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Old 03-02-2012, 09:47
Angela M's Avatar
Angela M Angela M is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Barmouth, Gwynedd - where the mountains meet the sea
Posts: 8,812
Arrow *Re-opening your caravan in Spring*

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.

1. *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)

2. 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 .
3. Do you need to arrange for your site to turn water back on following tem carrying out your Drain-down at the end of last season?

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

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

Angela M
Mod Team

Live life forwards, but learn from it backwards ...

Last edited by Angela M; 15-02-2019 at 05:19. Reason: Added info re turning water back on/ fire equip edit.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:12
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marstan marstan is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: cumbria
Posts: 1,168

Great stuff Angela , I would not have thought of Battery for remote Etc, A little thing i know but still important, This list will make things a lot easier , Thanks for all your hard work
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:06
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Tiamaria589 Tiamaria589 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,518

dont forget to phone ahead to book your 'drain up' ( that's if the site have done it) as they may be fully booked on the day you want it doing..

MODS- feel free to remove this post if it is already on the list.....

and THIS POST angela B is why we are sooooo grateful for your posts and why we dont care wether you have reached 4000 posts or 40.000 post....
i just noticed that the colours are working again ...thanks DARREN
ruled beautiful granddaughter, 2 kids, 3 cats and 1 hubby


Last edited by Tiamaria589; 03-02-2012 at 13:13.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:08
Retired Member 8 Retired Member 8 is offline
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Location: Clacton on Sea Area
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You will have done a great job Anj. I will let you know if I think of anything else - One thing, on the list to bring that I think should be listed as a separate item is wine, beer, etc. also known as booze.
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Old 03-02-2012, 13:06
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Darren Darren is offline
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Another great list Ang
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Old 03-02-2012, 13:46
treetopper treetopper is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Treetops
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Well done smillie for medals
Thanks for the offer in you PPS mind you it would give you a laugh bare.
I know this may be covered but I would suggest that every time you go home from van the water should be switched off.
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Old 03-02-2012, 14:41
Retired Member 7 Retired Member 7 is offline
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Well done Ange great post as usual loads of info for us novices.
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Old 03-02-2012, 14:42
stu1 stu1 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,066

Well done Ang!!...a lot of good work you"v done there gal!!

Snow shovels for us 11 month early openers!!

Atb Stu

[COLOR="Red"]I've learnt to handle stressful situations like a dog...
if I can't eat it or play with it, I just p-e on it and walk away[/COLOR];)
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Old 03-02-2012, 20:06
wrenie wrenie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: cranfield Bay hoilday park
Posts: 30

Thanks Angela, this is very helpful, this will be our first year getting the van ready for the season. Few of the things you noted i would have forgot about.
Our caravan - 1999 Atlas Fanfare Super - Love it
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Old 03-02-2012, 20:12
DianeW DianeW is offline
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Location: The land of peace and quiet.... Lancashire.
Posts: 876

Very usefull information, it is feeling like its coming really close now to opening up time - cant wait
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cleaning, damp, mould, re opening in spring

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