10 June 2013

Posted by Discount Insurance on Monday, June 10, 2013
Share this on
It’s important to make sure you take the right precautions on your 'staycation'.

Whether it’s saving money on pricey flights or making the most of Britain’s natural beauty, more and more people are choosing to spend their summer breaks at home. Even if you’re not planning to take your caravan abroad this year, within the UK you'll find that safety and security are top concerns.

The hitch is one of the most important places to look for ways to keep your caravan secure. A simple hitch-lock is often thrown in with a starter pack if you buy a new unit, but since it is one of the most significant protective measures you can take it’s worth investing if you don’t already have one. It blocks the hitch head where the car’s towball engages with the caravan, preventing other vehicles from hooking up. A good lock might even bring down your insurance premium, so check with your provider next time you renew.

Even the way you park up at home can make a difference. If you leave your caravan on the drive, make sure the hitch is facing a wall or a garage door – anything that prevents would-be thieves from hitching up.

A step up from the hitch, many policies might stipulate that wheel locks are compulsory wherever you decide to stop. There are two different types of lock. The basic model looks like a standard wheel clamp and is usually the more affordable option. However, if you’re looking for protection that does more than surround the wheel, you could consider a chassis lock – this fastens the wheel to the chassis of the caravan so you know it isn’t going anywhere. Still, this is the more expensive choice.

If keeping your tourer on your own property between trips isn’t an option, you’ll need to think carefully about storage. If you need to keep your caravan in a dedicated storage facility, make sure it’s registered with the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (Cassoa) which encourages the highest possible security standards. Look for strong barriers at the front and back, good lighting and an effective procedure for checking in and out.

When you’re on the move, there’s still plenty to think about. Remember that it’s illegal, as well as extremely dangerous, for animals or people to be in the caravan while it’s in motion, and doing so could invalidate an insurance policy. Any movable goods you keep in there need to be secured as tightly as possible, or any claim you do make could be affected. If you load anything heavy into the caravan, try to distribute it evenly across the axle and put the weightiest items low down.

From the driver’s point of view, of course it’s illegal to tow anything if you can’t see what’s going on behind it, so extension mirrors are a necessity. While they may not be the cheapest of accessories most caravanners will buy, they are easily the most important so it’s definitely worth investing in quality. Good extension mirrors can be easily attached and removed and will vibrate less, giving you clear view behind your vehicle for the whole of your journey.

Of course, for all of the precautions you might take, there are always risks. Having the right caravan insurance is crucial to keeping your tourer safe this summer.