Just as making sure your caravan is in top condition before and during your road trips, you also need to ensure that you keep it safe and in good condition between trips. This is incredibly important for the life and safety of your van now and into the future.
The Importance of Proper Van Storage
Over time, everything (except maybe honey and wine!) will deteriorate, and your caravan is no different. If you leave your van in suboptimal conditions between trips, especially for long periods, your van will suffer in both its appearance and its performance.
After 5 years of owning your new Caravan/Camper Trailer/Motorhome, you should have your tyres inspected every year by a tyre professional at a reputable brand tyre shop. Depending on storage and treatment, they can be OK up to 10 years of age, after which they should be replaced as a matter of course, regardless of appearance.
Many of us are not travelling all the time, so our vans may remain idle for many weeks or months at a time. To maximise the life of your van, it needs to be kept on a flat even surface and protected from the elements.
Tips for Storing your Van
1. Keep your Van Undercover – If at all possible, to protect it from rain damage and UV damage. If this is not possible, consider purchasing a caravan cover. Caravan fittings can be damaged by long term exposure to the elements. It is also unpleasant returning to a wet, dirty van next time you wish to travel.
2. Park your Van on Level Ground – there is no need to jack your van onto blocks, but it should be parked on an even smooth surface, ideally concrete. Bitumen can react chemically with rubber tyres over time.
3. Charge Batteries Regularly – as these will go flat during storage. This is due to the tiny amounts of power used to operate LEDS, digital clocks, and more. By charging regularly, you can ensure they remain operational.
4. Empty your Van’s Water Tank – freshwater goes stale over time.Empty your freshwater tanks and refill them just before your next trip.
5. Empty Grey or Black Water! This will prevent foul odours and sanitary issues.
6. Close Windows and Blinds to prevent sun damage and fading to your van’s interior.
7. Refill and Turn off Gas Bottles.
8. Cover your Coupling – this is very important, especially if your van is not undercover. Cover and dry all electrical connections.
9. Lubricate hitches and corner jacks with WD-40 or a dry silicone-based spray. You can also lubricate door catches, folding chairs, etc.
10. Turn off the Fridge and Freezer and remove all contents. Dry the interior. Leave the doors ajar. Invest in Damp Rid or a similar product to help prevent the growth of mould and mildew within your caravan. Leave a vent or two open as well but ensure rain can’t enter.
11. Clean and Polish your Van’s Exterior and Interior – so that it is sparkling fresh and ready for your next trip. This will also help maintain the integrity of your van.
12. Remove all Food – store in screw-top containers and discard and replace before your next trip if expiry dates are due to pass. This will help keep ants and other bugs and rodents out of your van.
13. Remove and Clean: clothing, crockery etc, soiled ground sheets, awnings, linen, etc and clean cupboards/lockers before replacing these.
14. Remove items that deteriorate over time and in hot conditions – batteries, highlighter and marker pens, glue, insect repellent, sunscreen, deodorant, perfume, etc.
15. Arrange Routine Maintenance – servicing and any repairs that are required.
Article original featured on caravanworld.biz