The weather in 2018 has been splendid this year, OK all the grass turned brown but it was the perfect weather for holidays. More of us than ever hitched up our caravans and headed off to hot spots around the UK. You may know I am also a caravan service engineer (Telford Caravan Services) and from an engineers point of view it was a pretty busy year for services, habitations and upgrades.
Why are we discussing a caravan cover now?
People love their caravans, I’ve seen that first hand, next to the family pet they are the next most loved possession people have and let’s face it, they aren’t cheap either. On average people spend £20k+ on new, £14k+ on nearly new and anything from £5k upwards on older models, that’s an awful lot of money to be sitting outside in all weathers. My caravan is actually worth more than my tow car, it’s the biggest investment I have made in anything recently the only thing that is more valuable is my house!
When you start to think of the caravan in those terms it starts to become obvious that actually it’s more than the thing you take to a camp site and live in for a week, it’s a valuable asset to the family, it’s the means of escape, it’s hard earned cash turned into dreams and memories. So again it’s obviously something to cherish and take care of.
As an engineer I have now been in hundreds of caravans and I see all the neat little touches people add to the inside of their van, but it’s not the inside that gets hit by the weather. It’s early September as I write this and the good weather is almost behind us, today is grey and rain is forecast. Most people are back off their holidays and most won’t take their vans out again till Easter next year. Easter is 6 to 7 months away, and in those months we are going to have autumn and winter attempt their worst weather upon our stationary inactive caravans.
Winter is coming!
Now is the time to think about a caravan cover, even if you are hoping to go out in it again before the end of the season now is the time to think about getting one. The reason is simple: availability. Retailers have stock right now but if you leave it too late they will sell out and you may end up without one. Measuring up is simple, just measure the length of your van from front locker to the rear panel – don’t include the A-Frame – then search for the cover that fits your size. Covers are generally specified in a size range, for example this Kampa caravan cover supplied by Caravanalia fits caravans from 19ft – 21ft. The full Kampa range of caravan cover can be seen on the Caravanalia caravan cover section on their website (but at time of writing I can see two sizes are already sold out).
With caravanning there always seems to be something else to buy and I ask myself constantly where do you stop? At what point do you stop spending on this passion? That’s a big question and one I haven’t answered yet but let me leave you with these final points. Remind yourself of how much the caravan cost to buy, spending £70 or £80 on a cover is peanuts in comparison to the purchase price of the van. A caravan cover will help to protect your investment, because a looked after van will have a better resale value. As an engineer I have been and damp tested a lot of vans, simply put the ones under cover are drier and therefore require less remedial work further down the line.
And one final thing, putting the cover on is an ‘event’ it takes two people at least and is therefore something to be planned out. This gives you the perfect opportunity to wash it, apply protective coatings, clean it inside out, properly drain down and put your prized possession to bed for the winter knowing that when it’s time to hit the road again next year it will be clean, dry and ready to go!
By day I used to be a self employed website developer running my company www.designconscious.co.uk but now I have flipped my career on it’s head and I have retrained as a caravan engineer servicing caravans and motorhomes. I can be found at Telford Caravan Services I am also the author of Make Camp. I along with my family love caravanning and time willing we go as much as we can. I have two teenage children so their hobbies and social life take precedence but when we can we are off in our Land Rover Discovery to ‘make camp’ in our Swift Coastline Esprit.