How to rainproof your caravan holiday

Do not let a few drops of water ruin your van this winter

By Emma Dodd

With the caravanning season being extended this year, the chances are you’ll have a bit more rain to contend with. But fear not, with a little preparation and the right equipment, you can continue to enjoy your van throughout autumn and experience the colourful spectacle nature puts on for the season.

Driving in the rain

The first thing you need to do is get to your caravan site, which could mean driving in the rain. Make sure the tyre treads on both your car and caravan are in good condition and pressures are at their optimum level, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you’re expecting a lot of rain on the journey, try to plan a route that will not include areas of deep standing water. Drive carefully, reducing your speed and acceleration, as well as taking increased braking distances and cornering speeds into account.

Pack blocks, mats and ropes

Wet weather can result in a quagmire on your pitch, which can have serious implications when it comes to leaving. Take a selection of wooden blocks, track mats and ropes with you, which can all be deployed to stop your caravan’s steadies sinking into the mud, getting your tow car onto firmer ground or pulling your van out of a stuck situation.

Dry quarantine your caravan

You want to keep your caravan as a completely dry space, so all wet weather gear should be removed in the awning and stowed there. Bring plastic boxes to put shoes and wet coats into so they’re not lying around and making other things wet. Your awning should also reduce the chances of rain blowing into your van when you’re coming and going.

Bring all your wet weather gear

Alfred Wainwright famously wrote: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” back in 1973 and things haven’t changed much since then. It still makes good sense to bring raincoats, overtrousers, wellies and waterproof accessories to be completely unstoppable on your caravan holiday. Stomping about in the rain can be lots of fun if you’re properly protected.

Ramp up the hygge

Keeping morale up is an important part of a rainy caravan trip, so make sure you’ve got lots of snuggly blankets, hot chocolate and warm lighting in your van. Sitting inside, listening to the rain drumming on the roof when you’re all cosy, especially after a wet day outside, is very satisfying and a great way to recharge for the following day.
Keep yourself entertained

Bring all the materials you need to keep yourself and the family entertained inside your van when it really looks too miserable to venture outside. From playing cards together to quietly reading, a caravan stay is a great opportunity to enjoy simpler activities away from all the pressures you would usually have at home.

William Coleman of CaravanTimes is no stranger to caravan holidays in the rain. He has shared his top tips: “Caravanning in the rain does not mean you have to be stuck in the van. If you have a good awning, you double your floor space and provide yourself with an area to remove wet and muddy clothing before getting in the van.

“Another important aspect to check is water ingress after long periods of storage. Be particularly mindful of this if you haven’t used your caravan in lockdown. You don’t want to find out you’ve got a leak once you’re sleeping in your van! Failing to check can lead to a lot of problems down the road.”