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Old 16-02-2018, 23:35
Bluebells Bluebells is offline
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Lake District
Posts: 197

That's interesting LissaLyon. Good illustration as you wouldn't have known about the damp without taking up the carpet. I know a few folk who have replaced their caravan carpet in the lounge/diner with laminate but not bedrooms. Personally I don't like laminate floors. Part of our ground floor at home has one and its easy to maintain but I find it cold.
Our static has vinyl on kitchen floor and that's cold too in winter time but we put big rugs over it.
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Old 14-02-2019, 16:02
Peter.R Peter.R is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Northumberland
Posts: 203

Originally Posted by Angela B View Post
Hi everyone.

When the 'Closing your caravan for winter' thread was posted, the response was really good, so, I thought to save people time (and stress) by doing all the hard work for you as regards 'opening up' again after the winter.

This to some may seem obvious stuff, but to others it may seem daunting, especially if you're doing it for the first time, but if you read through this post, it should take all the stress out of your preparation for the coming season.... that's the idea anyway!

Below is a list of to do's for you that I have put together from previous posts, this is to give you a generalised guide, it is not set in stone, as every caravan is different, and also depends on how you left your caravan when you closed it. Some of these recommendations are how I have done things, others are from other members. Some may be old posts, so bear that in mind (if prices are mentioned), don't forget if there's a particular part you are looking for, use the 'search this thread' button and type in the word, (that way it will highlight your word in red and cut down on time). Take the time to read it all, and take from it what you like, it is meant as a GUIDE ONLY to help you to be organised. I hope you find it useful.
Here goes...

Before the first visit.

*Check your insurance policy* for 'Winter Cover Dates'. These are the dates you are covered for winter damage (burst pipes etc). This will be important to know as you may need to do a 'mini drain-down' again when you leave (See Preparing your caravan for winter' thread)

Gather together a list of things to take that you will need.

DIY tools (just in case you need to repair anything!) .
It's always good to keep a basic tool kit at your caravan, makes things so much less stressful lol
WD40, plumbers tape, washers, joints, extension lead, power circuit breaker plug, screwdrivers, pliers, hacksaw and spare blades, notebook, pen, pencil, small spirit level, tape measure, torch

Do you need to order a gas bottle by phone? You will most likely need to be able to have your gas fire on when you get there .
Cleaning products,
Kitchen roll
Wiper blade
De-humidifier (if you have one),
Tv, vacuum, bedding, curtains, blinds, anything that you bought back home basically.
Re-stocking of non perishable items, - food, longlife milk etc (I keep certain items to cover late night arrivals)
*New Batteries* for tv remotes, clocks etc, plus smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detectors (see below)

Try to make your first visit in Office Hours in case you have any problems, and try to make sure you arrive well before the light goes and the plumbers etc.have left site - Just in case there are any water leaks when the water is SLOWLY turned on...

On arrival...

Check all around the perimeter of your caravan for any signs of damage, eg windows, chimney cowls, roof and especially your tv Ariel. Also check your decking. Whilst you're walking around, it's a good time to take a meter reading, and check your gas bottles are not empty.
Look all around inside, look for any signs of vermin (shredded paper, droppings)check floor and area around doors for possible leaks, note the floor, check for 'springiness', you are looking for dark/damp patches - hopefully there will be none! Check all corners of rooms, and along ceilings, around vents, and around windows, beneath fridge/freezer and sinks. Again, you are looking for 'dark or damp patches'. You can also spot any 'mildew' that may be forming. (This should wipe off quite easily with a damp cloth, and a mild solution of 'Milton' *DO NOT RUB* you could damage wall covering.)

Advice regarding turning water on/where to check for leaks*
This is probably best done with two people, one to be inside, one outside. Use your eyes and ears.
Shut all taps, refit all drain offs, replace diaphragm plug on Morco boiler. Then turn on water SLOWLY only opening up a small amount, not full on, and allow toilet cistern to fill ( you will hear when this is full), whilst this is going on keep an eye on the underside for any leaks if you spot one turn water off, fix , and then turn on again, once water has stopped flowing in pipe go inside and open up 1 tap at a time, be careful of any air in the system as it will splutter at you , once all taps are bled , then go outside and apply full pressure slowly keeping an eye on the underside for leaks.

Check furnishings and mattresses etc look for any signs of dampness, or mildew, then put them back to normal. Turn on your oil filled radiators/heaters/fire whichever is your chosen heat, and switch on your Dehumidifier if you have one. (I use two smaller ones, so one at either end.Your caravan should warm up more quickly as you are heating drier air.
Turn on your electric blanket if you have one (as long as there is no damp on it!).
Empty all the salt containers, you shouldn't need to refill them again as long as you air the caravan again before you leave if you've stayed overnight.
Check any stainless steel items for rust (tea coffee sugar, salt n pepper etc, it will be on the screw points) ...
Replace shower hose.



Now try to enjoy the rest of the time you have, things will probably feel a bit strange until your 'routine' becomes frequent again.

My OH (other half) and I have our own 'jobs' that we do on arriving and leaving, so we just do them automatically ...

*Don't forget to do the 'mini drain down' as you leave (you will have checked your insurance policy for the dates)

I hope you find this useful.

Please stay On-Topic

A great list and invaluable to us all ..Well done and thanks for your efforts !

( Remember the DIY rule !!! .....
....If it moves and it shouldn't = duct tape .....
..If should move and it doesn't = WD 40.... )
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Old 28-02-2020, 16:21
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Angela M Angela M is offline
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Location: Barmouth, Gwynedd - where the mountains meet the sea
Posts: 8,812

Time to refresh this thread! Click on 1st post here.

Happy new season!
Angela M
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Live life forwards, but learn from it backwards ...
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cleaning, damp, mould, re opening in spring

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