, and appliances. Use mild, non-abrasive cleaners and disinfectants to ensure a sanitized space. Pay close attention to areas prone to mould growth, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and storage compartments. Proper ventilation during the cleaning process allows fresh air to circulate and aids in drying.
Once the interior is clean, shift your focus to the exterior of your caravan. Wash and rinse the entire surface, including the roof, windows, and wheels. Remove any debris, dust, or stains that may have accumulated during your travels. Take this opportunity to inspect the exterior for any signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, or loose seals. Address any necessary repairs promptly to prevent further deterioration while in storage.
Protection from the Elements
Next, safeguard your caravan from the elements. Invest in a high-quality caravan cover that provides adequate protection against dust, UV rays, and moisture. Ensure the cover fits snugly and securely over your caravan, avoiding any areas that may sag or flap. Additionally, consider using wheel covers to shield the tires from sunlight and potential cracking.
Engine and Fuel System
Taking care of the mechanical aspects of your caravan is equally important. Start by preparing the engine and fuel system. If your caravan has a fuel tank, fill it up to prevent moisture from accumulating inside. Add a fuel stabilizer to the tank to prevent fuel deterioration over time. It's also advisable to change the engine oil and filter before storage.
Paying attention to the battery is crucial during long-term storage. Disconnect the battery and remove it from the caravan, if possible. Clean the battery terminals and apply a protective coating to prevent corrosion. Store the battery in a cool, dry place and periodically charge it to maintain its longevity.
Another vital consideration is the plumbing system. Drain all water tanks, pipes, and faucets to prevent freezing and potential damage during colder months. Use compressed air to blow out any remaining water from the system. Consider adding RV antifreeze to traps and drains to prevent them from drying out or freezing.
Don't overlook the importance of maintaining your caravan's tires. Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure and inspect them for signs of wear or damage. If possible, elevate the caravan off the ground using jack stands to relieve pressure on the tires and prevent flat spots from forming during extended storage periods.
Selecting the Storage Location
Lastly, selecting an appropriate storage location for your caravan is crucial. Ideally, it should be a well-ventilated, dry, and secure space. If storing outdoors, look for a covered area or consider using a carport or RV storage facility to protect your caravan from the elements. If storing indoors, ensure the space is free from moisture, rodents, and other potential hazards. Indoor storage provides the best protection against external elements, but it's important to choose a space that is free from dampness and humidity. Moisture can lead to the growth of mould and mildew, causing damage to your caravan's interior.
When selecting an indoor storage location, consider a garage or a dedicated storage facility that offers climate control. This helps to regulate temperature and humidity levels, preventing the formation of condensation and reducing the risk of moisture-related issues.
If you opt for outdoor storage, prioritize finding a covered area such as a carport or a specifically designed RV storage facility. This provides a layer of protection against direct sunlight, rain, and snow. Look for facilities that offer added security measures such as surveillance cameras, gated access, and on-site staff to ensure the safety of your caravan.
Before storing your caravan, take the time to prepare it for its time in storage. This includes following the previously mentioned tips such as cleaning, maintenance, and protection measures.
Additionally, consider implementing additional security measures to safeguard your caravan during its storage period. This may include using wheel locks or hitch locks to prevent theft, installing an alarm system or tracking device, and notifying your insurance company about the storage location and any additional security measures you have taken.
Remember to periodically check on your caravan during the storage period, even if it's in a secure facility. This allows you to address any potential issues promptly and ensure that the storage environment is still suitable for your caravan's needs.