Cover4Caravans » Resources » Page 2

Are you looking at caravan insurance reviews?

If you are looking for an opportunity to compare specific caravan insurance products, it makes a lot of sense to read the many touring caravan insurance reviews on offer. From what is a wide field of potential choices, you then may then better select the cover that is most suitable for your own particular needs and requirements, at a competitive price.

Reviews such as this, in other words, might give you a reliable indication of the type and provider of caravan insurance likely to represent good value for money.

What to look for

If you are going to be investigating touring caravan insurance reviews, it may be useful to be steered by a few tips and suggestions. These might also help you discover why so many roads lead to the first-class customer service and our proud Feefo rating of us here at Cover4Caravans:

Your caravan …

  • the principal element of any touring caravan insurance, of course, is the protection of the caravan itself against loss or damage;
  • when reviewing policies on offer, therefore, you might want to know what happens in the worst-case scenario of a total write-off – some policies might offer to settle on a new-for-old basis if the caravan is under a certain age, while others might have an in-built calculation for depreciation;
  • the precise make and model of your caravan is also essential in terms of the insurer’s valuation, so you might want to seek out those providers with a particular knowledge of your particular model;

… and its contents

  • an insurer’s treatment of claims involving loss or damage to the contents of your caravan is also essential;
  • once again, you need to know just what is covered and what is excluded;
  • is cover for accidental damage or all-risks included as standard, for instance, and are claims to be settled on a new for old basis or only after the deduction of the estimated wear and tear of lost or damaged contents;

Help from those in the know

  • it may be challenging to know, of course, just which insurers are most familiar with your particular make and model of caravan;
  • a specialist provider of touring caravan insurance – such as ourselves here at Cover4Caravans – on the other hand, may have precisely this information and be able to give greater clarity and understanding to the reviews you are conducting;

Insurance, insurance everywhere

  • as part of your review, you might also want to check the extent to which other common household insurance policies may overlap with or affect your caravan insurance;
  • the website Caravan Talk, for example, suggests you ask whether your regular motor insurance also includes cover while towing a caravan, or whether your standard home contents insurance extends to the contents of your ‘van;
  • a related question, too, is whether cover for the awning you use for your caravan included in the cover for the caravan itself or do you need to insure it separately (read our Guide to Awnings);

Discounts

  • the cost of your touring caravan insurance is clearly a factor when reviewing competing sources of cover, so what are the factors that help you enjoy any discounts that may be offered?
  • taking particular care over the security of your caravan when it is in storage, laid up for the winter, for example, may earn valuable discounts in premiums;
  • here at Cover4Caravans, for instance, we offer attractive discounts to customers who arrange for their caravans to be stored at sites registered with the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA);
  • these are storage sites which have been carefully and specifically graded according to the level of security offered – in terms of CCTV monitoring, for instance, perimeter fencing or control of exit and entry points;

Playing your part

  • typically, insurers have every right to expect you to play your part in mitigating the risk of any loss or damage;
  • as has already been noted, secure storage – which may help to reduce the risk of theft or vandalism – may earn you a discount on premiums, but there may be other requirements which certain insurers impose as a standard precaution;
  • one of the most common of these conditions or requirements – and likely to be revealed in any review of touring caravan insurance policies – concerns the general security of your caravan while you are on the road touring;
  • if you have stopped and plan to leave the caravan unattended, for example, you may be required to fit both hitchlocks and wheel clamps if it is still attached to the towing vehicle, or wheel clamps alone if it is unhitched from any towing vehicle;
  • your review of policies might need to include insurers’ specific requirements in this regard.

Our first-class customer service rewarded

Feefo LogoTouring caravan insurance reviews may play an important part in helping you to select the most appropriate cover for you and your caravan. But these tips and suggestions also point to the very reasons why we place such a high store in the first-class customer service we strive to deliver and maintain here at Cover4Caravans.

That is why we remain proud of our achievements in gaining recognition of our commitment to providing a first-class customer service. 2020 sees us holding on to the prestigious Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant Accreditation award – a triumph we have now enjoyed over many successive years.

You will see the Feefo logo and our current rating when you visit our webpage, which also offers independent customer ratings and reviews. You can feel confident that when you look at the ratings and reviews, they are all genuine and truly independent.

Using Feefo enables us to make sure that our customers are happy and where improvements, if any, could be made. The comments and reviews are offered openly and transparently.

Feefo’s rating is not simply a marketing tool – unlike some other well-known star ratings that you may be familiar with and who simply offer a pay to display ratings logo. It allows us to hone our customer service and provide you with first-class products and customer support.

To achieve the Gold Trusted Merchant accreditation, a business is required to receive 100 reviews or more, with an average Service Rating of between 95% and 100%, on Feefo.

This accreditation is unique in that it is based on the experiences of our genuine, purchase verified customers. The feedback left by you, our customers, over the years, and our consistently high scores in customer service throughout the year via Feefo have earned us this especially important recognition.

It supports our continuing focus on meeting – and striving to exceed – the principles laid down by our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We put our customers’ interests first, treating them fairly, and communicating information in a way which we believe is transparent, fair and not misleading.

A newbie’s guide to a caravan holiday

If you have just bought your first caravan – or if you have borrowed one to see what caravanning has to offer – you may have all sorts of expectations about the pleasure it is about to bring – for example:  

  • the freedom of the open road; 
  • knowing that wherever you might pitch up your second home on wheels is there to give you a good night’s sleep and all the comforts of home; and 
  • the chance to meet like-minded friends and establish long-term contacts to help you get the most of your caravanning holidays. 

If you are just such a newbie, it might be helpful to share a few initial thoughts on making the most of the adventure that is opening up to you.  

Even if you are an old hand or have been caravanning before, it might also be useful to jog your memory about the preparation that needs to go into getting your caravan ready for a new round of outings. 

The caravan you choose  

As you are likely to have discovered, there are all types of caravans from which you might have chosen (if you are not borrowing or renting a ‘van), and each might be better equipped to serve the specific purpose you need: 

  • conventional designs – these have a single axle and may range in length from 3 to 6.5 metres, sleeping between 2 and six occupants; 
  • the conventional touring caravan has all your home comforts including a toilet, sink, shower, and kitchens fitted out with a cooker, work surfaces and a kitchen sink;
  • on the other hand, you might have chosen something considerably more substantial and in need of a twin axle to tow;
  • at the other end of the scale may be a small “teardrop” caravan specifically designed to make towing even easier; 
  • if you went for ease of towing and a relatively small and less wellequipped interior, you might have chosen a popup, folding or GRP caravan; 

Layout 

When you were choosing your caravan, one of the most important considerations may have been the space and layout it offered.  

Although relatively small, you may be surprised by the ingenuity with which modern caravan designers have been able to exploit every possible opportunity for maximising the useful floor area. 

Prepping the caravan 

Before hitching up and taking to the road, of course, you are going to want to ensure that the caravan is thoroughly roadworthy.  

There are several checks and simple maintenance routines to be followed before embarking on any trip and it is important that you carry these out. As a newbie, you may feel more confident in entrusting maintenance and servicing to qualified caravan engineers.  

If you have already been caravanning before and are prepping the trailer for a new season, read on.  

Insurance 

Whatever the size and shape of the caravan you have just bought, you might want to give serious consideration to protecting the investment with the appropriate form of insurance. 

If you are new to caravanning, however, choosing the suitable cover may be confusing and somewhat hit and miss. At Cover4Caravans we are specialists in finding that insurance for just about whatever make or model you might have bought. 

For those experienced caravanners among you, it is likely you already understand the benefits of suitable caravan insurance. Just check with us if your cover is coming up for renewal or you are interested in securing an especially favourable new deal. 

Towing 

Perhaps the single most unfamiliar aspect of touring with a caravan is the fact that you are going to be towing it. Fortunately, towing is not necessarily that difficult and with a little care, patience and practice you are soon likely to get the hang of it. 

The broadest rule of thumb is that the heavier the caravan the heavier and more powerful car you need to tow it. This may be made more difficult by the fact that the manufacturer is likely to have stipulated a Mass in Running Order Weight (MIRO) or unladen weight of the caravan. 

This is considerably less important or useful than the Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM), which combines not only the crude weight of the caravan but also its maximum laden weight. 

The more you investigate, the more you may be baffled by the various descriptions and ways of calculating the ratio of the caravan to vehicle weight. A comprehensive guide published by the RAC covers everything from towing limits, measuring the weight and nose weight of your caravan, tips on reversing with a caravan. 

While you are completing your preparation before actually getting behind the wheel, though, you might also like to read some helpful guides published by the Camping and Caravanning Club about what you can tow, including what the law says, and a further guide on becoming a confident tower. Plus, our own guide to towing mirrors. 

It might be prudent, of course, to practice towing an old and inexpensive trailer in the first instance rather than denting, scraping, or backing into something with your new caravan.  

For hands-on instruction and practice, you might also want to consider enrolling on one of the caravan manoeuvring courses offered by the Caravan and Motorhome Club or the Camping and Caravanning Club. 

On the road 

With a good deal of homework and preparation done, you may be ready to hit the road and take the first trip with your caravan. Here are some tips that may help your initial excursion – and subsequent journeys – go smoothly and safely:  

  • when packing the caravan, take care to distribute the weight properly, with heavier items on the floor and more or less over the axle; 
  • before every outing, check and, if necessary, inflate the tyres until they are at the correct pressure;
  • many caravans have special devices designed to improve their stability – check that these are correctly installed and in working order;
  • remember that the legal speed limit when towing your caravan will vary depending on its weight – the link above gives detailed information; 
  • your first trip with the new caravan is likely to be relatively close to home but whenever planning a journey, you might want to remember that the car and trailer is less manoeuvrable than the car alone – if you are accustomed to using a sat nav, bear in mind that these devices may often take you down impossibly narrow or winding country lanes;
  • experience is likely to teach you how to pick the best pitches when you arrive at a site, but broadly speaking you might want to avoid trees (leaves, sap and bird droppings), choose level ground and decide whether you want or need to be close to or further away from the site’s amenity block.

Location, location, location 

Choosing the location for your initial outings with the caravan is almost as important as choosing the place where you intended to live. It might only be a holiday or weekend break, but your choice of camping site may make or break the occasion.  

Making the choice, of course, depends on who is in your party – a family with children, for example, is likely to have quite different priorities to those of a retired couple.  

In other words, a lot depends on what you hope to get out of your trip away from home – peace and tranquillity of the countryside, say, or action-packed sporting adventures, or maybe sites of historical interest. 

There are innumerable guides and listings of the very many campsites both in England and abroad, though you may be equally influenced by word of mouth and the recommendations of other more seasoned caravanners.  

Amenities 

Your choice of campsite is also likely to be determined by the facilities and amenities it has to offer. Typically, these are fully detailed in the site’s advertising and, in these days of the internet, the majority of sites maintain their own webpage.  

Amenities are generally included in the many listings of caravan sites and if you want to dig deeper, you might read through some of the reviews of the experiences encountered by previous visitors.  

Etiquette  

Caravanners sometimes consider themselves to be members of a rather select group or club and particular sites are likely to attract like-minded souls. You may become aware of an unwritten etiquette amongst such folk and most of this is largely a matter of common sense and respect for other people’s enjoyment of their own holiday:  

  • if you have your dog with you, for instance, some sites may insist that it is kept on a lead at all times – even if there is no such rule, make sure to keep your pet under control;
  • leave shower rooms, washrooms and washing up sinks clean, tidy, and free from waste – leaving them as you hope to find them;
  • a helpful tip suggested by the website Caravan Advice is to avoid taking short cuts across other campers’ pitches – there may be nothing more annoying or intrusive than have a stranger appear close up to your caravan windows or awning; 
  • keeping a respectful (and in these current times of Covid, a socially responsible) distance; 
  • an environmentally friendly piece of advice is to lift up any groundsheets you might be using under your awnings from time to time so that the grass has a chance to breathe before turning brown as it dies – the website Love2Stay also offers a number of “golden rules” on camping site etiquette; 
  • if your children have bought their bikes with them, teach them not to ride close to other caravans, but to stick to the paths and roads, taking care of both pedestrians and cars; 
  • many caravanners are looking for a little peace, quiet and relaxation when on their holiday – blaring radios or televisions and noise late at night or early in the morning are all things likely to be frowned upon. 

Going abroad 

With a caravan in tow, the whole of Europe may be your oyster, offering a huge range of potential destinations and caravanning experiences. Making a success of any such holiday requires a little more preparation and patience, especially concerning the different driving conditions, laws, and regulations you may encounter.  

The Caravan Club has published a number of guides for first-time caravanning visitors to Europe, with advice on subjects such as essential and recommended documentation, pieces of kit that might be required for use in different countries, speed limits on a country by country basis, and a general checklist of all the items that are either essential or recommended when taking your car and caravan across the Channel to Europe.  

We also have a number of destination guides which you view here: 

Trip Related Guides 

Caravanning for Adrenaline Junkies 

Complete caravanners’ guide to mainland Europe 

Caravanning for History Buffs 

Caravanners’ guide to theme parks in and around the UK 

Caravanning for Adults 

Coastal campsites for Caravanners – where to go and where to pitch up 

Guide to caravanning in France 

Guide to caravanning in Germany 

Guide to caravanning in the Channel Islands 

Guide to caravanning for cyclists 

Starting out or preparing for the next season? 

Every caravanner started out as a newbie at some point in time, so you are by no means alone on the learning curve to making each outing and holiday a success. After your first few excursions, you may soon discover that you are unlikely to be a newbie for long.  

If you have passed that stage of being a newbie, though, here are some tips and suggestions about getting your caravan ready for the next season. 

First of all, the process is likely to involve a game of two halves – in the spring you are likely to have a checklist of things to do as the caravan is brought out of hibernation; in the autumn you are probably preparing to put it into storage. 

Spring  

Just when you start reviving your caravan from its winter’s rest, of course, depends on when you intend to use it. Dealers Venture Caravans and Motorhomes, for example, suggest that as March or April come around, many people start preparing for that first outing around the Easter holidays.  

These are some of the issues you might want to look out for and address: 

  • damp is one of the major enemies of any caravan owner – and whilst it is locked up over the wintertime, condensation and damp may have set in;
  • a thorough airing of your caravan is likely to be called for, with special attention paid to any soft furnishings which need to be dried out and a careful check of doors and windows for any signs of leaks;
  • unchecked and unresolved, the rot encouraged by condensation may cause untold damage to the inside of your caravan, quite apart from the unpleasant smell, unsightly marks, and risks to your health; 
  • tyres need a thorough check for signs of bulging, cracking or wear and are likely to need inflating to the correct pressure; 
  • water tanks and appliances are likely to have been drained down for winter storage and may now have a musty smell and taste – annual sterilisation, flushing and refilling may help to get systems back into a usable state;
  • for similar reasons, the empty fridge might also welcome a thorough clean – some bicarbonate of soda mixed into the cleaning water may help to clear any lingering musty smell; 
  • check the cooker by lighting each of the jets to ensure that there are no blockages and replace the gas cylinder or cylinders if necessary;
  • some elements might be easy to overlook, so it may come as a timely reminder from the Crime Prevention Website to check your onboard security and safety equipment – everything from locks, alarms smoke-detectors and the supplies in the first aid kit; 
  • as you near the end of this checklist of items, you are nearly ready to sally forth on your first outing of the season; 
  • before taking to the road, however, there are several final checks still to make; 
  • doublecheck that the wheel bolts are properly tightened – especially if they have replaced winter wheels that you used whilst the caravan was in storage; 
  • make sure that the gas is turned off at the cylinder;
  • ensure that the flush tank and on-board toilet tanks are empty; 
  • close and lock all cupboards, wardrobes, and stowage compartments; 
  • secure anything that is loose or might shift about when you are underway; 
  • lock the fridge shut;
  • close and lock windows and roof vents whilst on the move;
  • check the caravan’s road lights;
  • make sure the jockey wheel is secured in its raised position and check the breakaway cable is properly connected; 
  • check the caravan’s nose weight to check that you are not overladen; and 
  • release the handbrake – and you are off! 

Autumn  

Hopefully, the careful preparations you made at the beginning of the season meant that you had many trouble-free days of caravanning. Although you encountered no problems during the summer, however, it is still important to prepare just as carefully when laying up the caravan for winter – especially if you hope next season’s outings to go without a hitch:  

  • the immediate question, of course, is where the caravan is to be located for its winter hibernation; 
  • the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) has a network of member sites throughout the country, with each one graded according to the security and facilities present – storage at a CaSSOA site may also earn you a discount in your caravan insurance premiums and is something we recognise here at Cover4Caravans;
  • although the security measures may help to put your mind at ease, it may still be a good idea to visit the storage site in advance to check whether your caravan is going to be on hard standing or concrete, under cover or in the open, and ease of access for you and the vehicle being used to put the caravan into storage and retrieve it again in the spring;
  • whatever the chosen location, it is likely to be important to thoroughly clean and wax the outside of the caravan, removing birdlime, oil stains, black or green mould – all of which may leave permanent marks if left untreated; 
  • in your enthusiasm to clean the exterior beware of using pressure washers warns the Camping and Caravanning Club, which suggests that more damage than good may be done by such pressure jets; 
  • the Club also urges caution and attention to personal safety when using step ladders or stretching over to clean the roof of your caravan – it might well not bear your weight; 
  • tyres are especially vulnerable to wear when left to bear the weight of your caravan in the same position over a long period of time;
  • you may want to consider replacing the normal road wheel with winter wheels – especially the lockable type, for added security; 
  • where possible, store the vehicle with the corner steadies lowered and the handbrake off, to reduce the chance of it sticking; 
  • probably the most important preparation inside the caravan is to completely drain down all water systems – whether fresh water, the toilet flush or heating system – to prevent damage caused by pipes, fittings or valves freezing during the winter;
  • special care needs to be taken towards the storage of gas cylinders, which need to be turned off and disconnected from the caravan’s supply; and 
  • your caravan storage site may have specific policies relating to the storage of gas cylinders and you may not be allowed to keep them close to the vehicle for the duration of the winter. 

Whether it is preparing your caravan for a well-earned rest during the winter months or the anticipation of enjoying yet another summer on tour, the care and attention you give to getting ready for the next caravan season are likely to prove well worth your while. 

Over 60s touring caravan insurance

If you are an older youngster looking for touring caravan insurance, you may have found it difficult or even too expensive to get covered on the terms offered by some insurers.  You may find that some companies will simply refuse to insure you, while others will try and charge you ridiculously high premiums as soon as you hit that magic number of 60.

These providers sometimes appear to have overlooked the many years’ experience you have in touring may far outweigh that of younger caravanners – who may not be charged as much for their cover. That is why at Cover4Caravans, we’ve added a question to our website asking about how many years’ you have been towing vans as we believe experience is key. Not all insurance providers see things that way.

The risks

In terms of touring caravan cover, it might, at first sight, seem reasonable that some providers start to regard the risks of various forms of accident increasing because of your age.

However, what many people point out, is that, to some extent, those risks can be offset by the greater awareness and experience that comes with increasing age.  This has been recognised for some time and is supported by personal experience relating to the typically relatively small numbers of more mature drivers who are guilty of driving recklessly.

By the time you are in your 60’s, you are probably long past the stage where you enjoy counting off your birthdays as they arrive. Unfortunately, though, some insurers still seem to take delight in it.

The response by some insurers

All things being considered, many older drivers probably accept that they may need to pay a little more for their insurance cover, but most certainly do object when the increases are entirely disproportionate and unrealistic.

Some insurance providers appear to adopt an approach consisting of trying to discourage applications from those over 60 and others seem to see it as an excuse to crank up their premiums.

Fortunately, at Cover4Caravans, we are not ageist!  We offer what we feel is affordable cover, no matter what your age. We do not impose age limits – upper or lower – on our tourer insurance, and we are happy to offer caravan cover for the over 60’s, over 70’s and even the over 80’s!

There is one other thing that people are typically known for as they get older – and that is being more discerning in their purchasing decisions.

So, if you feel that you are currently getting a raw deal from your insurance provider simply because you are over 60, then it might be about time you looked at how we can help.

Caravan cover for the over 60s

All of our customers – regardless of age – can benefit from one of our tourer policies, which share the following features in common:

  • 240-280 days continental cover as standard;
  • discounts on your premiums – if you are a member of a recognised caravanning club, for example, or agree to store your caravan at CaSSOA-approved site;
  • a low policy excess (the excess is the first part of any successful claim that you are financially liable for);
  • payment by credit card or direct debit so you can spread the cost; and
  • no age limit on the caravan but older caravans will be insured at market value only, as stated in the Glass’s Guide.

As you can see from the snapshot of policy benefits above, we work hard to make sure you get the most cost-effective cover for your tourer and at a price that meets your budget.

That prompts a few more points you might want to consider when thinking about the price you pay for your caravan insurance.

Thinking about the price of your caravan cover

It’s perfectly natural to think carefully about expenditure and to look for some of the most attractive deals possible on your caravan insurance.

In that connection, here at Cover4Caravans we often receive enquiries asking the question, how much is caravan insurance?

Of course, we are always only too pleased to offer quotations and we pride ourselves on being very aware of the need for cost-effective solutions. But it is equally important to try and think about cost in context.

The harsh reality of life is that if you need to call upon your insurance policy at some time in the future for financial support following a problem, then the only thing that is going to be important to you is the cover it provides.  It may be quite safe to predict that in such a situation you certainly won’t be focusing all of your attention on how much you have paid for your policy to date.

What this means is that something you might consider to be a bargain at the time you take out your cover might prove to be anything but if you subsequently discover that it doesn’t cover the circumstances surrounding a potential claim.

This is not for one second trying to suggest that cost-effective solutions necessarily equate to massive compromises in terms of the depth of cover provided.

The point being made is merely that setting out to ask how much cover is going to cost, intending to find the very cheapest possible policy you can, might not be in your long-term best interests.

What is important is that you are confident that the cover provided meets your views of the risks you face and the practical way you use your caravan.

It is also important that you fully understand the terms and conditions of any caravan insurance policy, as they are what may ultimately decide the success or failure of a claim, should you need to make one.

So, perhaps understanding your risks and how you wish a policy to help protect you from the financial consequences they pose, is perhaps a better way to look for cover initially than simply asking for the price.

We are here to help!

We are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide a no-obligation quote. Alternatively, if you would rather talk to one of our team of experts, then please feel free to call us on 01702 606301 during office hours. We will be happy to help.

Choosing an electric bike

The outdoor life is all very well – if only it wasn’t so exhausting!

Caravan owners have for a long time made the most of their love for a healthy outdoors lifestyle clear by taking a bicycle or two with them on their outings and holidays. Rides in the countryside – or even a quick trip to the farm shop for that extra pint of milk – nicely round out any caravan adventure.

If you are navigating the hills and valleys of the gloriously rolling English countryside, though, pushing those pedals around can get pretty tiring.

That’s where an electrically-powered bicycle – an e-bike – can come to your rescue, providing many of the benefits without quite so much pain.

A wider choice than you might have imagined

You might have thought that it was simply a question of choosing a bike with or without any power-assistance. How wrong you would be. If you are opting for a more comfortable ride, electric bikes these days come in all shapes and sizes, designed for all manner of users, which can be carried by large caravans and small.

So, here are just some of the considerations you might want to keep in mind when choosing your e-bike:

Crank or hub

  • for a machine as simple and straight forward as a bike, it might seem strange to dive straight in with the technical terms – but choosing between a crank or hub drive can be one of those critical first decisions;
  • just as the term suggests, a crank drive applies electric power to the crank which turns as you pedal – it’s also called a “mid-drive” – and, as you’ll notice when climbing hills, is an especially efficient motor;
  • a hub drive – drives the hub, of course – and are smaller and lighter, so, may influence your choice on those features alone;

Pedal-assisted or throttle

  • pedal-assistance – power that is applied as you press the pedals around – is probably more intuitive and may feel more “natural”, while controlling the power through a twist-grip throttle is akin to riding a moped or motorbike;

Mountain bike or roadster

  • just as with bikes that have no electric assistance at all, there is a huge range available when it comes to the type of bike you choose – regular, on-street bicycles to off-road mountain bikes, or hybrids of the two;
  • power-assisted or not, a mountain bike works very well indeed when you are negotiating off-road terrain – it can be more than usually hard work to ride one on paved roads;
  • only set your heart on a rugged-looking mountain bike, therefore, if most of your cycling is going to be off-road – if not, save yourself unnecessary effort, and cash, by investing in a regular roadster;

Power-to-weight and size

  • the amount of power needed for your bicycle depends on how you intend to use it – in challenging off-road conditions, of course, you are likely to need more power;
  • but more power is also likely to mean greater weight and size – making your e-bike potentially more difficult to transport within the confines of your caravan, on a roof-rack or strapped to an external rack;

Folding e-bikes

  • an answer to the size problem is to buy a folding e-bike;
  • as an article on the website We Love Camping explains, a folding electric bike solves the problems of stowing and transporting a bicycle in a way that keeps it securely locked away from the hands of thieves.

An electric bike gives you all the joys of cycling while on holidays in your caravan – without so much pain in pushing the pedals. As we’ve explained, however, there are a number of points you might want to consider before settling on your choice of e-bike.

Choosing your campsite, expansion of Carlisle caravan park, Swift layoffs, illustrated history of the caravan

As we emerge from several months’ of enforced lockdown, opportunities are re-opening for getting away in your caravan.

Although the leisure industry has certainly not emerged from the crisis unscathed, there is enough good news making the headlines to encourage outings into the great outdoors once again.

Here are just a few of this week’s news stories and tidbits.

Camping & caravan sites: what to look out for before you book 

Sunny weather and a surge in people looking to enjoy a staycation as their principal holiday this year means that camping and caravanning sites are more popular than ever, said the Express newspaper on the 21st of July.  It also means that it is essential to book your pitch in advance and not simply turn up on the off-chance.

Before making your booking, here are some of the points to look out for:

  • because of the continuing need for social distancing, sites will have a lower capacity than usual – and, if you are travelling as a group, that means you might not all be able to stay together;
  • the Camping and Caravanning Club among others will be introducing contactless check-in and payment, identifying your pitch by the registration number of your vehicle – through a system called Auto Balance Collect;
  • some communal areas – reception and play areas, for example – at certain sites may remain closed;
  • you may notice the need to queue before entering certain shared or communal areas; and
  • expect to see enhanced cleaning regimes carried out by caravan park staff.

Major expansion of a caravan park near Carlisle approved

Carlisle City Council has approved major expansion plans submitted by Green Meadows Country Park, revealed Cumberland’s News and Star recently.

The plans involve the addition of 25 more static caravans – to the existing permit for 37 such holiday homes – and further space for 27 touring caravans and 20 tents. The park also intends to build two new water features on the site.

Although some concerns were raised about granting permission for parking spaces for up to two vehicles for each of the new pitches, the plans were nevertheless approved unanimously.

Caravan giant Swift announces job cuts after loss of sales

There is no let-up in the misfortunes hitting caravan manufacturers Swift. In an article on the 13th of July, the Hull Daily Mail announced the loss of 50 more jobs at its factory in Cottingham.

The job losses follow the recent lockdown during which production orders were lost and dealerships and caravan showrooms were closed.

Although Swift intends to resume production at its plant with effect from the 1st of September, it will be accompanied by a 5% reduction in the size of the workforce.

The current downsizing follows our report at the beginning of this year on the closure of Swift’s other factory at Mexborough, in South Yorkshire, amid news even then that the company was striving to streamline its business.

Pictures recalling the history of the caravan 

As we approach the centenary of the first appearance of the modern towing caravan on British roads, and at a time when caravanning has received a major boost from the numbers of people taking a staycation, the Yorkshire Post on the 20th of July published a collection of photographs celebrating this style of outdoor life.

The black and white photographs are evocative of family holidays in pre-war 1930s Britain and were taken at various locations across the country – they are definitely worth a look!

The piece reveals that: “Holidays on wheels began in 1919 with the Eccles, a caravan named after a district of Manchester but produced 100 miles away in Birmingham. With small opening windows on the front and sides and with paraffin for heat and light, it looked like a shed on wheels – but once parked it could be extended with awnings and offered the travelling family all the comforts they could expect from a typical B&B, and more besides.”