Drain down your caravan for winter 2021

Getting your static caravan ready for the winter involves one very important job – ‘draining down’. Put simply, this is removing all the water from the plumbing systems using the drain points you’ll find throughout your caravan. It’s not the most glamorous of jobs, and if your static caravan is on a park you might find that the site owner may offer residents and owners a professional drain-down service.
However, it is easy to go through the checks and carry out your own drain-down if you prefer. So what should you do?

Turn off the water

If you’re going to drain down, you will need to try to prevent more water from entering the system. You can do this by locating the stopcock (usually positioned underneath your caravan) and turning it off. This should prevent water from getting into the pipes.

Drain the system

Once the stopcock is firmly off, it’s time to remove the water that is already in the system. To do this, you’ll need to turn on all your taps and let them run dry, including kitchen and bathroom taps. Once that’s happened you can flush your toilet to empty the cistern.
Our top tip: Use antifreeze in your cistern and toilet bowl to stop any water left behind from freezing. This could crack the ceramic, which you’ll very quickly discover when you refill the toilet in the spring!
Next disconnect your shower unit and tip some more antifreeze down the plugholes, open the drain valves under the caravan, and let gravity do the hard work for you.
Drain your water heater. Most will have a drain plug that you can use to do this, or alternatively you should be able to disconnect a pipe to let the water out.

What if there’s still water in the system?

You can use a hand or foot-operated pump to introduce pressure into the system, which should force the water out without damaging any of the joints, junctions, or key parts of your plumbing. Try to avoid using a compressor that uses oil, as this can reintroduce water vapour into the system. If you keep the pressure to below 3bar or 40psi this can help to avoid damaging any components.

This seems like a lot of hassle. Do I really have to do it?

When left vacant over the winter months, the temperature inside a static caravan can fall considerably. Because the metal skin and frame of your caravan conduct heat far more efficiently than a brick wall, and your pipes are closer to the surface of that frame, the temperature can affect them far quicker than the water pipes in a brick built home.
It could only take one very cold night, and you could end up with a very damp interior when the pipes thaw out the next day. Because draining down is an established procedure when looking after static caravans, you may also find with different insurers that if you don’t carry out these checks before shutting your caravan up for the winter, any water damage as a result of frozen and cracked pipes may not be covered in your static caravan insurance policy.
If you want to know more about this procedure and how it applies to your Intasure insurance for static caravans, contact us and talk to one of our friendly team for more information today!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our caravan insurance or to get a quote, then please call Intasure on 0345 111 0680 and we’ll be happy to help.

*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.