Still fancy getting on the road during the winter? We feel you. In fact we wrote a guide on things to check out before you head out on chillier adventures.
If, however, you plan on hibernating your campervan until Spring comes around, there are a few important bits to check and work through to make sure the van is in good nick and ready to go when things start warming up again.
First things first, make sure all of your primary energy sources are switched off. This includes your inverter and control panel. You can get 30w dash mounted solar panels which plug into your cigarette lighter and which provide a slow trickle of energy to keep your battery charged if you’re leaving the van for extended periods. Also ensure your fridge is turned off for the period you’re leaving the van for.
As well as switching off your fridge at the power source, it’s well worth clearing out your fridge of any lingering leftovers and giving it a really good clean. Use warm soapy water to thoroughly wash out your fridge and dry it well. There should be a slider at the top of the fridge which will keep the door ajar over the winter allowing the air to circulate. If you have a top loading fridge the same applies but make sure you also wedge or leave this open to allow the air in.
Seal It Up
If you’re leaving your Cambee outside, carefully check all seals and joins to make sure you’re leak free for the winter. If you need any guidance with small repairs do give us a call. However you do it, simply making sure your van stays nice and dry inside throughout its downtime will make sure you don’t have any nasty mould or damp surprises when it’s time to get out on the road again. Particularly check around your pop top roof, its join with the body of your van and around any window and door seals.
Bring Your Kit Inside
We know our vans end up full of discarded gear, sports equipment, leftover fire pit wood, clothes, extra blankets and all kinds of bits and bobs by the end of the season. Spend a few hours checking cupboards and compartments and make sure you bring everything inside to keep any dampness out of the van. This is also a great opportunity to check over your bikes, paddleboards, climbing kit – whatever you get your adventure from – ahead of storing it for the winter.
Clean The Outside
Not the most fun task we’ll grant you but giving the exterior of your van a thorough clean and using a winter protection fluid will help prevent a build up of dirt and mildew which will be even less fun to get rid of when winter is over. Think of everything we do now as saving time and energy before getting back out on the road again in the new year.
Detach your regulator from the gas bottle – ensuring that your supply is turned off first (turn the knob clockwise until it won’t go any further). Lift the bottle and turn it clockwise to remove it to remove it from the regulator and replace the dust cap to protect the top of the bottle from dust and dirt. Store your bottle upright in a well ventilated area until you need it again.
Drain The System
Make sure your water tanks are empty and flush the system through to ensure everything is clean and dry and there’s no risk of freezing as the temperatures dip. Any freezing in your water system could damage your taps, pumps and storage bottles and cause problems that take time to resolve before any springtime adventures. Clearing the system entirely will also make sure any stale water is removed from the van whilst it is resting.
Keep Her Running
Just as you would with a car you’re not using for a while, we’d recommend giving your van a once over before leaving it (check tyre pressure as well as oil and water levels) and giving it the odd run out even if you’re not planning on spending the night in there.
Keep It Warm
Even if you aren’t planning on getting out and about on camping adventures, you may still use your Cambee as an extra living or play space over the winter months – we would of course encourage that, especially this year! If that’s your plan, check the heaters are in good working order and that all insulation is intact and working. And if you are planning day trips or brief overnighters, be sure to run through our tips on getting ready for winter adventures.
We’ll be in the office all winter long, just at the end of the phone. If you need any help or advice that you can’t find on the website, get in touch with us.