As we approach the colder Autumn and Winter months, we’ve compiled a short list of easy steps to ensure your campervan and motorhome stays in tiptop shape, at a time when you might not be using it quite as much.
If you’re going to park the campervan up for a while, it’s best to do a drain-down on your water. You can either do this manually or use the automatic drain-down feature your campervan conversion may have, on the main fresh water and boiler system that activates at a preset temperature.
Start by opening all your water taps. Switch off your water pump. Open the valve on your waste water tank and drain the tank down. Similarly, drain any remaining water out of your fresh water tank.
If there are any other systems on the vehicle that hold fresh water, then these should be drained down, too.
Clean your Campervan
Before you leave your campervan parked up, take the time to give it a thorough clean inside and make sure that all kitchen surfaces, including the fridge, are washed down with a mild bleach-based product.
Mould can form on the moisture of any drink or food residue, so it’s best to get everything spotless. The same goes for the bathroom, of course.
Keep batteries on charge
Batteries have a natural drain and, if left connected to modern campervans, they will only provide energy for a few weeks at best.
Either keep your campervan plugged into the mains hook-up or you can remove the batteries entirely and hook them up to a smart charger.
If you have no access to mains charging and the vehicle is outside, then it’s a good idea to add a solar panel. These don’t have to be permanently fitted and you can buy free-standing units, complete with a regulator, that can be simply bulldog-clipped onto battery terminals.
Covers and dehumidifiers
Many motorhome storage facilities are not covered and it can be helpful to use a cover to protect the bodywork and tyres from UV degradation, bird mess and general grime. Check out our covers here.
If your campervan is stored outside, it might be worth using a dehumidifier. These free-standing units work by removing the moisture from the air inside the campervan. They can be left running for long periods of time, but you do need to make sure that you empty their on-board water tanks.
If your campervan is not parked on level ground, park it so that no water can stand on any parts of the roof (use levelling blocks if you need to).
Fill the fuel tank
Diesel and petrol degrades with time and diesel, in particular, absorbs water over time. This water comes from condensation in the air and, while it won’t cause corrosion in the tank or the fuel lines (which are plastic), it can cause bacteria and algae to grow in the tank. The best way to reduce the diesel’s exposure to air is to have a full tank of fuel.
Fuel is generally fine if left for a few months but, if you’re planning to leave a campervan parked up for six months or longer, then add a stabiliser to the fuel. Various brands are available and they’re designed to reduce the growth of bacteria and prevent sludge forming.
Go through your checklist
It is also worth writing a note on the dashboard to remind you to reset your tyre pressures, reconnect any battery isolators and unplug external chargers, solar panels and dehumidifiers before driving off.
If you’ve removed cushions, bedding or removable water tanks, it’s also worth noting this down. Some people keep a complete touring checklist, and there are all kinds of useful apps available, too.