You will have no doubt invested a lot of money in your caravan and taking care of it will be at the top of your priority list. These recreational vehicles can bring us a lot of joy but since they are frequently exposed to the elements, protecting them is of the utmost importance.
Caravan covers come in various shapes and sizes from entire caravan covers to partial covers but the type you choose will depend on your situation. In this guide, we are going to be looking at the various types of caravan covers allowing you to understand which will suit you best.
What Are The Different Styles Of Caravan Cover?
Before committing to purchasing a caravan cover, it is essential to understand that there are three different types and each has its own pluses and drawbacks. The main types you will come across are the universal caravan cover, the semi-tailored caravan cover and the fully tailored caravan cover. Let’s explore these in a little more detail.
Universal Caravan Cover
Many manufacturers make universal caravan covers and these are designed to fit (almost) all caravans. When made, they will be designed in line with the average dimensions of a caravan in mind but this does mean that yours might not fit perfectly. This isn’t too much of an issue if the cover is larger, but it becomes trying if you have purchased a universal cover that is too small for your caravan. Before buying, you should always measure your caravan to ensure that the cover will fit.
One of the biggest plus points about buying a universal cover is that they generally don’t move into triple figures where price is concerned, especially when buying one for a caravan that is less than four metres long.
While universal caravan covers are generally much less expensive than other types, there are a couple of drawbacks that can make them tricky to use. One of the biggest examples of this is that, once you have put the cover on, you are unable to access the caravan again without removing it.
What’s more, when using this type of caravan cover, it can be much more difficult to get the cover to fit. In most cases, you will find that you need to make use of several straps to hold it in place which can be fiddly at best, infuriating at worst.
Semi-Tailored Caravan Cover
For people who want to achieve a better fit for their caravan but don’t want to splash out big bucks on a fully tailored cover, the semi-tailored cover is the best option. These offer a much more specific fit than their universal counterparts as they are usually designed with a particular make of caravan in mind. You’ll find that, depending on the caravan manufacturer, there may be unique contours, especially around the front and rear of the vehicle. This means that some universal covers won’t fit as snugly.
With a semi-tailored cover, the shape of your caravan will have been taken into account giving you a better fit. However, this does mean that getting your hands on this type of cover could cost you double that of a universal product.
Where universal covers typically have rear corners that lift up giving you access to the door, albeit restricted, the semi-tailored cover relies on the dimensions given by the caravan manufacturer. This essentially means that sometimes, the door cover won’t perfectly align with the door making it difficult to access the caravan.
Fully Tailored Caravan Cover
In the case of semi-tailored caravan cover, the shape and size will be determined by the brand whereas a fully tailored cover is in line with the specific caravan model. If you are looking for the perfect fit, these made to order covers should be your go to. That said, for the privilege of something so well-fitting, you may be paying in excess of £300 so you must make sure that the quality is excellent.
What’s great about these fully tailored covers is that, because they are custom made, you can make allowances for any additional items on the caravan. For example, if you have a TV aerial protruding from the top, the cover manufacturer can take this into account.
What About Towing Covers?
In recent years, there has been more and more demand for a towing cover. These are used, as their name suggests, while you are towing your caravan and help to protect it from any dirt or debris that may fly up from the road. The cover fits over the front of your caravan and can be removed once you reach your destination.
Just like full caravan covers, towing covers come in a range of designs. You can purchase a universal cover that will protect the caravan but may not be the msot aesthetically pleasing as the fit could be off. Again, tailored covers are available and to make fitting them easier, they often come in three pieces. Of course, the more features that the cover has, the more money you will need to spend.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Caravan Cover
Understanding the different types of caravan covers is one thing but what a lot of people wonder is whether this is a necessary accessory or just another way for businesses to make money. In truth, there are pros and cons to owning a caravan cover.
- Using a caravan cover will protect your vehicle from rain and adverse weather which could make it dirty. If you spend a long time cleaning are caring for your caravan, this is something you will likely appreciate.
- When your caravan is exposed to the sun, UV rays can cause the paintwork to fade. By putting on a caravan cover, this problem is eliminated.
- Travelling down busy roads like motorways with your caravan puts it at risk of becoming scratched or damaged, particularly from flying debris, using a cover will provide a layer of protection.
- If you’re keeping your caravan on your driveway while it’s not in use, there is a potential risk that thieves could take an interest. While a cover isn’t going to stop them completely, this will act as a deterrent and will also prevent people from being able to see if any valuables are stored inside.
- In summer, when things heat up, putting a cover onto your caravan can cause it to overheat. As a result of this, the bodywork is prone to cracking. Moreover, the excess heat could interfere with the performance of electrical aspects of the caravan. For this reason, we would always advise purchasing a caravan cover made from breathable material.
- Relating again to breathability, if the caravan is in any way damp when the cover is put on, this can lead to problems with mildew and mould.
- It can be very difficult to get the caravan cover onto the vehicle and in doing this, there is a risk that you may damage it.
Things To Consider When Buying A Caravan Cover
Choosing the right kind of caravan cover is one thing, but there are a few other factors that you should keep in mind before buying.
We have briefly touched on the fact that buying a caravans over made from breathable materials is a must but you should also make sure that the material is durable. In some cases, you will be paying a significant amount for your cover so the last thing you want is for it to tear prematurely.
Another important factor where the materials are concerned is that they are waterproof. If they are not, water will begin to gather in between the layers and this is what can cause mould to develop.
Caravan covers generally fasten over the caravan in one of two ways; zips or velcro. Zips offer a greater level of security and are far less likely to come undone. However, they are also prone to jamming and breaking. Once this happens, they are rendered useless.
It is also worth looking for a cover that has protected zips because those that are exposed may end up causing scratches on the caravan during transport or in windier conditions.
We know that your caravan is one of your most prized possessions and keeping it safe and protected is important to you. A caravan cover does, admittedly have its drawbacks, msot notably that they are so tricky to get on. But there is no denying that in terms of protection, they are second to none.
What makes the decision on buying one so difficult is that there are three different options. A universal caravan cover is made to fit the average dimensions of a caravan, whereas semi-tailored and fully tailored options are designed to fit much more specific models allowing for better security but coming at a higher cost.
Frequantly Asked Questions
Are caravan covers worth it?
Caravan covers are a protection against the elements. It can protect your caravan from dust and dirt, UV rays, rain, snow and hail. Caravan cover kits come with everything you need to install them on your own. A cover will also keep animals out of the caravan while it is stored or in storage, which means less cleaning needed when you get it back home.
Should you cover your caravan in winter?
So, are you wondering if it is worth investing in a caravan cover for winter? Well, there are a few things to consider. First, what does your caravans warranty say about the need for extra protection in cold weather? Second, do you feel like the cost of covering up your caravan will offset any potential damages? Thirdly, how much time and money will it take to maintain this investment each year?
How long should a caravan cover last?
Caravan covers last depending on the type of cover being used and also how well it's taken care of. We would recommend replacing them every 3-5 years, as most caravan manufacturers will not warranty anything past that point.