You would think that buying caravan steps would be a relatively easy job. After all, how many variations there can there actually be?
Because of this, and the fact that we feel, at Caravan Helper, that steps are one of those caravan accessories that make life on the road a more comfortable, whether you have mobility issues or not, we’ve put together this post, that will help you understand some of the key aspects to consider when choosing a set of steps.
We have picked out a small list of what we feel are the best steps for your caravan, motorhome and campervan.
Our Recommended Steps
To help you find the best motorhome step and best caravan steps for your needs please check out the following list of what we think are the best of the bunch available now.
The first we have highlighted for you is the Royal Deluxe Double Step. Royal has a very good reputation for creating high-quality and reliable outdoors accessories and equipment and have been doing so since 1993.
These steps are a great example of the company’s commitment to high-quality accessories as they are made from steel so are very sturdy and strong, and each step has a non-slip rubber tread for better grip.
The steel frame has additional cross members which add to the strength of these steps.
We are no strangers to Milenco here at Caravan Helper. This is another company that has a sterling reputation in the caravanning and camping industry for designing and manufacturing top quality products.
Although they don’t look like much, these steps have been made from robust and durable 100% recycled plastic and come fully accredited to British Standard EN1645. Each step has a slip-resistant tread and the feet are rubberised to absorb impact, which gives them improved stability particularly if they are used on tarmac. A great choice if you are after caravan plastic steps.
Not only are these made from an attractive cream-coloured powder-coated metal they benefit from the addition of a handrail. This increases the safety of using them at the end of a long day or if you have older people staying with you. Although it is pictured as being on the right-hand side, the handrail can be used on either side, depending on your preference.
The steps themselves have rubber treads with slip resistance and the base has rubber feet and anti-sink bars, making them ideal for use on softer ground. These are a great choice for for disabled people or if you need a handle to help you up.
This is the same as the other Milenco MGI model mentioned further up the page. There seems to be slight differences in the design and dimensions. They are also retailing a little cheaper.
Regardless, because they are made by Milenco, you know they are going to be a good solid product. A great choice if you are after UVPC.
Last on our list is the TUV SUD-certified folding caravan step from Songmics. This is a simple single caravan step and can be folded up easily.
It benefits from having a wide rubber top and tough steel construction, with 4 legs that point outwards to provide a more stable base that will help to prevent tipping. There are also spring-button locks that stop the step from folding accidentally.
The biggest selling point of this product, despite it being a single platform step, is the fact that it can be folded up for easy and compact storage when it is not in use.
This is a steel step from EAZYGOODS with a non-slip step solution which is incredibly lightweight. A folding double caravan step, these are perfect for folding and storing away in the caravan – and then ideal for when you need something that offers durability and strength to access those items out of reach.
With dimensions of 59 x 48 x 39 cm, these multi-colour metal steps have non-slip treads added to ensure continued safety when in use.
Buyers Guide – Key Aspects to Consider
Single or Double?
The first decision you need to make is how many platforms you would prefer them to have. You will find that most models either feature one single step platform or a two-step platform.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
These have the benefit of being lighter, more compact and therefore easier to carry and store away when you are not using them. Most single platform steps are also easy to keep underneath your caravan, so they are out of the way when you go on a day trip and leave the pitch.
The downside to single platform steps is that the actual step-up is higher on a single platform model than a double, which puts a lot more pressure and strain on your knees. You will also find that the area of the base is smaller, making them more unstable than double steps.
Double platform caravan steps are obviously a lot bigger than single platform models. this makes it more difficult to carry them in and out your caravan when you want to put them away or use them. Especially as you need to manoeuvre them past the various pieces of furniture, cupboards and units you have inside your caravan. However, you will find that there are some foldable double platform caravan steps available.
Unless they are foldable, you will find that most double platform steps can’t be stored underneath your caravan when you have left the pitch for the day. This means you must take care when you are driving away or pulling up to your caravan that you don’t hit them, as they will be easy to spot in the mirrors of your car. Although that sounds like common sense, there have been various comments on forums for caravan owners who have managed to run into them.
You also need to be aware that sometimes, on particularly uneven pitches, double platform steps will stretch up higher than your caravan door if your tourer is smaller than average. This could mean that your steps cause an obstruction and make it difficult to open and close your door easily. Although this does occur, it’s a rarity.
The step-up from a double platform set of steps is smaller, meaning they are easier to use. This is especially important to note if you have mobility or chronic pain issues, have small children or older dogs. As double platform steps have bigger bases, they are also more stable.
What Material Are They Made From?
You should also take note of the material used in the construction. Most metal steps out there are made either of an aluminium alloy or steel. Although aluminium is a very soft metal when it’s alloyed with other materials, it is strengthened and a lot firmer.
Aluminium alloy benefits from remaining lighter than steel and having greater resistance to oxidisation. It is also a stiffer material than steel, making it the perfect material for portable steps. However, because of the joining techniques and materials used, they are a more expensive option than those made from steel.
Although many people favour steel, it makes caravan steps that are very heavy and clunky, and it is more likely to suffer from damage to paintwork. Overall though, they are a more cost-effective option.
Plastic steps are cheaper and can be a much lighter option, they also benefit from the fact they don’t rust. they are also easier to maintain and keep clean. Most high-quality plastic caravan steps are stable and strong.
However, as mouldings with special strengthening ribs are used to make plastic caravan steps, although stable they are not foldable making it harder to store them.
It’s incredibly important from a safety point of view to choose ones that have a non-slip tread. Most steps come with a specific kind of tread, like a rubber tread or metal mesh plate. Plastic caravan steps usually feature a moulded tread.
In terms of slip-resistance, steps with rubber treads are usually best. You will often see that some caravanners glue sections of carpet to the steps. Although inventive, the downside of this is that the carpet gets dirty and wet quickly and needs to be replaced regularly.
Another option is tread covers with glow-in-the-dark properties. These make it easy to see where you are going when you are entering and exiting your caravan in low light while providing extra slip-resistance.
Due to the fact though that they are used outside and in all weathers, regardless of the type of tread the steps you choose have, you should always be careful as all steps will be slippery when they are wet.
Other Aspects to Consider
With regards to the stability, the angle of the legs is something you should think about. Legs that are splayed outwards slightly create a base with a greater area than the top of the steps. This means that it is virtually impossible for them to tip over when you are using them, even if you are standing on the very edge of the step.
Alternatively, you may find a set of steps with pegging points that mean the steps can be pegged firmly in place which prevents them from tipping over.
When you are using them on softer ground, the surface area of the legs is a key aspect to consider. Steps with larger feet are less likely to sink into the soft ground. You will also find that some steps have a frame that runs around the whole base of the step to stop them from sinking in even the softest ground. The problem is that these kinds of steps may not be suitable for use on uneven surfaces.
One thing we did find hard to find was wide caravan steps. There was not 1 set that we thought was particularly wider than others.
Are the steps going to be outside in the elements all day? Or will they be inside the awning? This could make a difference to the ones you choose.
How to Stop Them Sinking
For many caravanners who pitch up on grassy areas, this will be a common problem, especially with the temperamental UK weather we experience. There are two ways to prevent your steps from succumbing to sinking.
The first is to merely ensure that the steps you purchase have a decent surface area that will prevent the feet from immediately sinking through the grass or mud. Many come with rubber feet and anti-sinking bars which work to combat this problem. Those models that provide larger feet will also fair better here.
The second way is to place a board directly underneath the steps. This means the surface area is covered and the direct pressure from the feet won’t be able to penetrate through to the ground beneath it. This is perhaps the most effective solution
Some caravanners automatically do this by putting a piece of wood under the steps. However, this method relies on you finding a bit that will fit your needs when you’ve pitched up, or alternatively carrying one with you for this purpose.
If you are putting the steps inside a caravan awning then there’s a chance you have a groundsheet down or some kind of floor. This should help prevent them from sinking.