Protect your caravan against nature!



Modern UK caravans are built for use throughout the year, but when you are not using the vehicle you should take precautions against the possibility of damage from the environment, particularly frost.

Please be aware that just opening the water drain valves of your caravan will not necessarily empty it entirely of water, as some can remain in water pumps, tanks and pipework. This is what causes the damage if it freezes!


The Swift Group have produced a brief guide for your assistance. Whilst this may not be relevant to all caravans, it does give some useful points to consider:



  • Arrange (in advance) the yearly service and habitation check, if the caravan's next service is due while the vehicle is stored.


  • Open all tank drain valves to drain onboard and external tanks, and leave open.

  • Open the safety drain valve (yellow handle) next to water heater, and leave open.

  • Fully open all the taps and shower mixer, move mixer position to the middle, and leave all taps in the open position.

  • Unscrew the shower head and shower hose, shake out remaining water and allow water to drain. It is advised to leave the shower head and hose disconnected.

  • Run pump for a short time, until all water is expelled.

  • Disconnect the inlet pipe to the onboard water pump, mesh filter and outlet pipe, and re-run the pump for a short time, to ensure all the water is removed. Leave the system disconnected during storage.

  • Fit the cowl cover to the Truma Ultrastore (if fitted).

  • Clean waste pipes and tanks using a sterilising fluid.


If vehicle is being stored while connected to 230v Mains Hook-up:

  • Ensure that the leisure battery is connected and the 20A local fuse(s) is connected.

  • The isolator switch on PSU (where fitted) should be in the 'ON' position, however. the control panel should be switched 'OFF'.

If Alde system is installed, there is a frost protection setting, which can be used.

  • Vehicles can be left in this condition for extended periods, with the charger operating to maintain the battery. However, periodic maintenance and inspection is recommended, this should include the battery condition.

If vehicle is being stored not connected to 230v Mains Hook-up:

  • Charge the leisure battery for 24 hours prior to placing caravan in storage.

  • Ensure the isolation button on PSU (where fitted) is in the 'OFF' position.

  • Ensure leisure battery is connected and 20A local fuse(s) is in place only if an alarm or tracker device is fitted or if a solar panel will be charging the battery.

  • The alarm / tracking device will eventually drain the leisure battery - we recommend regular (monthly) inspection / re-charging of leisure battery.

  • Remove the leisure battery and store in a dry place, if a solar panel, alarm or tracker device is not fitted.

  • The battery should not be adversely affected by winter temperatures but the level of charge should be maintained to maximise the life span of the battery. This can be achieved using an automotive type battery charger as and when required.

Gas system

  • Ensure the gas supply is isolated at the gas bottle, and ensure that the gas manifold taps are off.

  • Check the age and condition of the high pressure gas hose and regulator, and replace if required.


  • Check the battery expiry date on the smoke alarm and replace or remove as required.

  • Ensure the fridge is turned off.

  • Clean the inside of the fridge.

  • Prop the fridge door open, and if possible, the internal freezer compartment door for ventilation.

  • Fit fridge vent winter covers (if available).

  • Ensure all hob / oven / microwave surfaces are clean.

  • If the caravan is going to be left connected to 230v supply while not in use, ensure the microwave is unplugged.


  • Drain the toilet reservoir.

  • Empty the toilet cassette.

  • Leave toilet caps removed and apply acidfree Vaseline or similar to the seals.

  • Drain the toilet reservoir.

  • Empty the toilet cassette - The Thetford Cassette porta potti is easily winterised for storage.

  • Empty the fresh water tank using the drain tube / fresh water tank level indicator (level indicator on electronic models only).

  • Pull the lever indicator / drain tube down from top plug position and outward through door opening to drain water from the tank.

  • Empty the water fill funnel by pulling the bottle away from tank.

  • Remove the small water cap on the filler bottom, allowing water to drain from the water funnel. (Not C-200 toilet).

  • Do not tighten caps, this helps in keeping unit dry. The pour out spout and vent plug can be removed. Seals should be greased if necessary with acid-free Vaseline.


  • Ensure that all windows, skylights and access doors are closed and secured.

  • Ensure all fixed ventilation points (high and low) are clear from debris and obstructions.

  • Ensure the vehicle is not parked where falling debris (i.e. leaves, tree sap) could cause damage.

  • Avoid leaving the vehicle parked in soft ground, long grass or a potential area where standing water may form.

  • Lubricate relevant points on the chassis.

  • Remove road wheels, using the correct jack points and suitable axle stands, or if being left on road wheels rotate wheels (every two weeks) and ensure the correct tyre pressures are maintained.

  • A purpose made cover maybe used, but please ensure the cover is a good fit, breathable and securely fitted. Note: A poorly fitted cover can rub and damage the bodywork. Non-breathable covers will encourage mould to grow.

Interior (Furniture / furnishings)

  • Open all lockers and internal doors, to ensure good circulation.

  • Remove cushions and store them in a dry location or ensure all cushions are placed in a well ventilated area.

  • Close all blinds and curtains. Customers are reminded to check the tension on blinds after storage if left closed for long periods.

  • Thoroughly ventilate the caravan or motorhome by opening doors or windows periodically.

  • Placing water absorbent crystals in the van during the winter months, will help reduce moisture levels and mould growth.

  • We do not recommend leaving portable heaters in the van unattended.


To help you look after your caravan during the winter

We stock a range of items such as moisture traps and caravan covers to help you maintain the condition of your caravan during the winter months. Please just contact us if you would like more details of the options available.