How to keep your trailer tent safe from theft, fire and weather damage
The fact that trailer tents are compact, convenient and easy to transport makes them an ideal camping option. Unfortunately, these benefits can also mean that they are an attractive target for thieves, too. Is your trailer tent safe from theft, from fire and from the elements? Here’s how to achieve peace of mind…
Trailer tents and theft protection
With an unsecured trailer tent, it’s relatively easy for a thief to wheel it away, hitch it up and make a quick getaway – even with a small car. To prevent this, you should take steps to immobilise the unit. You should also think carefully about where your trailer tent is stored – especially when it’s out of action for long periods.
Immobilising your trailer tent
Wheel clamp. A security essential, a wheel clamp locks over the wheel of your trailer to immobilise it. As well as being an effective anti-theft device, a wheel clamp is therefore also useful for stabilising your unit if it’s parked on an incline. Make sure you get the correct size clamp for your particular trailer tent’s wheels. Quality can vary, so look for products that carry the Solid Secure Gold Standard – a UK quality assurance that shows the device has been independently tested to withstand theft attempts. Manufacturers worth noting are FullStop, Milenco and Stronghold.
Hitch lock. This attaches to the hitch to prevent your trailer from being attached to another vehicle. Bear in mind that a determined thief could attempt to bypass the hitch altogether (by strapping the trailer to a car, for instance). As such, always use a hitch lock alongside a wheel clamp. Again, look for the Solid Secure Gold Standard.
Wheel lock. Depending on the chassis type, you may be able to fit a wheel lock, which attaches onto the wheel and locks securely onto the axle. AL-KO secure wheel locks are more expensive than most wheel clamps on the market – but with this comes the reassurance of Solid Secure Diamond Standard protection.
Storage and security
Take full advantage of the compact size of your trailer tent by storing it off the road when not in use. A locked garage is often a convenient option. If this isn’t a possibility, but if the unit’s going to be lying idle (through the winter months, for instance), you could consider a CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners Association) site.
Trailer tents and fire safety
One of the big draws of a trailer tent is the fact that most come with a compact kitchen unit unit. To enjoy this responsibly, make sure that you understand and follow the usage and maintenance requirements that apply to the unit. The instructions for the gas hob should specify the required gas pressure. Ensure a pressure regulator is fitted to the outlet of the gas bottle to get the correct working pressure.
Ensure the ports around the individual burners do not get blocked with dirt or cleaning cream and pay attention to the colour of the flame: if it’s a small bright blue and white flame, there could be too much air in the gas/air mixture, whereas a yellow-topped flame and evidence of sooting could be a sign of too little air. If in doubt, always contact your dealer or a qualified appliance mechanic.
Never leave a cooker on unattended and never use it as a substitute heater. Ensure that all air vents are kept clear and store your gas bottle on level ground in a position well clear from your trailer tent and away from any heat sources.
Trailer tents and weather damage
A good quality trailer tent will feature breathable, waterproof and tear-proof canvas. You might be tempted to apply a waterproofing solution to the canvas in an attempt to add an “extra layer” of protection – but this might actually be counter-productive. A waterproofing spray can restrict the ability of the fabric fibres to expand and contract naturally, thereby hindering their ability to plug any microscopic holes in the fabric. Always refer to your trailer tent manufacturer’s guidance before applying any additional treatments to the canvas.
Examine the canvas and groundsheet carefully before erecting it and apply self-adhesive tent patches to any rips or tears. If there’s evidence of water penetration, a broken seal is often the culprit. Check all seams, and if there is evidence of the factory seam tape coming apart or weakening, apply a seam grip adhesive after removing the damaged pre-existing tape.
If your trailer tent is left in a folded state when wet, mould can quickly develop and in the longer term, metallic poles with start to rust. In an ideal world, take down your trailer tent when it’s dry. Even here, damp can still accumulate in the folds and flaps – especially with the awnings that are in constant direct contact with the ground. If it’s been raining, shake off as much water as you can and wipe down the canvas inside and out with a towel.
On arrival home, open out the unit fully (including all the panels). Only once it is aired and dried should you fold it away again.
No matter what kind of folding camper or camper trailer tent you own, you can be assured that our folding camper and trailer tent insurance will give you complete peace of mind. We insure a wide range of makes (British and Continental), with no folding camper or trailer tent age limit. For further information or to discuss your requirements, get a quotetoday or request a callback from one of our experts.
Image via www.opuscamper.co.uk