We know you’re all desperate to return to your beloved home from home after a cold winter – and even a long-lasting national lockdown.
1. Preparing for spring at home
- Firstly, call your park to check whether opening times or the barrier codes have changed, or if there are any park updates you should be aware of
- Ask (if possible) for your gas bottles to be changed before you arrive in the off-chance the office is closed when you get there
- If you didn’t drain down yourself and opted for the winterisation service from the park, ask the office before you arrive to reconnect your holiday home
- Check with your insurance provider about the requirements before making this request to ensure you’re complying with the terms of your policy
2. Pack the essentials
Secondly, prepare all the items you’ll need to complete a spring clean – and for your first getaway in spring! Tick the items below off your list as you’re packing:
- Park security passes
- Any documentation required for travel during Covid-19
- Your holiday home keys
- Cleaning products – including soap, toilet roll, washing up liquid, and interior & exterior cleaning supplies
- Electricals – don’t forget your phone chargers, hoover, de-humidifier and any televisions or consoles you want to set up
- Pen and paper (great for taking your meter reading as soon as you get there!)
- Basic food and household items (depending on how long you’re staying for and what you left behind)
- Tool kit: we thoroughly recommend organising a DIY bag containing helpful tools to keep in your van. Try and get your hands on a spare torch, screwdriver, wrench, plumbing and duct tape, washers, fuses, WD40, extension lead, cable ties, and a small saw.
3. Your first arrival in spring season
It’s vital you check everything is in working order as soon as you arrive – whether you drained down yourself or opted for a winterisation service. Before settling down for a cuppa, we recommend performing thorough checks of the following:
Check the outside of your van first for any signs of damage on:
- Windows and doors
- Panels and seals/ seams
- Roof, skylights and aerials
- Gas connection, water connection, and electric lead
- Decking and skirting
- Any sheds or storage units you have
- Damage or movement from items you may store outside (BBQ’s, bikes, garden furniture)
If you spot any signs of weather damage, make sure you document it somewhere safe and take plenty of pictures in case you need to contact your insurance provider.
- Safety equipment first – ensure your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and your fire extinguisher is working
- Surfaces and floors for signs of vermin, mildew or leaks
- Doors and windows, including seals, hinges, handles and locks
- Walls and ceilings – don’t forget the corners!
- Vents and skylights
- Inside cupboards, drawers, and the fridge
- Seals around the sink and bathroom
- Mattresses, sofas and upholstery (thoroughly inspect for signs of damp or mildew!)
4. The big spring switch-on
You’ve checked everything over once, now it’s time to get your beloved space up and running. Open all doors and windows to get some breathing space and fresh air in and make sure the following are functioning:
- Water: once the water has been re-connected, turn on the kitchen and bathroom taps slowly, one tap at a time. Run them for a couple of minutes to ensure trapped air is released. While they’re running, dash out and check underneath your holiday home for any leaks. Slowly turn up the water pressure gauge, and continue checking for leaks.
- Electric: take a meter reading before switching the electric back on, and once everything is running, check all light switches work and whether any bulbs need replacing or reinstalling. Don’t forget to check your large appliances (fridge/ freezer) is working.
- Gas: you’ve checked the gas connection, so it’s time to reboot the central heating. Take a meter reading (if possible) before you switch the gas back on. If you have electric heaters, fire them up and allow them to slowly kick in. If necessary, wait for a few minutes and carefully switch the gas hob on for a second or two to see if it gives a flame.
5. Spring clean
Systems are up and running, and now you’re free to add the personal touches you know and love. To do this, start with a quick once over with the hoover and mop, dusting surfaces as you go for a fresh spring feel. Airing out your duvets and cushions is also a good idea before putting the bed sets on.
Why not give your windows a quick clean so you can sit in your fresh home from home and look out at the rural views? Don’t forget to spritz the air with your favourite air freshener, or even light some scented candles if you’re planning on staying in. Fresh flowers and plants, like lavender, citrus plants or scented geranium are a great add-on and will bring some freshness to your first visit of the season.
6. Safety first
Now you’re back on site and enjoying a cuppa, take some time to check the administrative aspects of holiday home ownership. Ensure the following:
- Your insurance is renewed and covers everything you need it to (including rental cover if you’re thinking of hosting)
- You send a copy of your up-to-date insurance policy to the holiday park office
- A contractor has been booked to perform an annual boiler check
- Your gas safety certificate is renewed (this is an annual requirement) and a copy provided to the park
- If you do plan on subletting, a PAT test is carried out and a valid certificate issued
- Your electric safety certificate is renewed and a copy provided to the office (this is required every 3 years, or every 12 months if you sublet your holiday home)