Cold, wet and windy weather can take its toll on a holiday caravan, so it’s always worth preparing your static or lodge for the winter period.
Damage caused by the escape of water from frozen pipes, as well as flooding, storm damage and even vermin are common static caravan insurance claims in the winter months or when owners return in the spring.
In this video, we bring you five simple winter checks to carry out when closing up your static caravan for winter or when your park closes.
Have a good clean
Get rid of any crumbs and discarded wrappers by thoroughly cleaning all surfaces, vacuuming all the carpets and behind large furnishings, as well as mopping the hard floors.
Give all bathrooms a good clean, not forgetting to remove any towels, flannels and bath mats which could be good nesting materials for mice.
Remove bedding and food
To avoid unwelcome visitors making a nest in your duvets, pillows and blankets, and to avoid that musty smell when you return, take them home. If you have room it’s also a good idea to stand mattresses on their edge and pile sofa cushions in the middle of the lounge to avoid damage from damp.
Packets of food, like pasta, rice, cereal, and biscuits, could be a welcome feast for mice and other rodents, so make sure you empty your cupboards of ALL food. Also, empty the fridge and give it a good wash inside, and leave the door ajar with a tea towel.
Take your valuables home
Remove all valuables from cupboards and leave the doors open to show there’s nothing hidden away. It’s a good idea to take any TV’s, speakers and game consoles home and then put a sticker in the window to say there are no valuables left in the caravan.
Let the air flow
Leave cupboard and wardrobe doors open in all the rooms in your static caravan. This will not only let air circulate around the caravan but will also show any prying eyes that you don’t have any valuables left behind. Also leave fridge, freezer and internal doors ajar.
Leave curtains open
Although it might be tempting to close the curtains, by leaving them open you can show that there’s nothing to steal. Static caravans aren’t as well insulated as homes and with no heating on over the winter, condensation and damp can accumulate. Removing curtains, particularly any nets or voiles, could prevent them from getting damp.
Trap the moisture
An empty static caravan in the winter months can attract excess moisture so it’s worth placing moisture traps or bowls of salt throughout your caravan. If you’re checking on your caravan throughout winter, you could also replace each time.
Spray a small amount of WD 40 on hinges and in door locks to prevent them seizing up whilst you’re away.
Draining down your static caravan in winter is important to protect your caravan from damage and to make sure you’re covered in the event of an insurance claim. Water left in pipes can freeze, causing the pipes to split.
It’s a condition of a Leisuredays’ static caravan insurance policy to drain down between November 1st and March 15th, every time you leave your holiday caravan unoccupied. Although the extent of the drain down varies depending on whether your park is open or closed.
Many parks will offer a drain down service or you can follow our simple tips in this video.
Final static caravan winter checks
Clear the decks!
Remove any furniture and loose items like barbecues, garden ornaments and parasols from the decking and put into an outdoor storage shed or store inside your caravan if there’s room. It’s amazing how easily they can be picked up by stormy weather and cause damage to your static caravan or a neighbours!
If you have a shed or bin store make sure this is secured with a suitable lock.
Clear the guttering
Autumn leaves can clog up your guttering, so before you leave it’s worth checking it’s clear of any debris or rotten leaves, and making sure there are no nests in there.
Check your caravan seals
Check skylights for any signs of damage, such as cracks, and check there’s no damage or wear and tear to all the seams and seals and clean and clear vents. Arrange to get any damage repaired before you leave.
Also, take a look at your caravan chassis to see if it’s in tip-top condition and that there are no signs of rust or other damage and that any blocks have not cracked or moved.
Cover any holes underneath your caravan with wire mesh to stop vermin getting into your static caravan (but still allow ventilation) and even consider a battery-operated rodent deterrent device to keep mice and rats at bay! It’s amazing how much damage they can cause by chewing or leaving droppings behind! Also putting the plugs back in the sink will stop any little creatures from making their way into your caravan.
Close and lock everything
It might seem obvious, but make sure all skylights, windows and external doors are closed and securely locked. If you’ve got an alarm then activate it.
Consult with your park about turning off your gas and electric supply.
Over to you…
If you’ve got any winter checks then please feel free to share in the comments box below.