OLPRO's New Tree Planting InitiativeOn 5th October we are launching the pre-orders for our new 2021 range of major outdoor leisure products, along with a pledge to plant one tree for each product sold.
How To: Maintain Your Campervan
As we approach the colder Autumn and Winter months, we've compiled a short list of easy steps to ensure your campervan and motorhome stays in tiptop shape, at a time when you might not be using it quite as much.
If you’re going to park the campervan up for a while, it's best to do a drain-down on your water. You can either do this manually or use the automatic drain-down feature your campervan conversion may have, on the main fresh water and boiler system that activates at a preset temperature.
Start by opening all your water taps. Switch off your water pump. Open the valve on your waste water tank and drain the tank down. Similarly, drain any remaining water out of your fresh water tank.
If there are any other systems on the vehicle that hold fresh water, then these should be drained down, too.
Clean your Campervan
Before you leave your campervan parked up, take the time to give it a thorough clean inside and make sure that all kitchen surfaces, including the fridge, are washed down with a mild bleach-based product.
Mould can form on the moisture of any drink or food residue, so it’s best to get everything spotless. The same goes for the bathroom, of course.
Keep batteries on charge
Batteries have a natural drain and, if left connected to modern campervans, they will only provide energy for a few weeks at best.
Either keep your campervan plugged into the mains hook-up or you can remove the batteries entirely and hook them up to a smart charger.
If you have no access to mains charging and the vehicle is outside, then it’s a good idea to add a solar panel. These don’t have to be permanently fitted and you can buy free-standing units, complete with a regulator, that can be simply bulldog-clipped onto battery terminals.
Covers and dehumidifiers
Many motorhome storage facilities are not covered and it can be helpful to use a cover to protect the bodywork and tyres from UV degradation, bird mess and general grime. Check out our covers here.
If your campervan is stored outside, it might be worth using a dehumidifier. These free-standing units work by removing the moisture from the air inside the campervan. They can be left running for long periods of time, but you do need to make sure that you empty their on-board water tanks.
If your campervan is not parked on level ground, park it so that no water can stand on any parts of the roof (use levelling blocks if you need to).
Fill the fuel tank
Diesel and petrol degrades with time and diesel, in particular, absorbs water over time. This water comes from condensation in the air and, while it won’t cause corrosion in the tank or the fuel lines (which are plastic), it can cause bacteria and algae to grow in the tank. The best way to reduce the diesel’s exposure to air is to have a full tank of fuel.
Fuel is generally fine if left for a few months but, if you’re planning to leave a campervan parked up for six months or longer, then add a stabiliser to the fuel. Various brands are available and they’re designed to reduce the growth of bacteria and prevent sludge forming.
Go through your checklist
It is also worth writing a note on the dashboard to remind you to reset your tyre pressures, reconnect any battery isolators and unplug external chargers, solar panels and dehumidifiers before driving off.
If you’ve removed cushions, bedding or removable water tanks, it’s also worth noting this down. Some people keep a complete touring checklist, and there are all kinds of useful apps available, too.
The Key Rules to Wild Camping
Wild camping is sleeping outdoors pretty much anywhere other than a campsite. This can be done in a tent and is ideally done quite far away from any roads or buildings.
It's the perfect way to escape from the stresses of everyday life whilst also exploring the wonderful scenery of this world.
However, there are some rules that you have to follow if you are to have a successful and safe trip. Here are the ones that we feel you should be aware of:
- Firstly, you have to follow the Outdoor Access Code. You have to make sure that you leave no trace of where you have camped and also make sure that you don’t disturb other people or wildlife whilst you’re there. Also make sure that you don’t dig ditches, trample on plants or move rocks.
- Secondly, know where you’re going. It’s not as simple to just pick up your tent and head off- wild camping is allowed in most of Scotland (some restrictions apply near Loch Lomond) and on Dartmoor in Devon, but currently it is technically illegal elsewhere in England and Wales without the landowner’s consent. Consequently, if you want to travel to areas like the Lake District, responsible wild camping in certain places on higher ground is tolerated.
- Another tip to know about is that you should pitch your tent up as late at night as possible and then pack up again as early as you can the next day.
- You shouldn’t stay in the same place for any longer than a night or two.
- You should also pay attention to ‘no camping’ signs, you should keep it to a small group and also look for a site that is flat and sheltered from the wind.
- You should always stay well clear of pitching up in fields that have crops or grazing livestock inside.
- When people pack to go camping they often pack a lot of luxury items, however, you really only need a tent, a sleeping bag, a sleeping mat, some kind of cooking gear, food, a water bottle, a torch, your smartphone and a rucksack. Anything else is just a luxury.
- It’s always a bonus if you can choose a tent with a colour that blends well with the scenery. If you check out our shop you will be able to find lots of different tents that do this perfectly- maybe try having a look at our Pioneer tent in particular.
- You should also try to avoid lighting a fire, even if you can tell that other people have done so. The landowner may find this extremely disrespectful so it’s best to just stick to your camping stove and put more layers on if you're cold.
- It is important to leave the site as you found it. As well as packing up your own litter, try taking away any you came across whilst you were there too.
- Finally, before heading off, you should always let someone know roughly where you will be and when you’re expected to be back.
Happy camping everyone!
Reasons to enjoy the outdoors this Autumn
There are so many reasons to enjoy the outdoors this Autumn, from the golden glow of your surroundings to the starry nights and frosty mornings. Here’s just some of our favourite reasons:
The days get shorter a lot more quickly during the Autumn and the sun starts to hover a lot more lower in the sky. It’s during this season that evenings become a lot more crisp which helps to create some spectacular sunsets. A roadtrip in a campervan is made all the more exciting when travelling to the sight of a glowing sunset.
Autumn is a hive of wildlife activity, from squirrels running freely to birds migrating in impressive numbers. If you’re a keen lover of wildlife activity then you really can’t beat camping during the Autumn. If you really want to get in amongst the wildlife then it might be worth preparing your wellie boots, your binoculars and setting a route that’s off the beaten track.
… But fewer insect bites!
Eurgh, we all hate that moment when we know we’ve been bitten by an insect. Fortunately, as the weather gets colder, you can expect to see less of the annoying flying insects.
Obviously, as a result of the COVID pandemic, we’re living in times where it’s best to avoid crowds of people you haven’t met before. So camping during the Autumn is an ideal time to avoid those bustling summer crowds and instead enjoy the tranquillity of a quieter campsite. It’s during the Autumn months that you’ll be more likely to hear the birds chirping, the leaves rustling or maybe just beautiful sound of silence.
Enjoy the midday warmth in beautiful surroundings
During Autumn, you can still enjoy those warmer days but without the unbearably hot and uncomfortable nights that you sometimes get during Summer. While the Autumn nights can become chilly, it does give you the perfect excuse to get the campfire going and to search the cupboards for those marshmallows you’ve been saving.
Opportunity to use pretty lighting on your set up
The darker evenings means more opportunity to get settled in for the evening with a lovely lighting set up. For many, this is also an opportunity to get out the Christmas fairy lights and check that they’re all still working before they go on the Christmas tree later in the year… exciting times!