Mid Winter Caravan Checks
Get the mid winter clean done before Christmas
Tuesday, 03, Dec 2019 11:08
By William Coleman
The cold weather has very much set in and a lot of caravans and motorhomes are tucked up safe and sound on drives or in storage. Now that we are heading toward the end of the year and half way(ish) through the off season we may want to start planning a mid break checklist.
Lets face it, winter touring really is not everybody's cup of tea and a lot of people opt to wrap the van up and take a break when the sun goes on holiday. If you are one of these it is almost the time where we need to get back in the vans and do some checks and maybe even another clean up to ensure they are surviving and thriving in winter.
I am in no way a neat freak but I do enjoy having a good clean up and clear out of the caravan. A great time to do this is when the van is taking a break. As you have not used it for a while you kind of look at the van through different lenses and you may be a bit more willing to get rid of things you may think you need. I mean how many bedding sets do you need?
Check For Water Ingress and Damp
Should there be any water ingress after an extended amount of time without using the van you will probably be confronted by the smell before anything else.
If you do jump aboard and there is no smell or any obvious signs it is still worth going round the van and having a check.
You can do this the old fashioned way by simply going round the van and check any part where a panel has been factory cut. So check all the windows, doors, sky lights, aircon units etc etc.
You can also get yourself a damp reader which can sometimes reveal things you may not be able to see just by looking. They are not that expensive and can save you a lot of time, hassle and money in the long run.
If you do find some damp patches get them cleaned and dry right away as it can spread and cause a lot of damage.
Air the van and then trace it back to the source and then call the repairman and wait for the bill, unless you fancy yourself a bit of a craftsman.
Clean The Upholstery
The upholstery is the one thing in the caravan that sees the most action, there is a joke there somewhere, so it deserves some extra attention and maintenance.
I give the seating and cushions a thorough clean before every new season and during the off season too.
After a while without using the air inside the caravan can stagnate a bit and then you'll find the seating has this odd musk that is not overly pleasant. Think an old charity shop smell.
If you do not want to go to the effort of a full clean a good upholstery spray should do the trick but you have to do it a lot more regularly.
Give The Kitchen And Bathroom A Once Round
As much as you may clean the bathroom and kitchen after every use it is still worth doing it once more.
This where most, if not all, of your water sources are so it is where you may find damp, food, limescale or just general grime.
While doing this cleaning always keep some windows open to let out any fumes from cleaning products and a good gust of wind through the van will do a world of good removing any musky smells
Once I have cleaned all the surfaces, cupboards, nooks, crannies, beds and sofa I give the entire van a thorough go through with a vacuum.
You do not realise until you've finished just how much dust and debris occurs when the van is left unused.
Now for the final check, and maybe the most important? Usually if you find something wrong inside you will go straight to the outside of the van and see where the issue is coming from.
In the event that everything looks good on board it is still worth giving the chassis a once over to see if there are any dings or dents that could lead to further issues down the road.
I always make sure I check the windows both in and out as they are a common place for leaks.
Once that is done I make my way around the lockers to make sure they are all intact as the key slots are not blocked with muck.
Also, weather dependant, give the van a quick clean so no dirt gets embedded on stains the van. If it is left too long without a clean the van can be a nightmare to get site ready come the new season.