Q: Is it compulsory to insure your caravan to take it on the road?
A: No, it is not a legal requirement to insure your caravan to take it on the road, but it is common sense to insure your caravan. You'll benefit from peace of mind and can claim on your insurance to replace defective parts on your caravan. Insurance policies for caravans are much cheaper than cars, especially for vintage caravans. The Caravan Club have offered caravan insurance since the 1950's and offer some of the best caravan insurance around. See the Credits page for links.
Q: I've noticed the sealant on my caravan has started to fall out in patches and want to reseal it. How can I go about this?
A: Firstly, you need to determine where your caravan needs resealing. Ideally, on every joint there should be sealant. This includes the two awning rails, the front panel and back panel and any side trims that hide joints. You should also find it around any roof fittings on your caravan (rooflights etc) and caravans with a 'boated' or 'lantern' roof will have extra areas on the roof to reseal. General household sealant MUST NOT be used as it is not designed for outdoor use and will allow water to pour into the woodwork of the caravan. A caravan grade 'mastic' type sealant should be used (very sticky stuff!) and you can buy this in a tube or in ready cut rolls. I'd personally recommend using the tube as it is easier to apply.
Firstly, start with the awning rails. Remove any rubber inserts as these hide screws to attach the awning rail to the caravan. The awning rail should remove (possibly in one or in sections) and will reveal the old sealant. Take care not to bend the awning rail in any way. This old sealant needs to be removed using solvents such as Turps. You can then apply the new sealant in lieu of the old. Apply it thoroughly but not excessively as this is more to have to clean up. You can then re-attach the awning rail using new screws and re-insert the rubber trim (you can replace it for a few £'s to freshen the exterior up). If your caravan has a GRP front or rear panel, this will need resealing but the awning rail may have actually covered the joint. You then should re-seal roof mounted fixtures such as rooflights and TV aerials. These items can be removed easily and the sealant applied just as you did for the awning rail joints. I would recommend tightening the screws of any part of the caravan that you decide to reseal (awning rail, rooflight etc...) and allow the sealant to ooze out. Clean this off and repeat the process again after 24-48 hours as the sealant settles. It is advisory to reseal your caravan every 5 years for maximum protection against water ingress.
Q: I wish to purchase a full size awning for my caravan. How do I know what size to buy?
A: You have to measure the awning rail on one side, including the distance between the caravan and the ground. You can use a tape measure, but something like string may be easier and you can measure it afterwards. You should need around 10 meters for an average caravan. See the diagram below; the red line is the line that you measure:
Q: Do caravans have to pass an MOT like cars?
A: No they don't have any form of certificate to prove roadworthiness. It is recommended that you have your caravan serviced annually by either a caravan dealer of you can do it yourself (See Servicing page). This ensures that your caravan is safe to take on the road and use. A service is not a legal requirement or compulsory in any way (unless to satisfy a new caravan's warranty) but is highly recommended by the National Caravan Council and similar organisations.