Ivey's Blog

How to Prepare Your Caravan or Motorhome for the Upcoming Season

12 January 2024:Postcards from the Park

After a prolonged winter spent in storage, your caravan or motorhome may require some rejuvenation before it’s ready for the forthcoming season. The extended winter period, characterised by freezing temperatures, may have left your leisure vehicle idle for significant stretches. Even if you meticulously took measures to winterise your vehicle, there are still a few straightforward tasks necessary to prepare it for another summer of excursions and hopefully a stay at Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park

In this comprehensive guide, we shall provide you with our top recommendations and vital inspections to undertake before embarking on your spring journey. It’s advisable to commence the preparation process for your caravan or motorhome at least a month before your inaugural trip of the season, just in case you encounter substantial issues.

Scanning for Signs of Water Damage and Dampness

Water damage and dampness represent genuine hazards when leaving your leisure vehicle unattended during the winter months. While adhering to the correct winterisation procedures for your caravan or motorhome can mitigate this risk, it is still prudent to examine for any indications of damage in the spring.

Pay special attention to areas surrounding windows, doors, and rooflights for any traces of leaks. Inspect any upholstery that was left inside the vehicle over the winter months. You can typically detect dampness by smell when initially entering your caravan or motorhome. If there is any evidence of dampness, it warrants immediate attention.

To mitigate this, allow fresh air to circulate by keeping windows and doors open for a few hours, or even employ a dehumidifier while conducting your spring cleaning. Even in the absence of leaks or dampness, a slight musty odour can often persist.

Cleaning the Interior and Exterior

Thoroughly cleaning both the interior and exterior of your caravan or motorhome before storing it away for the winter is important, however, a good spring clean is also advisable. This will eliminate any accumulated dust from the winter months, rendering your vehicle fresh for your initial trip of the year. Maintaining the cleanliness of your leisure vehicle can extend its longevity and enhance its resale value should you opt for an upgrade and decide to sell it.

Depending on the location where your vehicle was parked, the exterior might also require cleaning. For instance, if it was situated near a tree, you may encounter green patches that necessitate thorough scrubbing. We recommend giving the exterior a swift cleaning, even if it was stored indoors.

Inspecting and Sterilising Water Systems

Before storing your caravan or motorhome for the winter, you should have drained the water system to prevent any liquid from freezing and causing damage. If your freshwater supply system is equipped with a water filter, this is an opportune time to replace it. Once you are ready to use the water system again and reconnect a water supply, make certain that all drain-down point valves are closed. After closing them, examine your water pump’s functionality and ensure that all taps are in working order. Run water through the entire system and verify for any signs of leakage.

After testing the system, it is advisable to sterilise it before usage. You can achieve this by introducing a cleaning solution.

Reinstalling Gas Cylinders and Inspecting Hoses

As a safety precaution during winterisation, you may have removed your gas cylinders from your vehicle. When reinstalling these cylinders, thoroughly inspect the rubber hose for any indications of cracks or damage. If the current hose has been in use for several years, contemplate replacing it, even if it appears to be in satisfactory condition, as rubber deteriorates over time. After reinstalling your cylinders, verify that gas-operated appliances, such as heating or cooking equipment, are functioning correctly. There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at your destination and discovering that you cannot use the hob to prepare a cup of tea.

Testing Safety and Security Alarms

Ensure that devices like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have new batteries and are working. If you have security alarms installed, confirm their functionality as well.

Reconnecting and Testing Your Leisure Battery

Ensure that your leisure battery is charged and is in good condition. If you removed the leisure battery before storing your caravan or motorhome for the winter, make certain that the clamps are clean and devoid of rust when reconnecting it. Test the battery by assessing the functionality of the interior lights and the water pump.

If your battery is not retaining a charge, attempt to recharge it over several days using a battery charger rather than relying solely on the vehicle’s charging system. Occasionally, if the battery was not regularly charged over the winter, it may lose its charge. If the battery is entirely depleted and incapable of retaining a charge, replacement will be necessary.

Getting ready for the road…

Assessing the Tyres of Your Caravan or Motorhome

Before setting out on your adventure, a crucial initial step is inspecting the tyres of your motorhome or caravan. This is especially imperative if your vehicle has not moved throughout the winter, causing prolonged stress on a single section of the tyre.

Examine the tread depth and be vigilant for any cracks or indications of deformity in the tyre’s shape. Should you detect any cracks, the tyre will need replacing, irrespective of the remaining tread depth. Ensure that the air pressure is replenished to match the manufacturer’s recommended levels and verify that the wheel nuts are adequately fastened.

If you had winter wheels installed, you will need to reattach the road wheels. Prior to doing so, it’s advisable to assess the road wheels’ condition as well. Once you are satisfied with their condition, elevate your caravan or motorhome and reinstate the wheels, securely tightening the wheel nuts in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. It’s always good to recheck them after a brief journey.

Testing the Functionality of Road Lights

It is essential to ascertain that all your lights are operational prior to embarking on your first journey. Various factors during the winter could potentially affect the road lights of your caravan or motorhome.

Scheduling a Service for Your Caravan or Motorhome

Scheduling an annual service for your leisure vehicle can potentially spare you from encountering significant issues while on the road. It is preferable to diagnose and rectify minor problems before embarking on your journey, rather than allowing them to escalate into major complications during your travels.

Keep in mind that spring is a popular period for leisure vehicle servicing, as many owners book a service before their initial trip of the year.

Paperwork & Insurance

Verifying that all your essential documentation is up to date saves any last minute worries before your trip is about to commence. Ensure that your car insurance and breakdown coverage includes your caravan.

We hope that your pre-holiday preparations go well and we look forward to welcoming you to Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park in the near future

Mother Ivey's Bay Holiday Park