Top 10 tips for avoiding most common Bank Holiday caravan mishaps

Published in Caravanning Top Tips on   - 13 Comments

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  1. Dave Sumpter says:

    I made a claim for split shower cubical walls after we hit a large deep pothole. I took all the evidence I.e. photographs, measurements and road traffic/weather conditions at the time. This was forwarded to the council and I put a claim of over £900 for new shower walls.
    However, first the council declined my claim by stating that the road has regular inspections and that no other claims had been made on this particular pothole. They then sent a 25 page disclaimer to my insurers who agreed with the council. I had copies of the disclaimer and on pages 19 & 20, the council accidentally sent copy emails of other claims on the same pothole. Obviously, my insurers hadn’t bothered to read this and fight my claim.
    I then sent a F.O.I. request to the council asking when and how was this section of road was inspected. They stated that it was last inspected last November, it was March (4months later) when I hit the pothole. Also, the inspector travels just one way and inspected both sides at once. This again was an impossible task as the pothole was on a major road controlled with traffic lights for a very busy major supermarket and cars were constantly queuing.
    My insurers (not Caravan Guard) then sent an inspector to assess my damages. In his report, he stated that he ASSUMED the shock obsorbers on my van would have taken any shock from the pothole and that the crackes in the walls were from ‘ware and tare’.
    How many of you have seen cracks in walls from ‘ware and tare’?
    I won my hard fought claim by stating that the insurers accident inspector was specialists in CAR claims and not caravans, that his ASSUMPTION about the shock obsorbers was a guess and not a fact and that the council inspections and repair procedure was inadequate.

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Thanks for your comment Dave. We’re sorry to hear of your experience with another caravan insurer. Rest assured, we and our underwriter’s RSA invest a lot of time and money to make sure that loss adjusters working on our policyholder claims are specialists in caravan damage.

  2. Graham Crow says:

    Simply get along to Halfords and buy some Threadlock. Take out the wheel bolts and put a small blob on the thread. Re- tighten all round and you won’t have this problem. Easy.

  3. Shaun Reynolds says:

    Good advice that is an important part of every caravan/motorhome trip to be undertaken.

    I must say however, that I don’t get why we caravaners are meant to accept that the wheels on caravans (Always, the nearside!) fall off! When was the last time you took your car for a service, then followed that by doing the job yourself? Do you routinely (every trip) re-torque your cars wheel nuts? Do you even have a torque wrench for this job? Of course not! You paid a man to do it during its service!
    The whole caravan industry, hide behind their claim that if the bolts are rechecked correctly, then they believe they are fine. I note, my caravan has just had its service and attached with the paperwork is a updated disclaimer. Which now states that you should re-torque your caravan wheel nuts, EVERY thirty mins or 30 miles! So I can foresee, that the motorway hard shoulder will be in great demand by caravaners this summer! This farcical affair, surely cannot be allowed to go on much longer. But this will only be addressed when such as insurance companies, pressure the manufacturers to resolve this issue. Because we, the consumers have very little influence in this (Alko’s stated claim, when I approached them, was that there isn’t/hasn’t ever been a problem with caravan wheels becoming undone and detaching! It is easily possible, to make a caravan wheel stay on the caravan, as can be seen by the links in the article above, so why are the caravan/trailer manufacturers allowed to play roulette with our wellbeing?

    In my our personal experience, my nearside wheels fell off, directly after having an expensive full service at a highly respected Major Caravan Dealer. I had only traveled 19 miles, when both nearside wheels fell off! It was a twin axle caravan, which I had hoped would give me a greater margin of safely, but sadly, didn’t! None of the offending wheel bolts were ever found!, This incident caused massive damage to the caravan. But luckily, no-one was hurt.
    But I then had a major battle with the dealer responsible, who initially claimed, that I hadn’t done their job for them! They pointed to their service disclaimer, to check the bolts after 30 mins and/or 30 miles (I had done 19 miles and 20 minutes of travel)! They then even tried to get me to claim on my own caravan insurance! Please don’t think you would have any help from any of the related industry, they all run for cover (Alko, the NCC, Caravan Club, the so called independent engineers etc, all cite they have conflicts in interest! But without an expert witness, you cannot take court action! So this ultimately cost me many thousands of pounds, as we had to buy another caravan.

    The most surprising points where that, this caravan dealer and many others didn’t even sell Torque Wenches (They do now!), yet sell hundreds of caravans yearly! Since this episode, I have found that, whenever I mention my story, while out caravanning, so many other caravaners own up, with their own stories of wheels being lost or coming lose! So it appears to be a far more common problem, but most owners get lucky and discover the problem before serious damage occurs. But all of them, had then believed it to be their own fault! So well done to the industry, they sure know how to deflect their responsibility. Maybe their salesmanship experience is so good it overcomes all sense!

    • Craig @ Caravan Guard says:

      Thanks for your comment Shaun. We have had quite a few instances of wheels falling off in recent years. It is certainly good practice for caravanners to check regularly.

      We’re sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with wheels falling off. We agree that it is not practical to re-torque wheel nuts every 30 minutes or 30 miles!

      The WSL wheel bolts can help prevent wheels falling off : WSL Wheel Safety Bolts

      Kind regards


  4. Eric says:

    People really should not need to be told these basic things.If they can’t think to check pressures,wheel nuts,etc then perhaps they shouldn’t be out on the roads,endangering us all!!

  5. Mike Court says:

    Great article. So pleased you included a tip about setting the correct torque on wheel nuts before every trip. We do it during the journey too, and sometimes there is a need to tighten the wheel. Investing in WSL wheel nuts, which are designed not to come loose, is also a good idea and not expensive compared to a wheel coming off. Personal experience tells us that having a wheel fall off while travelling is not a good idea!

  6. Arthur Branthwaite says:

    Sound advice . If you have ever seen an overturned caravan on the motorway it’s a sober reminder to check out your outfit before your journey, therefore safeguarding your family and a spoilt holiday.

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Our thoughts exactly Arthur, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
      Caravan Guard

  7. Roland Adcock says:

    this is not just bank holiday but every trip, we must practice safety and always look for ways to lessen or eliminate risk

  8. Phil Dipple says:

    Wise words… Even for us Motor Caravaners… Tyres especially.. How do we fair as far as claims are concerned over these Bank Holidays ?

  9. AvannerBrian kingsley says:

    Your advise re Bank Holiday mishaps is very welcome and also acts as a sound reminder even to the most experienced caravanners.

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