There is always the danger of corrosion or spiders and insects seeking out winter shelter in a burner, so switch on each of your gas appliances in turn and check they work. Where you can see a flame burning yellow get the appliance inspected by a qualified person.

Check flexible hoses and have them fixed by an expert if there are signs of cracking or other deterioration. The normal recommendation is for hoses to be replaced every five years from the date of manufacture, which is stamped on the hose wall. If fitted, don’t forget to test your smoke and CO alarms.


During winter storage there is always the possibility of frost damage to the water system and you may get bacterial growth in the pipes and water tank. Therefore checking functionality should be combined with a disinfection procedure to ensure any harmful bacteria in the pipes and freshwater tanks is neutralised. Limescale can build up in the pipes and particularly in the water heater where it will not only inhibit efficient heating of water but it can also attract bacteria. Annual descaling is therefore worthwhile – several proprietary descalers are available, mostly based on citric acid.

For many years campers have been using sterilising solutions – as used for babies’ feeding bottles – to disinfect their water systems. Products containing other bleach or sodium metasulphide should not be used.

Any water filter fitted will have a limited life and this is a good time to change it, but only after disinfecting, as filters will be damaged by the disinfecting agents.


Always press the RCD test button as a basic check on the mains electrics when hooking up

Check the operation of all appliances working on 230V and 12V electrics. Connect to a 230V supply if possible and press the RCD test button to ensure this safety-critical device is functioning.

12V operation without an electric hook-up is dependent on a good, well-charged battery. If the leisure battery has been left unattended for some time and is found to be flat, the chances of recovering it to its normal capacity are slim and you may need to replace it.

More hints and tips

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