Best Caravan Wheel Clamp and Locks


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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


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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 a reputable and popular brand. This is power 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 is still a practical and powerful choice. This 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 model is a great small gas heater for caravan trips. It is lightweight weighing only about 5 pounds. 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 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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