Guide to preparing your static caravan for winter

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.

static caravans in winter

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.

Here we bring you our guide to preparing your static caravan for winter to protect your home-from-home and to help minimise the risk of an insurance claim.

Draining down

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 dependent 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.

Remove all food

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.

Mouse in caravan

Remove bedding

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.

Victory Millfield Doubled Bedroom

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.

Willerby Avonmore Fireplace and TV stand

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.

Have a good clean

Get rid of any crumbs and discarded wrappers by thoroughly cleaning all surfaces and vacuuming all the carpets, as well as mopping the hard floors.

Cleaning caravan

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.

damp moisture trap

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.

Static caravan cleaning gutters

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. Arrange to get any damage repaired before you leave.

static caravan cleaning

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.

Vermin busting!

Block any holes underneath your caravan with wire mesh to stop vermin getting into your static caravan 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.

Vermin damage to seating

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!

overturned furniture on decking

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 preparation checks then please feel free to share in the comments box below.

3 comments on “Guide to preparing your static caravan for winter

  1. Always put antifreeze in toilet and any drains to prevent freezing and put something heavy on toilet seat as rodents can come up drains

  2. Hi. I live near my van which is still available for letting as the park is open for 11months. I will also be there several times a week so I do not really want to close it up completly so what advice can you give me for winter please
    This is my first year of owning a static caravan

    1. Hi Jacqui to make sure you comply with your insurance policy conditions, between 1st November and 15th March, whilst your park is open and whenever unoccupied you will need to drain down. Simply turn the water off at the stopcock, and Turn on all taps and the shower to let all water out, and flush toilets, making sure all water is drained from the cistern.

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