How to keep your motorhome or caravan in good condition throughout the winter

Campervans lined up at Sedgemoor Caravans, Burnham-on-Sea

Keeping your caravan and motorhome properly serviced is vital to ensuring it's safety and prolonging its lifespan. - Credit: Sedgemoor Caravans

As we store our holidaymaking vehicles away in preparation for the warmer months, there are some vital steps to take to ensure that they outlast the winter in tip-top condition. 

An annual service can do caravans and motorhomes the world of good, but what other precautions can owners take to keep their vehicle in good health?  

We chat to Shaun Abrahams, managing director at Sedgemoor Caravans in Burnham-on-Sea, about preserving your caravan throughout the colder time of the year. 

Man walking into his campervan at night at Sedgemoor Caravans, Burnham-on-Sea

Checking your motorhome and caravan for exterior damage is one thing, but to ensure that everything is running properly internally, its best to take it to a workshop with qualified engineers. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Q: Why is it important to keep your motorhome or caravan in good condition, even when not using it regularly? 

A: It’s hugely important to constantly check that your vehicle is in proper condition, as there are a number of things that can cause damage. Getting your caravan or motorhome serviced regularly is by far the best way to combat these issues, and winter is a good time of year to get it done.  

As the prime holiday season has passed us by, and most vehicles aren’t being used, undergoing repairs and servicing doesn’t take up a huge amount of time and can stop these slight problems from becoming major issues in the future. 

Q: What steps can a caravan owner take to keep their vehicle safe? 

A: During the winter, it's essential that the vehicle is properly drained of water, as any excess can lead to internal damage. In particular, the stop-tap valve underneath the vehicle needs to be opened, otherwise excess water can freeze and expand which can cause cracking to occur in pipes and internal components. 

Keeping it in dry store if you can, in a garage instead of an open drive, is another good preventative measure. Running small dehumidifiers for a little while can remove moisture from the air, helping to stave off damp. The best thing to do is bring your van into a service centre to get it checked out by qualified engineers. This way your vehicle can be checked for internal issues or electrical faults that could prove dangerous. 

Engineer working with internal components at Sedgemoor Caravans, Burnham-on-Sea

Qualified engineers can identify and fix electrical and internal faults before they become major issues, or offer expert advice on how to properly maintain the vehicle. - Credit: Sedgemoor Caravans

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Q: What are the major risks of neglecting your caravan or avoiding necessary repairs? 

A: If your motorhome or caravan has been stationary for too long without being serviced, all sorts of problems can arise. Your wheels can degrade and perish, which if left untreated can cause a blowout on the road the next time you drive it. 

Not getting the running gear and brakes looked over properly, or neglecting the replacement of old tyres, can cause these vehicles to jack-knife when doing higher speeds, which may cause an accident or make it hard for you to control the wheel.  

Another major risk is the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) running through the caravan. Gas hobs and cookers that have not been properly examined can be an electrical fire hazard. We can perform the necessary checks to ensure your equipment is safe to use. 

Woman making hot drink in caravan at Sedgemoor Caravans, Burnham-on-Sea

Getting an annual service or habitation check is the best way to ensure your peace of mind, as well as your safety, on your next holiday. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Q: How can Sedgemoor help owners to keep their campervans and caravans in good condition? 

A: There’s only so much that someone can do without being a qualified engineer that specialises in these vehicles. Checking for external damage is one thing, but by bringing it in for a comprehensive service, we can identify and quickly repair potential issues, making your van roadworthy. 

The peace of mind this affords to owners is something that you can’t put a price on, particularly when taking the caravan out the following summer. Having been meticulously examined and repaired of any faults, you can enjoy your family holiday secure in the knowledge that your vehicle has been well looked after. 

Sedgemoor Caravans offer full annual services and habitation checks that cover the chassis and running gear, electrical and gas systems, as well as damp inspections and fire risk assessments. Annual service costs range from £220 to £240, and habitation checks begin at £160. 

For more information, or to book an annual service for your van, visit sedgemoorcaravans.co.uk or call 01278 781199.

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