Caravan covers range in price from about £50 for a universal-fit, waterproof (but non-breathable) model, to £500 or so for a bespoke cover, handmade in quality, breathable fabrics to fit your van precisely.

The best caravan cover will protect your tourer from the elements for many years, allowing damaging moisture to escape through its breathable construction, and stopping any precipitation getting in. They also protect against harmful tree sap, bird muck and road grime… plus, they keep annoying and difficult-to-remove black streaks at bay, something that can otherwise be a nightmare to shift when you’re cleaning a caravan.

Suppliers of bespoke caravan covers

The UK’s two biggest manufacturers in the bespoke caravan covers market are Specialised Covers and Protec Covers. Both companies have decades of experience in making high-quality, made-to-measure covers, and they have similar processes for specifying and ordering your cover.

To find out how the process works, we followed two bespoke-cover guinea pigs, Andrew and Sally, who needed to protect their new, luxury Adria Alpina 623 UL Colorado from the elements.

Choose your bespoke caravan covers

It’s easy to see why your caravan needs a cover. If you are looking for a top-quality, handmade cover for your tourer, you’ll be able to find all the information you need to make your choice online.

Andrew on the Specialised Covers’ website

1. After watching numerous YouTube videos on the subject and exploring just as many websites, Andrew decided that a Specialised Covers’ caravan cover best suited their specific needs (other brands that offer bespoke covers include Protec and more).

2. In terms of Specialised’s website, you need to specify the year, make and model of your tourer and the colour of the cover you want. Specialised has almost all caravan makes and models on file, but if you don’t find yours there, you can speak to customer services.

Filling out cover details on Specialised Covers' website

Basic covers that require no modifications can be ordered in seconds, but if you need your cover to house a caravan accessory, say a roof-mounted air conditioning unit or an aerial (see: the best caravan TV aerial if you’re after one), you can add the detail in the ‘Customisation’ section online.

3. Andrew and Sally have a solar panel fitted on the roof of the Adria, so Andrew took measurements and photos and provided a sketch.

Andrew measuring his tourer

4. These pictures were then added to their order.

Solar panel on roof of caravan

5. Once Specialised Covers has your custom order, it will be sent to the design team, who use computer-aided design software to add your specific requirements on a 3D model. They then create a 2D template, which is sent to the production line.

Specialised Covers team making up the bespoke cover

6. The template designs are now received by the computer-controlled cutting machines, which cut them out of the required cover fabric, with accuracy to a fraction of a millimetre. These machines are also designed to minimise waste, by getting as many cover sections as possible out of each roll of material. This improves efficiency and helps to keep costs down.

Cover being cut out

7. Once they have been cut out, the sections for each bespoke caravan cover are bundled up and sent to the stitching department.

Bundles of the cover

8. Here, operatives will turn what looks like random acres of fabric into a recognisable caravan cover, double-stitching all of the seams for maximum strength and durability.

A stitching station in the workshop

9. Sewing a full caravan cover really is a massive task! The Adria cover was specified with a transparent plastic window, to allow the solar panel to work with the cover in position. The added piece was carefully stitched into the cover at this stage.

Sewing the cover

10. Finally, buckles and straps are stitched onto the cover. Once the cover has been completed, it goes to the Quality Control Department and then to Dispatch. Typical lead times are two weeks.

Buckles and straps being stitched on

11. Andrew opens and inspects his new caravan cover.

Andrew opening the new cover

12. Covers are large and awkward, especially on a big caravan like the Adria. Andrew starts by laying it out in front of the caravan, ensuring that the ground is dry and taking care not to drag the material across the gravel. This is particularly important with the plastic window for the solar panel.

Laying the cover out

13. Lay out the cover so the smooth inner surfaces face upwards and the front of the cover is next to the front of the van. Here, you can see the rear of the cover, with the two reinforced pockets into which the extendable poles are inserted.

Cover laid out the correct way up

14. You’ll need at least two people to put a large cover like this one onto the van. Take the extending poles and insert them into the reinforced pockets.

Inserting the expandable pole

16. Now lift the cover off the ground with the poles and walk back towards the van. Using this method, you are lifting the cover up off the ground, not dragging it over any rough or dirty surfaces, or grassy areas that are certain to stain it. Canine assistance is optional!

Two people lifting cover off the ground with poles

16. With one person on each side of the van, lift the cover up and over the roof and walk slowly towards the back of the tourer. A third person is useful at this point, to feed the cover smoothly over the front of the van, preventing it from catching on the A-frame or handles.

Lifting the cover over the van

17. Move towards the back of the caravan, easing the cover over the roof. With a large cover, this can take a fair bit of strength. So long as you prevent the cover from getting snagged on any protrusions, it should slide over relatively easily – if you are patient!

Easing cover over the roof

18. It’s important to bear in mind that custom-made caravan covers are designed and manufactured to be a tight fit, because this will prevent any flapping and abrasion, which can damage painted or plastic surfaces. Pull the cover across evenly at both sides and ease it over the back panel, before pulling it down.

Pulling cover over back panel

19. With the main cover in position, it’s time to add the A-frame cover.

Cover in place

20. Fit the A-frame cover to protect the caravan’s handbrake, jockey wheel and hitching mechanisms.

Fitting the A-frame cover

21. Now fit the straps. These are essential to keep the cover in place and minimise any flapping. Andrew used the extending poles to pass the straps under the Adria.

Fitting securing straps

22. He also fashioned a neat device to hold the straps on to the extending poles.

Straps on pole

23. The cover is fully fitted and strapped in place.

Fully fitted cover with straps in place

24. The Adria’s door remains easily accessible with the caravan cover in position.

Door is still accessible

25. The window is perfectly placed to allow the solar panel to trickle-charge the leisure battery throughout the year and keep the alarm and the tracker active.

Window perfectly placed over solar panel

Want to find out more about a different touring accessory? Then check out our guide to the main caravan awning manufacturers to help you find the brand for you.

Find out more:

Future Publishing Limited, the publisher of Practical Caravan, provides the information in this article in good faith and makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Individuals carrying out the instructions do so at their own risk and must exercise their independent judgement in determining the appropriateness of the advice to their circumstances and skill level. Individuals should take appropriate safety precautions and be aware of the risk of electrocution when dealing with electrical products. To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither Future nor its employees or agents shall have any liability in connection with the use of this information. You should check that any van warranty will not be affected before proceeding with DIY projects.

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