Now, we’ve covered a lot of different subjects here at Caravan Helper, regarding the hobby we all love so much. We’ve looked at awnings, the cost of buying a caravan, and a multitude of other accessories, equipment, tools, and tutorials, in addition to the many guides and overviews of caravan sites up and down the country. While looking for inspiration for new posts, we discovered one little question that intrigued us, because we had never really given it much thought. The question we are talking about is the one posed in the title of this very post.
We thought, there may be lots of people out there wondering the answer.
It’s not really something you think much about, and why would you? Most caravans are white or off-white and not black or darker colours. The closest we’ve seen to those kinds of tones has been silver unless it’s one that the owner has customised. We just accept they are white or white-ish, just as most washing machines, tumble dryers and other so-called “white goods” are the same colour.
Well, what gives? Why is white the go-to colour for manufacturers over more attractive and dramatic options?
Why They Are White
To help really drive home the point of why white is the almost universal colour for caravans, let’s look at the subject in the way it was presented and explained to us. If you are an avid caravanner and have been in various caravans in various climates, whether it’s just domestically or abroad, there is one thing you will probably agree on – caravans can get extremely hot.
It could be blizzarding snow, sleet, ice, and water outside, but if you and all your travelling companions or family are tucked up inside and the tourer is in good repair, you’d hardly notice it. That’s all well and good, and what you kinda need when you decide to go on caravanning adventures in the UK.
Generally speaking, though, at what time in the year do most of your caravan holidays? It’s summer, right? Caravans get even hotter at those times of the year, don’t they?
If you know anything about how heat absorption works, you may understand where we are going with our reasoning. You know why houses in hot climates are painted white and made from white bricks and other materials? Because white colours deflect the warmth from the sun better than darker colours that basically suck it all in and retain it. It’s the same reason why your mum or dad would always encourage you to wear a lighter coloured t-shirt during summer, rather than a dark or even black one.
That’s essentially the main reason why caravans are white or white-ish. If they weren’t, they would be unbearably hot on those long summer days and you’d probably have to rely on gas-guzzling and expensive air conditioning a lot more to stay cool while indoors.
Is that the only reason?
Well, as with anything, there are some other thoughts and theories on why they are white, besides the above. For one thing, white and lighter colours offer greater visibility while you are on the road and particularly at night. Another point to consider is that, although dirt seems to find its way quickly onto white surfaces, dust is less easy to spot on lighter surfaces than it is on darker surfaces. We’re not suggesting you can use the excuse of having a white caravan to never clean it, but if you had a black one, you’d have to do it more regularly.
So, there is no major conspiracy or any weird reason why caravans are white. It’s simply a safety and comfort feature that protects you from the warmth of the sun on especially bright and warm days.