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Towing Jacket Update

Well it’s just over a year since we launched our Towing Jacket™ at the NEC February Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show in 2018. We were bowled over by the public reaction to our revolutionary new style of front towing protector and orders went through the roof. Our small Yorkshire firm is owned by caravanners, so we like to think we understand the needs of the average caravanner pretty well and we pride ourselves on listening to our customers wherever we find them. The feedback that you provide has always driven Pro-tec’s product development and the Towing Jacket™ was no exception. We were the first company to create a front towing protector for caravans. We started with a generic cover for all models but when Bailey Caravans contacted us to produce a protective cover for their soon to be launched Pegasus range, our first tailored front towing protector was born.

Towing Jacket Launch

The Towing Jacket Launch in February 2018


The tailored towing covers we have been producing ever since Bailey commissioned us in 2009, consisted of 3 separate pieces; 1 piece for each awning rail and a large centre panel, which was held in place with a series of clips and buckles. This design served us (and you) well for nearly 10 years. Providing excellent protection with our purpose designed fabric, Caravanshield™, our towing covers stood the test of time and we slowly saw their popularity grow and grow.

(Top) Old style tailored towing protector released in 2009 and (Bottom) the Towing Jacket, 10 years later


Over the years, we had been listening to the feedback you gave us when we met you at numerous shows and events. Caravanners are a friendly bunch and your experience, combined with our own, revealed that although you loved our towing cover, it could be a little fiddly to fit properly. Enough of a faff that once it was on, you didn’t want to be taking it off again when you inevitably discovered you’d forgotten to put an essential item in the gas-locker box! In 2017 we got our heads together and decided to design a towing cover which had all the same protective properties and fit just as well as the original but was much more ‘user friendly’. In early 2018 we were ready to go public and the Towing Jacket™ was released.

Eriba caravan with Towing Jacket


The Towing Jacket™ is a unique 2-piece construction, which can be fitted easily by one person in under a minute. Each of the 2 halves slide into the caravan awning rails and then the 2 pieces are simply zipped together in the middle. It really couldn’t be easier. The centre of the Jacket, where the zip meets, is made of a stretchy material which creates the necessary tension to provide an excellent fit and keep it firmly in place. For extra security and to keep the bottom of the Towing Jacket™ from lifting, we’ve machined 2 elasticated clips onto the bottom edge. These clips attach to the caravan valance. A buckled strap then passes under the a-frame assembly.

Swift Basecamp Towing Jacket


As the one-year anniversary of the launch approached, we were noticing that the term ‘Towing Jacket’ was becoming synonymous with any type of front towing protector for caravans. Much like all vacuum cleaners are often referred to as ‘Hoovers’. Obviously, this is great for us and a real compliment to the ingenuity of the product but it became apparent that we had a real success on our hands and we wanted to protect our invention. The design had already been registered at the time of release, so in late 2018 we went a step further and registered Towing Jacket™ as a trademark.

Towing Jacket without grab handle access


Never content with resting on our laurels, since the first Towing Jacket™ was conceived and released, we have added to the range. As well as the more popular Swift, Coachman, Lunar & Elddis Towing Jacket™, we tackled some of the trickier caravans and today we can provide front end protection for Knaus, Hobby, Eriba and even Swift Basecamp caravans. Furthermore, we have noted the ever growing popularity of caravan motor movers and decided to make a Towing Jacket™ without grab-handle access available for a cheaper price than the original. We’re all for saving you a bit of money where we can.

Why Choose Pro-tec?

The Pro-tec Easy Fit® System

It seems the world and its dog are producing caravan and motorhome covers these days. You can pick up a full cover for less than a hundred quid in some places and you’ll get what you paid for. They’re all the same, aren’t they? A cover is a cover is a cover. Well no, they’re not all the same. There are a couple of features you’ll only find on a Pro-tec cover and today we’re going to talk you through our Easy-Fit® System.

Our company is owned by avid caravanners and camper van fans. That’s one of our biggest strengths as a manufacturer of caravan and motorhome covers, we are our own customers! Not only do we use our own products on a regular basis, our passion for leisure vehicles and the community surrounding them, ensures that we have always attended as many shows and events as we are able to. We do this primarily to meet our customers and fellow ‘vanners.

Whenever we attend shows, we love to talk to you, find out what’s important to you and best of all, listen to suggestions you may have. About 9 years ago, it became obvious that although our covers are very well thought of, so many people were telling us that the biggest drawback was fitting them. You can imagine, a 20ft long caravan or a 40ft long motorhome is going to need quite a lot of fabric to cover it. Getting all that fabric up in the air and over your vehicle can be incredibly tiresome and in the worst cases, potentially unsafe.

The traditional method of fitting a cover is to get the whole thing up on the roof, then unfold it. This is when the fun begins. All that material on the roof now has to be wrestled down over all four sides, like a giant tight jumper! Bespoke covers are supposed to achieve a snug fit and getting the sides down over the corners can be a challenge. Step ladders and strong swears will be required to do this correctly.

Not the safest way to fit a cover!

Obviously, being up a stepladder while handling 20ft of fabric, that can turn itself into a parachute in a breeze, is not the most desirable thing to be doing. We love our caravans but we wouldn’t die to protect them. Rather than certain death, our customers wanted us to come up with a solution. At this stage, we were already making a product called the Duo Cover. It was a full winter storage caravan cover with a detachable front, which could be used to protect the front of a caravan on tow. When the front part was removed, you were left with a full storage cover without a front. Quite by accident, we discovered that this open fronted cover was so much easier to put on than a complete cover. The open front meant that a person standing either side of the cover could simply walk all the fabric over the ‘van. Easily, safely, and most importantly, from the ground.

Much easier & safer

It wasn’t perfect though. Pulling a cover over the caravan from back to the front, it gets snagged on the top edge, not quite a right-angle but close enough to make the job more difficult than it needs to be. We’d had the idea now though and we were running with it. We made a new full cover but this time with an open back. This meant that instead of having to pull the cover from the rear, we could now use the natural sloping front of the caravan to help ease the process. This method was much more successful and plans were finalised.

As easy as that.

We added a roll-up panel to the rear of the cover and some heavy-duty velcro to hold it all in place and to hold up the rolled panel for fitting. We added a couple of D-rings to the top of the cover at the rear for poles to fit into. These poles just make the job a bit easier and give you a little extra height, again without having to leave the ground. And then we sat back, admired our work and registered the design to make sure nobody could pinch our clever idea.

When we first launched the Easy-Fit® System, it was an optional extra at £40. Then we decided it’s just too good a feature to not put it on every cover, and for the last couple of years, that’s exactly what we’ve done. Every single Pro-tec full caravan or motorhome cover comes with the Easy-Fit as standard, no extra charge. You can’t buy a full cover that’s easier to fit than ours.

Here's what our happy customers have to say.

“The whole system of using the poles to install the cover was a breeze – really quick, simple and effective. The cover fits perfectly and is of superb quality, both in the design and manufacture. I would like to thank you for developing such an excellent product – we are very happy customers!”

“Anyone reading this looking for a cover, put your trust in Pro-tec Covers. I did and I’m over the moon with the quality, correspondence and professionalism. My wife and I are nearly 70 and had no trouble whatsoever fitting the cover with the easy fit system”

“I have just fitted the new cover to the caravan. Wonderful! It is so light for such a large twin axle caravan. It took my wife and me about 15 minutes (not bad for two septuagenarians). We unpacked it from the back of the 4x4 and simply walked it over the van. Thanks for your service.”

“Big improvement over old one, Much better fit, stronger velcro. The Easy Fit option does exactly that. Thanks very much for the good service"


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Pro-tec Car Covers

Here at Pro-tec, we’ve been manufacturing and designing bespoke vehicle covers since our inception in 1996. We have traditionally focussed on fitted covers for caravans and motorhomes but behind the scenes, we have had our finger in the car cover market for quite some time. We’ve even been asked to produce covers for famous petrol-heads, including Jamie Oliver and Jay Kay of Jamiroquai!

At Christmas time 2016, we appointed a new MD, Paul Smith. As you would expect from a new MD, Paul has ideas of his own and a clear vision of the direction he wants Pro-tec to take in the future. Top of the range, bespoke car covers, are very definitely included in this vision.

Paul has approximately 20 years’ experience of manufacturing tailor-made vehicle covers and has the added benefit of having worked his way up through the ranks. Starting out at the very bottom all those years ago, Paul has done everything from cutting fabric to making deliveries. You’d be hard pushed to find someone who knows the processes involved in the manufacture of high-end, protective car covers better than Mr. Smith.

MD Paul Smith creates a custom car cover pattern for this Volvo

As well as his own expertise, since taking the helm at Pro-tec, Paul has been busily rounding up some of the best talent in the cover production arena. Since Christmas 2016, we have appointed (amongst others) a new Production Manager to ensure that work passes smoothly through our factory, a new CAD Manager to take vehicle measurements and patterns and convert them to a digital format and a couple of new machinists to assemble covers to the highest possible standard. All of these appointments have been made to enhance the standard of products we manufacture and between them, have added a staggering 100+ years’ experience to the Pro-tec arsenal.

Beki, our CAD Manager and Matt, our Production Manager

Craftsmanship and tradition are at the heart of everything we do here at Pro-tec. We are a bespoke cover manufacturer after all and the level of fit that we require of our covers can not be achieved by cutting corners. The process of making a custom car cover is not far removed from the practices employed by an artisan tailor, creating a bespoke suit.

As you can see, the level of fit we aim to achieve is quite exacting.

The tailoring process begins when cotton fabric is laid over the surface of the car to be covered. We work with cotton fabric at this stage because it is light and flexible enough so that it clings to every contour of the vehicle beneath. Painstakingly, the cotton is trimmed and pinned and gradually, the beginnings of the finished cover creep into view as panels and seams are added and moulded to the perfect shape, until it fits the car like a second skin. We continue this process until we have exactly half of the car covered and the pattern heads back to our factory to be prepped. At the moment, we are training an apprentice in the tailoring skills required to produce such a bespoke item; Elisha takes the cotton template that was created on the car and translates it to a template for hand-cutting and also to a digital file to be cut on an automated CNC machine.

Our apprentice, Elisha, creating a pattern for this Jaguar XJ8


BMW M3 Pattern


Our MD, Paul, working on an Aston Martin pattern.

From the prepped pattern, we cut the 2 side panels, the centre panel, a front and back panel and the wing mirrors. The individual pieces are bundled together and passed from the cutting department to the sewing department, to be assembled into the finished cover. We then double check every aspect of the fit of the cover by taking it for a sample fitting on the car we originally took the pattern from. This is much like the first fitting of a bespoke suit or wedding dress, where we check the fit, the seams, the piping, the mirrors etc to make sure that cover has the quality and style to meet our exacting standards. If we need to make any amendments, this is the stage to iron out any creases but our design team have pretty much got the pattern process down to a fine art and amendments are rare.

An indoor car cover being sewn together.


A couple of fine adjustments being made to a sample cover.

The completed cover is now ready to be passed to our QC and Dispatch team, where it will go through a finger-tip inspection prior to being sent via DPD next day delivery service.

Our outdoor car covers are fabricated from the same material we have been making caravan covers from for years. It’s a purpose designed, three-layer polymer, which has been engineered to be highly breathable, waterproof to a hydrostatic head rating of 1000 and guaranteed not to scratch. Our indoor covers are a heavy-grade protective fleece. Soft to the touch and breathable, they are thick enough to save your car from any accidental dings or scrapes while it is garaged, while keeping out air-borne dust particles. Next time you think protection, think Pro-tec. Give us a call on 01274 780088 to discuss your car cover requirements.

Get Your Legs Down Visit Pro-tec

As you may already know, we are currently in the process of moving into a new premises to accommodate our expanding operations. It's an exciting time for us as we will be able to improve the service we offer to our customers and bring our covers to a wider market. 
Our new factory a couple of months ago. A blank canvas.
We are understandably proud of ourselves to have got to this point in our story and we are keen to share the news and developments with as many caravanners and motorhome enthusiasts as we can. Following the success of our recent launch of the Pro-tec Towing Jacket, public interest in our little family firm has grown and we've had an absolutely fantastic response on our social media channels, including a couple of notable bloggers and vloggers. 
Obviously, we massively appreciate any interest in what we are up to so we have extended an invitation to visit our new factory to the popular YouTubers and vloggers, Rich and Trev from 'Get Your Legs Down'. 
Get Your Legs Down have got thousands of followers between Rich and Trev's Twitter accounts and YouTube channel so they represent quite a large section of our target market. They have been great at highlighting our Towing Jacket to their followers and so the very least we could do is to have them round for a cuppa and a natter in return. 
Rich and Trev during one of their Sunday Night Natters on YouTube
Rich and Trev will put any questions you may have about Pro-tec or our products to our MD, Paul Smith, in the first week after the Easter break. So please do get in touch with them through the links to their social media by clicking on either Rich or Trev's name and let them know if you have any questions for us. We'll do our best to answer anything they throw our way.


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