Even when your caravan is tucked away in storage, it is still exposed to a whole host of risks that could potentially cause you problems when it’s time to start enjoying the next caravanning season.
A common difficulty facing caravanners is making sure their caravan is kept clean, dry and secure whilst it’s in storage. There are a number of ways to achieve this; first of all, it’s important to keep the caravan well maintained. Clean it thoroughly before storing, drain down and ensure it is watertight. For extra security you could also invest in devices such as an alarm, axle wheel lock, approved tracking device or a caravan cover.
As you already know, the benefits of fitting safety and security devices to caravans are endless. Not only do they offer peace of mind when touring, they help to reduce the threat of theft when the caravan is in storage. What’s more, for Caravan Guard customers, alarms, wheel locks and trackers can collectively reduce insurance premiums.
One thing these devices cannot do though is keep bad weather at bay, which is perhaps why caravan covers have become phenomenally popular in recent years.
Investing in a cover for your caravan is one of the easiest ways to keep it in tip top condition when in storage. They can also help to shield caravans from the effects of strong winds, heavy rain and light hail.
As we saw back June 2012, when a 24-hour hailstorm created an insurance claims bill of over £500,000 for Caravan Guard, hail poses a significant threat to caravan roofs, windscreens and side panels. Even though there’s no definite way to avoid hail entirely, caravan covers can help to protect the caravan’s paint work which could potentially reduce subsequent claims and save you money in the long-run.
We’ve seen similar weather conditions already this year, both in September and in late October when St Jude’s Storm tore through many parts of the UK. Caravan covers are a great way of ensuring your pride and joy isn’t badly affected if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Covers come in all shapes and sizes; Pro-Tec Covers for example, are designed to protect from debris, strong winds, light hail and water ingress. Covers are generally waterproof, UV stabilised, non-abrasive, breathable so that moisture can escape and offer Velcro door access plus allowances for aerials and flues.
These covers are specially designed to keep caravans clean and dry by preventing black streaks, condensation, mould and dirt developing. Damage caused by tree foliage, branches and bird droppings is eliminated too.
Whether you chose to store the caravan at home or at a site, you may also want to consider the following to protect your caravan whilst in storage:
- Check the storage area is fully secured and meets your insurance requirements – if storing at home, you may want to add extra security (drivepost/locked gates/lighting)
- Ensure the battery on the alarm or tracking device remains charged – some tracking devices will alert you if power failure has occurred but by then it could be too late
- Drain down all water systems including the toilet (check the manufacturer’s handbook for advice on how to do this)
- Don’t forget to do a spot of housekeeping: clean and empty the fridge; leave the fridge door slightly ajar. Give the hob, oven and grill a final clean and vacuum the upholstery and curtains if you can
- It’s certainly worth removing any foodstuffs to avoid attracting vermin into your caravan over winter.
- Pile cushions high in the centre of the room to avoid them being damaged by moisture from condensation on the windows
- Use moisture absorbing crystals to reduce the risk of condensation
- Remove gas cylinders and store in a ventilated and cool place
Finally, make sure the area around the caravan is clear; check for overhanging branches, aerials etc – things that could potentially bang into the caravan in strong winds – check our guide for protecting your caravan in high winds here.