Top tips for winter van hibernation

Time to van ready for winter

By William Coleman

With the cold on the way, and sites all over the UK closed, now is a good time to get the van prepped and ready for winter storage. Whether you are keeping it on the drive or at a storage yard, the prep remains the same.

If you have a caravan, motorhome or campervan, you are going to need to start getting to work to make sure the vehicle stays safe and sound for when the cold arrives.

This isn’t usually the most enjoyable part of the touring lifestyle, but is it an essential one, so you need to make sure you do the right work and avoid any nasty surprises when it comes time to hit the road again.

Engine and battery care

By now, any holiday vehicle owner is well aware of what to do when it comes to taking care of a leisure battery, but a refresher is always worthwhile.

A semi-regular engine turnover for a motorhome or camper should do it a world of good and ensure that the battery does not seize up or run flat.

Plugging your motorhome into mains power once a month, for around 8-10 hours, will help keep coach batteries in good shape. If you’re not planning to use the home after winter, I would advise you simply remove the battery and store it inside the house.

Exterior care

With winter comes wind, rain, sleet and snow, all of which can cause damage to a dormant leisure vehicle. There is one surefire way to safeguard against the elements, a good quality cover. Sometimes, the most simple solution is the most effective.

Adding that extra layer of protection is going to make the van’s storage a breeze. The only downside is having to remove the cover and put it back on when you do your routine checks.

Always give your caravan or motorhome a good clean before you cover the van. Those who ignore this precaution may find scratches from anything that was still on the van before covering it up.

Keep the damp away

Water ingress is enemy number one for leisure vehicles, especially during storage. One of the main issues with water getting into the van is finding the location where the water is coming in.

With the weather being slightly unpredictable at the moment and unseasonably sunny, condensation can also be a cause of internal dampness. Before you know it, the smell of damp and mildew will spread throughout the van and then you’re looking at mould building up.

Our tip is to regularly air the van and turn the heating on once a fortnight or weekly if you start to see issues. It’s also worth investing in a dehumidifier, these gadgets are worth their weight in gold when it comes to keeping the van dry. For around £100, you’ll be able to find one that does the job. The initial outlay will save a lot down the road.