Practical Caravan


Caravan covers come in three main styles



Towing covers are specifical­ly designed to protect the front of your caravan while you are out on the road.

They are often padded, and will shield your front panel and window from stone chips, road debris damage and general dirt and mud that can be thrown up by the tow car’s wheels.

The best covers are custom-made for a specific van and might feature zippable access to the window and the gas locker.

This design is an excellent solution for one-night stopovers on longer journeys, because you can quickly unzip and fold down the window section, letting light into the van for the duration of your stop.

You then just zip it back up when you are ready to tow, eliminatin­g the need to remove and refit the entire cover.

Often, these designs will incorporat­e detailing to allow for access to the grab handles and ensure road lights/reflectors are visible when driving.

Some universal-fit designs are provided with built-in LED lights, and many have reflective panels, too.

Towing covers should always be fitted to clean vans, to avoid abrasion, which damages panel and window surfaces.

Budget, universal-fit towing covers start from as little as £14.99 on ebay. These basic models are available in black or grey, and fix into the awning rail at each side with adjustable straps.

A securing strap loops around the van’s A-frame, and they feature reflective strips and two integral LED lights.

For about £60, Royal makes the W369 premium universal towing cover, which scores a solid 4.5 stars, with 80% of reviewers giving it the full five stars.

It’s designed for caravans measuring 215-250cm wide, and features a soft inner lining to protect your van’s finish. It’s also breathable and features reflective strips and two LED lights.

Premium cover maker Specialise­d Covers has a universal-fit towing cover for caravans up to 2.50m wide, priced at £149. Tow Pro Universal is manufactur­ed in Yorkshire and is Ncc-verified. It’s ideal for many pre-2012 models, where tailored options might not be available, and comes with adjustable side straps, plus A-frame and corner-steady fasteners.

Specialise­d Covers’ Tow Pro series also features Lite (£199), Pro (£199),

Pro+ (£299) and Elite (£399) versions. These covers are all precisely tailor-made to fit your caravan, so they are correctly contoured and provide apertures for the tourer’s own lights.

The Elite is made with 8mm foam body armour, offering the ultimate protection for your tourer’s front panel.

Protec Covers offers its Tailored

Towing Jacket for £245. Made to your van’s exact specificat­ion, it’s easy to fit and is available in black, blue, green and grey. Grab handle access is a £20 add-on, and the design features clear windows for your lights, plus a central zip to allow speedy locker access and for the front window to be easily uncovered.

Hundreds of different designs are available, dating back to 2006 tourers.


These covers come in various styles, and are designed to keep the caravan roof clean while it’s being stored.

They are a cost-effective alternativ­e to full covers. Also, because the caravan’s two sides remain uncovered, they allow easy access if, for example, you use a van parked on your drive as occasional extra accommodat­ion.

The cheapest options are little more than roof tarpaulins, which are secured in place with straps; but spend a bit more and you’ll get a universal-fit cover that stretches all the way from the front panel, up and over the roof and down the back panel. This offers excellent protection from sap and bird droppings when the van is parked under trees, and from the elements, and muck or grime in general.

Budget roof covers simply attach with long straps. Maypole’s reasonably priced Caravan Top Protective Cover (MP9261) is made from 150-denier, waterproof polyester and costs from £58 to £85, depending on size. It has an easy-clean silver polyuretha­ne exterior, which helps to reflect UV and heat.

The more bespoke designs, such as the tailor-made ones from Specialise­d Covers, slide into the awning rail on either side, creating a tight and secure fit that won’t abrade the caravan panel finish with repeated flapping in strong winds.

Specialise­d Covers’ roof cover (from £399) is custom-made for each make and model of tourer, and if you have any extra roof furniture (for example, a satellite dish or air-conditioni­ng unit), that can be incorporat­ed into the design, too. They’re available in grey, blue or green.

If you use a roof-mounted solar panel to keep leisure batteries charged and the alarm and tracker powered in storage, transparen­t panels can be added to the cover for an additional £75.


This style of cover is the best option for medium- and long-term storage, because it will protect the entire caravan. A full cover typically takes about 20 minutes to fit, but it will provide the best 360° protection and security for your tourer.

The better-quality ones, from the likes of Protec and Specialise­d Covers, are made from thick, durable materials that are waterproof and breathable. The latter is important – it means moisture can escape from under the cover, minimising risk of accelerate­d corrosion or oxidation.

Good-quality universal-fit full covers are available. The Crusader Cover Pro is just one example. It features a four-ply material and is available in a range of sizes, 12-25ft long and up to 7ft 7in wide. The RRP is £140, but shop around, as there are great deals to be had online.

Although they are obviously more expensive, you should consider buying a made-to-measure cover for your tourer. These are designed to fit your caravan’s proportion­s exactly, so there’s no excess fabric flailing in the wind, slowly rubbing the finish off your panels. They also come with door, locker and grab handle access (in all the right places!), and they are custom-made to accommodat­e any roof furniture, such as aerials and solar panels. Prices start at £399 from Specialise­d Covers, and £349 from Protec.

Full covers are large, so they do tend to be quite heavy. You’ll ideally need two people to fit them, one on each side.

These covers fix in place with adjustable straps, which typically go around the A-frame and the corner steadies, and right under the van. Once in position, they ain’t going anywhere!

As these covers don’t reach the ground, you might want to purchase separate wheel covers, to protect your rims from splashing dirt and your tyres from damaging UV light. Expect to pay from £20 for a pair of wheel covers.

Some of the better full-cover designs now feature a ‘quick-release’ back panel, which makes fitting and removing the cover a little easier. The panel fixes in place with hook-and-loop strips.

With Protec, they are fitted as standard, while Specialise­d Covers charges a £ 45 premium to have this factored into your bespoke cover design.

Both of these custom cover makers have hundreds of caravan models listed on their systems, with precise dimensions, window and door positions, and so on. You just need to add any after-market additions to your spec sheet.

As with all products, you really do get what you pay for with a caravan cover.

Very cheap options are available from the likes of ebay, and they might suffice, but if you’ve spent large amounts of your hard-earned on a tourer, wouldn’t it be sensible to make a relatively small extra investment in a high-quality, long-lasting cover to protect it?


Hydrostati­c head is the scientific gauge of material ‘ waterproof­ing’. Just imagine a column of water sitting on a piece of material – its height in millimetre­s, before any water seeps through the fabric, is used as the measure of how waterproof that material is.

Opinions vary somewhat as to what is truly ‘waterproof’. The MOD, for example, says that it’s under 1000mm, while some outdoor clothing manufactur­ers stipulate 4000mm (that’s 4m of water!).

Specialise­d Covers uses a material that provides a hydrostati­c head of 2500mm, while Protec says 1000mm is more than enough for the worst UK weather.

Of course, a large area of fabric might well be waterproof, but the minute you stitch two panels together, you introduce potential weak spots along all the seams. The best covers feature minimal seaming, both to maximise the waterproof­ing and minimise the chance of any weak seam ripping. In the case of Protec, its stitching is described as “twin-needle, lap seamed with bonded-nylon thread” for added strength and durability.


The best covers feature a breathable membrane layer, which allows vapours to escape through the fabric.

This eliminates ‘sweating’ under the cover, preventing damp, mildew and mould. Of course, some heat is needed to make moisture vaporise. That’s not a problem in spring and summer, but even in winter, a dark cover might absorb enough heat on a sunny day to cause evaporatio­n.

As with most things in caravannin­g, there is a compromise. In this case, it’s between waterproof­ing and breathabil­ity – as one increases, the other declines.

Soft liner

Plastic and painted caravan finishes can easily lose their shiny appearance to the constant abrasion of a loose-fitting cover flapping in the wind. It therefore makes sense for the inner surface of the cover to be soft, to minimise this effect.

The best manufactur­ers have factored this in, with Specialise­d Covers saying its soft inner lining features the same technology as a baby’s nappy!

Strength and durability

Cover material needs tensile strength, plus elongation and tear resistance. This imbues it with the properties needed to do its job effectivel­y for years. Investing in a better ( but more expensive) caravan cover will pay dividends in the long term.

‘If you’ve spent large amounts of your hard-earned on a tourer, wouldn’t it be sensible to make a relatively small extra investment in a cover?’

‘If you have a solar panel, air-con unit or satellite dish fitted to your van, you’ll need a custom cover’


Custom-made covers are much better than universal ones, and almost always easier to use on your caravan.

In one Trustpilot review, a purchaser complains that they don’t know what to do with the “spare foot of fabric, flapping around” on their universal-fit cover!

If budget dictates the cheaper option, take your time to find the best fit.

Bespoke equipment

If you have a solar panel, air-con unit or satellite dish fitted to your van, you’ll need a custom cover to accommodat­e them. Protec and Specialise­d Covers will assist you through the process.


While you obviously don’t want your cover loosely flapping around, some airflow under and around the van could help to facilitate the evaporatio­n process.


If you have to gain access to your tourer’s interior while it’s in storage – perhaps for cleaning or maintenanc­e purposes – you will need a caravan cover that is fitted with a quick-release door flap, to allow for easy entrance and exit. The better

manufactur­ers build these into their covers as a matter of course, and they’re secured with zips or hook-and-loop tape.


For any full cover worthy of putting on your tourer, you’re looking at spending somewhere between £100 and £500 (if you purchase all of the extras).

Delivery time

Currently, it looks like you’ll be waiting anything from two to 12 weeks for a custom-made cover to be manufactur­ed. You should get a universal cover from an online store in a week or less.


Almost all products will have a one-year warranty, but take care if your cover is being imported from abroad.

Covers made by the two main British firms typically have a one-year warranty for manufactur­ing, and a three-year warranty on the fabric.

Buy British

Caravan covers are one area where the UK excels, so why not buy a British-built cover from the likes of Specialise­d Covers or Protec? Both of these firms have great reputation­s and product lines, so check out their websites to make your choice.

 ?? ?? Specialise­d Covers Tow Pro+ is tailor-made for your van…
Specialise­d Covers Tow Pro+ is tailor-made for your van…
 ?? ?? … and contoured with easy access to the grab handles and apertures for the lights
… and contoured with easy access to the grab handles and apertures for the lights
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Full covers, such as this one from Protec, need two people to fit them
Full covers, such as this one from Protec, need two people to fit them
 ?? ?? A bespoke roof cover from Specialise­d Covers
A bespoke roof cover from Specialise­d Covers
 ?? ?? The expert team at Specialise­d Covers constructi­ng their customised covers
The expert team at Specialise­d Covers constructi­ng their customised covers
 ?? ?? High-quality covers such as those from Specialise­d Covers are made with minimal seaming
High-quality covers such as those from Specialise­d Covers are made with minimal seaming
 ?? ?? Protec covers offer 1000mm hydrostati­c head
Protec covers offer 1000mm hydrostati­c head
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? The design team at Specialise­d Covers use an extensive database of specificat­ions…
The design team at Specialise­d Covers use an extensive database of specificat­ions…
 ?? ?? … ensuring a snug fit for their customised covers
… ensuring a snug fit for their customised covers

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