Advice: Re-Opening Your Caravan for Spring...
With more and more parks extending their seasons, the good news is that many of us only need be away from our holiday homes for a short while - but whether you have been away from your park for just a couple of weeks or for those of us that still have a longer winter break it’s important that we ensure that on our first visit of the season, everything is checked and prepared so it’s in tip-top shape for the year ahead!
Before you start the journey, it’s usually worth a phone call or email to the park just to check all is well with things like the weather conditions, park access, park news or information you should be aware of prior to you setting off. It would also be an idea to ask the park to replace any empty gas bottles if needed in case the office is not open when you arrive.
Make sure you’ve packed you everything you need, for some that will consist of everything but the kitchen sink!! But if you prefer to travel lights it would be well worth taking a few basic necessities:
- Security passes, keys, any required documentation.
- Bedding, curtains etc
- Electricals - TV’s, computers, hoover, de-humidifier etc
- Cleaning products
- Basic food and household items
- Pen and Paper (handy for taking down your meter readings on arrival)
- Tool Kit - Torch, screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, pliers, hacksaw, spirit level, fuses, plumbing tape, spare washers and plumbing joints, lubricant spray (WD40), extension lead. (You don’t have to pack up your entire shed but bear in mind that having a few tools can relieve the stress of any problems/damage that may have arisen over winter, this could also save you being charged by the park for undertaking a small job that you could have done yourself having had the right equipment)
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you didn’t drain-down yourself and instead opted for the park’s winterisation service that you should ensure that you have instructed the park to re-connect the services to your caravan for your arrival. It is extremely important that you are aware of your insurance requirements before making this request to make sure you are adhering to the terms of your policy. (If you need clarification on this please contact your insurer).
Due to the severe winter weather conditions, one of the first things to check is the exterior of the caravan and any additional structures for possible damage and/or the need for mainanance:
- Panels/ Seals/Seams
- Roof (inc skylights)
- Underside of unit
- External connections (gas/gas bottles, water, electric)
- Verandahs, decking and skirting
- Sheds and storage boxes
Also check for any missing items that may have been carried away by the extreme winds we have had across the UK during December 2013.
Now for the inside…
Firstly check your safety equipment, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers etc. You should also check each room thoroughly for any signs of damage, paying particular attention to areas that are out of sight. Check for signs of vermin damage, leaks, damp, mildew, wear and tear etc on:
- Windows/Doors (seals, hinges, handles and locks)
- Ceilings and Walls
- Skylights and Vents
- Floors (particularly the edges of each room)
- Cupboards/Drawers and Surfaces
- Bathroom/kitchen and central-heating fittings
- Soft Furnishings and mattresses
Finally… the switch on!
Lastly, its time to check everything works. Check that all the gas and electrical items are in good working order and that any heating (including the boiler) are all working well. Once the water has been re-connected, run the kitchen and bathroom taps, flush the toilet and try the shower paying close attention to any leaks that may have been caused by frost damage over the winter months.
It’s likely that your static caravan may seem slightly damp and musty from the close down, so give the place a good airing, use a de-humidifier if you have access to one if not use salt containers to absorb any excess moisture. (For additional tips on keeping your unit condensation free, please also see our information sheet which is available a www.nacoservices.com or simply call out advice team for a copy).