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5 important tips for caravanning in the UK!

Whether you’re new to caravanning or you’re visiting the UK for a caravanning trip, there are a few things you will have to get used to before your first trip. 

To help you get started, we’ve put together 5 very important tips that will make the difference between an easy-breezy trip and one that is stressful! Follow these tips and you can start exploring the UK in no time… 

 

1.      Use a route planner 

Towing a caravan is not an easy job despite how it may look, so the last thing you want is to be reversing around complicated or small UK roads. To save yourself a fair bit of aggravation, you should plan your route whilst booking your site. You can then make sure that the campsite you want to stay at is feasible to get to, plus you can plan any backup routes if the traffic is bad. 

 

2.      Research your stay 

The UK has so many great caravan parks to choose from which is great, as it means you can find one that caters to what you want. With that being said, you should research where it is you want to stay and what requirements you’re looking for.  

 

For example, if you’re travelling with children then you can research sites in your desired area that have good facilities for children like playgrounds or swimming pools. Likewise, some sites have certain restrictions such as no pets or are adult-only – so it’s important you know what to expect when you arrive. 

 

3.      Check the weather 

Bad weather is part and parcel of staying in the UK, as there is often a fair bit of rain or wind – so you should be considerate of this when you’re planning your trip. Try to avoid wetter months towards the winter as flooding is always a possibility, which wouldn’t make for a great stay for you or your caravan! 

 

4.      Swot up on the law 

This is especially important if you’re not from the UK, as we have many laws surrounding caravan towing. A few things to consider would be; 

  • Are you towing below the maximum weight for your vehicle? 
  • Does your insurance cover your caravan? 
  • Do you have the correct license to tow a caravan on the roads? 

Make sure you research the UK laws for towing caravans on the road before your trip to avoid any incidents on the road when you arrive. 

 

5.      Get a towing jacket 

Stones, road chips, dirt, dust and animal droppings are just a few of the fun things you can expect to encounter when travelling on the roads in the UK. That’s why it’s important to protect your vehicle with a towing jacket! This will prevent any damage from occurring to your vehicle whilst you’re driving to your long-awaited holiday. 

 

The Pro-Tec Covers Towing Jacket is designed to give a tailored fit to your caravan, making sure that nothing on the road causes costly damage. The fabric has a soft inner lining which also ensures that your paintwork and windows are safe from any damage!  

 

Shop our towing jackets here and keep your caravan protected this summer. 

 

A Step-by-Step Guide for Setting Up a Caravan On-Site

When you are a new caravan owner, there are many aspects of using your caravan that you will need to get used to before you can start going on trips. Adjusting to driving while towing your caravan, understanding the legal requirements of towing, and knowing how to attach your caravan safely are all essential steps before you get going.

 

Another area to master is getting your caravan set up when you arrive at a campsite. Many people think it is as simple as just driving onto the site and parking up but there is a lot more involved than that.

 

This guide explains what you need to do when you are setting up on-site:

 

Positioning your caravan on the pitch

 

You will have hopefully booked a pitch that is ready for you to drive straight onto when you arrive at the site. If you are using a fully serviced pitch, you need to make sure that you position your caravan close to the water and wastewater connections.

 

Some caravan sites will request that you reverse onto your pitch, so you should check this before you book and if you do not feel comfortable reversing your caravan yet, it might be better to book a different site. A lot of caravan owners invest in a motor mover to help them to get set up on their pitch, so that is an option worth looking at too.

 

Levelling your caravan

 

Making sure your caravan is level is another important and often challenging step of setting up your caravan. Some caravan owners use a spirit level to help with this but there are also apps for your smartphone that you can use.

 

You will need to start by levelling the axle, which could require you to drive one side up on levelling ramps. The next step is to release the stabiliser, put the handbrake on and lower the jockey wheel, locking it into position.

 

Uncouple the caravan

 

Uncouple the caravan by pulling the hitch head lever up and lifting the hitch from the tow bar. You should now disconnect the electrics and breakaway cable and then move your vehicle away from the caravan.

 

Use the jockey wheel to level the caravan front to back, with the spirit level or app indicating when it is completely level. The last step in setting your caravan position is to lower the corner steadies to stabilise the caravan. Your caravan should now be safe to use.

 

Turn your facilities on

 

Connect your mains power and turn on the fridge before setting up the water system. You will also need to put a chemical additive in the toilet cassette. Lastly, turn your gas on and you are ready to start enjoying your caravan holiday!

 

Make sure you also take your Pro-Tec Covers towing jacket with you when you are travelling, as this can prevent damage from stones, as well as stopping grime and dirt from covering your caravan while on your journey to your destination.

 

Shop our towing jackets here.

 

 

 

The ultimate list of caravan trip essentials!

If there is one thing that we all deserve right now, it is a holiday. Due to the lockdown restrictions over the last year, you may not have been away in your caravan for some time. You may also be a new caravan owner; in which case you need to make sure that you are fully prepared for your trip.

To make that task a little easier for you, we have compiled the ultimate list of essentials to help you plan your trip without forgetting anything:

Caravan essentials

These are all the things you need for your caravan, whether it be to keep you warm or to keep the water running!

  • Gas bottle and regulator
  • Hitch lock and cover
  • Wheel clamps
  • Spirit level (or mobile app that measures the level)
  • Water container
  • Wastewater container
  • Toilet chemicals
  • Water pump
  • Spare tyre, jack, and pump
  • Caravan battery
  • Mains lead and adapter
  • Awning

The usual travel essentials

Wherever you are heading, you should make sure to pack these items in your bag. This will keep you covered in an emergency, whether it is a first-aid emergency or a ‘the weather has taken a wrong turn!’ emergency.

  • First aid kit
  • Torch
  • Clothing including waterproofs
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Phone chargers
  • Insect repellent

Your home away from home essentials

You want to be as comfortable as possible whilst you are away, so packing these essentials will make you feel right at home. Plus, the fact that some things from home will still be necessary on your trip (such as washing the dishes and cleaning up spills!).

  • Kitchen roll
  • Washing up and cleaning equipment
  • Crockery and cutlery
  • Kettle
  • Toaster
  • Hairdryer
  • Outdoor table and chairs
  • Toolkit
  • Scissors

Essentials for the great outdoors

The likelihood is you will be spending a lot of time outside, so make sure you’re ready for it. The last thing you want is to be stuck miles away from home with no way of lighting your BBQ!

  • Games and beach accessories
  • Suncream
  • Matches
  • BBQ
  • Watersport’s equipment and wetsuit or swimming costume
  • Hiking boots, socks, rucksack, and water bottle

Essentials for the little ones

These items will change based on the age of your child, but these are a few general essentials for any younger guests on your caravan trip. If they are a little older, these essentials may be replaced with things such as iPads or game devices.

  • Nappies and changing items
  • Milk bottles
  • Travel cot bed
  • Baby food
  • Sterilising equipment
  • Toys
  • Medicine
  • Numerous pacifiers
  • Cot bedding

Hobbies and interests

One of the great benefits of going on caravan holidays is that you get to spend time enjoying your hobbies, so make sure you take everything you need for your hobbies such as:

  • Bikes, spare tyres, puncture repair kit, pump, and other accessories
  • Fishing equipment
  • Running shoes and clothes
  • Camera and charger

Taking care of your caravan

While you are away, you should also keep on top of your caravan maintenance, so take the products and items you need to clean the outside of your caravan, including a sponge, cloths and cleaning products.

The best way to keep your caravan in pristine condition all year round is to use a top-quality protective jacket, such as the market-leading towing jackets from Pro-Tec Covers. When you are on the road, you can protect your caravan with a towing jacket, preventing dirt and grime from building up on your caravan whilst you are driving. This means that you can spend less time cleaning your caravan and more time relaxing on your caravan trip.

Shop towing jackets to complete your checklist of essential items for your caravan trip.

 

Security Measures for Your Caravan

Unfortunately, caravan thefts and break-ins have been increasing, with thieves looking for what they see as easy targets with caravans not usually having as good quality security measures as properties do. Therefore, it is important to review your existing security setup to see what more you can do to protect your caravan.

Here are some top tips for improving your caravan security:

Remove belongings when your caravan is not in use

When you are packing up your belongings to leave your caravan, do not be tempted to leave any expensive items in your caravan, such as electronic devices. If you have to leave any valuable items inside your caravan, make sure that they are kept out of sight.

Choose a secure caravan storage site

Fees for caravan storage can vary greatly but you shouldn’t compromise the security of your caravan for the sake of saving a few pounds each year. When you choose your caravan storage site, check what the security measures are, including CCTV, perimeter fencing and whether there is security staff on site.

Secure all windows and doors

If your caravan does not already have strong, secure locks on your windows and doors then you should have some fitted. Some caravans have plastic window latches that are easy to break, so you should replace them with locks made from steel, or an alternative material that provides a high level of lock security.

Install an alarm system

A powerful deterrent to thieves is an alarm system that will emit a loud siren if a window or door is opened while the system is in operation. You can also buy ones that use infra-red sensors to identify movement. There is now a wide range of affordable caravan alarm systems available to buy, many of which are simple to install yourself. By installing an alarm system, you may also be able to reduce the amount that you pay for your caravan insurance policy each year.

Use devices to lock your caravan

There are many additional devices that will make it more difficult for thieves to take your caravan. A good quality hitch lock should be used to lock the coupling head onto a cover. You can also use a clamp and locking wheel nuts on the wheels and chain your caravan to a secure point with a heavy-duty chain. All of these additional measures will take thieves more time and effort to steal your caravan, which is likely to put them off.

Use a caravan cover

A caravan cover has multiple uses, it can protect your vehicle from damage from rain, as well as protection from harmful UV rays but it can also help protect it from being stolen. Using a cover on your vehicle will deter thieves because it will make it harder for them to break in and also there will be no items visible through the caravan windows.

Buying a cover that perfectly fits your vehicle will give your caravan  an added level of protection, so if you need a high-quality cover that fits around your caravan tightly, shop at Pro-Tec Covers.

How to Prevent and Deal with Damp on Your Caravan

As a caravan owner, one of the problems that you want to avoid is damp growing inside your caravan. With caravans generally having less ventilation than your house, you have to take extra measures to try and prevent damp or at least know how to deal with it as soon as possible to minimise the damage.

Damp is not only a problem that is unpleasant to have within your caravan, it can also be very costly to repair, so it is important to know what to look out for and how you can stop damp from appearing in your caravan. Here are some tips for protecting your caravan from damp:

Keep your caravan well ventilated

Get fresh air into your caravan as often as possible by keeping windows and roof vents open when you are using the caravan. It is particularly important to ventilate the caravan immediately after taking a shower or while you are cooking, as these activities will cause moisture to build up inside. Moisture can also get trapped inside cupboards and rooms, so open all internal doors and cupboards as well.

Install a damp meter

You can buy a special meter to install inside your caravan that measures the amount of water in the air, to help you to monitor this. A reading that shows there is more than 15% water in the air is usually cause for concern and you should look at what is causing the problem and try to resolve it before it leads to dampness.

Dry clothes outside

A major cause of damp inside any type of property is drying clothes inside, so you should try to always dry clothes outside wherever possible. Buying a portable washing line to use outside should help you to dry clothes outdoors when the weather allows. You should also remove bedding and towels when you are not using the caravan, as moisture can get caught in these fabrics.

Use a moisture trap or dehumidifier

If the water level in the air is measuring as high, it might be a good idea to buy a moisture trap or dehumidifier to remove the water from the air. You can buy ones that will automatically switch on when the humidity gets to a certain level.

Check your seals, seams, ceilings and walls

You should regularly check through your caravan for any signs of damp, which will usually be a dark colour but in the early stages could just be moisture gathering in places. After taking a shower or cooking, make sure you wipe surfaces down with a dry cloth or towel to remove any residue. You also need to be regularly checking the seals and seams on your caravan for any signs of damage that could lead to dampness.

If you do find any mould or mildew, you should use a specialist mould spray to clean the mould off the surface and then keep the area well ventilated in future.

Damp can cause severe damage to the interior of your caravan, but you may also experience dampness on the exterior of your caravan, especially if your caravan cover is not designed to be breathable. Many covers on the market are waterproof but not breathable, which means moisture will build upon the exterior walls and roof, often leading to dampness.

Pro-Tec Covers have been expertly designed to provide waterproof protection, but the material is also breathable, allowing moisture to escape and therefore prevent exterior damp.

Shop your Pro-Tec caravan cover now to keep your caravan protected from damp.

UK PRODUCT

british manufacturerAll our covers are designed and manufactured in-house in Bradford, West Yorkshire by Pro-Tec Covers Ltd. None of our caravan or motorhome covers are outsourced. Our material, CaravanShield, has been exclusively developed in the UK and we are proud to say that it continues to be manufactured  here in the UK