Most people put their caravans in storage for the winter. These days, however, there’s no need to do that. More and more caravan sites are staying open year-round so there’s the option to enjoy caravanning no matter what the weather.
If that’s something that appeals you do need to be aware of certain things, however, and make sure you’re properly prepared for caravanning in the cold.
For winter caravanning, the car you’re using to tow the caravan has to be in very good shape. The antifreeze levels and mixture both need to be right (carry spare with you) and you should be certain your screenwash has been topped up (again, carry more in the boot). Check all the lights and the fluids, as well as the battery and be certain your tyres are at the proper pressure – don’t forget to check the spare as well.
Have a fully charged mobile phone when you leave on the trip, a shovel, a torch with fresh batteries, ice scraper and plenty of warm clothing, along with food and drink in the car. These will all help you in you run into any problems. Investing in some Grip Tracks can prove worthwhile if you end up stuck in the snow.
Propane gas is what you’ll need in cold weather. If you use butane in the caravan you’ll only need to change the regulator in most cases. Keep a water tank inside the caravan in case the outside container freezes.
Put an anti-freezing additive in the waste water container to prevent it freezing, but be careful what you use; propylene glycol is the best choice. If your caravan has a balanced flue space heater, be certain that the flue is clear. You can also buy a portable heater or a radiator filled with oil. If you have a winterised caravan it should come with central heating. The wet type is better as it also gives you hot water.
If your caravan isn’t double glazed, tape clear plastic over the interior of the windows to help stay warmer.
Fill your kettle at night and bring it into the caravan. That way you won’t have to go out in the cold, but you’ll have hot water available even if your outside water container has frozen. This is a good idea even if you hook up to a water supply, as it’s usually supplied from an outside tap/via a hose, which can easily freeze.
Don’t use a full size awning in winter. If snow falls it will weigh the awning down far too much. The better choice is a porch awning. This offers some cover as you enter and exit so you can remove those muddy, snowy boots. Remember to have metal thread pegs for the awning to be able to push the awning stakes into the ground. It will also hold the awning firmly if the winds whip up strongly.
Buy some bubble wrap and take it with you. It makes for excellent insulation to line cabinets in the caravan. You can also cover your water container in it whilst on site. Be certain you don’t block any vents, however, as air is vital.
If there’s snow on the site, lift the mains cable out of it regularly to keep to flexible and stop it becoming frozen to the ground.
To avoid keeping the heater on all night, consider carrying sleeping bags and using them. You’ll be perfectly cosy even with the heat off. A portable dehumidifier can remove moisture from the air that might freeze in the night. Since, you’ll have extra appliances working while on your trip be certain you have enough of the relevant fire fighting equipment.