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MOTORHOME STORAGE (Author = Grizzly

There are basically 2 places to keep your motorhome between trips:

At home
Not at home.

There are pros and cons in both places.

If kept at home then there is the perception that all passing thieves know that you're not at home because your van has gone. You can however keep your van on permanent hookup which is vital if you have problems with a flattening battery. This can be a problem with some of the newer vans. It is also useful to be able to put the fridge on some time before a trip and the van is always there for mods to be made and checks to be done.

When it is not stored at home it is not handy when you want to tinker with it and planning any trip away is complicated by having to take things to the van and perhaps, bring your car home when you have done so. It's not so easy to be spontaneous and take off after work on Friday.

At Home:

This is great if the van fits neatly on your drive or in a corner of your garden. In some case however, especially where the van is parked on the road, there is the potential for complaints from neighbours.
Some estates have a covenant which applies and specifically prohibits parking your van on the road or even your drive.

There is some doubt as to whether the covenant can be applied. It was usually taken out by the builders, or whoever marketed the estate in the first place and was designed to keep it looking neat and uncluttered while houses were still unsold. When the builders have left who is to enforce the covenant and prosecute you ? Other people on the estate are unlikely to do so as this will be expensive.

How a motorhome is classified in law seems to be a bit of a grey area and the police will not normally intervene unless it is causing an obstruction or there has been violence . That said, most people do not want to be on unfriendly terms with neighbours and there is always the chance of
damage to your van if it is causing friction.

You might want to consider additional security features eg wheel clamps, steering wheel clamps and a tracker system or possibly gates or concrete bollards to your property if possible.

Not at home:

It is worth checking out the following features when looking round for storage:

Security and access.

Can you park your van if you arrive back from a trip late on a Sunday evening ?
What provision is made to ensure that only owners have access to the site ?
Can you work on your van on the site ? Visit at times that suit you ?

Electrical hook ups ?

The latter can be important if you have concerns about your battery flattening.
Some people like to keep a small heater or dehumidifier going over winter.

Is there a service point ?

Not vital but it is one less thing to do before you come back to the storage site if you can empty your cassette and dump dirty water and excess fresh water.

Can you leave your car at the site when the van is not there ?

This could save you a lot of miles and hassle when you are tired after a trip.

Your insurance company will ask where the van is normally kept and a safe, secure storage site might well bring a reduction in your premium.

Unless you have a very good friend close by you have 3 choices for storage away from home:

At a CASSOA storage place
At a local farm or similar
In a Club site storage area.

CASSOA sites: The Caravan Storage Site Owners' Association.

Their stated aims are:
• To act as a nationally recognised body providing an official register of safe and secure storage sites.
• To help site owners improve their security and services, to prevent caravan crime.
• To provide a strong lobbying voice to influence the views of people who make a difference in caravanning.
• To reassure caravan owner's they can be confident that every CaSSOA site has taken reasonable measures to protect the stored caravans.

You can search for a site near to you on their website:

http://www.cassoa.co.uk/

Club Sites

The Camping and Caravanning Club and the Caravan Club both have some storage compounds on their main sites. These are always in a locked, fenced area but there is not always a presence on site in the off season and access to your van might well be limited. They do not like you to leave your alarm activated (unless you are prepared to leave the keys) for obvious reasons. There are various rules about working on your van in the storage compound.

http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/

Farm sites

These are farms which are seeking to make a little more money. Provisions for safety vary and this is (usually) reflected in the price.

Opinions vary as to whether it is better to go for undercover storage or out in the open. The former usually costs more. Similarly there are mixed views on whether the van should have a removable cover. Pros seem to be that you spend less time scrubbing off bird droppings and green moss but cons that there is a possibility of chafing and damage, the cover can be a nuisance and take some time to remove and replace and this is usually not a one person job. Whatever you use to cover the van- if you do- it should be breathable to prevent condensation inside the van.

Most people leave everything in their van between trips and seem to suffer no problems. You should leave lockers and washroom doors open to ensure good ventilation, empty all the water ( including the water heater and toilet reservoir) in winter and stack upholstery to allow ventilation in the under bed lockers. Leave the fridge and freezer door open. If you leave food make sure it is in plastic or metal containers.

There have been discussions about mouse damage on farm sites especially and you might like to consider traps or more ingenious ways to prevent their access - bearing in mind they would have to get in via the wheels as being the only part touching the ground.

Many people fit additional security to a stored motorhome- eg wheel clamps and steering lock bars.
 
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