To help a relative I have some questions on winter storage of a van:
1. Cover or not? is a full cover worth purchasing or not, are there any issues with using covers, do you need to wash the van before leaving the cover on all winter?
2. The van has been connected to mains water all year on a season pitch, if I used a water tank I would be looking to sterilize the tank and system, how do you do this when the system has a direct water feed if you need to do it at all?
3. Remove the battery of not? the van has a solar panel to trickle a charge, is this enough over the winter? if it is then this possibly answers the first question as I assume even if there was a windows in the cover the panel may not do the job.
we had a cover for our van but it was too much hassle, where are you going to put it when you go to the storage to get your caravan to use it? often storage yards are dusty,muddy so folding up a cover to limit the space it would take up is more or less impossible, ours would fill the back of our car!~
puriclen is what you need to use to clean the pipe work, its best done at the beginning of the new season, before replacing the filter, to do it you just need any container such as a bucket would do and of course the water pump for your caravan,
yes remove the battery, put it on a ctek or smart charger over winter,
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1. Personally we don't cover because we have a solar panel which charges the leisure battery, which in turn powers the tracker and alarm etc. Although we could get a cover with a window for the panel, the prep needed e.g. washing beforehand isn't something I can be bothered to do, especially as we use our van right up until early November before we shut it down, and have on occasion gone away at New Year and Valentines.
2. You'll need to drain down your water system before it gets cold to prevent your pipes from freezing and potential damage to the pipes and seals if it does freeze. Once you start to use the van in the new year, you'll need to 'clean' your pipes and tanks. Some people call this sterilizing and use stuff like Milton. Don't do this as Milton damages seals and stainless steel parts. 'Clean' out the water system using a product like 'Puraclean' which cleans any residue, bacteria and gunk. Sterilising only sterilises the residue and gunk. it does not clean.
3. Depending on your van, the battery may be needed to run your alarm and any tracker fitted. Solar panels can get you through the winter, but check the batteries voltage every 4-6 weeks as alarms can flatten them. Once its below 12.2V it's time to take it home, charge it and return it as soon as possible.
Regarding van covers, some swear by them, others hate them.
The ones that hate them usually find they have massive scratches on their windows come the start of the new season because the cover had some dust or gravel on the inside (or the van hadn't been cleaned properly and some dust was left on the windows)
Personally I wouldn't use them as I am single and they look like a right pain to put on by yourself.