Your caravan may be in pristine good looks in October, but leave it to the elements over winter and by spring it can look grubby and neglected. Rain, dew, blowing dust and wet leaves, bird mess, tree sap are the start, but then the damp surfaces allow green algae and sometimes a black stain to develop.
By March you are faced with a tedious and time-consuming, cleaning job, with the roof being the most troublesome part to deal with.
The answer is a caravan cover, but how effective are they and how easy to put on and remove?
I gave our caravan cover an extended test, more than most people would ever do.
We had used it over winter 2017/2018 and then in November 2018, with the help of my wife, we put it on again. See Putting the over on, below.
We didn’t take the cover off in 2019 because I had a health problem and we couldn’t go caravanning, so the cover stayed on the caravan for the whole of 2019.
The year 2020, as we all know too well began with the covid-19 so caravanning stopped until into the summer and we didn’t take the cover off until August. The cover was therefore on in all weathers, including an exceptional number of high winds, high temperatures and prolonged wet spells. The breathable fabric clearly did its job of allowing moisture to escape. In all the cover was on continuously for 20 months.
The brand of our caravan cover was Kampa and the material was a three ply breathable material, soft on the inside. It cost a little over £100.
Caravan covers – Are they worth the investment? – Our conclusion
Our conclusion is that the cover was a very sound investment. It really protected the surfaces of the caravan keeping them clean. The caravan remained dry inside. The sun was not able to fade the curtains and cushions any more! It has protected the caravan and saved hours of work.
The pictures show
The pictures show how clean the caravan looked when the cover was removed and the green algae on the tow bar which was not covered. The one problem that developed was that the constant movement of the fabric in the winds caused the vent from the heater to break its way through the fabric. I guess this could have been avoided if we had tied something like some old towels over the vent to cushion it. One picture shows the size of the filled stuff bag which you need to store during the summer. Click a picture to see enlargement.
Putting the cover on
Maybe one person could manage to put the cover on but really it is a two person activity. There are four long zips at the corners which we used but next time we think it may be easier to leave the cover zipped up. We used a step ladder to lift the cover over the roof and also a couple of brooms.
The straps which tie under the caravan are very effective but it took us a little while to work out how they should be threaded through the buckles. You may be able to see the threading route in the photograph. The strap on the right is the loose end.
Click the Amazon link to see a whole range of covers and sizes.