Proper maintenance is key to keeping your caravan in excellent condition, particularly over winter. One essential maintenance task that is particularly important during the colder months is draining down your caravan before storing it away for winter. But how do you do it properly to effectively prevent damage caused by frozen water and dampness? In this article, we will be exploring our top 5 caravan drain down tips to guide you through the process, so get ready for a winter that is free of worries, and a season of adventures in a dry caravan when spring comes.
Draining a Caravan
Before we dive into our top tips for a successful caravan drain down, it's important to understand why this maintenance task is crucial. Draining a caravan is the process of removing all water from your caravan’s plumbing system and water tanks to prevent freezing during water storage. Freezing water can cause pipes to burst and damage expensive and intricate components, such as your pump, water filter, shower, and taps, but many caravan owners are unaware of the importance of properly draining a caravan, which results in costly repairs and may prevent you from using your caravan in spring. By properly draining down your caravan, you can avoid these issues and ensure your caravan remains in optimal condition, so let’s break down our top tips for a successful drain down.
1. Disconnect the Pump
Touring caravans and motorhomes do not have a constant water supply that is at risk of freezing over winter: instead, they have a 12v electric pump that must be disconnected and stored away to prevent damage to the system. To start, locate the 12v electric pump, which is usually located near the water tank or under a seat, and disconnect the power supply to the pump. Once you have checked that all of the switches are turned off, carefully remove any connections or fittings from the pump and make sure that you have a good understanding of their placement for easy reinstallation in spring before storing the pump in a dry, frost-free place to prevent damage during winter.
2. Drain the System
Once the pump has been removed, it’s time to drain down the caravan by opening the drain tap of the water heater. This is usually found on the exterior of the vehicle or under the bed locker. By attaching a hose to the drain tap and opening it fully, you can direct the drained water away from the caravan and prevent water damage. Whilst the water is draining out of the heater, open all the sink taps in the vehicle until no more water is flowing out, as this will release any remaining water in the system and ensure all water has been drained from the pipes and taps. Once drained, close all the taps and ensure the drain tap on the water heater is fully closed and secure.
3. Clean the System
Once the caravan has been drained down, it's time to clean the water system equipment to remove any debris or sediment that may have accumulated. Any excess water left in the water heater until spring will, at best, smell and, at worst, enter the water system to damage equipment and contaminate water. This cleaning can be done by using a suitable cleaning solution, such as descaler, inside of the heater before rinsing it thoroughly with clean water to ensure all cleaning residue is removed.
4. Invest in the Proper Equipment
Investing in the proper equipment can make the caravan drain down process much easier and more efficient. At Caravan Crazy, we offer a range of drainage and waste supplies, including the Floe caravan drain down kit for Whale and Truma water systems. These award-winning drain down kits allow you to easily drain down your caravan or camper in preparation for winter frosts, and removes over 99.9% of stale water, bacteria, and biofilm, ensuring a fresh and clean water system for next spring.
Both the Floe Touring Caravan Drainage Kit for Whale Water Systems and the Floe Touring Caravan Drainage Kit for Truma Water Systems are specifically designed to quickly and easily drain down each specific system, saving you time and effort and making the caravan drain down process a breeze. Similarly, the Floe European Caravan or Motorhome with Onboard Water Tank Drainage Kit is specially designed as a combo kit for European caravans or motorhomes with onboard water tanks to ensure a complete drain down of your water system.
Each Floe caravan drain down kit is easily installed and can be operated with a foot pump or a 12-volt tyre compressor, and the kits come with detailed instructions and instructional DVDs to guide you through the draining process.
5. Securing the Caravan for Winter Storage
Once your caravan has been completely drained down, it’s important to remove and store the water appliances properly and secure your caravan for winter storage. This will further protect your caravan from potential damage and ensure it remains in good condition until the next season. Start by removing any appliances that contain water, such as kettles, coffee machines, or water filters, and empty and clean these appliances thoroughly before storing them separately. This will prevent any residual water from causing damage to the appliances or mould growth that may go undiscovered until spring, and do one last check of the taps to ensure that they are completely empty.
Next, make sure that all internal doors, windows, and vents are securely closed and sealed before locking up your caravan for the winter. This will prevent any moisture or cold air from entering your caravan and causing condensation or mould during storage, and consider using a weatherproof cover to prevent freezing temperatures within the caravan and provide added protection from winter weather conditions.
Finally, choose a suitable location for storing your caravan. Ideally, it should be a dry and well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, as this will prevent any droplets from freezing and reduce the risk of mould growing in the caravan. If possible, elevate your caravan on blocks to prevent moisture from seeping in from the ground and causing damage.
Drain down your caravan with Caravan Crazy
By following these tips and investing a little time and effort into proper caravan drain down, you can ensure your caravan remains dry and protected throughout winter storage. When spring comes, you'll be ready for another season of adventures in a caravan that's in excellent condition, so pick up your floe caravan drain down kit today or explore our guide on how to drain down a touring caravan for winter for more information.