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Damienbrown84

Towing Covers

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I have bought a new caravan and I’m looking for a tow cover to use while towing.

 

does anyone have any recommendations on which cover I should get? Are the bespoke covers worth it or is a universal cover sufficient?

 

Thanks

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We have used bespoke covers by Specialised Covers. Fit really well, just make sure the front of the van is clean before fitting (5 minutes with Showroom Shine). Keeps all the muck and debris off the front of the van. Just slide it sideways into the awning channel if it’s wet, dries really quickly plus you can rinse off the wet road dirt either with your hose or a bucket of water. 

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We have a “rhino guard” universal one from a well know internet auction site, paid less than £40 for it. Does exactly what it should do, looks good, keeps the van front clean while travelling, has a soft touch inside layer. It’s also fully adjustable so we can take it with us if we change vans. Not sure I could justify the cost of a caravan specific one after getting such a good cover for very little cash. 

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20 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

We have used bespoke covers by Specialised Covers. Fit really well, just make sure the front of the van is clean before fitting (5 minutes with Showroom Shine). Keeps all the muck and debris off the front of the van. Just slide it sideways into the awning channel if it’s wet, dries really quickly plus you can rinse off the wet road dirt either with your hose or a bucket of water. 

Ditto!  Excellent cover and can be fitted by one person.

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Hi Damien. I have just treated myself to a new caravan- the last I will own. It was at the show in February at the NEC. Part of the show deal was an ‘Elite’ toe cover. I had seen the elite cover being advertised but had never gone further. When the cover finally arrived I was stunned at the quality of it- it was fabulous! Made of something like neoprene, it is totally cleanable unlike the previous Covers from Pro tec and Specialised Covers which got impregnated with soot etc from the exhaust and general road grime. . I’m not knocking their ‘cloth’ covers but this cover is superior in every way, the chances of any stone or grit damage occurring is nil I would say. I have towed with it several hundred miles and not a mark! I love it and it’s so easy to fit. If I ever have to replace it (which I doubt) there is only one cover I shall get- an Elite!

 

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Another using Specialised cover.

Made to measure £200 roughly.

Good quality finish.

Two seasons so far.

Never been cleaned mud dead insects etc seem to was off in Scottish rain😀

All these covers are fiddly to fit needing threaded into the front rails and clipped underneath.

The cover is not waterproof which does not matter as a waterproof cover needs to be dried-just like the non waterproof.

We just dry the wet front with an old towel and fit the cover in the rain.

The cover protects the fibreglass front from chipping-could be a boon for ABS fronts.

The cover also keeps the dirtiest face of the caravan clean.

Our minimum stay is a week I imagine for a weekend use it could be a chore.

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The only drawback with any towing cover is if it gets wet as it can increased your nose weight significantly and many people do not take this into consideration.

After having had one almost brand new caravan damaged by stone chippings chucked down by the local council, we became converts!

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1 hour ago, Durbanite said:

The only drawback with any towing cover is if it gets wet as it can increased your nose weight significantly and many people do not take this into consideration.

After having had one almost brand new caravan damaged by stone chippings chucked down by the local council, we became converts!

 

Having owned a few fibreglass dingys which I towed all over Scotland long before my first caravan I was familiar with the effect of stone damage on GRP but until we got our new caravan never considered cosseting our 10 year old caravans.

Should have used a tow cover on our previous caravans as it makes the hated chore of washing so much easier.

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The only thing you have to watch for is a front cover windows for lights and does not cover the front lights or reflectors to be legal .

 

 

 

Dave

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45 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

The only thing you have to watch for is a front cover windows for lights and does not cover the front lights or reflectors to be legal .

Dave

Dave can you quote a link for the legislation that states the front lights should not be covered as I doubt if there is any for a trailer as I don't think horse trailers have lights on the front of them?  Not sure about the reflectors? 

This is a question and not an argument as I am unsure.

Edited by Durbanite

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6 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Dave can you quote a link for the legislation that states the front lights should not be covered as I doubt if there is any for a trailer as I don't think horse trailers have lights on the front of them?  Not sure about the reflectors? 

 

If lights are fitted (it’s legal requirement over a certain width, manufacturers wouldn’t fit them if not required) They must work, and to work they must clearly be visible and THATS why Caravan towing covers have little clear windows in them! Again the cover manufacturers wouldn’t bother to go to the expense of the extra work if they didn’t need to. 

 

I thought about getting a cover for my new caravan, asked the salesman and he said don’t get one they are a nightmare! He then took me to their parking area and showed me a number of caravans that had (very distinct) dull spots on the front windows and bodywork. “There” he said “That’s what covers do, a small bit of grit or dust gets into the soft material on the back of the cover, it then rubs against the window or bodywork as the caravan is being towed and acts like grinding paste! We spend hours trying to polish the marks out, they should be banned” 

 

Having seen the number of caravans in his yard that have been affected was enough to convince me not to get one. 

 

Owners will, I am sure, say they keep theirs spotlessly clean and never have a problem. That may be true but I remain unconvinced because it only takes a bit of something to get between the cover and the caravan whilst under way to cause such damage.

 

Your choice of course! 

 

Andy

 

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For what its worth my input .....

Defender, £50 internet, universal and self adjusted & fitted just fine, high level pockets for the battery self switched sidelights if towing at night / dark or rain - await legality comments ? 

All good and very snug fit with no flapping of reasonable fabric.

After pre wash & super clean fitting, used for long distance 5 day tow in winter down to Spain. Found some slight noise and a reduced mpg. Did a split 350 mile like for like test on same day, same weather & temps, same type of motorway, removed half way at services =  mpg improved & noise went.  Bit of a mystery but assume it must be the smooth polished caravan front versus a fabric covered front.

Found with a towing cover a bit of hassle with gas locker access (eurotunnel gas check etc) & overnighting and also blocks front windows when on long runs rather than just a day runs.  

Something else to fit, take off, store and wash clean. 

Doubt will re-fit for my type of use so for sale - pm me.

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7 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

If lights are fitted (it’s legal requirement over a certain width, manufacturers wouldn’t fit them if not required) They must work, and to work they must clearly be visible and THATS why Caravan towing covers have little clear windows in them! Again the cover manufacturers wouldn’t bother to go to the expense of the extra work if they didn’t need to. 

 

I thought about getting a cover for my new caravan, asked the salesman and he said don’t get one they are a nightmare! He then took me to their parking area and showed me a number of caravans that had (very distinct) dull spots on the front windows and bodywork. “There” he said “That’s what covers do, a small bit of grit or dust gets into the soft material on the back of the cover, it then rubs against the window or bodywork as the caravan is being towed and acts like grinding paste! We spend hours trying to polish the marks out, they should be banned” 

 

Having seen the number of caravans in his yard that have been affected was enough to convince me not to get one. 

 

Owners will, I am sure, say they keep theirs spotlessly clean and never have a problem. That may be true but I remain unconvinced because it only takes a bit of something to get between the cover and the caravan whilst under way to cause such damage.

 

Your choice of course! 

 

Andy

 

 

No dull spots from our Specialised cover after two seasons but I can see that if grit and grime get on the inside it could be a problem.

I often see caravans in our storage area with tow covers still fitted.

Specialised instruct removal on arrival at journeys end I can see that grit and grime will wash off the caravan under the cover to grind the finish off.

However all our GRP fronted/ended caravans had light stone chip damage.

The Specialised cover is a two ply affair outside tough the inside soft.The whole thing is stretched across the caravan strapped underneath-no flapping here.

Clear panels are fitted in the correct places to accommodate the lights.

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9 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

If lights are fitted (it’s legal requirement over a certain width, manufacturers wouldn’t fit them if not required) They must work, and to work they must clearly be visible and THATS why Caravan towing covers have little clear windows in them! Again the cover manufacturers wouldn’t bother to go to the expense of the extra work if they didn’t need to. 

 

I thought about getting a cover for my new caravan, asked the salesman and he said don’t get one they are a nightmare! He then took me to their parking area and showed me a number of caravans that had (very distinct) dull spots on the front windows and bodywork. “There” he said “That’s what covers do, a small bit of grit or dust gets into the soft material on the back of the cover, it then rubs against the window or bodywork as the caravan is being towed and acts like grinding paste! We spend hours trying to polish the marks out, they should be banned” 

 

Having seen the number of caravans in his yard that have been affected was enough to convince me not to get one. 

 

Owners will, I am sure, say they keep theirs spotlessly clean and never have a problem. That may be true but I remain unconvinced because it only takes a bit of something to get between the cover and the caravan whilst under way to cause such damage.

 

Your choice of course! 

 

Andy

 

 

Been using mine for 2 1/2 years, no evidence of damage - in theory it’s possible of course but no marks on mine...or stone chips that would likely occur with no cover.

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18 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Dave can you quote a link for the legislation that states the front lights should not be covered as I doubt if there is any for a trailer as I don't think horse trailers have lights on the front of them?  Not sure about the reflectors? 

This is a question and not an argument as I am unsure.

 

Trailers over 1.6m wide are required to front position lights and reflectors and I read that now the lights have to be operated from the driver's seat so sticking  other lights is now illegal as owners started using cycle lights .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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Our new caravan due in 3 weeks comes with a Specialised front cover and did wonder whether any tell tale usage signs might be seen on the front windows due to wind pressure etc.

 

Have used a Pro-tec all over cover during the winter period on our current caravan and although even when brand new and the caravan cleaned and waxed before fitting,  when removed and viewing the caravan at certain angles, very feint mottle marks were evident all over.

 

Soon polished out though, down to wind buffeting I think.

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23 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

If lights are fitted (it’s legal requirement over a certain width, manufacturers wouldn’t fit them if not required) They must work, and to work they must clearly be visible and THATS why Caravan towing covers have little clear windows in them! Again the cover manufacturers wouldn’t bother to go to the expense of the extra work if they didn’t need to. 

Having seen the number of caravans in his yard that have been affected was enough to convince me not to get one. 

Owners will, I am sure, say they keep theirs spotlessly clean and never have a problem. That may be true but I remain unconvinced because it only takes a bit of something to get between the cover and the caravan whilst under way to cause such damage.

 

Your choice of course!

Andy

 

Thanks. Since found that if the trailer is wider than the body of the towing vehicle then front lights are required. 

The salesman may have been correct however what he probably did not tell you was that the dull surface was probably due to the towing cover being left in place while the caravan was in storage.  After not many caravan or car sales people are intellects in physics.  :D

To create a dull spot on the front of the caravan the towing cover would need to be on for probably thousands of hours.  When fitted while towing the front towing cover should not be moving up and down creating a sanding effect to dull the front of any caravan even a Bailey caravan.  The force of the wind against it while towing should push it against the front of the caravan so it should not move up and down.

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In the past I have had two incidents of severe stone chips.  Have used covers since then.

 

I tried a Tow Pro universal.  Awful,   A struggle to fit and it clearly rubbed the surface.

 

I now have the Tow Pro plus.  There is some slight evidence of abrasion but that’s better than stone damage.  To be fair, I don’t bother cleaning the front before fitting.  Rain does add weight but minimal.  On arrival I just bung it under the van if still raining.  When possible I lay it flat and it dries really quickly.  Easy to fold up, and again it lives under the van.

 

It has zips for gas locker access.

 

So overall I am happy with it.

 

I looked at the Elite.  Even more money and I did worry that it might be a bit bulky to put away.  But I don’t know.

 

John

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On 27/07/2019 at 09:19, Griff said:

Our new caravan due in 3 weeks comes with a Specialised front cover and did wonder whether any tell tale usage signs might be seen on the front windows due to wind pressure etc.

 

Have used a Pro-tec all over cover during the winter period on our current caravan and although even when brand new and the caravan cleaned and waxed before fitting,  when removed and viewing the caravan at certain angles, very feint mottle marks were evident all over.

 

Soon polished out though, down to wind buffeting I think.

Something like this?

Towing cover.jpg

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On 27/07/2019 at 11:54, Durbanite said:

 The force of the wind against it while towing should push it against the front of the caravan so it should not move up and down.

My tow cover has a strip at the top sewn in to stop that happening, it folds into the caravan front black trim. 

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2 hours ago, kiaboy said:

My tow cover has a strip at the top sewn in to stop that happening, it folds into the caravan front black trim. 

 

The Specialised tailored cover on my Swift Conqueror is “stretched” across the front by the one zip bottom to top on the offside next to the channel that forces the the cover tight onto the front of the caravan.

The bottom is clipped onto the fibreglass rim at the front base under the front locker.

Access to the front locker is not possible with cover in situ.

 

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53 minutes ago, ancell said:

 

The Specialised tailored cover on my Swift Conqueror is “stretched” across the front by the one zip bottom to top on the offside next to the channel that forces the the cover tight onto the front of the caravan.

The bottom is clipped onto the fibreglass rim at the front base under the front locker.

Access to the front locker is not possible with cover in situ.

 

Same here but with ours you can access the two front lockers and grab handles via the zips.

 

559377527_TowCover(2).thumb.jpg.6bd5b28abc07fc344ee4ea041007d6ae.jpg

 

1429689739_Towcover.thumb.jpg.b23fbeb9f71335bcbf5c94e6eb2bc992.jpg

 

Takes me just under 3 mins to fit or remove by myself..

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6 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Something like this?

Towing cover.jpg

 

Not sure what aspect you are relating to Durbanite?

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The front locker lid on the Swift Conqueror goes right across the front so there would be no way to open it with a cover in place.

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12 minutes ago, ancell said:

The front locker lid on the Swift Conqueror goes right across the front so there would be no way to open it with a cover in place.

Not true.  Specialised Covers Tow Pro Elite are bespoke to each range of caravans. The attached photo is of our previous caravan where the locker is the full width of the caravan. You get what you pay for with covers.

CBB3853A-DCD9-4984-AD40-61624D116514.jpeg

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