Preparing your motorhome for winter storage

Published in Caravan Guard News, Motorhoming Top Tips, Videos on   - 24 Comments

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  1. Roger Wilkinson says:

    It is inevitable over winter that the outside of the van will accumulate streaks of green algae in a number of places, especially on window seals. This can be very hard to remove, but I have discovered a solution which works well. Some supermarkets include in the vinegar area distilled spirit vinegar, a colourless liquid. Dip an old toothbrush in the vinegar and you will be amazed how easily it loosens algae growth. Since the vinegar is somewhat acidic it’s a good idea to wash it off as you go, preferably with warm water laced with washing up detergent.

  2. philip juby says:

    We use plug in rodent repellers which also seem to get rid of spiders .These are run from a separate electric supply as solar panels keep batteries charged .we also cover tyres wheels with plastic cover Cost around 12pounds on ebay

  3. Bob Lonsdale says:

    The advice you offered can be a little conflicting as you correctly state that the system must be fully drained down and is a condition of insurance however you then suggest that ” if you’re able to hook up to an electric source, you could consider running the heating on a very low setting to take the chill off”. It should be pointed out that most motorhomes have a heating system that require the boiler to be filled with water to operate and trying to run that without water can cause damage or even be dangerous. It should be obvious but not necessarily to a newcomer to owning a motorhome.

  4. Philip Mounter says:

    Pro-Tech make bespoke covers with a plastic window so you can still charge your leisure batteries they are also breathable. Better still they are a British company and based in Yorkshire

  5. dave says:

    anybody had their clutch not work after winter storage

  6. Kathryn E says:

    We were told at the end of the season that we needed to replace our leisure batteries as they were not holding their charge, and so were at the end of their useful life. As yet we have not replaced them. I would like advice as to which would be best – remove them and not have any batteries on until we start using the mh regularly again, remove them and replace with new batteries and leave winterised, leave the old ones on until we start into regular use again. We do not have a solar panel, and as newbies we are not sure what happens with the batteries when the mh is laid up. We have an Autotrail Cheyenne 840, on a 2006 plate.

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Kathryn, you could continue to use them through winter, whilst budgeting to replace them at the start of the season. That might depend on what means you have to keep them topped up. All depends on your storage regime and whether your vehicle relies on any 12V power whilst not in use – eg alarm system, tracker etc. Why not book your vehicle in for a service and see what your specialist motorhome workshop advises?

  7. maverick says:

    I have a motorhome cover but now have a different new van with solar panel and tracker, is there a problem to cover the solar panel and obviously will cover the tracker for the winter?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      It’s unlikely the solar panel will work with the cover on so you need to make sure the battery is regularly topped up to power the tracking device.

  8. Mike Walden says:

    After draining the boiler, grey & fresh water tanks I open all the taps fully including the shower, blow up a large balloon and fit it on the tap. This blows any remains water out of the pipes. Make sure you do it for cold and hot.

  9. Joseph Hart says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I will be wintering my Fiat Ducato 2.8 diesel (Model: Eden 202) Year 2000. It is a French vehicle (with 80,000 kilometres). The vehicle will be housed for eight months in a barn in Central France. I will be draining all water out of the vehicle (including the solar tank) except the engine which will have anti-freeze.

    I would like your advise as to whether I should disconnect the batteries, or would it be advisable to leave them connected and plug in the electricity. It also has a solar panel but under cover in the barn it will not get direct sunlight although light will be shining in. I understand that the solar panel has a trickle charge and will top up the batteries and also the electricity if it is plugged in.

    The farmer (whose barn I will be renting) has offered to start the engine up periodically and I would greatly appreciate your advice in this matter.

    Yours sincerely,

    Joseph Hart.

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Joseph, thanks for getting in touch.

      I passed your query on to motorhome enthusiast and journalist Nick Harding. In response to your query, Nick gave this advice: “It’s great if you can have the engine turned over occasionally, great if you can stay plugged into mains, otherwise, do keep a close eye on battery levels. I’d recommend that you speak to your solar panel fitter for more advice on this. Lastly, it’s not good for your tyres to be sat around for so long, so again great if the motorhome can be moved occasionally.”

      We hope this helps.


  10. mark says:

    hi i have put my camper on axel stands to keep weight of the tyres and to stop damp

  11. Irene Johnson says:

    I turn the engine over a couple of times and move the van a little so that the pressure is not on the same part of the tyres all over winter.

  12. Frank Pumford says:

    Hi Neil, Do you have any opinions on the best way of avoiding Damp Ingress. Early this year my most affected area was a section in the kitchen window area where i had thought my motorhome would have good protection that section being parked in the winter alongside the gable end of house. Do you consider the addition of a carport type cover being worth the expense.Frank

  13. Neil, Caravan Guard says:

    Hi John,

    providing you purchase a breathable cover, we think they do offer added protection over leaving your motorhome uncovered over winter.

    The most important thing is that the cover is breathable, otherwise condensation can build up between the motorhome and the cover, and even inside the motorhome (causing damp).

    Caravan Guard

  14. john says:

    What do you think of overall covers for winter storage. Advantage or disadvantage.

  15. Neil, Caravan Guard says:

    Some great advice guys.

    Further to John’s comment you can also use a Floe ( air pump to flush out the system, or simply close all your taps, remove your show head and blow down the pipe. This should force any last drops out.

    thanks again for your tips guys and keep em coming!

    Caravan Guard

  16. Ray Hoskins says:

    On the outside of the motorhome where the fridge vents are, dont forget to put the winter grill devices on to limit the ammount of air and moisture going into the vehicle.

  17. Hugh Fixsen says:

    Chock the wheels, don’t use the hand brake

  18. peter roberts says:

    Good advice you cannot be to carefull .
    Your Motorhome is a big investment so look after it and USE it to justyfy the cost of keeping it on the road.

  19. John says:

    Don’t just drain your tanks, open the drain taps and drive around for a few miles before parking up, it’s surprising how much water a static tank will retain. Where possible leave cupboard / locker doors slightly open so the air can circulate.

  20. ALAN WILLIAMS says:


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