The British weather can be unpredictable at best and…we don’t need to tell you how bad at worst. Snow storms, heavy rain and the removal of floodplain all mean we’re more vulnerable to rising water levels and, often in the most beautiful locations, campsites can occasionally find themselves the first hit.
Here’s our advice for protecting your caravan against flooding and ensuring you keep your motorhome safe and dry.
Check for leaks regularly
This might seem obvious, but it’s the most important step of all – regardless of the age or condition of your pride and joy – check often and check thoroughly. Weak spots vary from model to model, but some of the most common include around windows the sunroof, doors and near any piping. Spotting damp patches early is key to keeping your caravan in tip-top condition and will help prevent the amount of damage that could occur if water levels do find themselves edging on unsafe.
Back in 2007, Marche Industries (a manufacturer of caravan floatation devices) had a huge surge in orders for caravan floatation devices. An amazing number of these were actually from campsites themselves – looking to protect those who visited them or stayed in models they owned. A floatation device may seem like a costly expense (often made to order, they aren’t a discount buy), but they are probably one of the most important purchases you’ll make – particularly if you’re in an area liable to flooding.
If you’ve got a motorhome you keep on-site, speak to the manager about whether they can provide you with any discounts if you purchase through them or if anything is included with your package (after all, they have as much interest in protecting your home as you do) and speak to other residents about who they use. There are a number of highly specialist makers – sometimes with particular knowledge in certain brands or styles of motorhome.
Likewise, if you’ve a static caravan kept on vulnerable ground, your home should always be firmly and securely elevated approximately 0.5m above ground on axle stands, with floatation devices attached. Working with respected site owners will ensure these types of requirements are covered in the first instance and you’ll never be caught short when difficulty arises.
Keep an eye on weather reports and check your flood evacuation plan
Again, seemingly simple but crucial. The first few hours before a bad weather spell are vital in protecting your home. Can you, for example, move your motorhome elsewhere or does your campsite offer any provision for bad weather?
Unfortunately, as the most recent spate of floods show, no matter how well you look after your holiday home, accidents do occur. When choosing a site, talk to the site owners and check what flood evacuation plans they have in place. Do they have higher ground your home can be towed to and what general provisions do they have if you’re staying there and caught out? Research conducted before you go ahead can make a huge difference and could be the most important step to keeping your home safe.
And, when you’ve done everything you can to prevent damage, the only thing left is to make sure you’re fully covered for flood damage. While you might think it will never happen to you, it’s better to be safe and sleep soundly than worry. Check, check, check the small print before you go ahead – if a policy seems too good to be true, it usually is. Paying less for a policy might mean huge excess fees if you do make a claim and, similarly, check the fine print – what circumstances are you not covered in and what does that mean for you? Don’t be afraid to grill the company over the phone on the policy and, if in doubt, invest in one you’ve got more confidence in.
Absolute trust in your site owner, insurer and caravan itself can make a huge difference in the long run. We know how much your caravan means to you and are happy to help wherever we can.