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Preparing your caravan for winter

This guide will give you the information you’ll need to help protect your holiday home during the colder months through drain down and other winterisation services. We want your holiday home to be as safe from the cold as possible, so please read this guid

Keeping your holiday home safe this winter

The good old British weather means we get temperatures dropping below freezing during the winter. Wherever there is water there is potential for damage; this can be in valves in showers, in toilet cisterns and pans, and in boilers or central heating systems.

This guide will give you the information you’ll need to help protect your holiday home during the colder months through drain down and other winterisation services. We want your holiday home to be as safe from the cold as possible, so please read this guide carefully.

We’ve outlined:

  • Top tips for looking after your holiday home
  • Answers to questions you might have
  • Information about the services we offers

Top Tips & Checklist

We want you to return to your holiday home next year feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy another season with us. We’ve put together some top tips and a checklist to help keep your holiday home safe this winter:

  1. Book a drain down to be performed on your holiday home. This can be with the park or another contractor
  2. Turn off your stopcock every time you leave your holiday home between 1st November and 1st March. Leaving it on will invalidate your insurance, meaning you won’t be covered against any damage arising from bursting or overflowing of water
  3. Close all windows and skylights securely to minimise moisture getting into your holiday home
  4. Empty and clean out fridges and freezers, disconnect from the power supply and leave the doors ajar to enable fresh air circulation
  5. Leave internal doors open to allow airflow through your holiday home, this will help prevent condensation building up
  6. Stack any removable upholstery and mattresses away from the outer walls and place in the middle of the room
  7. Place moisture traps around the rooms of your holiday home as this will help extract condensation in the air and reduce the likelihood of condensation or mould build-up
  8. For security, remove all valuables and leave cupboards and curtains open. Place a sign in the window to say no valuables have been left in your holiday home, these signs can be collected from the Caravan Village reception
  9. If you have an alarm, ensure it is left switched on and place a sign in the window to say the alarm is on
  10. Have your combination boiler and/or water heaters serviced, this will help prevent any unexpected breakdowns

Frequently Asked Questions

Either return your form and book your drain down through us, do it yourself, or ask a qualified plumber to perform the drain down for you.

Below are some frequently asked questions; if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Caravan Village reception on 01754 614 444.

What is ‘Winterisation’?

The term ‘winterisation’ covers all services that may be offered to help you prepare for winter. Winterisation services available include:

  • Annual safety tests and checks
  • Stacking mattresses
  • Deep cleans
  • Appliance services
  • Exterior washes
  • Jet wash of patios or verandas 

Please speak to the Caravan Village reception team for more information and costs.

What is a drain down?

A drain down gets your holiday home ready for winter by removing water from the pipes and preparing any systems which contain or use water (such as boilers, showers, toilets etc). We can do this for you, you can do it yourself, or you can use a contractor.

Why drain down?

Whilst turning off the stopcock will prevent flood damage it will not prevent frost damage. There will still be water in lots of places which when frozen can cause huge amounts of damage.

Some problems which have been experienced in previous years include:

  • Cracked toilet pans and cisterns
  • Damaged boilers
  • Burst shower mixer valves 

If there is damage in these areas then your holiday home could flood when the water is put back on, which can be costly, upsetting and inconvenient.

If you need to replace parts in older model holiday homes it may not be possible for us to source the same fixtures and fittings as you currently have.

In the event of this happening we would do everything we can to assist you to put it right. If there are multiple owners who have suffered similar damage, there could be a delay to get all repairs completed. We will always advise you how long we expect a repair to take.

What is included in a drain down?

  • Disconnect the water
  • Disconnect the shower hose
  • Blow through the system to clear hot and cold water
  • Disconnect and drain the water heater
  • Place antifreeze in the cistern and toilet bowl
  • Reconnect the water heater or boiler and shower valves/mixer taps, and reset the gas regulator, we’ll leave the stopcock off until you return

In addition, if you have central heating and you have booked an antifreeze check in your holiday home we will also:

  • Check the antifreeze levels and add antifreeze in your central heating system and radiators as required

Why have I been automatically booked for a drain down?

To ensure that we offer our owners the maximum protection, your holiday home has automatically been booked in for the week commencing 13 November. If you wish to change or cancel this service please ensure that you return the completed drain down form to the Caravan Village Reception no later than 20 October. Failure to do so will result in your holiday home being drained down and you incurring further charges should you wish your holiday home reconnected and drained down later.

How do I know if my drain down is booked?

You should receive a confirmation letter in the post within seven days. If you do not receive this, please contact the park to confirm your booking of the drain down. Please check the dates carefully and keep a copy of this for your records.

What do I do if I can’t turn off my stopcock?

Have a chat with the Caravan Village reception team and they can tell you where it is, or arrange for someone to show you. If the stopcock is not accessible we can arrange for it to be moved you. We will need sufficient time to do this, so please let us know as soon as you can to avoid being caught out by an early frost. This is a free service we provide.

What to do if your holiday home was damaged

In previous years, some of our owners have returned to terrible damage which was costly and inconvenient to fix. We hope all holiday homes are drained down properly as we’d hate for you to miss out on precious time in your home away from home or lose letting income.

My caravan wasn’t drained down and now I’m experiencing problems, what do I do?

Your Caravan Village reception team will help you as much as possible and can contact a plumber should you require any support.

If there is frost damage before my drain down date, who pays for the damage?

Provided you turned your stopcock off, and you have insurance, you will be covered. As with all insurance there is an excess you will need to pay, which is £50 if insured through the Bourne Leisure Limited appointed insurance.

I didn’t turn off my stopcock, will the damage be covered?

Turning off your stopcock is your responsibility, as it would be if it were your own home. If you do not turn the stopcock off and your holiday home is damaged, the insurers will not pay to fix it and neither will your park. Your Caravan Village Reception team will help and advise you of costs and time frames for fixing the damage between 1 November and 1 March.

Will my insurers know if I turned off my stopcock?

Your insurers will be able to establish if the stopcock was off by the amount and the type of damage.

When is it safe to reconnect?

In previous years, we’ve seen freezing temperatures in March in some areas. We recommend waiting until you’re returning to your holiday home or it is being let out. Remember to always turn off your stopcock when you leave your holiday home, especially during the early months of the season.

How to book a drain down with us

Complete and return your drain down booking form Simply fill in the form and either pop it in the post to us at:

Butlin’s Caravan Village Reception,

Roman Bank,

Skegness,

Lincolnshire

PE25 1NJ

 

Alternatively email it to us at skegnesscaravanreception@bourne-leisure.co.uk. Your selected drain down date will then be arranged for you and the works charged to your account. These charges are viewable on your online account at caravanowners.butlins.com.

Once you have sent your completed drain down form, keep an eye out for your letter confirming the services you have chosen. This should arrive within seven days. If you do not receive it please speak to our team to ensure your drain down has been booked.

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