Caravans are back
Apparently caravan sales haven't had it so good in years so we're looking at why caravans are cool once more in RAC World's July ezine.
If you're a caravan veteran and have any recommendations on good caravan holiday sites you've visited in the UK, it would be great to hear about them. We've put a few suggestions in the feature but look forward to reading any others you have.
Please do not overlook the condition of the tyres on the caravan. they may have detiorated since you used it last.
Why are most of them caravan sites so far from motorways and duel carriageways, causing hold ups on the trunk roads, where there is no chance of overtaking them?
I don't have a problem generally with caravans. The complaints about their lack of speed does not particularly upset me, after all most of them are still faster than milk floats or two abreast cyclists. I have a problem with the drivers of the tow cars occasionallly, when they forget the 'van on the back and swerve across lanes of motorways etc when overtaking.
There seems to be controversy currently between the EU and the british government over MOTs for caravans. .
Who wants to sign this petition? http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/53735
Geez! Dennis, you really like your petitions, don't you?
Reading that petition, and your post, Dennis, it is my experience that the most common trailer and caravan fault is wheel bearings. I have not only attended them after breakdowns, but I had a friend in the Caravan Club who referred me to a number of members to check out their caravans before use. I have honestly lost count of the number of wheel bearings I have changed. To be fair to your comment, I have seen a few 'perished' tyres which I have commented on though. As to trailers, it is usually the lamps. They get broken through impacts, or occasionally through bad loading practices. I have also replaced/repaired quite a few cables/wires through damage caused by bad routing or plugs being ripped off. (People don't always remember to unplug them when they have unhitched them.)
I would also add that very few people check the balance of the brakes on caravans and trailers causing them to try to veer under braking.
With low priced domestic car trailers, some people pack them badly, and fail to secure the load with strong enough ropes or tie-downs. I was going along the M53 once when a Wheelbarrow fell off a trailer in front of me. Luckily I had left a good gap in front of me, and I temporarily diverted to the hard shoulder to avoid the obstruction. Then I stopped at the next SOS phone and reported the incident. I cannot remember whether or not the driver of the car stopped or not.
Caravan sites are recreational, and owners (clubs and private) place them in the best rural situations where land can be obtained and planning allowed. Speed limits on caravans are the same as for articulated lorries, so are no more likely to cause hold ups than these lorries.
Originally Posted by smudger
Caravans are very expensive items. there may be a few rogues, but the majority of owners keep their vans in tip top condition, tow them responsibly, and are an infinitely less threat to safety than are cars. The costs of setting up and organising an MoT for caravans would be out of all proportion to what would be achieved in increased road safety. Although a caravan typically costs as much or more than the tow car, the comprehensive insurance is less - indicating how the insurance industry rates caravan accident ratios.
Originally Posted by Dennis W
Sorry, Rolebama, but you are a little behind the times on caravan mechanics. For several years (15+), new caravans coming onto the market have been of excellent roadworthiness. Owners protect their investment with annual servicing by specialised service departments, and typically receive a more thorough inspection, and rectification where needed, than any MoT would offer. In many instances, this is essential to maintain warranties. and these warranties are superior to those of cars. My van, subject to correct annual servicing by an accredited engineer, has a body shell warranty of 10 years.
Originally Posted by Rolebama
In addition, caravan owners are in general at the top end for service and maintenance of their tow cars.
Snowball, I appreciate what you are saying, but just last year I passed a caravan on the hard shoulder of the M3 with smoke coming from the offside wheel area. There are still those who do not have their caravans or cars serviced regulary and properly. Of those that do, there is still an element of those who try to do it 'on the cheap'. Hence the threads on here about various reconditioned engine and clutch suppliers. My experience shows me what people will do, and human nature tells me it isn't going to stop.