Team Broadlane member, Gary gives you the tips for winterisation.
He discusses important factors to consider when putting your vehicle away such as location, security, level ground, covering all areas plus more!
As mentioned level ground is important to assure when storing, the biggest factor being so the caravan will stay put (an important starter)! However, it also means that the tyres on your caravan will have even distribution of air, preventing unnecessary tyre problems. Additionally, as your caravan is likely to be stood for a length of time, it is wise to cover the tyres and shield them from direct sunlight if possible, again preventing problems due to weathering further down the line.
Opting for a covered storage area, or using a caravan cover will mean that your vehicle is better protected from the elements, the benefits of which are two fold. Firstly you have less of a job cleaning the caravan when the new season starts (always a bonus!) and also, in the unlikely event that your caravan has a leaking seal, water does not have the opportunity to take hold of your vehicle and become a bigger issue for you to start the new season with!
It goes with out saying that security is key when storing your caravan; unfortunately thieves like caravan storage sites due to the knowledge that vehicles are often left unattended, sometimes for many weeks. Therefore it is important to not only remove valuables, but should you leave certain items inside preferably make sure they are out of sight. When looking at storage options, consider if it is a regularly manned area, if there is CCTV, and whether there is more than one entrance to the area - this can make it harder to manage who is going in and out of the compound.
Lastly, ensure that your leisure battery is in good health when putting away for winter. Batteries discharge quicker during these months due to the cold drawing voltage out of them, regardless of age, and more often than not, insurance companies require alarms and trackers to be installed, and live, if a claim is made. That means that your battery needs to maintain the life of the alarm or tracker while in storage.
By making sure everything in your caravan is switched off - this is done via the master switch in Coachmans or system shut down in Swifts - it means that your battery only needs to be rotated every 4-6 weeks (to keep it in good health). It is also worth noting that the battery to keep the alarm and/or tracker working need not be high ampage, as they do have their own internal batteries, however these draw from the leisure battery to recharge.
If solar panels are fitted to your caravan or vehicle these will also help to prolong the life of a healthy, fully charged battery.
If you have an older caravan without alarm or tracker, there is no need to leave the battery connected, so we recommend keeping it (the battery) at home or in a cool, dry climate out of direct sunlight away from the caravan.