Getting The Van Ready For The 2020 Season
The new season is almost here so its time to clean
Friday, 07, Feb 2020 09:18
By William Coleman
The time of year is almost upon us, the 2020 caravanning season. As the days start to get longer the masses unwrap their vans from winter hibernation and begin to prep and clean the vans to get them holiday ready by mid March.
A lot of people have very different opinions on when the new touring season actually starts. Some go by the weather, some say the end of February or they stick to the Caravan Club darte of the 25th of March. Oh, and there are the 365 days a year group who do not believe in seasons.
For those who do believe that the caravan holiday is season this is the time of year where quite a few weekends and evenings are spent in the vans getting everything ready to face to open road and weekends on site relaxing in the sun.
So, for those who are about to embark on the journey of getting the van ready here are some hints and tips from us to you.
Get The Mop And Bucket
If you have done your mid winter checks on the van and gave it a little bit of love before the new season then you should not have much work on your hands leading into March. If you have not then you may want to start the spring clean sooner rather than later.
The spring clean is one of the first things you are going to want to do as it will, hopefully, help you go through each section of the van and see if there are any areas of concern that deserve immediate attention.
After the winter break pay particular attention to any fabric covered areas and esure yo both hoover and spray with some kind of air freshener to eradicate the musk that can occur when all the doors and windows have been closed for a few months.
Batteries and Electrics
During your winter storage the batteries will have been left idle and uncharged, something they really do not like at all. Hopefully they were disconnected when the van was stored away so as not to run completely dry to the point of no return.
When going through your spring clean pay some attention to the caravan leads and battery terming. Dust and clean are essential for a smooth running caravan.
Once the batteries are safely reconnected give a quick test by turning some lights on and off a few times and then test the water pump.
During the winter months, if you're not using the van, it is always a good idea to keep the battery charged. If you are going to test the battery make sure you do it well ahead of the date you plan to go away as you are going to want a good few days of charging time before you set off.
We seemed to face some fairly harsh weather in the closing months of 2019 that brought in some quite high winds and a lot of property damage.
The harsh weather brought down trees and hurled debris through the air like it was popcorn so do not be surprised if your caravan or motorhome took a few knocks.
Checks for any cracked panels as they can be a costly repair and potentially lead to a lot more internal damage. Also check all the windows for drinks, dents and cracks as this is a part of the van that can be a nightmare to repair or replace.
While outside it is always worth giving the wheels and tires a good once over. Nine times out of ten you would have checked and treated them when storing the van but it is better to check them at this point. You just know sods law will have something go wrong while driving or just before you set off to head home.
Water Ingress And Damp
This is enemy number one of the caravan, motorhome or camper. Whilst going through the van hoovering and polishing keep an eye out for any damp that could have occurred.
During storage periods water leaks can occur and cause a good amount of damage throughout the van. It's always a good idea to pop into the van a few times over the storage period to check for leaks before they get out of hand.
There are a few locations that are always worth checking during storage. The main spots are the window edges, doors and skylights.
These are more common leak hotspots that sometimes show little to no sign of damage so a lot of people do not notice until it's too late.
If you have not had a chance to check the van over whilst it has been in storage the damp should hit the senses like a ton of bricks once you open the door. The smell of damp interior is unmistakable and your sense of smell should be able to lead you to where the issues are stemming from.
If you do run into this get yourself a dehumidifier and wash all the removable covers as soon as possible and get rid of any mold that has grown.
The lights on the caravan are an essential part of the safety of a van and other road users. It is vital that these checks are at the top of your check list.
Spend some time checking the plugs for potential cracks in the housing or blown bulbs. Once you have given them a go over connect the caravan to the car and get someone to help you check they are in full working order.
If the bulbs are in good condition but you're still having issues you may want to check the electrical connections to your tow car. The 13 pin plug could be misbehaving which will need a lot more attention and testing.
Sit Back And Enjoy
A close friend of mine has just finished preparing the van for a the new season, he is going away a week or two before the season starts, and he came u with an idea that never occurred to me. Taking the van and a one day test run. By doing a test run you can get a real sense of how the caravan, or motorhome, will preform on a longer trip.
A real world test is a much better way of seeing if you have done enough for the van to be fully ready. Finding out before holiday is much better than getting hit with an issue when you're on site with a beer and a burger.