How to prepare for winter storage

Kiwi Coss

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Jan 3, 2013
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Hi. We are heading back to NZ for six months and need to store the motorhome in Reading for six months over winter.
Can anyone advise me what things I need to be aware of before I leave, or precautions I need to take?
Also I was told to drain the water. Does this apply to the water tank as well as the hot water tank? Where is the drain plug for the hot water in a Swift Sundance 2006 model motorhome?
Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Colin
 
Nov 18, 2011
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Drain heater water tank blow thruge water pipes levee taps open;
I used to use our wet and dry vacuum to suck pipes free of water just take off pipe at pump levee taps open seal pipe with hand over hover end water gone in seconds.
Lift all the upholstery from the bulk heads and stack in centre of van on its side
Remove all traces of food Frome the van disconnect leisure battery's if possible
Ensure that antyfrzie is good in engine.
If you can get someone to run it up once a month
Any room in suitcase for me the wife and wee man
Have a grate time bill
 
Last edited:
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Kiwi Coss

Kiwi Coss

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Jan 3, 2013
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796
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Drain heater water tank blow thruge water pipes levee taps open;
I used to use our wet and dry vacuum to suck pipes free of water just take off pipe at pump levee taps open seal pipe with hand over hover end water gone in seconds.
Lift all the upholstery from the bulk heads and stack in centre of van on its side
Remove all traces of food Frome the van disconnect leisure battery's if possible
Ensure that antyfrzie is good in engine.
If you can get someone to run it up once a month
Any room in suitcase for me the wife and wee man
Have a grate time bill
Thanks for the good info. Colin
 
Nov 18, 2011
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Just a short list of things to do:
1. in the domestic area of your Camper, remember to drain down your water heating system to protect the boiler so as the impending frosts won't ruin this device; and it's good practice to drain the cold water system too.
2. make sure the motor has sufficient anti-freeze strength to withstand the strongest frost (50%);
3. it's a good idea to remove both batteries, charging them slowly from time to time through the Winter months;
4. store the batteries on wood or carpet - never directly on a concrete floor;
5. if the Camper is being left outside, covering helps it stop going green with algae;
6. cover the wheels with ply up against them, or better still with thick black bin liners, to stop UV rays from perishing the rubber;
7. also remove the wiper blades to stop them sticking to the windows, and protect the glass from scratches from the wiper arms;
8. before disconnecting the batteries make sure to note the radio code and that you have the knowledge to re-programme the code back in when required.
9. And remove your gas cylinders
 
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Kiwi Coss

Kiwi Coss

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Can anyone tell me exactly how to drain the water tank on a swift sundance 2006 model? Is there a tap under the vehicle?
 
Nov 18, 2011
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There should be a tap on the side of the tank that drains to a drop pipe falling that just drain the thank through the taps then disconnect the pipe at the pump and blow out or drain the water off
 

lynnian

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To empty the water tank remove the screw on lid on top of tank .put your hand in tank and pull out the orange rubber plug open all you taps. To empty the heater lift up the yellow valve at the side of water heater in bottom of the wardrobe.
 
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Kiwi Coss

Kiwi Coss

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If you do remove your batteries this is VERY important. Leaving them on the concrete garage floor will ruin them pdq.
We have 180watt panels on the roof for the leisure batts which should be ok. I have bought a 1 or a 1.5 watt solar panel for the vehicle batt which I will put in the window on the dash. Will this be enough to keep the vehicle batt trickle charged?
 
Nov 18, 2011
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will the wind screen be south facing for max sun in the winter remember not much sun in the uk do you have alarm fitted.
 
Nov 18, 2011
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Very unusual that not many funster have replied to help you with your questions
Who have you upset :Eeek:216 views and only two funster replied normally plenty on her who know it all
 
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FJmike

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Jul 17, 2014
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Have to agree with most of what Bill has advised especially the point about making sure there is no food left in the van as rodents seem to be able to smell it and find their way in. With your model van Colin I would not recommend using a special pump you see advertised for draining out the water system as your water connections might not take the pressure. I have to disagree with Bill about using a cover unless you store the van in a very sheltered spot as I have seen vans where the expensive cover has worn through the gel coat on the edges of the van.
 
Nov 18, 2011
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i
Have to agree with most of what Bill has advised especially the point about making sure there is no food left in the van as rodents seem to be able to smell it and find their way in. With your model van Colin I would not recommend using a special pump you see advertised for draining out the water system as your water connections might not take the pressure. I have to disagree with Bill about using a cover unless you store the van in a very sheltered spot as I have seen vans where the expensive cover has worn through the gel coat on the edges of the van.
did not mention a cover asked if it was under cover IE barn out building I would never suggest covering up a van cusses moor problems than it prevents
edit bit of a typo on my part sorry should read what I cut and past
bill
 
Jan 28, 2008
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a 1 or 1.5 watt panel will be useless in britain during the winter if possible get the batteries linked so the large panels will keep both charged can be a fused cable run temporarily from plus to plus on the batteries or a simple fused link across the split charge relay if the diy is beyond you a auto electrician could do it
remeber to empty the water heater fully and get as much water out of the system as possible remove shower head and hose if its practical as both will hold water, we had a tap spout split even with everything open ideally you need to blow the pipework through
open every door drawer and cupboard
open any watertight vents a closed van will promote mould you need air flow
it depends how secure your storage is but if secure i would put all windows on the vent position id even drop the front ones a couple of mm
 

Badknee

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Very unusual that not many funster have replied to help you with your questions
Who have you upset :Eeek:216 views and only two funster replied normally plenty on her who know it all
Haha Bill, I'm reading all your good tips mate and taking it all in. Being new I'm afraid I don't have anything to add.

When I store motorbikes I block them up and let the air out of the tyres and drain the fuel out of the tank. Not so easy to do on a MH. :LOL:
 
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Kiwi Coss

Kiwi Coss

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Very unusual that not many funster have replied to help you with your questions
Who have you upset :Eeek:216 views and only two funster replied normally plenty on her who know it all
It's funny I was thinking much the same but so long as I get good advice it's ok. Maybe I have upset people as sometimes I might say what I think and not what people want to hear. Still thanks for the good advice.
Colin
 

Frentchy

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Get some wild mint and leave it in cupboards and places that could be cozy for mice they don't like it, rats and squirrels etc aren't too keen on it either; and it smells nice an fresh anyway(y)
 
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if the van is 2 be stood 4 up 2 6 months i would [myself ] put it on tyre saver,s / check correct tyre pressure
bill is no knowledgeable also decent bloke
 

pappajohn

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If you do remove your batteries this is VERY important. Leaving them on the concrete garage floor will ruin them pdq.
Outdated info..........or old wives tale.


In the past, storing lead-acid batteries on the ground, or on concrete or cement floors, was believed to cause batteries to discharge or be otherwise damaged, but this is no longer a concern.[8] In spite of this, the advice to never leave a battery on a concrete floor persists.[9][10] Modern batteries use tough polycarbonate cases that do not conduct current or allow moisture to pass, and maintenance free batteries are the norm, so large amounts of leaking acid are rarely seen, providing no route for current to flow.[11] One battery manufacturer even prefers storing new batteries on concrete in the summer to keep them cooler, decreasing the natural discharge rate.[11] Early batteries had wooden cases, and could absorb moisture from wet concrete, giving current a route to discharge.[12] Another explanation for the admonition to avoid concrete is that wooden cases in the earliest batteries encased a glass jar, which could be broken by swelling wood if the wood casing became damp.[13] Later hard rubber cases were porous and had a high carbon content, leaving another route for current leakage, but modern plastic cases are five or more times better insulators than rubber, and the terminal seals do not leak as they once did.[13]
 

pappajohn

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We have 180watt panels on the roof for the leisure batts which should be ok. I have bought a 1 or a 1.5 watt solar panel for the vehicle batt which I will put in the window on the dash. Will this be enough to keep the vehicle batt trickle charged?
50 watt maybe, 1.5 watt most definately a waste of time and money.
 

TheBig1

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not much to add to the good advice so far. just ensure ALL the water is out of the system. I remove the shower head, turn pump to off then open shower tap and lowest tap, as in washroom sink and blow down the pipe. normally get a cupful or 2 out and that's enough to do major damage if it freezes
fit a fused bypass or a device like the batterymaster to keep the van battery topped up by solar
fill up the diesel tank, as any air and dampness leads to algae forming that later blocks filters
if its possible pay somebody to fire the van up and turn the tyres every month or so

move soft furnishings away from the walls and cover with a cotton sheet to reduce mould risk
leave the roller blinds open so the springs dont fail

there is a forecast about that this coming winter will be very cold, so dont blame you going south for the sun
 
Oct 12, 2011
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It is most important to leave your taps, including the shower, open at the middle position if you have not blown through the remaining water in the system after you have drained down.
This allows for any water to expand to ice and force the air/remaining water through the open tap.
Leave the shower head on the shower floor so it can drain.
If you cannot take out your seating cushions lift them on their side to allow airflow.
You can clean the outside and use Fenwicks Overwinter liquid which helps reduce the algae growth.
I try to either take van out for drive or leave on EHU for a few days every three weeks. Your solar panels should do this. With my caravan I used a 40w panel in the front window, attached to the leisure battery.. This just maintained the battery, and we live in the sunny South East.
Saying that I do see a number of your type of charger on caravans and Motorhomes in storage so it must work for them!
Have a great time in NZ, we visited with our Aussie friends and it was fantastic!
 
Jan 3, 2013
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Very unusual that not many funster have replied to help you with your questions
Who have you upset :Eeek:216 views and only two funster replied normally plenty on her who know it all
Bill, may be folks haven't replied because your postings are pretty comprehensive. No point in duplicateing your good advice.

Colin, hope you both enjoy your trip. be safe . . . . Mike&Lin
 
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Kiwi Coss

Kiwi Coss

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Bill, may be folks haven't replied because your postings are pretty comprehensive. No point in duplicateing your good advice.

Colin, hope you both enjoy your trip. be safe . . . . Mike&Lin
And you will be pleased to know the bike is under cover, safe and sound. And the bike rack still going strong. Maybe a credit to British engineering.
 
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Kiwi Coss

Kiwi Coss

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Thanks for the replys and we have left the MH in storage and will see how we get on in six months time. Will post some photos of the wedding after March. Colin
 

Hammie

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if the van is 2 be stood 4 up 2 6 months i would [myself ] put it on tyre saver,s / check correct tyre pressure
bill is no knowledgeable also decent bloke
Are tyre savers worth buying? Do you mean the plastic cradle type of chicks?
 

Hammie

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Oops chocks flippin' auto type
 
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