Hardy souls will keep on camping throughout the winter – but for less robust VW Camper owners, it’s time for their beloved vehicle to hibernate.
Making sure your VW Camper is tucked up snugly for winter is vital, so we’ve come up with a checklist to keep your pride and joy in tip-top condition.
And if you are going to keep your camper on the road, consider winter tyres – even UK drivers can benefit from using them because they help improve braking and traction performance on snow, ice and wet roads.
How to look after your VW Camper van in winter:
- Make sure that all water has been drained from storage tanks – if it freezes it will expand and could split the tanks and/or pipes.
- Remove propane and butane tanks and store in a safe location such as a garage or a workshop.
- Thoroughly clean the inside of your vehicle, paying particular attention to the kitchen or cooking area and food storage cupboards. Mould can grow over winter creating all manner of problems, and rats and mice can be attracted to forgotten food.
- If possible, remove bedding or bedding covers for cleaning. Wash and store indoors.
- Consider using mousetraps over the winter in order to stop vermin in their tracks – while your van sleeps, rats and mice can ruin the interior of your camper van.
- However tempting it may be, do not buy a tarpaulin to store your vehicle under. Tarpaulins stop the air from circulating around and can cause mould to develop inside the camper.
- If you are desperate to use a tarpaulin, create a frame to stretch it over so that it doesn’t touch the camper van and air is able to circulate.
- The ideal place to leave your camper van is inside a covered building. If you don’t have your own garage, consider renting one or ask a friend if you can borrow theirs over the winter (in return for a loan of the van, perhaps…).
- Check the tyre pressures before storage and consider placing your camper van on axle stands to stop the tyres from deteriorating.
- Moving parts such as door hinges an mechanical parts should be lubricated which will keep them moving and repel water.
- Make sure your camper van is spotlessly clean before you store it – dirt retains moisture and can lead to rot and rust. If you’re storing after a cold spell, cleaning is especially important because the road salt used to clear snow and ice can corrode your camper – particularly your brake disks.
- Don’t be tempted to regularly start your engine which can deposit moisture in the exhaust system which can form acids. Start it once a month, ensure the camper runs for 30 minutes on idle and rev the engine periodically.
- Change the oil just before you store your camper and if leaving the vehicle for a long period of time, try and keep the engine battery charged.