Before purchasing your caravan, it is very important to think about where you are planning to store it.
This might not be as simple as parking it on your driveway, because of its length and height. In addition, they don’t come cheap, so security is paramount when your van is not in use.
Below, we take a look at the various options for storing your caravan when you’re not out on the road, while here you will find some useful pointers about essential pre-storage jobs that need to be carried out, so you can be sure your caravan will be ready for the next trip.
One of the cheapest solutions is to store your caravan on your driveway at home. However, this is obviously dependent on the size of the drive. Many properties lack private parking for cars, let alone a caravan.
In addition, some new estates operate restrictive covenants, which forbid home-owners from storing caravans on the property. Check your deeds to find out if this applies to you.
One of the main advantages of having your caravan on the drive is that it’s a stone’s throw from the front door, making it easier for you to pack and get away at a moment’s notice.
Access to the mains supply also offers much needed power to top up the leisure battery – a discharged battery is a dead battery! It allows you to switch on the heating in cold snaps to prevent frost damage to pipes and damp build-up, as well.
Security is the biggest risk, so ensure you have a secure Hitchlock, and wheel lock. There’s a wide range of security devices on the market, so shop around.
A caravan cover will protect the van while in storage, but also acts as camouflage to tone down the rather stark whiteness and help it blend in better with the local surroundings.
Bear in mind the neighbours, too. Luckily, mine are very accommodating, but some might not be so welcoming.
Commercial storage facilities can be one of the safest ways to store your caravan, depending on the site security. This can include CCTV, sturdy perimeter fencing, lockable gates, monitored entry and exit, alarms and so on.
On a recent visit to my local secure facility (Calver’s Caravan Storage), I found that to get into the main compound, you had to go through three gates, all being monitored by CCTV 24 hours a day and under the watchful eye of the owners, who live on site.
For guidance on where to find a secure facility near you, visit the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA). CaSSOA was set up in 1999 to combat caravan theft.
To be a member of CaSSOA, the facility will be regularly assessed on its security, access and amenities, and awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze status.
Some insurance providers might offer you a discount if your van is stored at a CaSSOA site, but do check this first.
Storing your van on a local farm can be cost-effective, but they might not offer the high level of security provided by commercial storage facilities.
You might be lucky enough to get storage in a barn, which is a great way to protect your caravan from the harsh winter weather. Just ensure the barn is in good structural order.
Working farms can also be very dirty and dusty places, so invest in a good-quality cover to protect the paintwork. If you’re looking for help choosing one, our guide to the best caravan covers is a good place to start.
Bear in mind that farms are often situated in rather remote locations, so check accessibility – reaching them can be a bit hair-raising when towing a van.
Caravan site storage
Some people return to the same site year after year, so it might be worth considering storing your caravan at your favourite one, if it has a facility, or at a nearby storage site.
Another possibility is to store your van on a seasonal pitch. The length of time varies from a full season (which is about seven months), to a part-season (just the spring, for example).
However, if you like to tour on a regular basis and prefer your caravan closer to home, search for local sites that might have a storage facility.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club offers about 3000 storage pitches in compounds at their sites, for example, with security provided by site staff, secure fencing and CCTV.
For sunseekers or those who enjoy holidays outside the UK, but don’t like towing abroad, storing your caravan overseas could be the ideal solution.
Storage facilities abroad tend to be situated close to popular campsites and a majority of these locations will also offer to deliver your caravan to your chosen campsite and collect it again at the end of your holidays, for a small fee.
There are various options to consider and of course, the cost increases with the level of protection offered by the site or facility. Storage in the open air is the cheapest, or you could go for partial cover, or perhaps fully enclosed.
You will also need to check with your insurance provider before you decide about this.
Carefully consider the type of weather that your chosen country experiences, because this could sway your decision about whether to store in the open air or under cover.
In Spain, I have seen rather daunting dimples in the sides of some caravans, following a storm that dropped hailstones the size of cricket balls.
A caravan is a luxury item, so ensure that you have up=to-date insurance, and security devices such as wheel clamps, alarms and trackers. And register with the Caravan Registration and Identification Scheme (CRiS).
When your caravan is not in use for any length of time, you really want to have the peace of mind that it is safe and secure.
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Future Publishing Limited, the publisher of practicalcaravan.com, 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. 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.
Caravans don't come cheap, so security is paramount when your van is not in use, meaning your driveway might not be ideal