Best Caravan Wheel Clamp and Locks


CAR VAN WHEEL CLAMP SAFETY LOCK CARAVANS SECURITY SAFE
Maypole MP9075 Wheel clamp
Purpleline Nemesis Ultra High Security Caravan Wheel Clamp
CAR VAN WHEEL CLAMP SAFETY LOCK CARAVANS SECURITY SAFE
Maypole MP9075 Wheel clamp
Purpleline Nemesis Ultra High Security Caravan Wheel Clamp
Adjust most wheel between
13 inch and 15 inch
175 to 225mm width
-
CAR VAN WHEEL CLAMP SAFETY LOCK CARAVANS SECURITY SAFE
CAR VAN WHEEL CLAMP SAFETY LOCK CARAVANS SECURITY SAFE
Adjust most wheel between
13 inch and 15 inch
Maypole MP9075 Wheel clamp
Maypole MP9075 Wheel clamp
Adjust most wheel between
175 to 225mm width
Purpleline Nemesis Ultra High Security Caravan Wheel Clamp
Purpleline Nemesis Ultra High Security Caravan Wheel Clamp
Adjust most wheel between
-

Of all the external accessories you can purchase for your caravan, perhaps the most important are caravan clamps. These protect your caravan when you are storing it, whether that is on your driveway or in a storage park. You can also use them on holiday parks too. Wheel clamps are a must-have on any caravan to ensure that it is protected, and many caravan insurance companies state that you must have a clamp on your caravan whenever you are not towing it.

A quick search on Google for caravan wheel clamps will give you thousands of results. So, you may decide just to choose any wheel lock, after all, they are all the same right? Well, no. A caravan lock needs to be extremely strong, it needs to have a good lock and it needs to protect your caravan at all times. Unfortunately, not all locks for caravans are created equal.

So, how do you find the best wheel clamp for your caravan? Fortunately, you don’t have to, as we have found the best caravan wheel clamps available at the moment. we have also included a buyer’s guide to locks and clamps for your wheels so you know what to look for and know how to protect your caravan.

Best Caravan Wheel Locks UK (Our Top 8 Picks)

Most caravans today (made after 2005) are based on an AL-KO chassis. If yours is, it may also have this wheel clamp fitted. So, before you buy this clamp, do check. If your caravan doesn’t have this clamp fitted, it will likely fit.

To check, just pop your head under the van, If you see a yellow cap cover between the wheel spokes, you’re laughing. The AL-KO wheel clamp has become the gold standard in the caravan lock world. Many insurance companies want you to have at least one of these clamps on your caravan, some want you to have two. The AL-KO is currently the only caravan clamp that has a Diamond Standard given to it by Sold Secure. A company that tests security products!

So, the AL-KO is one of the greatest caravan wheel clamps on the market. And, if you have it on your caravan already, your insurance company may want you to use this lock and no other ones. But that is just dandy as it is extremely strong, it fits most caravans and insurance companies love it!

Key Features:
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Diamond Standard (the only clamp currently to have this)
  • Will fit alloy wheels with various models to suit 14 and 15 inch wheels

If you do buy the AL-KO wheel clamp, you certainly won’t regret it, but you may need some help installing it. The AL-KO is the hardest clamp to install on the market, and that goes for every time you put it on your caravan, not just the initial install! If you do, here is a fantastic video by the clamp company itself explaining everything you need to know about install the lock.

The Milenco Wraith is the premium caravan wheel clamp in the Milenco range. It is very simple to install and not too heavy when lifting into place. Overall, this wheel clamp is very well made, it is built to last the lifetime of your caravan. Plus, it is nice and easy to install, and provides a great visual deterrent which many insurance companies look favourably upon and criminals don’t!

Key Features:
  • 5 year warranty
  • Fit steel and alloy wheels
  • Simple to fit (much easier than the AL-KO)
  • Gold award from Sold Secure
  • Highly visible

If the AL-KO clamp above seems quite tricky to install, this is a great second option. This clamp was given a gold standard by Sold Secure and so it is the second highest-rated caravan clamp on the market. It is extremely robust but much easier to install. It also offers a bit more of a visual deterrent than the AL-KO too. When a lock has a Sold Secure rating of Gold, you know it is a lock you can depend on! Plus, it is so simple to put on your caravan too!

Key Features:
  • 5 year warranty
  • Fits most caravans made after 2005
  • Much easier to fit than other clamps (like the AL-KO clamp)
  • Sold Secure Gold Standard

The Maypole Universal Wheel Clamp for caravans is another very affordable and adjustable wheel clamp. though a little smaller than the one above, it can still be adjusted to fit wheels with widths between 6.5 and 8.5 inches . The solid steel construction is covered with a very soft PVC coating to protect the integrity of your wheels.

Thanks to its compact design, it can be stored away easily when not in use and comes with 2 keys.

Key Features:
  • Adjustable to fit tyres of 175 to 225mm width
  • Highly visible deterrent
  • Steel construction
  • Compact design so stores easily

The Purpleline Nemesis Ultra is a high-security caravan wheel clamp. The Nemesis Ultra sounds cool and it certainly is very cool when it comes to caravan security. Although more expensive than others, it does come with the Thatcham Quality Assured stamping and has been designed fully with caravans in mind.

Not only is the Nemesis Ultra easy to fit, much easier than the AL-KO, for example. But it is also very easy to store away when not in use. So, it is nice and simple to install, extremely robust and convenient to store when not in use. For all this and more, the Nemesis Ultra is a fantastic heavy duty wheel clamp.

Key Features:
  • 5 year warranty
  • Fits through the wheel
  • Fits most alloy wheels (13, 14 and 15 inch)
  • Thatcham Approval cat 3

Another pricier wheel clamp, but one that is not as expensive as the above, is the Milenco Compact Wheel Clamp. For the price though, you do benefit from a device that can work with both alloy and steel wheels.

It is fully adjustable and will therefore fit all motor-home, caravan, van and car wheels that are 12 to 16 inches in size and tyres ranging between 145 to 225.

One of the striking things about this particular product, which is not necessarily a must when choosing it, is the fact that it is insurance approved. It has also been certified beyond the Solid Secure Gold standard and approved by SCM MP03, the highest level for caravan security in the world.

Key Features:
  • Made for 12 to 16 inch wheels
  • Suitable for steel and alloy wheels
  • Made for tyre sizes from 145 to 225

Goodyear are one of the most popular and reputable tyre manufacturers in the world, so it makes sense that they should be a name you should consider when looking for a new a wheel clamp

Heavy duty wheel clamp that is fully adjustable to fit just about any wheel size, whether you are looking to use it with a motorbike, caravan, motor-home, van or car. The soft coating on the jaws help to protect your alloys from damage and it comes with 2 keys.

Considering the brand and the fact that it is adjustable, the small price for these is unbelievable.

Key Features:
  • Adjustable to fit all wheel sizes
  • Highly visible
  • Soft-coated jaws so it won’t scratch alloy wheels.
  • Heavy-duty key Lock with 2 keys.

From Stoplock, comes the HG 400-00 wheel lock that will fit just about any wheel as long is it is between 13 and 15 inches, regardless of whether it is on a car, trailer, caravan, van or motor-home. The steel disc that sits in the centre adds an extra layer of protection for your wheel. The locking mechanism features multiple combinations and two keys, that will prove difficult for thieves to break into.

Key Features:
  • Will fit any wheel from 13″ to 15″
  • Central steel disc prevents access to wheel nuts
  • High-security, anti-theft lock has multiple combinations
  • Two keys

The CAT Autoclamp from Bulldog is the next item we want to highlight here. This is designed to fit caravans and vehicles with wheels that have a diameter of between 480mm and 640mm and a width of between 145mm and 205mm, including the trim.

It features a lightweight design with case-hardened arms at the top for additional security. As well as being incredibly easy to spot, thanks to the traditional bright yellow colouring, it features a lock that is highly pick and drill resistant and this design has been fully approved by most insurance companies. Although it’s at the higher end of the price range, it’s an incredibly robust and well-designed wheel clamp.

Key Features:
  • Lightweight and fully adjustable simple to use and fit.
  • Rubber backed steel disk protects wheel nuts.
  • High-security, anti-theft pick and drill resistant lock.
  • Insurance Approved.

Important Things To Consider

As we established at the outset, wheel locks for caravans are an essential deterrent to criminals looking to steal your car or caravan. Often hitch locks and wheel clamps are bundled together as the same thing. While they both serve similar purposes, wheel clamps are a lot bulkier and take a lot more time and effort to install. However, they are worth the effort.

Obviously, the most important time to install them is while it is in storage, whether it is on your property or not; however, it is also essential to get into the good practice of using them while you are at a caravan park or camp site. It is not uncommon for caravans to be stolen from even the busiest holiday parks.

Also noted at the outset and the fact that we listed 8 different models, is the fact that they are not all made equally. There are a wide array of different sizes, colours and styles of wheel clamps that all offer different levels of caravan security products.

Security On The Roadside

Generally speaking, we would suggest that you opt for a simpler hitch lock than a full-blown clamp while you are actually on the road and when you make roadside stops. You can also find hitch locks tested by companies like Sold Secure to ensure your van is as secure as possible. Your car full of family and kids will be grateful that you didn’t have to mess around with a wheel clamp each time you stop.

Some Features To Look Out For

When choosing a caravan wheel clamp, it is wise to choose one that will be highly visible to any thief. This is often deterrent enough for most opportunist thieves. You also need to choose one constructed from high quality materials that feature an attack-resistant lock that can withstand attempts to be levered, drilled or picked off. As a general rule, the longer a thief has to spend trying to prise a lock off a caravan wheel, the more likely they are to give up before they are successful. Most seasoned thieves are also likely to know different caravan locks and will be deterred from even trying to pick yours if it is a recognisable brand.

As some varieties of wheel clamps tend to leave your wheel nuts exposes, this makes it possible for a thief to remove the wheel clamp off by simply taking the wheel off. Under such circumstances, it is recommended that you use locking wheel nuts in conjunction with the clamp.

Security Approval Standard Logos

The price of a wheel lock, as you’d possibly expect, in most cases is a good indication of whether or not it is high quality caravan wheel lock. In other words, you get what you pay for.

However, to give you additional help when choosing a caravan wheel clamp/lock, there has been a few independent testing standards formed, which are now recognised by most caravan insurance companies. This is why it is always a good idea to check what the mandatory security requirements your insurer expect you to adhere to if you ever need to make a claim. Many insurers will even offer discounted prices to customers that use caravan wheel clamps that are insurance approved.

Sold Secure is one of the most widely recognised independent organisations that carry out tests on a wide array of security devices and related equipment, including the likes of caravan clamps and hitch locks. Therefore if you see the Solid Secure logo on a clamp you are interested in along with a bronze, silver, gold or diamond rating – you know it has been tested to a high standard. The Thatcham Approved symbol is another sign of a good device, as is anything related to SCM or TUV.

To summarise – rules for buying a wheel clamp

Choose a wheel lock from a reputable and well-known lock maker. This will prevent thieves and it is more likely that these locks will be approved by your insurer. We wouldn’t go for anything lower than Sold Secure Gold, or the same standard from another security company.

It also means that the caravan wheel clamp will be made from very strong materials and the lock itself will be very difficult to break, pick or drill.

Key features to look for: approval from a known tester of security devices (like Thatcham or Sold Secure, for example).

A lock that is easy to install, but near impossible to remove with the key (not always possible).

If you follow these rules, you’ll find a fantastic wheel clamp for your caravan that will keep it nice and safe for many years and you’ll have peace of mind for years too. Plus you will make your insurer happy and criminals very unhappy, which is always a very big benefit.

Conclusion

As we said, there are loads of caravan clamps on the market and a good few of them will make your caravan nice and secure and many will be approved by the insurance companies. However, before you buy a caravan wheel clamp, it is worth checking that your insurance approves the lock (they will likely have a list of approved clamps on their website). Also, wheel locks for caravans are one of the most important accessories you can buy and you should invest some money into it. A good quality wheel clamp with make your insurance company happy and prevent criminals from stealing your caravan.

We hope you have found the perfect caravan wheel clamp for your needs on our list. The AL-KO caravan wheel clamp is regarded as the best on the market. However, it can be tricky to remove, even with the keys. If the AL-KO isn’t up your street, we hope one of the other wheel clamps on our list is the right one for you.

Check out our article on caravan leg locks if you want to make your caravan even more secure. Also, check out the rest of our caravan articles, we have everything you need to secure your van and enjoy a wonderful holiday in a caravan or motorhome.



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Best Caravan Heaters


Prem-I-Air 400w Frost Watch Protection Mini Convector Heater
Kampa Diddy Portable Heater
Compact Portable Mains Electric Quartz Heater 400/800W camping, caravan. by...
Prem-I-Air 400w Frost Watch Protection Mini Convector Heater
Kampa Diddy Portable Heater
Compact Portable Mains Electric Quartz Heater 400/800W camping, caravan. by...
Watt
400W
750W/1500W
400W/800W
Type
Mini Convector Heater
Fan Forced Heater
Quartz Heater
Prem-I-Air 400w Frost Watch Protection Mini Convector Heater
Prem-I-Air 400w Frost Watch Protection Mini Convector Heater
Watt
400W
Type
Mini Convector Heater
Kampa Diddy Portable Heater
Kampa Diddy Portable Heater
Watt
750W/1500W
Type
Fan Forced Heater
Compact Portable Mains Electric Quartz Heater 400/800W camping, caravan. by...
Compact Portable Mains Electric Quartz Heater 400/800W camping, caravan. by...
Watt
400W/800W
Type
Quartz Heater

Although low wattage heaters for your caravan may not be top of your list of accessories you need to invest in as we enter into the summer months, you may want to start planning now for later in the year. It’s also true, that although the spring and summer season has been nice so far, the British weather can be temperamental at any point in the year.

So you should still give some consideration to how best to heat your caravan. There are plenty of different options out there to choose from, but for this post, we will focus mainly on oil-filled and fan or electric radiators.

As well as highlighting what we believe are 7 touring caravan heaters worth considering, we will also take a look at the pros and cons of both types. All of this should give you enough information to choose the best radiator for your caravan. We have to note that none of these caravan heaters are 12v caravan heaters, they all need full 240v mains to run. Let’s get started and look at some of the best heaters for caravans

Caravan Heaters – Our Top Picks

First on our list is the very affordable and portable electric caravan heater from the reputable and popular brand Prem-I-Air. This is powered by 400 watts and features a thermostat that can be adjusted, either to protect against frost or for heating as is necessary.

At just under a kilogram, it is incredibly compact and ideal for smaller rooms and areas, so perfect for caravans. Based on online reviews, it may not be the most intricate or comprehensive heater, but for the price and its size, it provides you with reasonable warmth.

The Hylite HHT205 Slimline Eco Heater does not look like much, but this sexy little bar heater is a low wattage, low-cost, high-efficiency 55-watt heater that includes a thermostat built into the design. Installation is straightforward, and the brackets are included that allows you to mount it to a wall. However, it can also be used standing on the floor.

The white enamel finish gives it a clean and appealing look. Similarly to the above, this weighs just under a kilogram so is incredibly light. As it is not a full and clunky appliance and more or less just a tube, it means you can be sure it won’t take up too much space – ideal for small spaces such as caravan rooms and areas.

The Kampa Diddy Portable Heater, it has to be said, looks similar to an old fashioned radio with its mesh-covering over the fan and large dial. If you are looking for a compact, but very powerful for the price range heater, the Kampa Diddy Portable might be ideal.

Kampa is known for designing and manufacturing a plethora of useful and high-quality camping and caravanning accessories. Powered by a juicy 1500 watts, this heater offers you the choice of two different settings – 750 watts or 1500 watts. As many inexpensive heaters tend to overheat and the plastic housing can therefore be hot to touch, this is not an issue with the special cool touch casing for the Kampa heater.

While it may not be the most attractive looking heater in the world, with the mesh and exposed tubing, for under 20 quid this portable electric heater from Quest is still a practical and powerful choice. This quartz heater offers you the choice of 2 different heat settings, 400 and 800 watts.

Uncomplicated and simplistic controls and a switch that protects it from tipping over, with a handle. Portable and lightweight, it can be easily cleaned.

Although this portable oil-filled radiator it is slightly more expensive than a lot of the other heaters in this list, this particular oil-filled heating system offers 1500 watts of power and 3 different heating settings to choose from. The thermostat is fully adjustable and there is both a cut-out in case it tips over and also one to prevent it overheating.

As it is oil-filled, it is bulkier and less inconspicuous, but if you have a massive caravan. It also benefits from using eco-friendly conductive oil and a 24-hour timer.

Warmlite is considered to be one of the most innovative and ground-breaking manufacturers in the portable home heating industry. So no list highlighting oil-filled heaters would be complete without mentioning a Warmlite product.

Compared to the above, this only consists of 5 fins but does have a thermostat that can be adjusted to give you a variety of power settings and provides protection against overheating. The carry handle and compact design make it ideal if you are looking for a sensible option to warm-up your caravan.

Another caravan fan heater under 20 quid is this Connect It mode, which offers the options for 1000 and 2000 watts of heat, which is a lot higher than some similarly priced items on the market currently.

It also has a very lightweight and compact design, which means it can be used virtually anywhere in your caravan without taking up too much space. The thermostat can be adjusted and there is even an option on those hot summery days to switch to cool air. The standard feature of cut-out safety switch to prevent it overheating is also included in this simple little heater.

This Lacyie model is a great small gas heater for caravan trips. It is lightweight weighing only about 5 pounds and is a compact design of 12 x 5 x 10 inches. It also comes with a carrying handle so you can bring it with you outside for cosy nights under the stars.

This small caravan gas heater has a fire control switch so you can adjust the heat. It also has extra safety measures of anti-damp protection and flame out protection so you can feel secure when using this portable caravan gas heater.

The next caravan heater we have comes from the very reputable brand of Pro Breeze. The 2000W fan heater features ceramic heating discs that offer an effective heat transfer that is suitable for small spaces like your tourer.

Pro Breeze has undoubtedly utilised the ceramic heating solution because it is largely considered to be more energy-efficient, faster acting and crucially, safer than many other fan heaters. As the heater rotates, it spreads the warm air out quicker. In terms of power settings, you get the benefit of two options, a lower 1200W and the full power setting of 2000W.

It is equipped with handy features like its anti-tip-over safety switch and built-in overheat protection that switches the heater off immediately when it is in either of these unsafe conditions.

Last but by no means least on our list is the second tubular heater in our guide. This model is from the Sunhouse brand (part of the Dimplex Group) and for small spaces is deceptively strong. Although the heat it produces is not comparable to other caravan heaters, we love how quickly it reaches the maximum temperature.

It also benefits from an adjustable thermostat, so you can choose the temperature that suits you best. We also like the safety features like the splash-proof IPX4 rating. Given the quality of its build and its streamline design make this a welcome addition to a small space, even if it won’t heat the whole caravan.

Caravan Heaters Buying Guide

While we are sure you will be able to find the best heater for your touring vehicle among the 10 caravan heaters we have highlighted above, if you are new to the world of portable heaters, you may still feel a bit unsure about what is good and what’s bad. That’s where this buying guide comes in.

As well as giving you the lowdown on the different types of heaters that are suitable for caravans, we will also consider the most important features to look for in specific models.

Different Types of Heaters for Caravans and Campervans

Do you know your electric heaters from your gas models or know the difference between a convector heater and an oil-filled radiator? To find the best caravan heater for your leisure vehicle, you need to understand what’s available. Below we have provided an overview of the most common types of caravan and campervan heaters available.

Oil Filled Radiators

You may already be familiar with oil-filled radiators if you have ever used them in your home. These rely on electricity to warm the thermodynamic oil that fills these heaters. Once the oil is heated to the desired temperature, it then spreads that heat around the heater which then, in turn, heats the room it has been set up in.

As oil-filled models do not need naked flames, they are considered a much safer option than other heaters. It’s true, it can take a while to heat the oil. The upside is that once the oil is heat, it tends to stay warm for longer.

Fan Heaters

Undoubtedly one of the most popular choices of heaters for the caravanning community is the fan heater. A fan heater operates in a fairly self-explanatory way – they blow out warm air into the atmosphere to heat the space or room. The major downside of a fan heater is that they can be noisy, thanks to the fans and other moving parts.

Electric Heaters

As it does not use gas, oil or other flammable materials, an electric heater is a popular option. Electric heaters are small and designed like flat panels that use convection to provide heat to small spaces like your tourer. Electric heaters contain an electric heating element that once it has reached the desired temperature transfers all of its heat into the room it is placed.

Gas Heaters

The one kind of caravan heater that is considered more popular than the rest are gas heaters that use LPG. We are making that distinction because the next type of heater we are going to discuss are halogen heaters. To provide the heat you require in your caravan, the gas stored in the cylinder is safely ignited to create an open flame that then warms air drawn from the surrounding atmosphere.

Using a special heat exchanger the heat energy is then transferred into the air through either fins or an air distributor on the heater.

Halogen Heaters

The reason we did not include these under the above section about gas heaters is that they use halogen bulbs. Inside the radiator, the halogen bulbs produce infrared radiation that provides warmth to small areas. The biggest concern and reason you may want to look at other heaters if your caravan or the room you need is on the big side is that these heaters only warm items and objects close to it.

Convector Heaters

As the name suggests, convector heaters use convection to warm your caravan or small area with air circulated through and around the heating element. When the air surrounding the heater is warmed, it then rises and then leaves space for cold air. This process carries on until you have a nice and toasty warm caravan. The big advantage of a convection heater is the fact that because there are no fans in its construction, there is less noise and less chance of dust being blown around your caravan.

Tubular Heaters

As the name suggests, tubular heaters are much smaller than the other designs we have discussed. These are best suited for smaller caravans and rooms or would even be great as a campervan heater that does not have lots of space. They utilise electrical resistance to create heat through infrared radiation, similar to halogen heaters. One problem that comes from using these heaters is that they don’t dry air when they warm it, so you may need to invest in some dehumidifiers to counter the additional moisture in the air.

Features to Look Out for In Caravan Heaters

As well as understanding the pros and cons of the different types of heaters suitable for caravan, you also need to learn about the different features you should be looking out for when choosing from the available heaters.

Safety Features

We thought we would kick off this section of our buying guide with one of the most important features. That is the safety features. Caravan heaters have a terrible reputation for being fire hazards. We are still on the fence a little about whether it’s the heaters fault or irresponsible caravan owners.

However, a fire hazard they remain. Safety features like a safety switch that triggers to prevent a heater from overheating or if it tips over, are vital.

Adjustable Thermostat

Having a temperature control or adjustable thermostat is also something you should look out for when choosing the best caravan heater. Particularly if you want to be able to have different heat settings for different parts of the day. You would not necessarily need a high power setting if you are all tucked up in bed and asleep, whereas a low heat setting may not be ideal when you are sitting on a cold morning trying to get ready to face the day.

Portability

One thing that all of the caravan heaters we have featured have in common is that they are all portable. Portability is very important in a caravan, because you may want to move it from room to room if you are intending on heating only the rooms you are using or when you need to winterise or put your caravan into storage.

To help increase the portability, you will find that some heaters and radiators have a carry handle.

Heat Output

All caravans and caravan owners have different heating needs. Whether you are looking to heat the whole of your caravan, want frost protection or just want to warm up those cold limbs first thing in the morning, the last thing at night or on those rainy days, you need to think about the heat output offered by the heaters you are interested in.

All heaters, like caravans and their owners, are different and some may have power settings and heat settings better suited to your needs than others.

Noise

When we say noise, of course, what we are looking for is a lack of noise, and as close to silent operation as possible. While it can be reassuring to hear a radiator or heater working away, when it is loud and clanky like fan heaters, it is not as good. If you are a light sleeper, you will want to consider one of the models like oil-filled heaters.

Conclusion

There you have its folks, everything you could ever need or want to know about low wattage heater for your caravan. As well as highlighting 10 of the best caravan heaters (including many different types such as oil-filled, electric, gas, halogen and convector heaters), we have also dug a little deeper. The buying guide offers insight into the different types of caravan heaters available and the features you should be most interested in.

We are confident you will now have all the information you need to find that superb caravan heater to keep you warm and comfortable in your tourer. The rest is up to you.



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How Long Does A Static Caravan Last?


If you’re looking to buy a static caravan. You’re probably putting a lot of thought into what type of holiday home you want. You’re pondering the initial investment, running costs, maintenance costs and so forth.

One option high on your list could be a holiday home. Still, static caravans are much cheaper and can provide just as much joy and fun in the sun. But you’re wondering, how long do static caravans last? You need a good return on the investment you’re going to make. So the lifespan of a static van is crucial.

Two or three major factors will influence the life of a static caravan. The first is how well you maintain your caravan. Second, will it be a new purchase or used, if it’s used, how old is it, and was it maintained well, prior to your purchase. Third, how long is the van site license agreement, or pitch licence, valid for.

Understanding A Caravan Site Licence Agreement

Often referred to as the pitch licence. This is a tremendously important piece of paper. This sets out the terms of your agreement when you place static caravans on a holiday park.

It’s beyond important you appreciate the implications and conditions set down in this agreement because it governs how long you may have your static caravan on the park.

The agreement will cover these three key points when considering your caravan:

  • The age, price, full details and condition of a mobile home
  • The rate of depreciation
  • What are the prevailing conditions that govern whether holiday homes are no longer up to the standards of the park?

A holiday park will issue pitch licences for varying lengths of time, depending on the age and condition of holiday homes.

  • From 8 years for a pre-owned van.
  • Up to 20 years for a new one.

From the park owners point of view, it’s understandable he wants static caravans to be in the best condition. If not, it will affect his bottom line because it will put any potential renters off if they see a load of run-down static caravans.

If it’s a high-quality park, he’s going to err on the side of caution when he issues licences and the time they run.

What Happens When Your Licence Runs Out? Is That It?

Well, no, there are some things you can do:

Extend your licence

If the park operators deem your static caravan to be in good enough condition, they could well offer you an extension to your licence. There’s no guarantee of this. There might be a waiting list to get on the park. The park operator might prefer to replace your static van with a newer model.

Move your static caravan

Moving static caravans does cost a bit of money, of course, and you’ll need specialist equipment and a crew of people to move it. However, if you really don’t want to part with your home and can find another park that will happily house it, this is a good option.

Trade-in yours for a new static caravan.

If you can’t contemplate moving to another park, this can be a great option. Most holiday parks have part exchange deals running, so it’s worth talking to your park owner, see what’s on offer. A part exchange on a van could mean you get the top of the line version of your current holiday accommodation for a fantastic price!

Sell Your Static Caravan.

 You could always find a private buyer or even sell it to the trade. There are many in the UK, shop around for the best deal you can find.

Sell to the park. 

It might be easier to ask the park if they want to buy it. Parks often buy mobile homes, so tt’s a lot less hassle, although you might not get the best price.

Extending The Life Of Your Static Caravan

It’s not a question of how long does a static caravan last? It’s really how can you ensure static caravans last in excellent condition for as long as possible.

Check out these tips:

Check the chassis

Buy a static home with a galvanised chassis. Protect the chassis from rust and gradual erosion, which will reduce the value of your van. Plus, if you site your van near the sea, a galvanised chassis is essential.

Maintain the gutters

Keep the gutters clean. At least two to three times a year, clean them and check for any problem areas. Moisture has a habit of creeping in, but if you clean regularly, you can prevent issues before they start.

Check the floor regularly

The caravan floor is another area to watch out for. Floors take a lot of stick, so check for wear and tear.

Water maintenance

Water maintenance is important in static caravans. Water damage and damp can be lethal if it’s not dealt with in a timely manner. You may have external leaking from the roof. Or internal leaking from pipes inside the van.

Check the roof

A caravan roof, although well-built, can still have issues because of skylights. They can easily become damaged and leak. Check rubber seals for cracking. Replace or repair those.

Skirtings

If you site your static caravan close to the sea and you do not have a galvanised chassis, you might fit a skirt around the van. The salt air will play havoc with metal, so a skirt will keep some of that air at bay.

Make sure your static caravan has a good warranty.

Buying from a manufacturer that offers a long term and substantial warranty is a must. Get as many of the important areas, such as windows, doors, structure and replacement parts covered.

All of this will ensure your static caravan lasts as long as possible. This means if you decide to sell your caravan, you’ll get a fair price for it. Or if you plan to hold on to your static caravan, it will be a lovely place for you and your family for a long time.

Insuring Your Static Caravan

Things go wrong sometimes, despite our best efforts. So insure your static caravan. Most holiday parks will insist on insurance cover. But make sure you have insurance for your property inside the van. Double-check your policy includes public liability.

Winterise Your Static Caravan

When you talk about making a static caravan last as long as you can, winterising it one of the most important parts of the life expectancy of caravans.

Caravans unused for five or six months over the wintertime are vulnerable to damage caused by a typical UK winter. Frozen pipes, condensation, mildew and wildlife infestations are some problems that van owners encounter when they return to their vans in spring.

The park management will lay out explicit instructions for every van owner to follow. In fact, it might be a clause in your insurance that you follow the park’s instructions to the letter. If you do not, they may even invalidate your insurance.

So, how long do static caravans last?

In summary, the value of your static caravan doesn’t really come from how long it will last or the resale value when you come to sell it. Of course, your static caravan lasting years and years is great and making some money on the van when you sell it is ideal. However, the many years you get to spend with family and friends is the true value of a static caravan. You bought your static caravan to help you enjoy life to the full, for holidays with your family in a holiday home that you own.



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Caravan Tips for Beginners            


If you’re new to the exciting world of caravanning, you could be forgiven for thinking it an overwhelming place. With so many products available to buy, equipment to remember and etiquette to abide by, it can seem just too much for newbies – and that’s all before you’ve even pulled off the drive!

Yet, as with anything else in life, a little preparation, research, and practice here will soon have you picking up the reigns while setting you on the right path here.

With so many new visitors flocking to the Caravan Helper website, we thought now would be the best time to run through a couple of those most basic but helpful of caravanning tips. These are the caravan tips that we wish we had when we started our caravan adventure.

So, here are just a few need to know things that we’ve experienced over our caravanning journey which we want to share with all of those just starting out on their own caravan adventures.

A Beginners Guide To Caravanning

First Time Trips

The first need to know thing about caravanning is that your first outing in your caravan can be daunting. This is normal, we promise. If you’ve still yet to take that first trip with your caravan and are feeling slightly apprehensive about doing so, stay close to home.

This is a better solution all around, in particular for those first couple of adventures you fly solo as it gives you a comfort blanket. Therefore, should you forget something and need to go back home, it won’t be such a problem.

Many caravaners like to stay local during those first few attempts at entering the caravanning scene, with some even beginning their first official stay overs on the driveway!

The idea here is merely to gain some confidence and become accustomed to your caravan in a place whereby there’s no outside pressure to do so, before heading off further afield. Plus, you may find some amazing caravan park gems right on your doorstep that you never knew about! And you’ll quickly become a bonafide caravanner!

Lists

caravan lists

Here at Caravan Helper, we can’t stress enough how valuable lists are when it comes to caravanning! This is simply because at some point they will act as your lifeline, ensuring you do not continually forget things, only realising when it’s too late, and you’re too far down the motorway to turn back!

Write up lists for everything you need to take with you and, subsequently, everything you need when packing up to come home.

Further still, be sure to keep a supply of pens and paper to hand in your van. This way you can fill out a list of what you’re running short on while you’re away.

This is great for stuff such as boring but essential items like bin bags, toilet rolls, and washing up liquid. That way, when you get back, you can refill the van straight away making sure you’re not caught short the next time you head out to the caravan site.

DIY

caravan diy

Always keep a screwdriver in your caravan, alongside a set of fuses. Though these are small and often overlooked items, we’re sure you’ll be glad you packed them at some point in your caravanning journey.

Caravan cupboards and drawers will always throw up loose screws now and again, and a drill is not recommended to fix such issues in caravans, due to the temperamental nature of the wood used throughout them.

Likewise, when you’re least expecting it, you can be guaranteed a fuse will blow. This usually tends to be when you sit down with a nice hot cuppa to read your book! Therefore, a range of fuses to hand can have the problem solved in a matter of minutes.

Chargers Galore

phone chargers

With so many of us taking gadgets when caravanning, we often make the mistake of remembering the leads; only to then discover we’ve forgotten to bring the actual corresponding adapter to charge it with!

Because most of us rely heavily on our mobile phones, laptops, and kindles in the caravan, it’s a better idea to purchase a select number of adapters that will fit these regularly used items and keep them in the van at all times. Therefore, there’s no disappointments and no scouring the local shops for replacements as soon as you pitch up!

TV Aerials

tv aerials

Likewise, the TV is a favourite with most of us caravanners, especially for a bit of guilty pleasure reality TV! However, it is the TV aerial, which is one of the most commonly forgotten items when packing up the caravan.

Therefore, make it a priority to ensure you have the aerial lead before you drive off. Even better, keep all that you need to get your TV up and running in your van, always.

Fridges

fridges

As an essential workable appliance, your caravan fridge will need to be up to standard each time you travel in your caravan. However, it often gets forgotten, especially when people put their van back into storage.

Keep a small block of wood in your van to wedge the fridge door open, therefore when you close the van up, the fridge is not left shut and has no chance to develop mould or odours. This means you simply wipe it down and switch it on before heading off again.

During Transit

caravan tips for transit

A tip always worth acting on and indeed getting used to early on in your caravanning career is that of storing items carefully away and locking all cupboards and drawers before setting off.

If you get into the habit of doing this and then performing a final check each time, you ensure you get to the other end to discover your van intact and exactly how you left it.

Remember to take the glass microwave plate out and store it away, as well as locking those slider doors and shower doors, finally taking the shower head off and place it on the base of the shower. There’s nothing worse than pulling a rattling caravan along and wincing at every sound as you do so!

Water Use

caravan water use

It’s always good to remember to be vigilant when it comes to the amount of water you use while onsite. The biggest drinker here is the shower!

Therefore, consider turning the shower on to wash, turning it off as you lather up, and then trying it back on to wash off. Likewise, only run the taps when you need to swill your toothbrush, and wash vegetables in a bowl of water rather than leave the taps continually running.

Never forget how small a caravan’s water tank is and how it’s a constant pain to keep running out of water – especially during those moments when you need it the most.

Slow and Steady

slow and steady

Whether you’re doing your final caravan checks or towing a caravan to a caravan park, take it slowly.

Caravanning requires you to move at a slower pace all-round, and this includes when you make those final checks before setting off from the storage unit or drive, all the way through to driving there and back to your destination.

Do a regular check both inside and outside the van; double-checking all is ready before you move. This includes checking locks, removing locks, raising steadies, hitching the caravan on and then running the car while plugging in the caravan’s electrics.

Then, make sure you get your route planned ahead of time, whether on your phone, through use of a Satnav or even the old-fashioned paper map way.

Always be mindful here that travelling with your van requires extra attention as to where you can and can’t possibly go road wise to reach your final stop.

Motor Mover

motor mover

If you have the use of a motor mover, by all means, don’t be afraid to use it. These are ideal for those new to towing a caravan, and just as helpful to those who have been pulling up to sites for many years with a caravan in tow.

As a newbie, you may very well become intimated by the act of reversing your caravan onto your designated pitch. This is especially so when you feel you’ve got an audience to hand! However, there’s no getting around the fact that parking your van within a specific pitch is not always the easier of tasks.

Some people have a real hang-up about these products – but we say, if you’re lucky enough to own a motor mover, then use it all you can!

After all, you’ve paid for it, and we’re sure you’d rather get your caravan parked correctly and safely first-time round, rather than struggle just to save face here!

Towing Mirrors and Tow Bar

If your car doesn’t have a tow bar, you will need one, unless you intend to use your caravan on your driveway. You will also need a set of towing mirrors. We urge and plead with you, do not skimp on towing mirrors or a tow bar.

Make sure to buy good quality mirrors, and a towing bar (a quality tow ball will always save you a real headache), and your life of caravanning will become much easier from the moment you leave your driveway!

Oh, and there are four sizes of tow ball, so do make sure you have the correct one, that could put a stop to your holiday before you even hitch your caravan! You will also need to ensure that the car you intend to use as a tow car can actually tow your caravan. Having a tow car that can barely tow your caravan while at maximum weight may result in damage to your car or your caravan or both!

Educate Yourself

educate yourself

Never be afraid to ask for help as you begin your caravanning adventures and always look to gain as much knowledge about this fabulous way of life, where and when you can. Owning a caravan is wonderful, and there are some wonderful people in the caravan world.

YouTube offers a wealth of information, as well as videos for all levels of caravanners. So too does the Caravan Helper website.

Furthermore, you’ll likely discover over time that accessing the local caravanning community can be one of the best ways of obtaining some of the most beneficial information to help you on your way. You’ll likely be able to find a local caravan community on Facebook that will provide a lot of help. Plus, when you are on a caravan park in the UK, don’t shy away from having a chat or two with the other caravanners at the park. They will have some tips about improving your caravan, how you stay in it and where the best local pub is too! If you aren’t sure, ask another caravan owner for help!

Camping and Caravanning Club and Other Caravan Clubs

This caravan club was founded in 1901, and it now has over half a million caravan owners under its wing. The idea of the Camping and Caravanning Club is to bring fun to your caravan holiday. If you want to know where to take your caravan, what the local points of interest are and the best caravan site to use during your stay, this is the club for you! The Caravan Club also provides amazing tips for a caravan beginner, their guide to caravanning, for example, making it the perfect place to go for help and advice!

Final Thoughts on Starting Out Caravanning

We always stress that yes, caravanning can indeed take some time to get used to. However, even while learning all this new stuff, don’t forget to stop every now and then and take stock-taking time out to enjoy the experience as well. Towing a caravan for the first time, for example, can be stressful. But once you find your home for the week, and masterfully park your caravan, enjoy it! After all, you have all your home comforts in the caravan (if you made a list and remembered to pack it, of course). So, now you can unwind in your caravan and enjoy a brilliant holiday all while your creature comforts from back home are right there.

Caravanning should be a great journey and one which you thoroughly enjoy being a part of. It should also be the most relaxing of activities and offer a respite from the day to day grind and toil of the 9 til 5 routine back home. Once you practise towing a caravan, parking it and packing everything you need, you will quickly see why caravan holidays are still as popular as ever!

Therefore, ensure you keep reminding yourself exactly why you got into caravanning in the first place, keeping your mind focused on the many adventures ahead that you’re going to have. This way, you’ll do just fine! Plus, never shy away from asking another caravan owner for help, you’ll be amazed at the help you can find at a caravan site!

For an item you may never have thought you need, check out caravan tyre grip tracks. Please explore the Caravan Helper website for more info about caravans.



Caravan Vs Motorhome: The Ultimate Guide


Whether you are a free spirit wanting to take road trips to roam this fair country or you just want reasonably priced holidays for you and the kids, deciding on a caravan vs motorhome is something to think about. Here we take a look at some of the pros and cons of both and see if we can help you see which is best for you.

I asked 2 friends of mine. One owns a motorhome and the other owns a caravan and I wanted to get both people’s perspectives on each.

My motorhome friend said the following Travelling for me is all about getting out and seeing as much of the world as possible. I picked a motorhome over a caravan for the freedom it gives me

My touring caravan friend said I love caravanning. Once I am parked up I don’t want to be taking all the belongings with me. We usually caravan by the sea and it’s a short walk into the village for the shops. If we do need to go on days out then we have the car

I can see it from both sides, so let’s take a detailed look into the subject of caravan or motorhome, and which might be best suited for you. Please note, this is only covering touring caravans and not static caravans. We will do another article about those soon.

Motorhome or Caravan – Which is Easier to drive?

We are covering the most important one first. The simple answer is, that a motorhome or campervan is much easier to drive than towing a caravan. If you are a confident and experienced driver, with a bit of practice you can drive a motorhome. It just takes a bit more time. Check that your driving licence allows you to drive one.

A caravan will take some more practice. Towing a touring caravan takes more practice and don’t think that everyone whos towing one was amazing at first. Chances are, it took them a lot of practice and they went out early on a Sunday morning to get used to it. There are also a lot of towing courses that you can to learn the basics.

Is a Motorhome More expensive Than A Caravan?

It’s not especially easy to compare motorhomes with caravans for regular yearly costs because caravans can last four years or twenty-four years. It’s very important to do your research on the type of caravan you get. Motorhomes have a standard life of around 20 years or about 200,000 miles, whichever is sooner.

Motorhome or Caravan – The Costs

If you are deciding whether to buy a motorhome or a caravan, the cost is a huge factor to take into consideration. A leisure vehicle should be seen as an investment, whether you eventually buy a motorhome, caravan or even one of the great camper vans that are out there.

With that in mind you need to not just think of the initial cost involved in buying caravans and motorhomes, but the ongoing running costs and how much return you are going to get on your investment.

Initial Price

A top of the range new motorhome costs more than a new caravan – you are getting more because you are getting a caravan and a car in one. Your initial outlay will be greater. A top-notch caravan would cost about £34,000, brand new. For a slightly lower price of around £32,000, you could buy a 9-year-old motorhome that has done 13,000 miles. Both are beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still comparing buying a new caravan with buying a second hand (old) motorhome.

Part of the initial cost for a caravan might involve buying a new tow car. If you own a small car like a Vauxhall Corsa then you are going to have to change it for a much larger vehicle.

Ongoing Running Costs

Motorhomes require taxing, MOTing and servicing each year. The yearly costs for this, including repairs, will easily cost you £2,500. A caravan will cost much less than that, it won’t need taxing and MOTing, obviously, but you will need to make sure it’s insured.

You do need to insure, tax and MOT the car or tow vehicle, but as you would need to do that whether you were towing a caravan or not, it is an additional cost.

Some caravans will last just a few years then need replacing, particularly if the dreaded damp presents itself. Many experienced caravan owners feel the older caravans were built more robustly than the newer models. If you are taking the caravan route. which is undeniably cheaper, then really take a long time to investigate which caravans present the best value for money.

Caravan Insurance vs Motorhome Insurance

Technically, you don’t need to buy insurance for your caravan. However, it does mean you will not be covered against accidental damage or theft. Fortunately, caravan insurance is not nearly as expensive as motorhome insurance and can work out as little as £150 a year.

Motorhome insurance is going to cost you about double that of caravan insurance. A motorhome is likely to do more miles and be on the road more. It is also going to be a more expensive item.

Caravan or Motorhome for Touring Around Europe? Or Maybe A Campervan?

Most of my friends that use a caravan abroad go to France and a few go-to Spain. That isn’t to say you can’t take a caravan further, it’s just likely to be a bit harder with some of the small roads that there are on the continent.

It also depends on what you intend on doing. If you are thinking about being more spontaneous and wild camping then a caravan is probably not for you. If you are going to your favourite beach resort in France for a long summer holiday, then a caravan, and not a motorhome, is the better option. Campervans are also a great choice for camping travels to Europe as they are a bit smaller and might be easier to drive on roads you don’t know.

Caravan or Motorhome for UK holidays?

We think this is a 50/50 split. The UK has a lot of campsites that are very suited for both.

Who will you be travelling with?

If you have 3 kids and 2 dogs then living in a motorhome might end up being a bit of a tight squeeze. As the engine and the cabin where the driver sits takes up a lot of the space and eats into the available living space. That’s, where a caravan might be the better option so that everyone can have their own space and the dogs, have more room to run around. Even if the weather is rubbish the dogs can go outside in the awning without bringing mud inside.

Which is more relaxing?

I think that caravanning is more relaxing. Once you are parked up in your spot then that’s it, your home on wheels is staying put. You can leave the awning set up to extend your living space, and all your furniture can stay where it is.

With a motorhome, if you want to take trips out then you have to pack everything up each day and make sure it’s all securely fastened down. Unless you have the use of or tow a small car.

On the other hand, as many people will argue, driving a motorhome is more relaxing than towing a touring caravan!

One thing we will say on the subject of relaxation is that caravans don’t tend to have waste water tanks in the same way that motorhomes do, so you need to take a portable model and clean it out daily unless you fancy having a rancid smell.

How long are you going away for?

If you are thinking of going away for a few months then we think the better choice is a motorhome as you can move about a lot easier.

However, if you have the caravan based in a campsite or somewhere permanently and use it as a holiday home at the weekends then a caravan might be the better option.

Which is safer?

For the safety-conscious among us, this is a serious consideration. Much depends on where you park. If you park in a proper caravan site, then you can introduce yourself to the neighbours, who then know who is supposed to be around your car and leisure vehicle. If you are free or wild camping or have just parked your motorhome up, there is less security and you are at greater risk of vandalism and theft. You are never going to be 100% risk-free, but you can help yourself with security measures for both caravans and motorhomes.

Travelling Light

If you are the sort of person who likes to travel around and stop wherever you want, if you like to just be a bit more spontaneous, then a motorhome might suit you better. You can drive to a spot, stay a few days, drive to another spot and enjoy that one, too.

There is less to set up, you just find a place to park. It’s worth knowing that all Asda car parks in the UK welcome motorhomes, so if you fail to find anywhere else, you can always park there, no charge. Asda knows that you will want to go in and buy stuff in the morning so they benefit from your being there anyway.

Where will the caravan or motorhome be stored?

This is a very important factor to consider. Do you have room on your drive at home to park it? If you live in a terrace house and want to own a caravan then you could always look for storage that’s close to home.

Another option is to store the caravan near to where you holiday. If you are travelling to Devon each year but like to visit a few campsites down there then it would make more sense to store the caravan in that area. This saves you towing it as far each time you want to use it

Which is best for kids?

This depends on the kids. If your kids are young then probably a caravan would be better. Of course, Mum and Dad will have to set up the caravan and take care of the kids, so that might be a problem. But once it is set up, then you know you have a “home living space” to come back to.

It means that you can leave your stuff and go and enjoy yourself during the day. It means if it starts to rain then you can come back and spend some time together in the caravan. You can stock it with favourite toys and teddies and make it a place that is special for your kids and there are fewer worries when going on a holiday.

While the same holds true of motorhomes that are parked up at sites, it isn’t the same for people who want the freedom to roam. Will younger kids understand that there is a huge amount of driving involved? That if you drive all day to get “there”, and it rains, then you have to stay put in the motorhome for even longer? Particularly if “there” doesn’t have a kid’s club, a pub or a play centre? For people who have older children while they undoubtedly won’t like it, at least they can understand why they are going to different places and the risk that it might rain but that’s ok. Usually, because they have an iPad or tablet or phone they can use! If you do get a motorhome and have kids, then get a large motorhome.

Which Suits Dog Owners Best?

One of the best things about holidaying in the UK is how easy it is to take our dogs with us.

But, what if you have a motorhome? Where to put the dog then? Well if your dog is used to going into the cabin, you can put a harness on him and you will be fine. You can also get travel crates that could go in the motorhome. Whatever option you pick just make sure they are secure.

We think a caravan is slightly more suited towards a dog. There’s a bit more room and if you have an awning then you can keep an eye on them easier.

Which is Best for Sightseeing and Day Trips? – Motorhome or Caravan?

As well as considering where in the world you are going and who is going with you, you need to think about what kind of holidays you are going on. One of the joys of travelling around the UK in a leisure vehicle, even if you are staying at a caravan park, campsite or holiday resort, is that you have the opportunity to explore the towns and cities in that area.

Like many of the subjects we have discussed, there are pros and cons for each type of vehicle in this regard. However, we feel that caravans come out on tops.

Say, for example, you go on holiday to the Lake District. Even if you are staying at a well-equipped, luxury caravan club site, you will undoubtedly want to get out there and explore the natural beauty of the area. When you are towing a caravan, this is a lot easier to do, because once you have set up your caravan you can then use the car to easily get out and about, taking in the sights, sounds and whatever else floats your boat of the area, in this case, the Lake District. You don’t need to worry about strapping everything down securely and packing everything up again, as long as you have decent security for your caravan, there is nothing to worry about.

However, if you have a motorhome, it will be a lot harder to have this kind of experience because unless you tow a small car along behind your motorhome (or enclosed inside it at the back if you can buy a motorhome that is quite modern) you can’t take it out for small day trips.

For one thing, you will always need to pack up and secure everything, which could get frustrating if you are just taking mini road trips to the seaside or to visit a museum and you may find that you are not allowed to park it up in a small town car park. Especially one that is enclosed. Then there is just the fact that a large motorhome is very cumbersome and not ideal for small-town roads and streets.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately when it comes to deciding whether a motorhome or caravan is best, it is all about what you want out of a holiday vehicle and the kind of experience you would like that will make you decide on your first motorhome or a caravan. That, and price. If it were me, I would consider starting with a caravan (especially if I had a young family) and seeing how I felt about the camping/caravanning lifestyle. If both you and the kids take to it well, then consider moving up to a motorhome when they get older. If you are retired and can afford the price, get a motorhome, and give yourself the freedom of the open road.

Either way, give it a lot of thought, consider the pros and cons and don’t rush into the decision.

If you have decided that caravanning is for you then check out our guide on how to buy a new caravan.



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Touring Caravan Meals              


When on a caravan holiday, you may not always feel like prepping extensive meals for lunch and dinner times. What appeals to many when touring in the caravan is that sense of freedom and a move away from the humdrum of everyday domestic life.

But caravans usually don’t offer large kitchens, and indeed vast preparation space, like you may have become accustomed to at home! Add to that a limited fridge space and reduced storage space in general, and you won’t be able to buy as big a weekly shop as you do for the home either!

Yet, what you may also not want to do is get into the habit of relying on constant takeaways when you’re caravanning. Though it may be tempting, while it’s ideal for a short stay, over a longer period it can become problematic health wise. It can also end up becoming one of the costlier aspects of caravanning if you’re not careful here!

Here at Caravan Helper, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a couple of the office favourites when it comes to caravan cooking. As well as being some of the quick and easy meals to cook in a caravan as well as indeed prep, they’re also some of the tastiest you can get as you travel in the van.

Easy Meals to Cook in a Caravan

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

A favourite for so many of us, Spaghetti Bolognese is not only a good healthy and hearty meal but also something that doesn’t take much effort to make, cook, or even to store such ingredients.

In fact, you can choose to make this as much about utilising cupboard staple foods like chopped tomatoes – or opt for the fresher of ingredients to suit your mood.

Keep a few bottles of sauce in your cupboards along with packs of spaghetti, and then all you really need to keep in the fridge for this is the beef mince.

This can then be made in no time at all. What’s more, you can add a side dish to it to fill you up, while topping your spag bol with grated cheese and a couple of herbs to garnish.

Pasta Bake

Pasta Bake

As you stack plenty of bottles of sauce in your caravan cupboards for the spag bol, you can then use them to make Pasta Bake. This is another firm favourite for many and a real treat when coming back to the caravan after a long day.

This is once again a recipe whereby you can chop and change the ingredients you use in it, making it as straight forward or as extravagant as you wish.

Pasta Bake is ideal if food storage space is at a minimum in your caravan as you can use tinned tomatoes here and bags of pasta, which take up next to no room but ultimately offer a great tasting dish all around. Additionally, you can top it off with a selection of cheese sauce and serve it with garlic bread. Pasta dishes really are one of the easiest meals.

Curry

Curry

Perhaps not always the most obvious of choices for when dining in the caravan, curry dishes are certainly a big hit with most people.

Not only does curry fill you up, but it also keeps you warm during those colder caravanning nights.

Curries are actually one of the simpler of meals to make and do not create an excess of washing up, making them ideal for caravanning purposes! They are almost a one pot meal as everything just goes into 1 frying pan. Add some chopped tomatoes, spices and then your choice of meat and you have yourself a curry.

Once again, you can use jars of curry sauce here for added practicality and make this dish as simple or extravagant as you like, finishing it off with naan bread or poppadums.

Stir Fry

Stir Fry

Investing in a wok and keeping it in the caravan is a fantastic decision if you regularly caravan. You can make so many delicious meals or even the odd snack using this utensil. It’s also one of the more straightforward of items to wash up afterward!

This is also a great way of ensuring you get your recommended allowance of vegetables every day, alongside cutting down on the prep time and indeed cost as you can buy so many different varieties of mixed veg already bagged up in stores now.

To bulk a stir fry up and make a good dinner from it, you could also add noodles, a selection of meat types and various sauces, completing the meal. It is a quick and easy meal that the whole family will love.

Home Made Pizzas

Home Made Pizzas

Pizza is something all the family can enjoy. The great thing about making your own pizza when caravanning is that you don’t have to account for ample freezer space to store those shop bought ones!

As well as this, not only is it satisfying making your own, but you can then choose to personalize your topping as you see fit.

Home-made pizza can also be one of the healthier of choices as you’re more in control of what you place on them and know precisely what’s going into them!

All you need is plain flour and yeast which you can store away in your food cupboards, and you can make as much dough as you need, leaving it to rise throughout the day. Then, it’s merely a case of loading it with your preferred choices and putting it into the oven.

The tomato puree is also a single small staple food cupboard item, meaning it takes up less room and you can concentrate on storing more of those fresh choices in the fridge here to select at your leisure.

What you don’t eat that day can be wrapped in tin foil and popped in the fridge for the next day.

Full English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast

As this is generally fried or toasted, once again, you aren’t likely to use too many items here, so washing up is usually kept to a minimum!

To make a full English breakfast all the more healthier, you can opt for those fry light sprays that you can easily find in most shops now. These not only eliminate the need to carry those larger oil bottles in the van, but they are also the healthier of options, with many using a much as 95% less fat than regular oil.

A full English breakfast is almost a requirement when it comes to caravanning; especially in the UK! Therefore you could ensure a plentiful and hearty breakfast or indeed brunch here to fill you up for the rest of the day.

Better still, with most of the staple food here being the more practical to store, you can do the whole works quite easily with this meal. Here you can include baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs, hash browns, toast, bacon, and sausages, plus whatever else takes your fancy.

Other Ideas For Easy Caravan Cooking

In the Slow Cooker:

Slow cooker

More and more people are beginning to see the many advantages of taking a slow cooker with them on their caravanning travels. These are now widely available in a range of sizes and are very well priced. Above all, they allow you to make a great tasting and healthy meal from a vast selection of meat choices – and all in just the one pot!

Slow cookers will allow you to add a lot more variety to your caravanning cooking while still ensuring you can store all the food you need for them adequately, even if storage space for food is at a minimum in your van.

Therefore, you can access a wide variety of meal recipe ideas, including stews, soups, casseroles, and full roast dinners! Best still, you can throw all the ingredients in as you wake and then return to a fabulous full meal ready and waiting for you!

Click here for some great slow cooker recipes.

In the Microwave:

If you’re lucky enough to have a caravan microwave, you can also get some additional great meal choices for your caravan holiday.

Baked potatoes are ideal for the microwave and a good meal choice as they are filling, especially when served with options such a tuna, cheese, beans or coleslaw.

A microwave will also allow you to reheat those leftovers from previous meals which you can then improve on with fresh salads and vegetables. 

On the BBQ:

On the BBQ

What’s a caravanning break without a BBQ? Better still, a BBQ in the temperamental British weather! Whether you choose to take a BBQ with you, utilise the BBQ amenities on site, or even pick up an instant disposal one, there’s no denying that BBQ food tastes great, especially when you’re away from home! All the family will love it.

Better still, they’re relatively easy to do, and you can cook a variety of meats to suit, stocking up with plenty of side choices.

Final Thoughts on Quick Caravan Meals

It may seem more of a challenge when you’re in the van to get those meals equalling what you’ve become accustomed to at home. But this certainly doesn’t mean you can’t create good quality and fantastic tasting caravan food.

Hopefully, as we’ve shown here, you can still eat well and enjoy several caravan meals here and there, alongside mixing them with the odd takeaway. Who knows, you may even find a new favourite or signature dish as you do so.

Therefore you don’t have to solely live off salad bags or tins of baked beans each time you set off in the van!

Check out our top picks for caravan cutlery trays.



Caravan Towing Covers


Caravan Defender Universal Front Towing Cover Protector Covers Accessories...
Rhino Guard Caravan Towing Cover Protector Universal Charcoal Grey
Specialised Covers Tow Pro Lite TPL1 Motorhome Towing Protection Cover...
Caravan Defender Universal Front Towing Cover Protector Covers Accessories...
Rhino Guard Caravan Towing Cover Protector Universal Charcoal Grey
Specialised Covers Tow Pro Lite TPL1 Motorhome Towing Protection Cover...
LEDs
2 LEDs
Yes
Yes
Fitting
Mark free buckle system
Mark free buckle system
T-Fit System
What size caravan?
Will only fit vans with 2 working awning channels
From 7ft 1 inch (215cm) to maximum 8ft 2 inch (250cm)
2 awning channels up to 2.5 m wide
Caravan Defender Universal Front Towing Cover Protector Covers Accessories...
Caravan Defender Universal Front Towing Cover Protector Covers Accessories...
LEDs
2 LEDs
Fitting
Mark free buckle system
What size caravan?
Will only fit vans with 2 working awning channels
Rhino Guard Caravan Towing Cover Protector Universal Charcoal Grey
Rhino Guard Caravan Towing Cover Protector Universal Charcoal Grey
LEDs
Yes
Fitting
Mark free buckle system
What size caravan?
From 7ft 1 inch (215cm) to maximum 8ft 2 inch (250cm)
Specialised Covers Tow Pro Lite TPL1 Motorhome Towing Protection Cover...
Specialised Covers Tow Pro Lite TPL1 Motorhome Towing Protection Cover...
LEDs
Yes
Fitting
T-Fit System
What size caravan?
2 awning channels up to 2.5 m wide

So, you’ve bought your new caravan or taken your existing model out of storage and have followed our caravan cleaners tips and advice and it’s looking pretty amazing. The last thing you want is to hit the road and get to your destination and pitch up with your motor mover only to discover your sparkly pride and joy is covered in dead bugs and dirt among other things.

Although that is a fairly extreme example, it is exactly what happens on the road when you are towing a caravan.

You have probably seen other caravans on the road with a cover just over the front, and have wondered why? We know they look a little strange, but they are tried and tested forms of protection for caravans and help avoid those things mentioned above from happening.

Caravan Towing Covers – Do You Need One?

I spoke to 2 of my caravanner friends. One said “I’ve never owned a one in all the years I’ve been caravanning. I am happy to wipe off a few dead flies when we arrive at our destination. If people have the money, then yeah, get one, but I’d rather spend my extra money on a fancy gadget. Touch wood I haven’t had any stones chip my windows in over 10 years”

The other said “It’s a great investment to protect the front of the caravan, just make sure you get one that fits well. Ours is a universal one and we have had no issues with it. When we arrive at our campsite the caravan is all nice and clean with no flies to remove”

Ultimately, it is your decision whether you buy a towing cover or not. However, the covers are not that expensive and can save you a lot of time cleaning your van. They can also save your van’s window from scratches and dings from stones and road dirt. We understand the first point of view, that covers are an expense, but perhaps time spent in a clean van is more important to you. Perhaps a scratch-free front end is vital to you. This could be particularly true if you have a brand new caravan!

Covers for caravans are certainly a hotly debated topic in the caravanning world and we certainly can’t put that debate to rest here. What we can say is that towing covers are a good investment for the right person. Many people who use covers swear by them, others prefer to take their chances on the roads and haven’t had an issue in 10 years (touch wood). The choice is yours, but we love a good cover, and here are the best caravan covers in the UK right now!

We are big fans of the Trudigans and they have put together an excellent video about their experiences with a front towing cover which might help you decide if it is for you.

Best Caravan Front Towing Covers In 2020

Defender is a very reputable brand of caravan accessories and this caravan towing cover is no exception. It will provide sufficient protection against reflections, bugs, dirt, stone chips and all other kinds of debris.

Thanks to its mark-free, buckle system and the double-stitched straps, it will fit your caravan very securely.

In addition, the material used is an enhanced 4-ply and as such very breathable, but thick material that helps offers the maximum protection against impacts.

People say it is easy to fit and features 4 reflective strips and 2 LEDs for improved visibility, but it is important to note that this caravan travel cover has only been designed to fit a caravan model with 2 operational awning channels.

The next one on our list is from Rhino Guard and is an affordably priced solution for keeping your caravan clean on the road. As is standard with most products these days, it is made from durable 4-ply material that is not only protective but also breathable.

It features a scratch-resistant buckle system and the re-inforced stitched seams ensure that it will not tear easily and will cope with repeated uses.

Another common feature that is present in these Rhino Guard covers is the 4 reflective strips and LEDs for enhanced visibility, even in poor conditions.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced universal fit cover to ensure your caravan stays in relatively pristine condition, you should consider this cover. As you’d expect it is made from fully breathable, but by no means lightweight fabric.

Along with the usual features such as anti-scratch buckling, re-inforced stitched seams and fully adjustable and secure strapping, it comes with a handy storage bag for no extra cost.

This means when it is time to pack it away you don’t have to wrestle too much with it. There are also LED lights on the design to increase the visibility of your caravan.

With a slightly more expensive price point than others on the list, the Leisure Depot has a lot to live up to really. However, the good news is that it seems to live up to the expectations. This one comes equipped with a strap and buckle system consisting of 8 securing straps on each side of it with buckles and covers for those buckles to keep them protected from the elements.

It is important to note that this caravan travel cover is only suited to caravans with a width of up to and including 2.5 metres.

As you’ve probably come to expect now by reading through a few, it features waterproof and UV protective qualities and is 100% breathable.

If you have a caravan that has 2 fully operational awning channels of up to 2.5 metres wide, then this great universal towing protection cover from Specialised Covers might suit you. It is made from UV-resistant, waterproof durable and impact absorbing but breathable material and features a lining made from a non-abrasive fleece material.

Thanks to the all-in-one design and the easy to use T-Fit system, people say that fitting is quick and easy and there is the standard addition of push-operated and easy to remove LED lights. These are ideal for increasing your level of visibility both at day and at night. Specialised Covers makes some of the best caravan covers on the market right now.

Towsure is a well-known brand in the world of caravanning so you can be sure they are going to make decent towing covers.

It will fit caravans that have a width between 210cm and 240cm so please make sure you measure before buying.

It comes with built-in LED lights and has 8 straps on either side so you can be sure it will be held securely in place. There are also large reflective straps for increased visibility.

What Exactly Do Caravan Front Towing Covers Do?

If you read our post on caravan covers, in which we covered the various types you can invest in, you will know that we briefly discussed caravan front towing covers. However, while many people would consider purchasing a storage-type cover; many do not see the point of towing varieties.

We feel differently though and consider towing covers for caravans to be vitally important accessories along with caravan towing mirrors. As well as protecting your caravan from the various dirt, muck, grime, stone chips, dead insects and water damage that can damage or at the very least dirty up the front of your caravan, they are even useful for preventing exhaust fumes from your tow car from tainting that brilliant white finish.

Another helpful function of caravan front window covers is that they reduce the glare that is often caused by the reflection of bright lights from other cars, such as read fog lights as it hits your caravan’s bodywork or windows.

So, all in all, you should consider these caravan towing covers to not just be a protective measure for your caravan itself but also for you and other drivers on the road.

If you have ever looked at caravan front towing cover protectors online, you will know only too well that there are a wide range of items available.

To help you make a bit more sense of that, we will look at some tips and considerations you need to take when using this kind of towing cover. We will go through some FAQs about fitting and using a caravan towing cover.

Now that you have had a look at some of the best caravan towing covers, let’s take a look at some tips on how to use them.

Top Tips For Using Caravan Towing Covers

  1. While it is not legal as such, you should always ensure that your towing cover for the caravan cover does not obstruct road lights. However, this is not always a problem as most manufacturers design them so reflectors are still visible.
  2. These covers are generally very easy to pack away, because they are essentially nothing more than large sheets of waterproof material. All you have to do is shake off any water that may be on the surface and fold away.
  3. Ensure that the interior liner you choose is not going to soak water up. It may be worth listening to the advice of Protec, who knows a thing or two and choose a cover with a white underside, to avoid any colour transference from the cover to the paintwork.
  4. Keep in mind that these caravan front covers are only for use when you are towing and not for then your caravan is in storage, pitched up or otherwise stationary.
  5. You should clean your caravan before using a cover. This is to prevent any bits of dirt and grit from rubbing against your paintwork or windows as the cover moves during your journeys.

Caravan Towing Covers FAQs

Do these caravan covers fit into the awning channels? And what is an awning channel?

The awning channel is a slot that runs around your caravan that securely holds your awning in place. Most towing covers for caravans do fit into the awning channels, making them very easy to install. This may mean that some covers won’t fit your caravan, so do check if a cover has any limitations before you buy it.

Can I get a towing cover tailor-made for my caravan?

You can, some tow cover manufacturers in the UK do make a caravan cover for exact makes and models of caravan. However, these can be a bit pricier. Still, if you have a rare caravan or a brand new caravan, a caravan cover that is tailor-made may be your only option. Also, all towing covers do have straps so you can it secure down to your caravan. These make them adjustable. So a universal cover is very likely to fit anyway.

Can towing covers damage a caravan?

Most caravan owners and site owners have heard about a caravan owner that has seen some damage that may have been caused by tow covers. This could be a scratched window, for example. The problem is, most caravan towing cover horror stories are simply hearsay. While we cannot say for certain that towing covers do not harm your caravan, we can say that most damage from tow covers is typically minor scratches on the window. Repairable damage, in other words. Which is much better than the damage that could be caused if you aren’t using one!

Can every caravan have a towing cover installed?

This is a very common question about towing covers. No, the caravan needs to have awning bars (rails) on both sides and some models don’t. The vans that don’t are very rare and yours likely will, but do check before you buy a cover!

How easy is a towing cover to install?

Keeping road muck off caravans is, of course, very important for a stress-free holiday and a clean van. However, if a towing cover isn’t easy to install, you’ll likely leave it off of the van, therefore rendering it useless at protecting it from road muck. Thankfully, though, with two people, towing covers are quite simple to install. Just ensure you keep the install instructions that come with the cover, you’ll likely need them the first few times. Speaking of installing a towing cover, would you like to learn how to? Let’s look at that more now, shall we?

How To Install A Caravan Towing Cover

To make it a bit easier for visual learners here, we have found a brilliant article by Caravan Chit Chat installing one of the Specialised Covers. His video shows how to install a cover with one person, but if you do have a second pair of hands, the job will be much easier! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igRiemubeFA&ab_channel=CaravanChitChat

The first you’ll notice in Mr Chit Caht’s video is that he gives the front windows of his caravan a good wash. You should also give the front of your caravan a thorough cleaning before you install the cover. Any dirt or road grime that is on the windows can scratch them as the cover will trap it in there. It’s worth noting that you must check the cover before you put it on there too. Check that the cover is clean inside and free from any dust and grime.

Next, you can start installing the cover. If you are working alone, follow Chit Chat’s video as he makes light work of putting the cover on with one person. If you have a second pair of hands, you’ll want to locate the cover in the awning rail on both sides (starting from the top seems to be easier for most people) and gently work it down and over the front window together. You’ll need to make sure that any tightening straps and zips are completely loose or open for this step as it makes it much easier. Just slowly work your way down until the cover is all the way to the bottom of the awning rail on both sides.

Once the tow cover is in its final position, you can tighten the straps up. You can also clip in the straps that go underneath the front of the caravan. Ensure that the straps are holding the towing cover very securely, there should be a bit of tension on the cover itself.

And that is how you install a caravan towing cover. We really hope you found a caravan towing cover that suits your needs and your van perfectly here! If you need a caravan travel cover for your towing hitch so that it does not go rusty, then we have covered those here or check out caravan tyre grips which are an overlooked essential. For even more motorhome and van accessories, please explore the Caravan Helper website further!



19 Awesome Caravan Hacks


Caravanning is a lot of fun and adventurous, but it also involves a whole lot of hard work. At Caravan Helper, we know this only too well, which is why we have put together this guide of 19 awesome caravan hacks that will help make the experience a lot more comfortable, give you some storage ideas and most importantly, enjoyable for everyone. A lot of these will also work well as camping hacks.

List of Caravan Hacks

1. Use Fans Inside Your Awning

Fans make for a better experience overall, and puts everyone in great moods, too much sunshine and heat can be a problem if you have an awning setup. Sure, the awning will provide shading, but it can still get quite muggy and sweaty.

A great option is the KOBWA Tent Light Fan . The reason we chose this one is because it’s a multifunctional unit, that not only serves as a fan, in line with this hack, but also is a functioning light. Perfect for those late nights, early mornings and dull weather conditions.

caravan awning fan

It’s extremely lightweight, portable and benefits from being rechargeable battery powered and can be hooked up via USB.

2. For Cold Weather Use an Awning Heater

Obviously, when you are caravanning in the UK, it may be that the scenario outlined above where there’s beautifully hot sunshine is a rarity. For colder weather then, you need a heater. This hack is particularly useful for those times late at night when you’re sitting up watching the stars or when you first get up in the morning and don’t want to be hit by that dawn chorus chill factor.

awning heater

Fortunately, we have already posted a lot of information about caravan awning heaters.

3. Camper Shower for the Dog

We wanted to make sure your pooch was well looked after too. A camper shower is ideal as a portable cleaning station. Although there are more sophisticated full-on camping showers that you can get, camper-style models tend to be less expensive and are just a simple and easy way to clean off at the end of a busy, messy day out and about.

camper shower for the dog

A great portable shower that’s worth investing in is the Hozelock PortaShower, this is a great multipurpose accessory has a 7L capacity water bottle and comes with a lockable flow control on/off handle, carry strap and spray head.

4. Pre-Cook as Much Food as You Can

pre cooked food

This is one of our caravan hacks to make your holiday go nice and smooth. Although we all love home-cooked meals made from scratch, this is a lot harder to achieve when you are on the road in your caravan. It’s best then to pre-prepared and pre-cook stuff before you head out on your holiday. You will find a lot of great recipes out there that can be used to cook meals while you’re in your tourer.

5. Games and Activities

games and activities

Now, a lot of your time on the road will involve getting out and about and exploring the world. However, there will be those times when you and whoever else travels with you are stuck inside, because of the great British summertime rain.

For times like that, you may be quick to look at your phone, tablet or other devices. If you are really trying to get back to basics, you need to think of other ways to entertain you and your holiday companions.

Good old-fashioned board games and playing cards are ideal for situations just like these. Depending on who will be playing, you could choose games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Cheese, Draughts and Travel Pursuit. Playing cards are great because one pack can be used to play a versatile range of fun games. This is also a great way to get everyone involved in some family bonding time.

6. A Caravan Checklist

caravan checklist

It’s a great idea to create your own caravan checklist and keep it so you can use it for your next holiday. The best way to do it is by starting with what you had on the last caravan trip you took, then add items to it or take some away. This will help you to make sure you don’t ever forget any home comforts and by repeating the process for the next few holidays and trips you have in your caravan, you will have the ultimate checklist. Our packing checklist can be used as a base.

7. Pick a Caravan Park with a Playground

playground

When you take the kids on a caravan holiday, you need to cater to them all. Especially the kids, as there will be times when there’s a lot of sitting around. That’s why it’s best to make sure the caravan parks you choose to stay at have playgrounds of some kind for your little ones to burn off all that excess energy. This is one of our tips to make your holiday that bit easier.

8. Limit the Number of Toys You Take

kid playing with toys

Peace and quiet are great on holiday, especially when you are in a more confined and small space like a caravan. In order to fight against the boredom, your kids will feel sometimes, you may be tempted to take as many of their favourite toys as possible. That might now be such a good idea, though. Unless of course, you enjoy hurting your feet and losing any available free space you have, to stuffed animals and bits of plastic.

9. Choose a Suitable Caravan Layout

caravan layout

This hack can help you prepare for an enjoyable family caravan holiday way before you’ve even bought your touring vehicle. During the buying process, you need to have a good look around at the options open to you to try and find the best caravan layout for your whole family, and formulating an idea of where you are all going to sleep and if there will be enough room for you and the other adults with you to sit and relax at the end of the day when the little ones are sleeping.

10. Choose a Big Awning

big awning

One accessory that is always worth investing in when you are planning for a caravanning holiday for you and your family is an awning. Ideally, finding the biggest that you can afford and that your caravan can support is best. It’s hard trying to get the kids to sleep and still having a place where you and your partner or any guests joining you can relax. An awning helps make that much easier.

If you have older kids, you could even use the space created with the awning as a makeshift bedroom for them. They’ll really love sleeping out in it, as it’s like sleeping under the stars in a tent.

11. Be Prepared for Wet Weather

prepared for wet weather

Even if there has been great weather recently, one thing you can guarantee about Britain, especially during summer, is that you are never far away from wet weather. So, rather than being caught out unaware in a cold damp shower, make sure you are prepared for the worst. After all, water and grasslands just make more mess for you to clear up. Invest in waterproof clothing, including jackets/macs and wellies.

When you find you are stuck in the caravan because it’s too wet, you could bear in mind one of our earlier hacks and play board games and playing cards. You could also invest in a Netflix and/or Amazon Prime subscription, if you haven’t already. It’s not ideal to always have them on their device or in front of the TV but watching a show or some movies when the rain is pouring, is better than sitting looking glum in your caravan.

12. Awning Hooks

awning hooks

These are one of our favourite storage solutions. It’s a good idea to invest in some handy awning hooks for your kids’ clothes. Keeping them hanging up at all times, in the awning, will not only save some storage space, but if they are wet and muddy, you’ll have to wash them and rather than bring the chance of mould and dampness into the caravan, you could hang them up out in the awning, using one of these.

13. Keep the Kids Entertained on the Journey

child on ipad

Many people consider the journey to be a great part of the holiday. When you are in the car, towing a caravan, trying to drive safely, it’s not exactly enjoyable if you’re kids are constantly moaning ‘are we there yet?’ and ‘I’m booooored’. There are plenty of ways you can keep them entertained to avoid all those moans, while you press on to the caravan park.

iPads and portable DVD drivers are great ideas, but so that you are still interacting with them and spending time with them, you could employ some old-fashioned, but nevertheless, effective methods. I-Spy is a classic in-car game that kids of all ages and generations can love. It also gives you an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with your children about what you see while you’re on the road.

Food is something you should pack plenty of and you should take the time to stop regularly at service stations and other appropriate areas. As well as giving you a chance to get a break, it gives your children a chance to blow off some steam.

14. Order Your Food Shopping Online to Be Brought to The Camp Site

online shopping

If you haven’t prepared much in the way of food before leaving for your trip, or you are running low on supplies, you might not fancy heading to the local Sainsbury’s or Morrisons. Fortunately, you don’t have to, as all the major supermarkets will make home deliveries, even if you are currently staying at a caravan park.

15. Order Food from Just Eat or Deliveroo to be Delivered at The Caravan Site

pizzas

Part of the joy of being away on holiday is that you all get a break from your normal daily activities. That is no different for you parents. Rather than cooking every day you are away; you could order some food on Just Eat or Deliveroo and treat your family to a takeaway.

16. Make a Fire

make a fire

Fires are an integral part of the authentic life on the road and out in mother nature-style of holiday that you get from camping and caravanning. Although some sites prohibit the making of fires, there are many that are fine with it, if you control it and make sure it’s completely out before you leave.

With a nice homemade fire burning away, you can tell scary stories at night, sing songs and enjoy toasted marshmallows. What kid, or for that matter, grownup, doesn’t like toasted marshmallows?

17. Do Lots of Activities with the Kids During the Day

family on bikes

There is lots you can do when you go on a caravan holiday, so make sure you get the most out of it that you possibly can for your kids. The purpose of the holiday is to give you and your family a treat, possibly catch up on some z’s and to just put worrying about day to day stuff on the back burner for a few days.

Take your children on hikes, to local parks, on adventures to spot wildlife or even cycling. Not only will you all enjoy the experience all the more if you are doing things together, but the more you do in the course of day, the more tired they will be by bed time and the better the chance will be that they get a good night’s sleep and don’t wake you up at the crack of dawn.

18. Go Caravanning with Another Family

group of caravans

Are there other families that yours are especially close to? You could double the fun and get built-in babysitters by going on a caravanning holiday with another family. It’ll take a bit more planning and organising and it will require a lot of patience and live and let live, but there are endless positives to gain from this kind of arrangement.

Not only will both your families have shared memories of the holiday, but when it comes to parents getting a bit of time to themselves, you can each take it in turns to watch all the kids while the other couple goes out for dinner.

19. Walkie Talkies

walkie talkies

Finally, the last one on our guide is a quirky one, but what kid really doesn’t like walkie talkies? That’s right, there is no kid that doesn’t like them. You can take that love for these portable radios and use it to your benefit. If your kids are of that age when they feel comfortable and safe exploring the area, you may still have reservations about letting them go off and explore the caravan site on their own.

You don’t have to though, if you invest in walkie talkies and use them to keep track of where your children are. Obviously, it’s not a guarantee that they will always be safe but having a quick and easy way to speak to them reduces the risks greatly.

20. Shower Caddy

Storage solutions are something that needs to be considered when caravanning. We have a whole different post on them but we thought a shower caddy is a great hack that is cheap and will make all the difference to keeping your caravan tidy.

You can keep all your shower gel and shampoo in once place.

21. Sticky Hooks

Another of our favourite storage ideas. These are cheap, and if they break off you can just buy another and stick it on. They can be used for tea towels, bath towels, or whatever else you can think o.

22. Laundry Bag

This is another of our caravan storage ideas that you will love. Take a cloth laundry bag rather than a plastic one. It means that it can be folded up and put away when you are not using it.

23. Roll, don’t fold.

We all like to save space when caravanning and folding your clothes can really help. It means your clothes won’t get as creased and means you won’t have to sort through tons of other clothes. It should be easier to find what you need.

24. Storage pockets

These are one of our favourite caravan storage ideas. They can be placed inside your wardrobe or even hung from the awning poles. They are perfect for shoes.

25. Foam floor tiles

This has to be up there as one of the best caravan hacks. The last thing you want it to have your awning on some hard ground. If you take a few of these they can be easily used to create a soft floor inside your awning.

26. Plastic storage for cereal etc

Kitchen space is at a premium inside caravans. Why not shop around and find plastic containers with lids that fit perfectly into your caravan. These can be used to store cereal, pasta or rice. This means that you don’t need the original container which can be far too big and it will help you save space.

27. Herbs and Spices

One of our favourite caravan storage ideas is that rather than taking all the herbs and spices from home. It might be a great idea to premix the herbs you need at home or put them into some smaller containers.

Conclusion

We hope you find the caravan hacks above useful for ensuring that every caravan holiday is a good one. Some of these can be used as RV or camping hacks.



Caravan Packing Checklist


Touring caravan at the ready, it’s time to head off for a well-deserved break. Whether you’re off for a short weekend away with a friend, a two-week break with the family, or a six-month tour of the British Isles with your better half, you still have the unenviable task of packing prior to your departure.

With that in mind we’ve put together a helpful caravan checklist for you, it includes all of those essential items that we think you might find handy for your caravan holiday! There are links to the items we like, and we’ve even collated a printable version of the checklist for you too, so next time you plan on going away you can get organised well in advance!

There are certain things that should be on every packing list that you need in order to enjoy a successful caravan holiday. This checklist will be especially useful if its your first time on a caravan holiday.

Caravan Essentials

Make sure the below are at the top of your check list.

  • Gas bottle – Hungry caravanners have got to eat, so you will need a gas bottle to power your hob, cooker, and possibly BBQ.
  • Water containers – Clean, freshwater is a must for day-to-day caravan living, opt for a large water container that’s easy to fill and manoeuvre.
  • Large waste water container and waste hose – Make sure your waste water is easy to shift and empty. Get your waste water from your caravan to your waste container via a waste hose.
  • Spirit level/levelling aid indicator – The last thing you want to do is spend your holiday in a tilting caravan (that steaming cup of coffee looks dangerously close to sliding off the table)!
  • Extension lead and caravan mains convertor lead – If you want to plug in your numerous electrical items you will need to pack an extension lead.
  • Mains polarity tester – Insert a polarity tester into one of the pin sockets to check all the connections are wired correctly.
  • Large caravan battery – If you are planning to stay out in the wilds, or on a site that doesn’t provide electricity, then you will need to bring along a large caravan battery.
  • Corner steady pads – Big caravans are nice and roomy, but they are also weighty, and could sink into the earth.
  • Winder adapter – A winder adapter is a useful tool for winding a caravans legs up and down with ease along with some jack pads.
  • Steps – Unless you fancy leaping in and out of your caravan door you will need a caravan step to climb safely up and down.
  • Awning / pop up gazebo – If you need some outside space next to your caravan then one of these is a must.
  • Water pump – Give it a quick check before you leave to make sure it’s working.

Staying Safe on Your Caravan Holiday

  • Towing mirrors – Its the law. You need these to tow your caravan.
  • A spare tyre and foot pump – Don’t get caught out if a caravan tyre blows out!
  • Tool kit – You don’t want to spend your caravan holiday doing DIY inside your caravan but you do want to be prepared in case an emergency fix is required.
  • Spare bulbs, fuses and batteries – Don’t end up left in the dark at night inside your caravan, take along a few spare bulbs and fuses. Batteries are always useful as well.
  • First aid kit – No one wants to fall ill or get injured on their caravan holidays, but however safety conscious you are, accidents do happen in caravans.
  • Insect repellent and sun protection – Insects can be pesky at certain times of the year, so you might also want to keep repellent to hand and light a citronella candle to use inside the caravan.
  • Fire blanket and a fire extinguisher – Take a look at your caravan insurance policy, chances are it will ask that you have a fire blanket and extinguisher readily available in your caravan.
  • Torch, solar lights, lighter and matches – There might be outdoor lighting in place (depending on where you choose to park up your caravan). However, solar lights will come in handy to illuminate your pitch.
  • Hitch lock and cover – We’re always looking for ways to save money when it comes to caravan insurance, and you could lower those premiums by investing in a hitch lock to fit on your caravan tow bar.
  • Wheel clamps – Fitting a wheel clamp on your caravan will deter thieves, and as a result, you could save money on your caravan insurance too!

Food and Drink

One of the most important parts of any caravan holiday involves tucking into yummy food and drink. Make sure you take some of these items from our caravan packing list.

  • Mugs, cups, glasses and beakers – You can’t beat a nice cuppa inside your caravan, invest in a some decent travel mugs that keep your drinks hot and have handy lids to reduce spillages / keep nasty insects out. Plastic beakers are useful for kiddies, and whilst a plastic glass may not be the most glamourous vessel for your pinot grigio, it will save you from having to deal with a shattered wine glass inside caravans.
  • Tea bags and coffee!
  • Plastic plates, bowls, & cutlery – Minimise breakages inside the caravan by opting for plastic dinnerware – plastic plates and bowls are robust and easy to clean.
  • Outdoor table and chairs – An integral part of a caravan holiday involves lots of lounging around outside (even if the weather isn’t on your side you can still get some fresh air under your awning). Set up an outdoor table and chairs and make the most of the great outdoors.
  • Food bags and boxes, foil and cling film – Keep your caravan grub fresh and tasty, and bug-free, by keeping it covered.
  • Cooler and ice trays -“I just love a glass of tepid chardonnay, and a luke-warm beer,” said no caravanner ever!
  • BBQ  – Invest in a caravan gas BBQ, chuck on the sausages and burgers and get grilling. If you don’t want the hassle of cleaning a BBQ or lugging it home with you, go for a disposable one instead.
  • Kitchen appliances – You won’t be able to take along every kitchen gadget on your caravan holiday, so we’re thinking more of the essentials here, such as a kettle and toaster.
  • Cooking & kitchen utensils – Unless you are planning to eat out every day you will need to do a bit of cooking inside your caravan. Channel your inner Gordon Ramsey or Nigella out and knock up a feast! You will need pots and pans, plus all the usual utensils – we’re thinking wooden spoon, spatula etc Don’t forget those essential items such as an oven glove, chopping board, tin opener, kitchen scissors, and (most importantly) a corkscrew and bottle opener!
  • Food and drink – Compile a simple shopping list prior to each road trip, what do you plan on eating/drinking?  You will have to shop for fresh items such as bread and milk every time you go away, but you can keep a few essentials such as condiments, tins, goodies such as biscuits and crisps, and drinks stored in cupboards.

Comfort

Home is where the heart is, or in this case – your caravan is where your heart is! Make your place as welcoming as possible by packing creature comforts, practical extras and a few nice touches from our comfort checklist.

  • Windbreaker/sun canopy – Make your caravan outdoor space as user-friendly as possible by setting up a windbreaker/sun canopy to guard against the elements.
  • Doormat  – Make your tourer more welcoming by popping a doormat down – a place to wipe your feet and leave your slippers ready for a bout of relaxing.
  • Bedding – Get a good night’s sleep – invest in quality bedding such as a comfy duvet and pillows. You will also need duvet covers and pillowcases. Take along a couple of snug throws and blankets too – great for snuggling up under on a chilly evening.
  • Towels – You will need a couple of hand towels and bath towels for drying off. If you are planning on swimming or visiting the beach pack beach towels too.
  • ClotheslineDry your clothes, air your towels, hang up your sandy swimming costume! A clothesline will enable you to wash through garments and dry items off – don’t forget clothes pegs (unless you don’t mind retrieving wind-swept knickers and socks from around the site)!
  • Bin – You probably have a caravan bin in the kitchen already, but you might find it useful to keep another in the bathroom or awning (if space allows).  Pack plenty of bin liners, or you will be scrabbling around for carrier bags to haphazardly tuck inside instead.
  • Wet weather gear -Ok, so you might strike lucky and enjoy glorious sunshine, but you’re just as likely to strike out and get a shower or two! Cover all bases and take along waterproofs, wellies and an umbrella.
  • Sun cream – The British weather is unpredictable.
  • Toiletries – Pack a toiletry bag to leave in your tourer, then you don’t have to remember to pack all of those essential toiletries every time you go away. Include soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, razors and shaving gel, toothbrushes and paste, hair products such as hairspray, perfume/aftershave and sanitary items.
  • Wipes, tissues, and loo roll -Don’t forget to take toilet rolls, you don’t want to get caught short! Tissues are needed for snotty noses and wet wipes are also very handy – great for sticky fingers and cleaning off mucky kids!
  • Comfy slip-on shoes/slippers – You don’t want to have to put on a pair of trainers every time you want to nip outside, but going barefoot isn’t advisable either. Keep your feet cosy by taking along some comfy slip-on shoes or a pair of slippers.
  • Earplugs/eye mask – Caravan walls are quite thin, and you might find yourselves parked quite close to your neighbours.
  • Clock – Don’t scrabble around for your mobile phone to find out if it’s wine o’clock yet! Put a clock in your caravan so you can check the time whenever you wish.
  • Mini electric heater – It’s always good to have a backup plan, and a mini-electric heater could be just the thing.
  • Clothes and Shoes – Take along hangers for your wardrobe so you can hang items that are liable to crease (ironing is not a pastime you should partake in on any holiday)! Evenings can be chilly, so we recommend a warm fleece and a decent jacket.

Let Me Entertain You Check List

Forget the sweeping and dusting, say goodbye to the paperwork, and lock the lawn-mower in the shed. You’re off to have fun in your touring caravan. Take a few items from this caravan checklist for entertainment purposes and enjoy:

  • Outdoor fun – Check if there are any restrictions on ball games, if not set up a fun game of football of cricket. Other ideas include a friendly game of swingball, chucking a frisbee to one another and flying a kite. You could take along a bike and enjoy the local area, and if you are planning on visiting the beach don’t forget your bucket and spade!
  • Indoor fun – Colouring books, board games, dominoes and whatever else takes your fancy.
  • TV & DVD -We know that the essence of a caravan holiday involves reconnecting with your other half, family and friends. A TV can prove useful if the weather is poor.
  • Music – Plug your phone or tablet into speakers and enjoy singing along to your fave tunes, or have an impromptu dance in your awning!
  • Books and magazines -There’s no better time to catch up on your reading. Take a healthy stock of books and magazines and peruse until your heart’s content.

Keep It Clean and Tidy

Keep your little home from home neat, tidy and dirt-free by taking along a few key essentials from this checklist.

  • Toilet chemicals – Required to keep your toilet fresh and clean – ideally, steer clear of strong-smelling stuff that will pollute your nostrils. We have a great list of chemicals on our caravan toilet page.
  • Washing up – Take a bowl for the sink, plus washing up liquid and a cloth/sponge, and don’t forget gloves if you like to be kind to your hands! You will need tea towels to dry up with (unless you prefer to chill out and let everything drip dry of course)!
  • Cleaning up – Take along antibacterial spray to keep surfaces clean, and kitchen paper will be invaluable to mop up spills etc.  A bucket and cloth or sponge will also come in handy to wipe down outdoor furniture etc.
  • Tea Towels – For drying the dishes.
  • Kitchen Roll – You will be shocked at how much of this you use.
  • Mini vacuum/dustpan and brush – Keep your caravan clean and crumb-free! A little mini vacuum can be your best friend.
  • Disposable gloves -Someone has to clean out the chemical loo!
  • Don’t forget your dog – If you’re taking your four-legged friend you will need to pack his doggy bed, lead, poo bags, water and food bowls, dog food and of course a selection of squeaky toys!

Caravan Checklist Conclusion

Phew, who knew you needed to take so much with you? Whilst, it seems like there are lots of items on this checklist once you have them you can use many of them again and again. It’s worth getting organised and kitting your touring caravan correctly if you want to make the most of your caravan road trip.



5 Best Caravan Parks Near Legoland, Windsor 2021


Lego’s enduring popularity seems little short of miraculous in our fast-changing digital world. The company’s sales rose by 14% in the first half of 2020, presumably fuelled by parents desperately trying to tempt their children away from a screen. So Legoland Windsor appeals to kids and nostalgic parents alike, with a range of gentle and more thrilling rides themed around Lego ranges such as Ninjago and City, or Duplo for toddlers.

Staying in the southeast can be expensive, so booking a caravan park near Windsor is a great way to cut costs, and there are some excellent options within the range of Legoland. We’ve chosen five fabulous family-friendly places to stay, all a half-hour drive or less from the theme park, and listed the holiday parks in order of distance, from nearest to furthest.

Best Legoland Caravan Parks

Amerden Caravan Park

Address: Taplow, Maidenhead SL6 0DZ

Website: amerdencaravanpark.com

Open from April to October

The closest of our holiday parks near Legoland Windsor is alongside the river Thames, with direct access to the Windsor-Maidenhead towpath: the pretty walk to Windsor takes you past Dorney Lake, scene of Team GB’s rowing triumphs at the 2012 Olympics. It’s a 20-minute drive to Legoland and about the same to Windsor Castle; heading north, you can be at Cliveden House or Cookham in 15 minutes.

This small, family-run holiday park has grass pitches and several fruit trees on the site, a reminder that it used to be an orchard. Pets are welcome and facilities include electric hook-up, showers, toilets, a laundry and a playground. The M4 runs next to the site before crossing the Thames: pedestrians can use the bridge to visit Bray, for posh nosh at one of its Michelin-starred restaurants or top-notch pub grub at the Crown, owned by Heston Blumenthal. There are more pubs in Taplow, a five-minute drive away, and you can pick up any shopping in Maidenhead or Slough.

Prices: tbc

Top tip: The holiday park was closed in 2020 because of M4 widening works, so check that it’s open for the 2021 season before you plan your visit

Scotlands House CampsiteScotlands House CampsiteAddress: Warfield, Berkshire RG42 6AJ

Website: scotlandshouse.co.uk

Open from April to October

Scotlands House is slightly further away from Legoland Windsor than Amerden, but it’s a 14-minute car journey to the holiday park if local traffic allows. This is a simple site, with electric hook-up, but no showers, sinks or toilets: it’s surrounded by trees and the pitches are around the edge of the 2½-acre site, leaving plenty of green space for family fun and games. It backs onto a cricket pitch and playground, and you can walk to the village of Warfield for pubs, wood-fired pizza or a curry. Pick up supplies at the Tesco in Whitegrove or the huge Waitrose in Bracknell, both a five-minute drive away.

Although the site is secluded, there’s loads to keep active families happy within a 20-minute drive, including Go Ape rope courses in Swinley Forest, waterslides and a spa at Coral Reef Waterworld, and windsurfing, sailing and canoeing at Bray Lake Watersports. Windsor Great Park is a marvellous spot for a stroll, with deer parks and a chance of spotting a royal. Scotlands House is 10 minutes from Ascot racecourse and 20 minutes from Sunningdale and Wentworth, with plenty more courses within, er, driving range.

Prices: from £12 a night for two adults and children

Top tip: Merlin pass-holders will get plenty of value out of a stay at Scotlands House. You can visit Legoland, Thorpe Park, Chessington in the car, and Bracknell station offers direct trains to Waterloo for the company’s London attractions

Hurley Riverside Park

Address: Hurley, Berkshire SL6 5NE hurley

Website: riversidepark.co.uk/touring-park

Open from March to October

The Hurley Riverside Club Site lives up to its name, with a splendid setting right beside the Thames, a nature trail and plenty of space for dogs to roam and picnickers to relax. It’s a 26-minute drive to Legoland Windsor resort and half an hour to the Hambleden Valley, where keen hikers can pick up the Chiltern Way. The site offers free WiFi and has electric hook-ups, shower blocks, a laundry, a playground and a shop; you can hire a static caravan if you don’t own a touring caravan.

There’s a decent inn within walking distance, but Tom Kerridge fans should head to Marlow, where he owns three cracking pubs, including the two-Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers and the Butcher’s Tap, where you can enjoy a real ale before stocking up on prime sausages, bacon and steaks. Pretty Henley-on-Thames, 12 minutes away, is the best place for the rest of your shopping, and is worth a visit even when the rowing regatta’s not on.

Prices: from £17 a night for two

Top tip: you’ll want to get out on the water when you watch the pleasure boats plying the Thames near Hurley Riverside Park – and if you own a boat or canoe, you can do just that from one of the park’s two slipways.

Chertsey Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Address: Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8JX

Website: campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/campsites/uk/surrey/chertsey/chertsey-camping-and-caravanning-club-site

Open all year

This is the perfect park for anyone planning a theme-park double whammy – it’s near Legoland – 25 minutes from the Windsor resort and only seven minutes from the steam-inducing rollercoasters at Thorpe Park. It’s handy for day trips to the capital, too, with fast trains departing from Weybridge station, three miles away.

The site is run by the Camping and Caravanning Club, with discounts for members, but all are welcome. It offers grass and hardstanding pitches with electric hook-up, some right next to the Thames, and has showers, toilets, a laundry, WiFi, a games room and a dog-walking area. There’s a pub just across Chertsey Bridge, and you can walk to Sainsbury’s or Aldi, but you’ll need to head further afield to enjoy Surrey at its leafiest: it’s a 20-minute drive to RHS Garden Wisley, one of the finest gardens in the country, and to the excellent pubs and restaurants in Ripley and Pyrford.

Prices: from £8.50pp a night for members

Top tip: don’t plan an all-nighter in the Big Smoke. There’s a risk of flooding from the river, so vehicles can’t be left unattended overnight

Swiss Farm Touring and Camping

Address: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 2HY

Website: swissfarmcamping.co.uk

Open from February to December

A half-hour drive from Legoland Windsor, and about the same from Windsor Castle, Swiss Farm has all the building blocks you need for a family short break: a heated outdoor swimming pool, a fishing lake, playgrounds, a dog-walking area and easy access to the Chiltern Hills and to canoe or boat hire in Henley-on-Thames, just down the road. It offers holiday caravans and glamping cabins as well as pitches for tourers, with showers, toilets, a laundry, free WiFi and an on-site shop.

You can walk to Henley for pubs, shops and restaurants, or grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at the on-site Farm Kitchen: there’s a barbecue menu on Saturdays and they do a Sunday roast. If you need a city fix after all that fresh air, the dreaming spires of Oxford are less than 40 minutes away.

Prices: from £21 a night, minimum two-night stay

Top tip: make time for a stroll through the landscaped grounds and for a sunny afternoon of lazing on the smart swimming pool loungers

What else is there to do near Legoland Windsor?

Adrenaline junkies might want to combine a trip to Legoland Windsor with other attractions like a day out at nearby Thorpe Park – it’s worth checking out campsites near the latter in our listing XREF HERE???. Windsor Castle is another obvious must if you’re staying in the area, and foodies might want to book a Michelin-starred meal in Bray, home to Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and Alain Roux’s Waterside Inn.

Some touring caravan holiday parks near Legoland Windsor offer easy access to the beautiful Chiltern Hills, palatial Cliveden House – best known for its role in the Profumo scandal – and time-warp Thameside villages such as Cookham. There’s rowing at Henley and racing at Ascot, and you can hire a boat from Kris Cruisers or Hobbs of Henley if you want to spend a day messing about on the river. Or jump on a train to London from one of the many stations in the area.