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A Guide to Winterising Your Motorhome This Winter Season.

Posted On 07/12/2021

Winterising Your Motorhome

Now that it’s getting a little nippier outside, you might be considering closing the door on your motorhome until the bright nights start setting in or until the weather starts to get warmer. This winter don’t forget to take care of your motorhome, it’s time to winterise!

For many, winter spells a time when the adventures stop and we begin to think about taking our motorhomes off of the road. But without the proper precautions, parking a motorhome up for the winter can leave it vulnerable to the elements of nature. To protect it from unnecessary damage, it is important to winterise your motorhome before the cold really sets in. ‘Winterisation’ is a term for the process of preparing or equipping something for the coldest, darkest, wettest times of the year. Without winterisation, the motorhome could suffer problems that only become evident in the spring — which is about the time most people think of getting on the road again.


What is a winterised motorhome?

A winterised motorhome or campervan can effectively retain all its normal functions during usage in winter conditions.

When should you winterise your motorhome?

Winterising your motorhome is recommended when the temperature drops below 5 °C. It is especially important to winterize your motorhome before storing it away during the colder months.

What happens if you don’t winterise your motorhome?

If you fail to winterize your motorhome, then any water left behind in the plumbing could freeze as it gets cold. When water freezes it expands. This can cause your pipes to burst open, which in turn can lead to water damage. Water damage is often very expensive to repair.

How to Winterise Your Motorhome:

Drain down your motorhome!

If there’s water in your motorhome’s system, it can easily burst the water pipes as it freezes. Water naturally expands as it moves towards its freezing point. End of season is a good time to clean your water holding tanks and pipework before draining completely and leaving vented ready for any freezing weather. 

So, first and most importantly, drain all the water from your fresh and wastewater tanks. Here is what you should do to properly winterise your motorhome:

  1. First thing to do is empty the toilet! - Before turning off the water supply, flush the toilet one last time to clear any water from the toilet cassette and fresh water tank. Then switch off the water.
  2. Make sure you are over a drainage point. - Try to position your motorhome so that any water drained from it flows seamlessly into a nearby grid or drainage system.
  3. Locate the motorhome drain down valve for your fresh and wastewater tanks and open them. - Make sure all of the taps in your motorhome are open. This will let air into the pipes and will help the water drain quicker.
  4. Drain your water heater unit. - Some people don’t know how to drain down a motorhome with central heating or try to avoid draining central heating because a lot of modern motorhomes have an automatic dump valve that opens whenever the temperature drops dangerously low. But because mechanical systems can fail from time to time, it is better to get into the habit of doing it yourself.
  5. Make sure every last drop of water is out of the pipes. - You can do this by blowing compressed air into the taps and by removing and tilting your showerhead down — letting gravity do the work for you. Leave all your taps in a central open position and keep them that way until spring. Lift any supply hoses and likewise tilt them down. Flush the toilet once again, it should be dry by now.
  6. Disconnect the gas supply. - Then remove and store your cylinders in a safe place.

Don’t Forget to Check In on Your Winterised Motorhome!

It’s important to check in on your motorhome from time to time, just to make sure everything is OK. We would recommend checking in once every few weeks to avoid any nasty surprises in the Spring!

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Turn the engine on and go for a short drive. - This will help to keep your motorhome active and ensure the wheels are not resting on the same points for extensive periods.
  2. Turn the air conditioning on. - This will help to keep up the circulation of the gas in the motorhome; this will also help to clear out any humidity in the camper van, too.
  3. And if the weather worsens… You might want to have a think about moving your motorhome indoors or purchasing a motorhome cover to add that extra layer of protection and insulation!