Where your caravan is stored when not in use is extremely important – and will influence the price of your touring caravan insurance.
Why is this?
It is in the very nature of the lightweight construction of a caravan that keeping it secure against unwanted intruders may be a more than usual problem. When in storage, you may ensure that doors and windows are locked, of course, but this is unlikely to provide complete security during times when the caravan is left on its own for long periods of time.
Keeping your caravan away from unwanted attention and interference, therefore, is more likely to depend on the security of the location at which it is kept.
It is also important to note that if you change the storage location of your caravan, you must inform your insurance provider immediately – for the reasons explained here.
Choosing a storage site
The level of security which you are likely to be able to provide on your own driveway is typically quite limited. For storage security on which you may be able to rely, there is a network of some 500 purpose-designed sites at various locations around the country. Sites are members of the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA), which grades each one according to the level of security offered, through features such as:
- alarm systems installed;
- controlled points of entry;
- perimeter fencing; and
Depending on the site you choose, you may even be able to store your caravan undercover – although the locations offering this facility are relatively few and far between.
Rather more certain, however, maybe your insurer’s recognition of the enhanced security available at a CaSSOA-approved site to the extent that accreditation may gain significant discounts on the annual insurance premiums you pay. At Cover4Caravans, for example, we offer up to a 15% discount on the cost of your caravan cover for ‘vans stored at a CaSSOA-approved storage site.
When choosing a site, even if it promotes itself as a CaSSOA-approved site, it is still important that you do double-check with the CaSSOA website too and ensure you feel comfortable with the security offered.
During the winter months, your tourer might safely be laid up for the duration. That is when your choice of location is likely to be critical to its security and safety during the more punishing weather that winter in this country inevitably brings.
Obviously, you’ll need to avoid a location underneath trees or close to dilapidated buildings where storm-damaged branches may fall or slates and other debris may be blown onto your caravan.
Getting your ‘van ready for storage
Now you’ve chosen the right caravan storage site for your own unique needs, how do you get your ‘van ready for storage?
Having washed down the exterior of your caravan to remove bird lime and other damaging pollutants, you may be tempted to keep it as clean as possible by storing it under plastic sheets or tarpaulins.
Most expert advice warns against such a measure because of the very real risk of such airtight coverings adding contributing to one of the worst nightmares for any caravan owner – condensation. Unless the interior remains adequately ventilated, there is a danger of condensation building up and creating the almost intractable problems that may bring in the way of damp and mould, which are not only unsightly but may also pose a health risk and lead to rotting of the very structure of your caravan.
If you insist on storing your caravan with a tarpaulin, therefore, you might want to make sure that it is made from a “breathable” material.
Charcoal, salt or other proprietary granules used for absorbing moisture in the atmosphere may be put in cupboards and wardrobes – with the doors left ajar.
Some measures for keeping your caravan safe during storage are also associated with the steps you take to improve security.
This may also be an ideal time to check that the hitch coupling is thoroughly cleaned and adequately greased.
The safety provisions you may make whilst preparing your caravan for storage are likely to include checking for gas leaks and the proper functioning of any gas appliances and the safety and integrity of electrical supply lines and equipment.
In the relatively closed confines of a caravan, the safety of any gas installation may be especially important in order to prevent the potentially fatal risk of carbon monoxide poisoning – a risk you may feel to be sufficiently serious to call in an appropriately trained and accredited gas engineer to check over the gas equipment.
Further reading: Guide to Caravan Storage and Security