How to Store your Campervan During Winter

See our tips to keep your campervan in the best shape over winter

You rarely think about the upcoming winter season, during your last dash autumn camping trip or travelling during the summer. Instead of thinking about what you plan to do with the van when you are not travelling, chances are that you will be more preoccupied with thoughts of how you can’t be on the road. Armed with a variety of tips on how to store your van during the winter season, we are here to provide you with the help you need. This way, your campervan will be good to go on a new adventure as soon as winter comes to an end, and you are ready to hit the road.    

Where To Store Your Motorhome

Where’s your intended motorhome storage site? For example if you choose to keep your motorhome at home, you can trickle charge the batter by connecting it to a power lead.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that in comparison to units stored in campervan storage facilities, units stored at home are more likely to be damaged or even stolen. Furthermore, you are not allowed to park motorhomes on your driveway in many neighbourhoods.

Keeping Your Motorhome Secure During Storage  

It is important to provide additional security, regardless of where you decide to keep your campervan. We recommend using the following security post measures, even though you are welcome to use other deterrents:  

campervan winter storage

When storing your campervan rental Ireland at home, be sure to block it in using another vehicle or temporary fence panel, and keep it as far away from the road as you can.

A high quality steering lock and wheel lock are also recommended for use, regardless of where you decide to store the van. One of the best options is Al-Ko.

Preparing Your Campervan For Storage

All water pipes and storage tanks should be drained of any water. On top of becoming stale when left in place, any water left behind may slit the pipes and/or tanks when it freezes. Remember to empty all water pipes before storing any removable water tanks indoors.

Tyre pressure should be set around 0.5 bar over the recommended level. This will ensure that you continue to ride comfortably by preventing the formation of any flat areas on the tread.

Since exposure to extremely low temperatures reduces the useful life of leisure batteries, be sure to remove them. Assuming that your workshop or garage does not freeze, you can store the batteries there.  

Whether they are removed or left in the van, remember to charge leisure batteries on a regular basis. With it, you can ensure that they serve you reliably for as long as possible.

Even during motorhome storage, small amounts of power are drained from a leisure battery during storage; so if you cannot remove them, remember to disconnect them.

Gas bottles and propane tanks should be removed and stored safely in a secure workshop or garage storage.

Focusing on the bathroom, food storage and kitchen areas, clean the van’s interior thoroughly. During the storage period, mould or spills are bound to spread.

The fridge door should be left open after it has been thoroughly cleaned.

Any bedding should be removed, cleaned and stored in the house.

To keep the water pipes from freezing, blow through them thoroughly. You can use a bicycle pump to blow the all the pipes empty by simply attaching a piece of a bicycle’s inner tube over the tap.  

Fill up the fuel tank. This keeps rust from setting in, by preventing the formation of condensation. Furthermore, starting the engine will be easier.

When storing the leisure vehicle in a rural area, remember to set mouse traps. While this might seem drastic, the interior of a motorhome or campervan can be quickly destroyed by rodents.

Cleaning The Camper van Exterior

I prefer to wash my camper van starting from top to bottom, during a cool dry day – however, this may not be the same for everyone. From bird lime and grime, to regular dirt, sap and algae, camper van roofs take a lot of beating. Bird droppings can damage the pain, while the rest are likely to become harder to remove, if left in place for too long. As such, you should thoroughly clean the roof at least once a year.

You should be careful when placing a ladder against your caravan, placing some foam or a cloth in between the ladder and the van body. We recommend that you clean the roof using a long-handed brush while standing on your ladder, as we discourage walking on the motorhome roof –even though most are strong enough to handle the weight of an adult. Be sure to stabilize the ladder properly as you will be exerting a lot of force.

Another option would be to use a wide legged Henchman step ladder. Start by softening the dirt by hosing down the roof. Afterwards, to remove any abrasive particles, like grit, brush the roof surface gently. To reduce the chances of swirls and scratches when removing grit, be sure to swill your cloth or brush in a bucket of shampoo/water.  

After that I use Mac-Off, my favourite cleaner to spray the surface. To prevent scratching, remember to place a cloth under the bucket containing your favourite cleaning solution when it is on the roof surface.

campervan cleaing

While you might need a stiffer brush and more effort to remove stubborn stains, most dirt will easily clear away.  

Cleaning the sides is the next step. To keep water from making its way under seals and other parts, you are discouraged from using a jet-washer, even from a distance.

Mac-Off Caravan and Motorhome Cleaner gets rid of even the most stubborn black stains – one of the biggest challenges when cleaning the sides. Before moving on to the acrylic windows, be sure to rinse down the sides. The brush head should be rinsed to remove any grit and the bucket re-filled with a fresh water-shampoo solution, before you start cleaning the fragile acrylic windows. Clean the windows before inspecting them for any signs of scratches. You can use something like a vinegar/baking soda, T-Cut mild abrasive paste to get rid of light scratches.  

When dealing with any electrical products/components, individuals should take the necessary precautions for safety and always be conscious of the risk of electrocution. Any liability associated with the application of these instructions will not fall on Future Publishing Limited, its agents or employees, in as far as the law permits. Before moving forward with any DIY projects, remember to ascertain that there will be no warranty violations.  

Extra Motorhome Storage Tips

When looking for a suitable campervan storage unit for your camper van, be sure to take your time. The price and conditions can vary significantly.

Consider putting your campervan on blocks to give the wheels a much needed break, if you don’t think you will need to use it any time soon.

After parking your camper vans, follow these tips:

While keeping the screen in front, open all the ventilation and roof hatches in the van.

Set the fridge to the ventilation setting and open all cabinet doors. Use something like a clothespin or something similar to keep the freezer lid open.

Cushions for both sofas and chairs should be stored in a free and upright position to allow easy escape of moisture.

Leaving the springs on screens and blinds stretched can negatively affect their long-term effectiveness, so be sure to roll them up.

To protect the gears from unnecessary damage, put the clutch in neutral.

To avoid placing any unnecessary stress on the van, remember to park it on a flat surface.

Freezing or development of rust on the handbrake cable can immobilise your campervan, as such, don’t apply the handbrake during the storage period.

To keep the van from rolling away, as the handbrake is not engaged, position wheel chocks behind and in front of the wheels.

Use a clothespin or something similar between the blades on wipers and the window to separate the two during storage.

Grease and use corner steadies, if you have them – and store the pendulum at home as a security measure.

Mechanical Tips

You should not start the engine f your van on a regular basis after putting it in storage. Starting the engine can lead to the formation of sludge and acids, as moisture is deposited in the crankcase and exhaust system. But, you can start the van once per month, if it normally struggles to start after being left idle for extended periods of time. Leave the engine running on idle for at least half an hour. Once the engine has warmed up, rev it for one minute periods.

On top of adding a fuel-storage stabilizer additive into the fuel tank, remember to change the oil just before storing the van. Try keeping the engine battery charged, if you plan on leaving the vehicle in storage for an extended period. A solar panel trickle-charger can help get this done. Alternatively, you can store the engine battery in a workshop or garage, if the above isn’t possible. To extend the life of the battery once it is removed, charge it on a regular basis.