With caravans now providing the heating systems and insulation needed for even Arctic conditions, caravanning even in the depths of winter is now far more enjoyable that it used to be.
Here are some tips to make the most of your winter caravan break:
Butane gas is ineffective in temperatures below 0oC so you’ll need to use propane. Check that you’re using the correct regulator.
Using an electric hook-up can be more economical in terms of heating, especially if you’re going to leave your heating on a low setting all day to keep the unit warm for your return.
If you don’t have this option, a small oil-filled electric radiator can be safely left on throughout the day to take the chill off – just beware of the extra weight this may add to your payload.
Caravans manufactured since 1999 should all comply with European Standards which apply to insulation. For winter caravanning, a unit that complies with Grade 3 insulation will make it easier to keep warm and maintain a fully functioning water supply.
In sub-zero temperatures, wrapping your Aquaroll with some insulation to make sure the water doesn’t freeze. Even a charity shop puffa jacket will do!
Keep the level of water topped up, as more water will take longer to freeze in very cold weather.
Overnight, when temperatures are at their lowest, it’s best to drain your external tank, and bring your submersible pump inside in case there is any water left in it which could freeze and cause damage.
Specialist caravan anti-freeze which is glycol-free can be added to the waste water container to prevent freezing. Don’t be tempted to use car anti-freeze, as this can’t be disposed of into the drainage system for environmental reasons. Insulating your waste water container will also help.
Whilst opening your caravan windows first thing in the morning may not be ideal in cold weather, allowing any condensation to evaporate will help to prevent damp.
It’s possible that condensation can also affect the underside of mattresses if they’re over an unheated locker. Wherever possible, lift up the mattress during the day to allow air to circulate.
TOWING SAFELY IN WINTER
During the winter, when roads are likely to be wet and icy, winter tyres should be used to provide better grip on the road. An alternative to winter tyres are all-season tyres, which provide higher grip in the summer than winter tyres would, but better grip than summer tyres in the winter.
A grip mat and shovel may be useful additions to your kit in case you get stuck in snow or mud.
- Clear snow regularly from underneath your caravan to ensure vents are kept clear.
- Don’t be tempted to block permanent vents.
- Make sure all moving parts on your unit – like corner steadies, are well oiled, to prevent them seizing up in low temperatures.
- Site your caravan with vents and ducts are directed away from prevailing winds to avoid drafts as much as possible.
- Always carry a supply of fresh water to drink, just in case your pipes do freeze.
- Place your external water tank on a piece of wood to avoid direct contact with the ground & prevent freezing.