Caravan and motorhome owners warned of winter vehicle issues

Matt Baker runs into trouble after parking his caravan

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Temperatures are already starting to drop, with motorists waking up to see condensation and fog on their vehicles. As winter approaches, motorists will begin to see frost, ice and maybe even snow appear, with caravan and motorhome owners particularly at risk.

With most motorists choosing to keep their vehicle inside or in storage for the winter, they likely won’t see the light of day for months.

This means they could be more susceptible to condensation, rust and mould with the colder temperatures.

Because of this, drivers are being urged to take steps to protect their vehicle or run the risk of coming into contact with a whole host of issues.

This could include extreme water damage, tyre problems, seal problems and even engine problems.

With the vehicle staying stationary, condensation can form easily on windows and mirrors, given the mix of warm, moist air and a cold surface.

In addition, the outside walls and roof of the caravan can be affected by moisture accumulating so drivers should keep an eye out for condensation on the walls of the caravan.

If this is not taken care of, it can lead to mould forming in the corners and window frames, with a warning of the spores, which can be dangerous to health.

Condensation can also cause damp patches or small pools if it is allowed to build up over days and weeks. 

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Eventually, these will lead to rot, stains, and other problems.

One of the most effective things that motorists can do to prevent condensation is to make sure there is enough air going through.

Keeping the windows open during winter, spring and autumn can help air out the caravan and prevent moisture from building up and help any damp areas dry out quicker.

If this cannot be done, leaving large bowls of salt inside the caravan can help draw any moisture from the air and furnishings and prevent mould.

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Shane Spence, owner of Sell The Caravan, said: “Your caravan will often be locked away for a long duration which can lead to dampness and condensation.

“[This] will not only leave the inside of your caravan feeling damp with a bad odour but can also cause mould to grow. 

“It is important that you keep a constant lookout for rust, mould and condensation rust in all areas of your caravan, including any accessories and fittings attached to the caravan.”

It is also vital for the tyres to be protected during the winter, especially with the vehicle sitting in the same position for months.

When left in the same place for an extended period of time, the tyres can become deformed and may lead to accidents.

Disconnecting the gas is also vital, with all storage facilities having policies on storing gas when it is not in use.

Gas bottles should be safely removed and if possible kept somewhere secure until they are needed again.

In the UK, it is estimated that there are in current use, 555,000 touring caravans, 365,000 caravan holiday homes and 225,000 motorhomes, equating to more than one million leisure caravans.

In addition, there are approximately 100,000 residential park homes in use for housing. 

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