So, what can you do to prepare your van for the winter months?
Prepare the mechanicals:
1. Make sure the van has the correct grade and mixture of antifreeze
2. Make sure the oil is the correct grade for the weather conditions
3. Make sure you have the proper screen wash mixture and your wipers are in good order.
4. Make sure your tyres are winter or 4×4 tyres, perhaps looking for mud & snow tyres (m&s) and the pressures are correct – maybe consider reducing them a little? Ensure you have the correct amount of tread – note some countries such as Norway have very specific legal requirements. Don’t forget the spare.
5. Make sure the rest of your engine and other mechanicals are in good order, check for leaks and failing seals etc.
6. Consider topping up your underseal etc before the winter arrives, as salt etc is very corrosive and most vans will almost rot before your eyes!
7. Consider carrying snow chains and a good quality towing strap.
8. Check all your lights work and carry spares. Some wet wipes in the van are handy to wipe the road muck off them from time to time.
9. Check your heater and windscreen demister works.
10. Think about what happens if you get stuck or breakdown: consider a carrying a shovel, blankets, warm clothing, a torch and of course make sure your mobile phone is fully charged at all times.
Prepare the rest of the van:
1. Drain down the fresh water tank
2. Empty any waste water tank and also ensure the water pipe to the tap (faucet) is empty.
3. If you carry a portable toilet, take it out of the van or drain it down, not forgetting the flush water tank.
4. If you’re not planning on using the van (why not?), consider disconnecting and removing the batteries to keep them healthy.
5. Wipe down all the surfaces and remove any mud etc.
6. Consider removing soft furnishings and putting them somewhere warmer. Even if you use the van, consider removing the pop top mattresses etc and keeping them in the dry as they may get quite damp.
7. Clean and stow the awning, perhaps washing with a fungicidal shampoo, but ensure it is totally dry.
8. It’s worth removing gas cylinders, especially the aerosol type and the little Camping Gaz / Colman bottles as they don’t work well when cold. Same for your Jetboil gas.
9. Consider using the crystal type dehumidifiers to to keep the moisture levels down.
10. Air the pop top,whenever the weather is good enough, this should help fight off mound and mildew.
But as I said, why not just use the van and go camping? It won’t like being parked up or just going to the school and supermarket….
Next, preparing the van for winter camping. ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️☃️