The Storenextdoor guide to caravan storage
Almost half the people that own a caravan are unable to store them at their home. A caravan is a big investment and you want to ensure that any storage facility is well managed and secure. You also want it to be local and accessible - either to where you live or where you tend to go on holiday. In terms of cost you tend to get what you pay for ie. at the high end there is covered storage with purpose built hardstanding and at the other end you may just end up in a field with a herd of dairy cows - so make sure you weigh up the pro’s and con’s particularly if you want to preserve the value of your caravan. Also bear in mind that choosing the right option where to store your caravan can have a big impact on your insurance premiums.
Is the storage company a member of CaSSOA?
The Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association gives 3 levels of accreditation; Gold, Silver and Bronze and now work with over 500 secure storage sites across the UK. All accredited caravan storage sites are independently assessed for security features, access and amenities to make sure they provide superior levels of protection from theft. The criteria for the three awards are based on a number of features including CCTV, entry points, perimeter fencing and alarm systems.
What types of security measures to look out for
The things to look out for are CCTV (real not fake!), a high perimeter fence and well secured access. Access may be via a PIN-controlled gate; in which case make sure that there is a good system in place which can ensure that the PIN is changed regularly. You may want to wheel clamp your caravan to bring added peace of mind, however not all sites allow it as site owners like to have the option of moving caravans in event of an emergency (like a fire). Other features may be: vehicle recognition, single entry/exit point, and being a purpose built hard standing site.
What about insurance?
You will need to independently insure your caravan and there are various companies that specialise in caravan insurance. Many of these companies offer policy discounts for vehicles stored on secure CaSSOA sites as these tend to have less caravan thefts. Make sure you read the small print and shop around to get the best deal. if you are storing a motorhome and have had a problem finding a site, bear in mind that many caravan sites are not covered for vehicles that contain flammable liquid so this is the main reason.
What access do you need?
Does your current caravan storage have 24 hour access? This may be important if you arrival times back from holiday are unpredictable or if you are the kind of last-minute holiday makers who like to plan according to the weather! For people that plan ahead the ‘valet parking system’ is usually fine e.g.. you drop off your caravan and it gets picked up and parked in an area that only staff can access and vice versa when you want to take it out - this usually requires 24 hours notice.
What other issues should I bear in mind?
If you opt for storage on a farm or in a rural location there may well be foxes and mice so make sure there is a system in place to deter unwanted guests - or take precautions yourself to protect your caravan.