Autumn has crept up on us once again and as we finally take off our flip-flops and reach for our boots, it is an ideal time to start thinking about putting our beloved caravans and motorhomes into storage (commonly known as ‘lay up’) for the winter months.
Caravan and motorhome storage locations
The first thing to consider when choosing a storage location for your caravan or motorhome is whether you are going to be able to store at home or will you use a secure, purpose built storage location like we have at Southfork Caravan Park?
Storing your caravan or motorhome at home
Deciding to store your caravan or motorhome at your home address may seem like the most cost-effective and convenient solution for winter storage. However, in reality many of us just don’t have the space or correct set-up to be able to achieve this.
To store a caravan or motorhome at your homes address you will need plenty of space such as a spacious garage, a large-enough driveway or a garden with vehicular access. Storing at home is one of the most easy and convenient solutions for winter caravan or motorhome storage, however this makes it very easy and convenient for others to access too.
Recent government studies show that almost half of caravan thefts are from private driveways, earlier this year experts at Tracker issued warnings to caravan and motorhome owners to take extra-precautions due to rising theft (Read the full article here). If you do store your caravan or motorhome on your driveway, a sudden absence after the hibernation period is a sure-fire sign that you are away, making your house a potential target for thieves.
There are also a number of legal aspects to storing your caravan or motorhome at home. If you have declared your vehicle as off-road with the DVLA via a SORN notice then it needs to be just that - off the road. It is illegal to use (even if parked) an untaxed vehicle on a public highway. In terms of insurance, many insurance providers also require the vehicle to be parked off the road to fulfill insurance criteria.
Off-site caravan and motorhome storage
Off-site caravan and motorhome storage is the only option for those who do not have the space at home. When considering off-site storage, take time to work out exactly what your requirements are, taking the time to research different locations will prove beneficial in the long-term.
There are also security checks that should be made on potential locations - for example, does the site have suitable security? Who else has access to the site? It may be very tempting financially to look at storage offered on farm land or similar, however this is often not very secure and can be remote and difficult to access.
Preparing your caravan or motorhome for storage or lay up
Once you have decided where to store your caravan or motorhome over the winter months, there are a few practical tasks that will need completing. Taking the time to properly prepare will help minimise any issues that are likely to arise from your caravan or motorhome not being used for a period of time.
- Drain the water system - Any water left in the system over the winter period poses a risk of freezing, leading to cracked and burst pipes which will prove expensive to repair and, in the worst case, replace. Ensure the whole system is drained including the water heater and taps prior to storage.
- Vent waste and freshwater tanks - Leaving any drain valves open is a good way to air out any unwanted smells whilst your caravan or motorhome is in storage. Remember though to securely cover the outlets with breathable mesh to stop insects and other critters making a nice home in your caravan or motorhome.
- Encourage ventilation - Mould loves moisture and there is no better breeding ground then a nice unused caravan or motorhome for it to settle in. Not only unsightly to look at, mould can pose a real problem to the electronics in your caravan or motorhome as well as being a potential health risk. Leaving cupboards and doors open ajar (as well as vents- see above!) will encourage airflow and help to keep mould at bay.
- Clean, clean, clean - Making sure your caravan or motorhome has a good clean before going into storage or lay up will not only make life easier when spring comes around again, it will help protect against deterioration of fabrics and interiors. Cleaning any stains on the upholstery or floors will minimise mould and deter infestations from mice and any other small creatures. Consider taking any removeable soft furnishings out of the caravan or motorhome to store at home.
- Covering up - Choosing to cover your caravan or motorhome when in storage will protect it from the elements if on an external site/compound. The UK is known for wet winters and a cover will provide protection from a build up of algae, grime and dust. With a cover, you will still need to clean your caravan before use, however you will not need to scrape off a layer of dirt and grime, with possible risks of damage to the paintwork. A cover may also just be enough to stop any hidden leaks from becoming a massive headache.
- Sunday drives - Taking out your motorhome every so often for a run will help maintain the battery, mechanical parts and electronics. Your drive should be long enough to ensure that the vehicle gets up to the correct working temperatures - this will also help with identifying any potential issues before the camping and touring season starts again.
Caravan and motorhome storage at Southfork Caravan Park
Here at Southfork Caravan Park, we offer secure caravan and motorhome storage in the South West of England. Based in Martock, near Yeovil, Somerset, Southfork Caravan Park is easily accessible from the M5 and A303 so makes a great place to store your caravan or motorhome, you may even decide to stay for a while when collecting, before heading on to Devon, Cornwall or Dorset.
Security and access
We take the security of our customers caravans and motorhomes very seriously whilst in our care. Situated within the grounds of Southfork Caravan Park, our secure storage facility has a high-level of security. Access to the park is via automatic number plate recognition barriers (in and out) and there is no access to the storage compound without prior authorisation to anyone other than our own staff.
As part of our storage contract and at no extra charge, we will put in place all the security measures required by your insurers . We have CCTV set up covering the perimeter of the storage area and there is someone on site 24 hours per day/seven days a week so you can always be confident that the site is being monitored.
Pitch fee reductions to storage customers
We offer pitch fee reductions to our storage customers and have an approved workshop on site for repairs and servicing, ideal if you want to give your van a once over ready for your first trip of the year.
To find out more about our caravan and motorhom storage service in Somerset, South West England, please view our storage page.
Southfork Caravan Park is open all year round and details of our tariff and more information can be found here, you can also book online!