Caravan covers buyer’s guide
From complete wraparound storage protection, through to handy products that shield vulnerable parts of your unit when pitched up or on the go, caravan covers come in various forms and have specific jobs to do.So what type of cover do you need? Here, we highlight the various types of product on the market and explain how they might be useful.
1. A full caravan cover
What is it?
A fabric covering that fits around your entire caravan. Especially if a caravan is exposed to the elements when not in use (on a drive, for instance), a full cover provides useful protection from all the risks associated with this, including weather damage, UV fading, tree debris and water ingress. Even if the caravan is going to be stored in a garage, carport or dedicated storage facility, a full cover is still a sound choice for preventing accidental knocks and scrapes to the bodywork.
What to look for…
A snug fit
A cover that’s too loose becomes more prone to tearing in windy conditions, while constant ‘flapping’ might even cause damage to the bodywork. For a guaranteed made to measure fit, the caravan manufacturer is a useful port of call. Bailey, for instance, sells a range of model-specific covers under the ‘Accessories’ section of its website.
If you are referring to the manufacturer’s handbook to get the dimensions of your caravan, make sure you go by the external length and not internal dimensions. If in doubt, measure the unit yourself.
Strong, breathable fabric
A good quality full cover will generally consist of multiple layers; usually, a waterproof outer covering, a ‘breathable’ secondary membrane and a soft inner layer to prevent scratching to the bodywork. Breathability is especially important for preventing a buildup of condensation within the unit.
Ease of fitting and access
Applying the cover shouldn’t have to be a difficult process. Most quality cover manufacturers tend to use a combination of fixing straps, poles, velcro and zips to make it easy. Especially if you are buying online, look out for demonstration videos and pay attention to customer reviews to see how user-friendly specific products are.
Where the caravan is out of use for long periods, it’s generally recommended that you air it out regularly to reduce the risk of damp and mildew. This is made easier if the cover has specific openings for the doors and windows.
2. A towing cover
When on the road, the front caravan window and the surrounding bodywork can be susceptible to abrasions and chips — especially if you are driving on loose surfaces. The bodywork can also become discoloured or damaged through exhaust fume deposits and dirty water on the road. Depending on your caravan and vehicle setup, it’s also possible to experience glare in your rear view mirror from your car tail lights reflecting against the front window of the caravan.
A towing cover (i.e. a canvas shield for the front of your caravan) helps you avoid all of these problems.
When looking at specific products, your main priority should be to identify one that will stay in place – without any risk of it coming loose on the road. It should attach firmly and safely to the front valance of your caravan (usually via the awnings channel).
As with full covers, caravan manufacturers tend to supply towing covers as optional extras. Companies such as Protecand Specialised also carry model-specific products for a neat fit and easy application.
3. A roof cover
If you don’t see the need for a full storage cover, but want to prevent the top of your unit from being hit by leaves, tree sap and bird droppings, a roof cover can make perfect sense. This type of product fits over your caravan in a similar way to a towing cover (i.e. by sliding it through the awning channels). Producers of tailored towing covers also tend to carry roof covers in their range.
4. A hitch cover
These small covers carry out the very worthwhile job of protecting your A-frame – both in storage and when pitched up. A hitch left exposed to the elements can result in corrosion and other water damage. In turn, this can make the unit more awkward to manoeuvre, while serious damage can mean that it becomes necessary to replace the hitch.
A hitch cover often comes as a free extra when you purchase a full cover. Alternatively, generic hitch covers can be bought separately for as little as £20 or less.
Why cover your caravan?
Covering your caravan can help to reduce wear and tear and prevent unnecessary knocks and scrapes.
Equally as important, being able to advertise “covers included” can be handy when it comes to selling your caravan. Not only will these be useful items for the buyer to have, it also sends out a message that this is a caravan that has been carefully looked after.
For effective protection for your equipment and personal possessions, discover how our 5-star rated touring caravan insurance can provide the reassurance you need from as little as £50. Get an online quote today or request a call backfrom one of our experts to discuss your requirements at a time that’s convenient for you.
Images via www.purelyoutdoors.co.uk/, www.pro-teccoversonline.co.uk/ and www.caravancovershop.co.uk/