Whilst some motorhome owners decide to park up their pride and joy in storage for the duration of the colder months, there’s an ever-growing number of courageous and hardy people who use theirs all-year round.
If you’re thinking of taking a trip this winter or early spring, particularly if you own an older model, it’s essential you conduct some extra checks to ensure you avoid any winter woes.
From heating to brakes, check out our expert advice below:
Assess your heating
The first potential issue concerns the internal temperature of your motorhome. Generally speaking, it will need to be kept at a very minimum of 18 degrees to be enjoyable and safe to live in.
The warmth will depend on the efficiency of the heating system installed, along with how impressive the insulation is.
Modern motorhomes are usually warm due to the majority of the wall structure being made of insulation, but cab windows are a major source of heat loss. In order to address this, it’s best to use thermal screen covers as well as investing in other accessories like heaters.
A powerful, effective heating system in a well-insulated motorhome should keep the interior at an enjoyable, comfortable living temperature, but it’s essential to check your heating system regularly throughout the winter months, particularly before making a long trip.
Batteries and brakes
From a base vehicle perspective, it’s well worth checking out a few important items in advance. Ensuring that your coolant has an adequate strength of antifreeze is well worth your time.
Getting your brake fluid checked is also hugely important due to the fact that it’s hygroscopic. The water droplets merge and, because water is heavier than brake fluid, it sinks to the lowest part of your system.
Through heavy and extended braking, this water then has the potential to boil due to the massive heat energy achieved by the brakes. The water can also freeze in the wheel cylinders during the ice-cold winter months and in the worst-case scenario; stop the operation of the brakes completely.
Vehicle starter batteries come under the highest load during ice cold weather, so it is good practice to charge yours regularly. A good quality starter battery can remain serviceable for many years but can fail quickly, particularly when the temperature drops.
Tyres are an absolute must to be considered during the winter season and you should be checking for cuts, bulges and incorrect pressure on regular occasions.
Do you really need winter tyres? Probably not if you’re remaining in the UK. However, if you’re planning on travelling to Europe, depending on which countries you are visiting, it could be a legal requirement that you have winter-specific or four-season tyres fitted, along with carrying snow chains by law. Ensure that you do your research if this happens to be the case!