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How to Winterise your Motorhome
As the winter season approaches and motorhomers drift away to the foreign ski slopes or even camp out during a harsh UK Winter it is time to think of heat in the motorhome, and motorhome winterising
If you are the owner of a brand spanking new European motorhome then there is a good chance you will already have a winterised motorhome to a degree, i.e. double floor with pipework etc running within it protected from the elements, interior waste and fresh tanks, insulated walls etc
however some of the tips below will still apply to you regardless. The owners of older vehicles will benefit immensely from the information gleaned on how to winterise your motorhome from our members below.
Preparation is the key here, think about winterising your motorhome whilst in the relative comfort and heat of the front drive etc, rather than trying to compensate later on in sub zero temperatures.
1. One of the biggest sources of cold in a motorhome is caused by draughts through the ventilation grilles in the cab. You should close all of them when you are parked up in a cold place, But NOT the fixed vent grilles at low level within the caravan part of the motorhome, as these are safety devices in case of gas leak / carbon monoxide poisoning (from gas appliances)
2. Try to park on a slight slope so water doesn't sit in the internal waste pipework. Around -10C the u bend freezes and then you will need to put antifreeze or salt down them.
3. Make some extra screens for the windows from 2 layers of the polystyrene/tinfoil laminate made to put down the back of radiators
4. If you have waste tank underslung at the rear, leave the drain tap open on site and a good old bucket slung underneath and emptied regularly
5. Leave INTERNAL locker doors open overnight, the heat will then enter preventing condensation.
6. Fit exterior silverscreens and if its really cold interior silverscreens to cab windows.
7. When on Hookup lift the cable every day to prevent it freezing to the ground or getting buried in snow.
8. Carry Snow chains or Snow Belts and a folding shovel in the Motorhome. And know how to use them (snowchains). Practice putting them on and taking them off in the warmth of your driveway - far better than on a freezing roadside.
9. If you’re considering camping off hookup make sure you’ve got a good healthy leisure battery or consider fitting another in tandem to boost your amperage.
10. When parked up for long periods leave vehicle in gear, chock the wheels and leave handbrake off if possible, prevents rear drums freezing on.
11. If intending to stay on campsites with hookup availability etc then consider using fish tank heaters in the waste and fresh tanks
12. If intending to stay put for extended periods (Entire ski season etc) then the following may be of use:-
Adapt the gas hose to allow use of large 49Kg Propane bottles supplied by some sites
build wooden skirting round the van from floor to ground to restrict the wind flow underneath,But DO allow some ventilation as this is where (1) the internal gas heater draws its fresh air supply from and (2) any escaped gas within the van will eventually drop below the van through the vent grilles provided and MUST be allowed to escape (blow away).
13. Check Vehicle door seals replace the rubbers if needed.
14. If your cab doors have air vents seal em up.
15. Ensure you are using Propane not Butane as Propane freezes at much lower temperatures.
16. Seal around the fridge, seal the rear of the fridge from the interior. And use the correct winter covers for your fridge ventilation grilles outside on the bodywork walls - the fridge will run more efficiently. BUT DONT COVER THEM UP COMPLETELY - EVEN ON ELECTRIC HOOK UP
17. Fit cling film or similar to window frame interior, At no point should it touch the plastic of the window, it should be fitted on wall and cover the "hole" where the window sits. This gives a trapped air insulation pocket.
18. if you have an older mh then consider sealing the roof permanent vents (If applicable) Caveat is to ensure there will still be sufficient oxygen transfer for breathing
We hope that our motorhome winterising tips assist you in the pursuance of heat whilst out enjoying the slopes and the scenery
Useful purchasesBelow are some options for making your motorhome comfortable and safe for winter use
Internal Thermal Blinds
External Thermal Blinds
Extra Leisure Batteries
Levelling Blocks & Grip Track
Have you / previous owners had your motorhome habitation checked during the following timescales ?