Updated: Aug 23, 2019
The green shoots of spring have been notoriously slow to emerge this year, but finally it’s the right moment to get back in your caravan and hit the road.
However, before you set out, you’ll need to do some extensive caravan cleaning to bring your home-from-home up to scratch for the peak season. Blitzing the caravan of all caravan damp and dust will help keep it in top condition for the spring and summer. Once you’ve completed the major caravan spring clean, you can relax safe in the knowledge that you only need to do a little caravan cleaning now and then to keep your mobile palace looking perfect.
Cleaning caravan interiors
Before you clean the interiors to get rid of any caravan damp and dust, consult the manufacturer’s manual. This will give you a better understanding of your caravan’s design and layout – helping you avoid inflicting any damage when pulling out furniture and applying liquid cleaners.
Hoover and clean the caravan from top to bottom, remembering to get into awkward corners, vacuum curtains and pelmets, reach under beds and inside cupboards.
For reasons of hygiene, the kitchen and washroom areas require specialist attention. Clean work surfaces thoroughly with a cloth, and wipe down the oven and grill. In the bathroom, clean out the water supply and then focus on that most daunting of tasks – cleaning the toilet and shower. It’s not exactly glamorous, but just think of the benefits once the task is done.
Be careful of the cleaning products you use as some may not suit the surfaces in question.
Specialist caravan cleaning products such as Towsure Spray and Clean are designed to work on the hard surfaces inside caravans without damaging them.
Another specialist caravan cleaning product is the toilet spray produced by Thetford. It is specially designed to work on plastic toilets without damaging them and produces good results.
Cleaning caravan exteriors
Cloths, extendable brushes and a hose can all prove to be useful caravan cleaning equipment for the exterior. Ensure all windows and locks are secured, as you obviously do not want to damage the interiors.
There are specific caravan cleaning products such as polish that will bring up a shine on the fibreglass, as well as acrylic window polish that work much better to clean caravan windows than a glass cleaner does. Fenwick’s Caravan Cleaner has been developed specially for effective cleaning of caravans and motorhomes.
Do not neglect the roof when cleaning caravans. It’s important to get rid of bird droppings and leaves that may have accumulated over the winter.
Using a step ladder and special hose attachments, such as an extending pole, will make cleaning a caravan’s roof much easier and safer. A power hose used at a reasonable setting (i.e. not at full power) is perfect for removing most dirt. Never put your whole body weight on the roof of a caravan.
Spring checklist before you set out in your caravan
Here’s a comprehensive list of things to check this spring supplied by The Caravan Club:
Road lights: Make sure these are operational. It's also a good idea to have a set of spare bulbs.
Tow hitch: -\Grease the hitch overrun mechanism and handbrake assembly.
13 pin or 12N/12S 7 pin sockets: Look for signs of corrosion or damage.
Road lights: Jack the caravan up and look for signs of cracking (both outside and inside of tyre), check tyre pressures are correct.
Wheels: Check the studs or nuts to see if they need tightening.
Battery: Use a multimeter or voltmeter to check the state of charge.
Gas bottle: Make sure you have sufficient supply by weighing the bottle.
Water system: Thoroughly flush the system then clean with proprietary steriliser such as Milton 2 or Puriclean - never use domestic bleach. Also check the water filter is in good condition and hasn't split due to freezing in the winter.
Cooker: Operate the hob/grill and oven burners, the flame should be a steady blue - if you suspect there is a problem point this out during the service check.
Fridge: If running on gas check the flame (same as above). To clean, use a solution of bicarbonate of soda and once cleaned leave the door ajar to dry.
Interior lights: Check for blown bulbs.
Toilet: Use a mild soap solution - never use bleach.
Smoke alarm and security alarm: Check batteries and replace if necessary.
Appliances: Make sure all are operational.
Furnishings and floor: Vacuum and clean.
Damp: Check for signs of damp using a damp meter (and your sense of smell!)