At the present time travel is uncertain. We must stay at home and look after our families and local community. During these difficult times, however, we know many of you will be dreaming of future adventures and visiting your ‘happy place’, Ulwell Holiday Park.
To give you something to look forward to, we’ve created a list of things you can do to prepare your motorhome or touring caravan ahead of your next visit. There’s never been a better time get on top of the jobs you’ve been putting off over the winter months. All of the preparation can be carried out on your driveway, or in your garden, without having to leave your home.
We look forward to welcoming you back, when it is safe to travel, and seeing for ourselves the refurbishments and maintenance that you’ve carried out.
Check your tyres
Inspect each of your caravan tyres, including the spare for signs of damage, such as bulging or warping. Make sure the treads meet the legal requirements and ensure that there are no signs of cracking or sun damage. Check that the tyre pressures meet the manufacturers guidelines, making sure you have taken the caravans load into consideration. If your tyres require additional air, inspect them after 24 hours to make sure there are no leaks.
We also recommend looking at your wheel nuts to make sure they are tightened. Replace any that are showing signs of rust.
It’s really important to make sure that your water system is cleaned thoroughly. This is because it can accumulate dirt and build up over the winter months, which may create a musty taste and smell.
Inspect all of the tanks pipes and fittings and then run water through the entire system to make sure there are no leaks. You should also flush a sterilising fluid such as Milton through the tank and pipes to get rid of bacteria that may have grown whilst your caravan has set idle. Finally, replace water filters and make sure all taps have been pushed to the close position.
Reconnect the battery
After a winter in storage you will need to reconnect your caravan or motorhomes leisure battery. Ensure it is fully charged and that the terminals have been cleaned. You should ensure it is working properly and that it powers appliances as required.
Check your lights
Check all interior lights and road lights and replace as necessary.
Check for signs of damp
You should thoroughly inspect your caravan or motorhome for signs of damp when you take it out of winter storage. Open all windows and vents to provide as much ventilation as possible and check there are no musty smells or visible signs of mould or mildew. You should pay special attention to soft furnishings, such as the backs of curtains, cushions, seat covers and sofas to make sure there are no wet patches or discolouration. It’s also important to carefully check seals around the windows and doors to make sure they are not broken, allowing moisture to enter.
If you do spot signs of damp there are a couple of things you can do. You can use a weak solution of equal parts vinegar and water to clean the affected area with a stiff scrubbing brush. Make sure you wear gloves and always carry out a patch test in a hidden area to make sure the surface is colour safe.
Check safety equipment
Test your caravan alarm, smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector to make sure they are working properly. If in doubt, always replace the batteries and make sure you have the appropriate spares stored in the caravan, in case they run out during a future trip. Take your first aid kit out and check that you have everything that you need and replace any items that are missing or nearly used. It’s also really important to check the date on your fire extinguisher, so you can be certain it is in good working order in case of emergency.
You should also inspect your wheel clamp and hitch lock for signs of damage. Remove the hitch cover and check for rust, cracks and missing bolts. Grease the hitch and make sure parts can be carefully removed without seizing.
Reattach your gas bottle
Reattach your gas bottle, taking your time to inspect the rubbers hoses and make sure they have not perished or cracked. You should also check that there are no signs of rust around the fittings.
After checking all fixtures, fittings and appliances are working as expected, you should spend some time giving your caravan or motorhome some TLC with a thorough spring clean. Tackle the inside as you would a house, giving all surfaces a quick dust and a once over with an antibacterial spray. A fabric spray can help freshen soft furnishings and a good hoover will keep your home from home looking great. Make sure you clean inside the cupboards and the fridge.
When cleaning the outside of your caravan or motorhome always work from the top down. The same cleaning agent you would use on your car is absolutely fine, work this in to your caravan’s exterior with water, a sponge and a bit of elbow grease. We do not recommend using a pressure washer as it can damage the windows and cause water to penetrate through the seals.
Erect your awning
Erect your awning in your garden or on your driveway and make sure all the poles, pegs and ropes are together and in good working order.
You should also use this time to give your awning a thorough clean, so that it’s nice and fresh for its first outing. Make sure you carefully read your instruction manual to check what products the manufacturer recommends. If you use the wrong cleaning fluid, you may damage the awning material, which can affect its waterproofing properties. Most manufacturers recommend re proofing your awning once a year. Always try and pick a warm day, preferably with a light wind, so you can air your awning out and ensure cleaning or reproofing agents to properly dry before you pack away.
Organise your paperwork
Now is the perfect time to ensure that you have all of your caravan paperwork in order. Make sure your insurance, driving licence, car tax, breakdown cover and tracking device subscription are all up to date and that the paperwork stored in a safe and easily accessible place. You may choose to make copies to store in your caravan. For added piece of mind, you could store each of their contact details in your phone so they are on hand in case of emergency. You could also add key dates to your phones calendar to remind you that your insurance is due for renewal or to book your caravan service.
Prepare your towing vehicle
Once you’ve finished preparing your touring caravan, don’t forget to give your towing vehicle some care and attention. After all, your car is the workhorse that will ensure you safely arrive at your chosen destination. The tow bar is the main point of contact with your caravan, so it is essential that you check it hasn’t sustained any damage or potentially dangerous wear and tear. Check your towing cars tyres and tyre pressure and make sure the oil and water levels are topped up.
Download and print our handy preparation checklist so you can be certain your caravan or motorhome is ready to go when Ulwell Holiday Park reopens!