Secure Sheltered Storage
The most expensive and arguably the best way to store your caravan while you don’t use it is in a secure storage facility that keeps your caravan covered. These can be as basic as a barn in a farmer’s field, or much more elaborate, like large warehouses surrounded by fencing complete with CCTV and security guards.
The Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) has a comprehensive database of many of the caravan storage sites located around the UK, and you would be wise to choose one endorsed by the CaSSOA. Each storage site is given either a bronze, silver, or gold rating to reflect how secure it is. More often than not, the more secure a site is the more you will have to pay to store your caravan there.
Secure covered caravan storage should protect your caravan from any weather damage, and will greatly reduce the risk of your caravan suffering from damp. It will also drastically reduce the chances of your caravan being stolen or damaged by criminals.
Secure Open Air Storage
For a cheaper alternative to sheltered storage, it might be worth considering open air storage instead. As the name suggests, your caravan will be stored outside instead of inside, and so will be exposed to the elements. Using this method will leave you with more cash to put into your savings, but could come back to sting you later.
The main disadvantage, because your caravan will be subject to the extremities of weather and could end up being damaged. If you do decide to put it into open air storage then it is worth going to check up on it from time to time, just to check everything is ok.
As with covered storage, the quality of different facilities varies, so it is worth consulting the CaSSOA register to see how it has been rated. If the facility has a bad security record it is best to avoid it. Criminals are also more likely to target open air storage than covered storage, but most have security measures in place to deter them.
Keeping Your Caravan at a Campsite
If you regularly use the same caravan site each year for your holidays, then leaving at the site year round could be the best way for you store your caravan while you don’t use it. This is a good option for a number of reasons. Firstly, you won’t have to transport your caravan to and from a storage facility or your home. Secondly, your caravan is ready and waiting at your favourite caravan site when you are ready to holiday again. Thirdly, the caravan site owner will be able to keep an eye on your home away from home while it is not being used, and alert you if there is a problem.
Unfortunately leaving you caravan in a campsite does leave it susceptible to weather damage, and there is always the possibility it could be used without your consent. This option is great if you have a good relationship with the caravan site owner, because you can reach a compromise on the price and he or she will hopefully be more willing to keep a close eye on it.
Storing Your Caravan at Home
If you have a large garden, garage, or driveway where you can store your caravan, then keeping your caravan at home is another option. Many people do this, and it makes it much easier to carry out regular checks on the caravan and keep it maintained. The main problem with this option will probably be from your neighbours. The people living next to you might not be too happy about having a big caravan parked next to their home for months on end, so it really is best to check first to avoid any problems further down the road.
If you do decide to leave your caravan outside for the months that it is out of use, then consider investing in a breathable cover to protect it from the elements. These can cost a few hundred pounds, but it is best not to use a cheap option. If it is not completely breathable, you may find that condensation damages your caravan and ends up costing you more than a few hundred pounds to repair it.
Wherever you decide to store your caravan, it is a wise choice to check up on it every once and a while, to keep on top of any problems. Now you have all the options, it is time to weigh up the pros and cons and see which type of storage is best for you.
Lindsay Jenkins is a freelance writer who specialises in the personal finance field, covering topics as diverse as high interest current accounts to insuring large or exotic vehicles. Being a staunch advocate of holidaying in her home country, she spends at least a few weeks of the year caravanning in the Lake District and along the Pennine Way.