As the temperatures start to drop and we experience morning frosts, it’s time to think about draining down your touring caravan ready for the winter. If you’re not going to be using your caravan for a few months and will be storing it either at home or a designated storage site, you’ll first want to remove all of the liquid from your pipework and water system so that you don’t start next season with the aftermath of a burst water pipe.
If you are not sure how to drain down a touring caravan for winter, you might be tempted to pay someone else to do it. There are services available that will drain down and recommission your leisure vehicle, but once you know a little more about what’s involved, you might prefer to do it yourself.
What happens if you don’t drain down your caravan?
You might think you don’t need to drain down your caravan, especially if it will be stored indoors, but as you never know quite how harsh the winter is going to be and given that temperatures can still plummet to way below freezing, even in a barn or outdoor building, it is always recommended that you drain down before the winter.
Many caravan owners find that if they have left water in their system, they are greeted by broken taps or onboard pumps when they try to recommission ready for the spring. Some owners try driving home from their last trip with the dump valves open to remove the last drops of water, or blowing down through the taps to try to flush out any remaining fluid, but the reality is that you never really know how much water is left in the system, particularly if you are storing your caravan on an incline.
Using a touring caravan drainage kit can help you to remove the last remaining liquid from your pipes and water system, giving you peace of mind that your caravan will be safe from frozen pipes and burst water components this winter.
How to use a touring caravan drainage kit
To enable you to successfully drain down your touring caravan, you’ll need the right equipment, such as the Floe Caravan Drainage Kit. We stock a range of these to suit your on board water system, so whether you have a Truma Ultraflow or a Whale water system, you can use the appropriate Floe kit to help you complete the drain down. Each kit comes with a handy DVD with further instructions and precautions so you can use the equipment safely.
Each kit contains the drainage device, plus the adapter for your water system. Simply click the two together and plug in to the side of your caravan. You’ll then need to connect an air source at the other end of the device, something like a foot pump or bicycle pump is ideal, as long as it has a gauge. You’ll want to push the air into your water system at about the same pressure as water normally comes out of your taps, so this is usually around 15 psi.
Before you actually send any air into the system, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Turn off your onboard pump
- Empty the water heater
- Once the water heater is empty, close all of the taps
Now you are ready to use your touring caravan drainage kit.
Ensure the device is connected to the outside of your caravan (where the water normally goes in) and then connect the air source at the other end. Switch on the pump and build up the pressure to 15 psi. Once this is done you can empty your kitchen taps, bathroom taps and shower, one by one, as you’ll find that the pressure will force the remaining water to come out. If you have mixer taps, it’s important to empty both hot and cold water, as they come from a different place in your water system. After every tap release, build up the pressure again, ready to empty the next one.
Don’t be alarmed if you experience spitting after the water comes out of the tap; this is just the air being released, and shows you that the pipes are now empty.
It’s a good idea to check in your manufacturers instructions as well as the guidance on your chosen touring caravan drainage kit, just to make sure you haven’t missed anything out.
Not only does draining down remove any remaining water to prevent problems with frozen pipes, but it also ensures you are not left with stagnant water in your system.
Buy your caravan drainage kit today
Don’t get caught out by early frosts or plummeting temperatures, get your touring caravan ready for winter by buying a caravan drainage kit today. Please click here to view our range and contact us if you have any questions.