Being new to anything can be a bit of a drag at first – you want to feel experienced, you want to prove to people that you are skilled enough to handle yourself. Nevertheless, experience can only come with time and the same goes for caravanning. It can be both exciting and a little frustrating to be a beginner caravanner. A lot of the people that you’ll meet will have owned their current caravan for a long time or they’ll have owned several caravans over the years.
It’s important to be humble when it comes to learning any new skill. Allowing your ego or your pride to obscure valuable advice is ill advised and this is even more true when it comes to owning a caravan. Caravans may be big but they’re also rather delicate – one false move and you could be looking at a nasty accident. Beginner caravanners should count themselves lucky – there’s a country wide network of experts out there just waiting to pass on their skills and advice for caravan owners. Here are some of the things that they might be keen to tell you.
On The Inside: With one or two rare exceptions, usually the very old models, your caravan should have one shower, one chemical toilet and at least two gas powered cooking hobs. It should also have a couple of gas powered or electric space and water heaters. All of these appliances, especially the gas hobs, are subject to annual safety checks, If you do not arrange for these checks to be carried out but continue to use the caravan – you could be penalised with a large fine and maybe even a suspended jail sentence. This is even more important if you plan to let your caravan out to other holidaymakers.
Butane Or Propane? Both butane and propane gas can be used to power your static caravan. They do, however, have slightly different properties and it’s important that you’re aware of which one is right for you. The difference between the two varieties is the temperature at which they change state. Butane will only readily change from being a liquid into being a gas at temperatures above 0°C. Therefore, it is only really suitable for use by the Spring to Autumn caravanner. Winter or full-time caravanners generally prefer to use propane as it continues to change state all the way up until -40 C and can therefore be used all year round.
Protecting Against Fire: Just like your house at home, your static caravan must have its own set of fully operational fire alarms. All gas appliances must be annually checked and it is recommended that you carry at least one fire extinguisher on board at all times, Do make sure that power cables and sockets are not allowed to become overloaded – this is a very common cause of fire. If your fire alarm does go off in the night, don’t try to investigate the cause. Move away from the property as quickly as you can and wait for the emergency services to arrive. When they do, point out where the gas canisters for your caravan or stored and let them know how many canisters there are.
Covering It Up: There are lots of products available that claim to keep your static caravan clean, dry and safe from weather related damage whilst it is not in use. Though some of these products do, undoubtedly, do what they say promise to do – most simply won’t make any difference to the health of your caravan. Plus, it’s generally considered to be healthier to let your caravan breathe. A cover will only encourage moisture and mould, so let your property breathe whilst you’re away.
Author Bio: Harry Friend is an experienced caravanner and caravan enthusiast. For top quality advice for caravan owners, he recommends NACO Services. Harry can usually be found tinkering with his static or chatting with fellow caravanners.