The recent flooding in Ireland and the UK has unfortunately caused extensive damage to caravans and camping sites. Reports of caravans being washed away or damaged beyond repair are common, and so to help we’ve listed essential steps you can take to protect your caravan, whether it’s static or touring.
1. Higher Ground
One of the easiest ways to minimise flood damage to your caravan is to locate them on higher ground. If you’re keeping yours in a caravan park or storage site, choose one high above sea level and a safe distance from any rivers so it’s less likely to get flooded. Make sure to choose the highest possible ground in the site, with a clear path to the exit in case evacuation becomes necessary.
Unfortunately some of us aren’t able to move our static caravans, and so investing in axle stands is a good alternative. These raise your caravan above ground level by about 0.5 metres, preventing flood water from reaching the interior. Plus, this allows the wheels to be removed and stored elsewhere if necessary, which extends their life time by protecting them from sunlight, debris in the water, and fuel/oil spillages.
3. Flotation Devices
Another option is a flotation device, which are buoyant steel-enclosed polystyrene blocks that float your caravan on up to 11 feet of water. Once the water subsides, they return to the original position, as long as you’ve used an anchor to stop your home floating away with the flood. However, these are a slightly more pricy option, and cost around €3500 from reputable companies such as Marche Industries.
4. Early warning
If you have sufficient warning of a flood, the best option is to move your caravan or tent away from any sites that expect flooding. If it’s an established campground, the manager should be able to warn you if it has flooded from heavy rains in the past. Or, you can check whether your area has been previously affected on floods.ie, which keeps a record of floods nationwide.
5. Flood Plan
Before you choose a site, you should ask if they have a flood plan in place. This should include any emergency contact numbers and list actions which residents should take during a flood to keep their caravans safe. Most will also recommend ways to protect your belongings, as well as provide the best possible routes to take if you’re evacuating your caravan or tent.
6. Caravan Insurance
Whether you own a static or touring caravan, it’s advised you take out caravan insurance to protect your investment. While we hope you don’t need to use it, having a comprehensive policy makes sure any damage that does occur can be repaired at minimal financial loss to you. Plus, it gives you invaluable peace of mind during bad weather.
7. Protective measures
Many caravan parks will also provide protective equipment along with a flood plan. They most commonly offer sandbags, pallets and emergency power generators to residents who require them. However, as they are not legally required to provide these, you should enquire of their availability before you pick a site to stay in.