If you can get the time off, and you’re happy to brave the cold, winter is one of the best times of the year for a motorhome trip. The car parks are quiet, camping is usually very cheap and some parts of the UK and Europe are at their most spectacular in the heart of winter: the raging surf off the coast of North Cornwall, the foggy Yorkshire Moors and the snow-capped Nevis range are excellent examples!
However, winter driving can be treacherous, and the one thing that motorhome drivers can’t bank on is consistent weather at any time in the UK. Even if the forecast is bright and the sun is shining, you can never be sure you won’t encounter a bad patch of weather. So, if you’re travelling around the UK this winter, here are our top tips for avoiding the worst of the weather… Continue reading
After a potentially busy spring, summer and autumn for motorhome owners, it’s that time of year again when many of us will be putting our motorhomes into storage for the winter. However if your motorhome will be inactive over the winter it’s crucial to plan ahead to ensure that your vehicle is safe and secure from thieves and fully protected from the elements prior to the new season getting underway.
Over the last few weeks there have been a considerable number of stories in the news and on the blogs that have covered serious motorhome fires. All motorhome owners are well aware of the risks of fire in their motorhomes, but often the proper preventative measures fail or, on occasion, weren’t implemented properly in the first place.
If a motorhome fire causes damage to a vehicle then, usually, it’s a reasonably simple procedure to repair the motorhome and to claim damages on a motorhome insurance policy. Of course, motorhome fires do often cause serious and irreplaceable damage to personal affects, but in most circumstances the damage tends to be manageable.
However, there are incidents where fires have caused not just damage to motorhomes, but to third parties. These sorts of incidents can be massively expensive and incredibly dangerous and the wider danger of motorhome fires is not often appreciated.
Motorhome engines are very prone to causing serious damage to their surroundings. Petrol is, of course, extremely flammable and is a fire prolonged the engine is highly likely to explode. The flames from this can often spread to other vehicles or, worse, to the natural surroundings. Fires from motorhomes can and do very easily cause forest fires.
The sort of situations we’ve been seeing recently really highlight the importance of acting calmly and quickly with fire. When safe to do so, using small, personal fire extinguishers can really help to control the blaze and will prevent flames spreading. Equally, motorhome owners should not delay in calling the emergency services; the faster the call, the faster the response and the less likely it will be that external damage will be caused.
Fires in motorhomes are not as rare as you may think and all motorhome owners need to know how to deal with emergency response. Factoring in that risk is all a part of safe travel as a motorhome owner so make sure you’re prepared.
This time of year is always tough on motorhome owners; the days are short, the roads are in poor condition and, worst of all, it’s cold outside. However, it’s not just that it’s hard to get up in the mornings that makes difficult, it’s the added risk of things like damp and mould that can make winters challenging. As temperatures stay low, motorhome owners are being warned to keep an eye on their vehicles and ensure their doing their utmost to prevent damp and mould.
Damp arises when latent moisture in the motorhome is not allowed to escape. This becomes particularly prevalent around this time of year because many motorhome owners keep their vehicles in storage. Equally, the cold air doesn’t allow moisture to evaporate and water that has accumulated over the summer, perhaps from wet washing or a leaking fridge, stays around and can cause real damage to upholstery.
Of course, when things start getting a little warmer, that’s when mould is able to kick in. Damp and warm conditions are perfect for mould to start spreading and you’ll see it in areas like showers and above sinks first. Mould can be harmful not only to your motorhome, but also poses a danger to respiratory systems and can be particularly inflammatory to asthma sufferers.
Unfortunately, damp and mould are latent conditions that can be quite difficult to track over time and, thus, it’s often tough for motorhome owners to make a reasonable motorhome insurance claims for the associated damages. The only sure fire way to ensure your motorhome will be safe from damp or mould is to keep it well aired and to avoid taking on any more moisture than absolutely necessary.
Motorhome maintenance isn’t always easy to keep on top of during this time of year but the recent snap of cold weather is a good reason for motorhome owners to check that all is running well. Damp can be a lasting and expensive problem and not one to take lightly.
We like to moan about health and safety in this day and age, and sometimes it feels like there’s no end to the risk assessments and compliance reports that go around. However, there’s no question that the only reason that motorhome insurance providers are around is to protect against the possibility that an accident will happen.
Recently though, there have been a number of well documented incidents in the news involving caravans, motorhomes or campervans that have drawn attention to the dangers that are inherent with driving a motorhome in the UK. Because of this, manufacturers looking to put out 2013 models have been increasing the safety standards of their motorhomes.
Technology is becoming a big player in the motorhome market, and most new motorhomes come with improving features. Reversing is one of the major causes of motorhome accidents and a particularly prevalent reason for small claims and manufacturers have conquered this problem with rear-display videos mounted on dashboards. The solution has become considerably more popular over recent years and in 2013 we’re sure to see an influx of new models adopting increasingly more sophisticated variants on this technology.
One of the biggest worries on the roads at the moment is the relationship between traffic and cyclists. Unfortunately, incidents between motorhomes and cyclists are surprisingly common and the length of most motorhomes, combined with the sometimes tricky visibility, makes it a real possibility that you could collide with a cyclist.
Rear and side reversing sensors are rapidly becoming standard in motorhomes and are useful for moments when another road user gets just a little bit close. In 2013 we’re sure to see more manufacturers adopting this technology in an attempt to drive down the number of accidents that happen on the road every year.
Though we bemoan health and safety sometimes, the one place it really should be taken seriously is on the road. Consumers appreciate this and manufacturers are seeming to get it too – we’re sure to see some big progress in motorhome safety in 2013.
The danger posed by animals to motorhome enthusiasts has been brought into sharp focus by a report from a leading motor caravan insurance company.
Although most people would only associate danger to motorists from animals deriving from a trip abroad or to a safari park, in fact 8 motorists died last year on the roads of the UK due to an accident involving an animal, an increase of 800% on the previous year. The danger is particularly relevant to mobile home users as by far the most dangerous encounters are those that involve deer. And of course the animals are usually found in rural areas often frequented by campers exploring the countryside. Incredibly motor insurance experts reckon over 450 people are injured each year due to motor accidents involving deer and the carnage becomes apparent when the same experts calculate that 40,000 deer die each year after being hit by vehicles.
One would imagine that a mobile home would be big enough to protect its occupants from danger with collisions from animals but one must remember that deer, sheep and cattle are all big animals and a sudden impact with any of them will almost certainly cause a driver to veer across or off the road, and that is where the danger lies. In fact the AA, who collated the report, says they received 30 claims in November alone for incidents involving, deer, foxes, badgers and dogs. Of course dark mornings and dusk are the most dangerous times and the Highway Code requests the farming fraternity to desist from herding cattle or sheep after dusk.
It is not only big, heavy animals that can cause damage. Motorhome insurance providers have received claims in the past from drivers stung by wasps who then lost control of their vehicle, and the AA report includes the case of a lady driving an open topped sports car who suddenly found a squirrel in her passenger seat. The lady was so taken aback by her uninvited guest that she lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a roadside tree causing over £5,000 of damage and more than a little embarrassment!