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Tips for Caravanning Abroad

Driving abroad can be an amazing experience and an opportunity to take your caravan/motorhome to new places! However, driving abroad and towing abroad can be very different from doing so in the UK, so we thought we’d put together some tips to follow when you go caravanning abroad.

Tip 1 – Pack the essentials

Of course, some tips will be specific to a certain country but there are certain essentials that you need to take if you plan on travelling through Europe. This includes:

  • GB Vehicle Stickers or EU Number plates
  • Warning Triangle
  • Caravan/Motorhome insurance certificates
  • Headlight converters
  • High-vis vests

These are typically what you will need to take to any European country, but make sure you check the specific country you are travelling to as well in case they have any further requirements.

Check towing regulations for each country before travelling, and ensure if you’re towing a caravan that your running lights are working and visible (especially if you’re towing with a cover on) to avoid any delays due to being pulled over for not following the rules!

Tip 2 – Check your times

Throughout Europe, there are some campsites that will not allow traffic to pass through between the hours of 11 pm and 8 am, so if you need to arrive late or early morning we would advise you to speak to the campsite you’re travelling to so you can make suitable arrangements.

Tip 3 – Pet Passport

If you plan on bringing your furry friend along with you, they will need a pet passport to travel. If you do not already have a pet passport, make sure you arrange this with due time before you travel as the process could take a while.

Tip 4 – Don’t assume you’re covered

Your caravan/motorhome insurance may not cover you when you are abroad, so you should check with your insurance provider to see if they do or don’t cover you when you’re abroad and make arrangements to become covered abroad if they don’t already offer it to you.

Tip 5 – Plan ahead

If you were travelling in the UK, you would plan to avoid busy days, etc. and we would recommend doing the same for when you travel abroad. Check to see if there are any bank holidays or special events taking place whilst you’re there and then if there are you can plan the most effective route around them, so you aren’t stuck in busy traffic.

Tip 6 – Speed Limits

You should always check the speed limit regulations for the country you are travelling to, as some countries are very strict with speed limit laws. France, in particular, is very strict with their speed limit laws and enforcing fines, you will be required to pay a hefty upfront cash fine if you are found breaking the speed limit in France. 

 

Tip 7 – Be Wary

If you are travelling to Spain, you should be wary of the fact that caravans are quite a commodity in Spain and there have been numeral reports of thefts from caravans. Not that you should worry or cancel travelling here, but it’s more to be wary of anyone in unmarked cars/plain clothes offering help at the roadside.

The most important aspect of travelling abroad with your caravan/motorhome is to plan and be prepared, this will help you out in most situations that could arise!

For more tips and advice, make sure you follow us over on our social.

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Road Safety Week 2019

Road Safety Week is a massive event through the UK and it is important that we are all aware of how to be as safe as possible on the roads. Did you know every 24 seconds someone is killed on a road? Figures like that are why we need to make sure we are all a safe on the roads as we can be!

We have put together a list of towing tips to keep you and other drivers safe on the road! Keep reading to see what they are…

  1. It seems obvious, but you should always indicate with plenty of time before you complete a manoeuvre if you are towing a vehicle. This gives the other drivers plenty of notice and considering your vehicle is longer, the more time consideration you give the better.
  2. Avoid sudden braking when you are towing a vehicle, this can make the vehicle behind you jolt and is also dangerous for other drivers around you. Instead, you should press your brake with plenty of notice as this will illuminate your brake lights and gives warning to other drivers.
  3. Your number plate must always show your cars registration, conform to the relevant British standard and be illuminated at night. So, you must display this correctly!
  4. Your rear light panel must always be working. Before you drive off you should check this and keep an eye out for anything that changes during your journey.
  5. You must always have towing lights visible, especially if you have a towing cover on! These lights must be controlled from the towing vehicle, so you should avoid stick on LEDS.
  6. It’s a legal requirement to always have a good rear view of your unit. In order to have this you should use extension mirrors, but just make sure you take them off when you’re not towing!

Whilst this may seem straightforward, there are accidents and collisions happening on UK roads every day, so being aware of even the basics could help save a life.

Road Safety Week 2019 is taking place from November 18th to November 24th – if you have any questions make sure you message us on our social!

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Top Towing Tips for the Winter

Winter is well and truly here, and we know for most of you, you will be heading off somewhere to spend your Christmas holidays! If you are going to be towing a caravan this Winter, there are certain things you can do to make your journey safer and being prepared is the best practice when it comes to winter weather.

Take a look at our top towing tips below and make sure your journey is as safe as can be this Winter!

Alert others!

If you are heading out on a journey you need to make sure that other drivers know that you are going to be towing a vehicle. Use warning triangles and put them around your vehicle and the vehicle that you are towing.  You should also wear reflective vests so that drives can see you and other passengers.

Build up tension slowly

To avoid loss of grip, we would always recommend pulling away in second gear – the more gradually you move off the less vehicle damage. It goes without saying, but you should also drive as slowly as you can (as long as it’s safe).

If you modulate the clutch, you will avoid snapping the rope and this will stop a jerking action in the vehicle that is being towed and stop the tow rope snapping.

Don’t go downhill

Again, a pretty straightforward tip but you do need to be aware of it! If you tow downhill, then the risks of the towed vehicle running into the back of your car or overtaking you increase. This would cause a bad accident, which would not be ideal in the best of times, especially not in winter conditions!

Prepare for the worst

Even if your car is up to scratch, there’s no sure way to know you won’t get stuck or breakdown. It’s always good to be prepared! We would recommend having some food, water, and warm clothing spare in your car – you could even have an emergency blanket if your heating cuts out a freezing car is the last place you want to be stuck! Thanks to advances in technology, we would also recommend having a small portable phone charger in case your phone is running low and you need it in an emergency.

If the weather is extremely bad conditions, you should avoid travelling if possible. Listen to travel advice and if you must travel, make sure that you have thoroughly planned out your journey and know where you’re going to keep travelling as efficiently as possible.

For more caravan tips and content, make sure you’re following us over on our social!

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Looking after your cover

You’ve got your cover, great! But now comes the next part, which is maintaining the great quality that comes with it. We have put together some tips to looking after your caravan cover once you receive it and how to maintain it over the years.

The best thing about Pro-Tec covers is that they are designed to be suitable to be outside all year round, especially with our UV stability that allows for it to be on throughout the summer. So, you won’t need to worry about keeping it hidden away in any season.

Our covers have a fabric guarantee of 3 years (towing covers 1 year) however, our full covers generally range from 5-10 years lifespan. We have even had a customer who told us he had covers for up to 13 years! With the right care and handling your cover will last a long time too.

So, how do you clean your cover? All you need is some warm water and a soft brush, you can use a hosepipe however we do not advise using a power washer. If you are struggling with a stubborn stain on your caravan cover, add some soap flakes (the type you use to wash delicate clothing, we recommend Granny’s Soap Flakes) to your warm water and this should help. It’s important to not use any harsh detergents or chemicals as they will degrade the fabric and could also block the pores and affect the hydrophobic properties that make our covers so great!

Over the last two years we have been developing our Pro-Tec cleaner and finally, have a product that we believe is an ideal all-round solution. The Pro-Tec cleaner is a waterless cleaner and is formulated for all of the materials used in caravans, motorhomes, and Pro-Tec covers.

Not only does it clean, but it also shines and protects your Pro-Tec cover. We have handy 500ml spray bottles that are biodegradable and eco-friendly! Of course, this is another option to clean your cover!

Rest assured that if you do unfortunately occur damage to your cover, you can contact us and we will help as much as we can. Since most cases of minor damages or wear are simply solved using the spare fabric we provide at the time of receiving your cover, it’s easy for us to help repair your cover.

If your repair needs our direct intervention, when your cover comes back to Pro-Tec it must be in a clean state and not have any dirt, bird mess, or so on as our staff manually handle these covers for inspection, so we don’t want to put them at risk from dirt and germs on a cover!

We hope this has helped you understand how to properly look after your Pro-Tec cover. We hope you love it! For any other questions regarding a Pro-Tec cover, you can visit our FAQ.

Top European Touring Destinations

Although the UK poses some gorgeous scenery for a caravan or motorhome holiday, sometimes you can’t beat the beautiful views that you get in European destinations. Plus enjoying these sites in your home comfort makes them even more enjoyable.

We have put together a list of the top European destinations for caravanning so you can add them to your bucket list!

Holland

You probably associate Holland with windmills and tulips, but Holland is also home to some excellent caravan sites. Duinrell is a great family campsite as it has its own amusement park, swimming pool complex, a nearby beach, and themed restaurants. Duinrell, Vinkenhof, and Camping Koningshof are great campsites.

France

Caravanners and Motorhomers will often opt for France if they choose to go further afield as it has easy access on the ferry. Whether you want a beachy destination or a skiing destination, France can cater to any needs! When driving through France you need to have a high-visibility vest and warning triangle in your vehicle and have your headlights on during the day when towing. Some nice campsites in France include Parc du val de Loire, Camping Les Ecureuils and Camping Le Patisseau.

Spain

Again, a popular choice with motorhomers and caravanners alike, due to its nice weather and gorgeous scenery. There were 9.8 million caravanning and camping trips to Spain from UK residents in 2012, so it just goes to show that it’s a popular destination. Some of the best sites to stay at include Camping Los Gollardos, Camping Cabopino or Camping Canos de Meca.

Italy

Home to incredible food and wine, you’ll never be bored in Italy. One of the most popular campsites in Italy is Butterfly Campsite in Lake Garda, it is well-loved by children and is a few minutes’ walk to the beach. It has a large pool and play pool, playground, beach volleyball, football pitch, bar, and restaurant.

Croatia

One of the furthest afield, but this destination will show you some beautiful scenic destinations. If you visit Croatia, a must-visit is the Camping Village Simuni in Pag – here you will have direct access to 6 beautiful beaches. The sparkling Adriatic Sea is right by so there is no pool, but with a sea that pretty you won’t want one! There is also a pizzeria, restaurant, and tennis courts.

There are so many more beautiful destinations you can visit, so we would love to hear where it is on your bucket list?! Share it with us on our social media!

UK PRODUCT

british manufacturerAll our covers are designed and manufactured in-house in Bradford, West Yorkshire by Protec Covers Ltd. None of our caravan or motorhome covers are  outsourced. Our material, Caravan  Shield, has been exclusively developed in the UK and we are proud to say that it continues to be  manufactured  here in the UK

 


 

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