Thinking of holidaying around Ireland and Europe this year but want to bring the kitchen sink with you? Here are some things to consider when looking at a Campervan trip as your next holiday adventure.
Whether the vehicle is modified to a campervan or is manufactured will have an impact on your insurance and whether you can get cover for that vehicle or not. A manufactured campervan means it is constructed as a camper by the vehicle manufacturer and as such should meet standard criteria for insurers. If your vehicle is converted to Campervan, i.e. it is modified from a standard commercial van to a campervan; it will require an independent engineer’s report and a new CVRT test obtained since conversion. This is an additional cost that it is worth considering when purchasing if the vehicle does not already have a report.
When searching for an insurance policy, it is important that the policy is both affordable for you financially and suitable for the scope of cover you require. Comprehensive policies are reasonably priced on the basis that the camper is not your main vehicle and proof of alternative insurance can be provided to your insurer. If this is not the case, you may see your premiums double in price or sometimes no quote offered at all.
Policy benefits you should look for in your policy are Breakdown Assist and Towing. Whilst most policies include these automatically, it is important to double check that cover is in place, not only in Ireland but also in the country/countries you are travelling to or through. Travelling abroad can be costly without having to consider the hassle of finding a breakdown service in a foreign country and additionally the cost of the service and potential towing, if necessary.
Review the countries automatically covered by your policy before planning a trip. If your desired location is not covered, check with your insurer to see if this can be extended. Remember, you need to include the countries you will travel through to get to your destination. Additionally, each insurer has different allowance for how long they will extend cover outside of Ireland. Bear this in mind when seeking insurance, as your limit may be 30 days in one renewal period or for some there may be no limit at all.
Once you have decided on a destination, consider if you will be towing any sort of trailer behind your camper. For some, this may be the likes of a storage trailer to facilitate bringing additional items, particularly if you travel with a lot of equipment or with larger numbers of people. You may consider the likes of a car trailer to bring a second vehicle instead of relying solely on your camper. Whatever you decide to tow, you need to ensure the towing capacity of your camper is suitable for the trailer when laden. If you are not sure what your vehicles towing capacity is, this can often be found on the vehicle logbook.
Along with the towing capacity, your driving licence also needs to cover you for towing. Ensure any necessary tests have been be taken prior to your journey, and that your trailer licence is in date and will not expire whilst you are away. For more information, check the NDLS website here to see if your licence is suitable. https://www.ndls.ie/
Safety and Security
Safety and security are always paramount whether your vehicle is parked up at home not in use, or when you are out on the road exploring. Small steps can have a big impact on the security of your camper from both a break in or theft of your vehicle itself.
When you are not travelling the country or continent, this is the most likely time your camper could be stolen. Potential thieves can suss out your daily or weekly routine and find the most opportune time to steal your camper from your home. There are endless amount of security precautions you can take to ensure this does not happen so here are just few.
Parked up at Home
You may consider a storage facility for your vehicle. Although this adds to the cost of owning a camper, it may be the most secure solution for you. If a storage facility is not a viable option, there are many alternations you can make to your home to ensure your camper is secure.
Remove valuables from the vehicle whilst it is not in use, removing temptation from potential thieves.
Installing CCTV cameras and security lights around your home can be a deterrent. If you cannot afford the CCTV facility, erecting CCTV stickers and signs are disincentives-, no one will know you do not actually have them in place. Extra security measures such as lockable gates or storing your camper in your garage limit access and keep your vehicle out of sight from the main road. Installing driveway posts are cheap but very effective security feature and can protect your everyday vehicles from theft too.
Out on the road
When your vehicle is unattended, consider using several safety features to ensure it remains untouched until your return. Many of these can be used when the vehicle is both in storage/parked at home and on the road so they will always be useful. Preventing someone from breaking into your vehicle is the ideal scenario- secure door and window locks and campervan alarms can assist with this.
Keeping blinds and curtains closed and hiding valuables out of sight eliminates temptation for passing opportune thieves.
If someone does happen to break in, making sure the vehicle is not driveable is a necessity. Consider some of the below:
Locking swivel seats facing the wrong direction to deter anyone who does break in from driving it. Wheel clamps, steering locks and pedal locks keep the vehicle immobile.
Other things to keep in mind when on the move
- Keep your fuel tank topped up
- Check your home insurance before you leave and ensure all security precautions have been taken there
- If you travel by ferry, ensure ferry crossing are suitable for your vehicle height/size
- Check weather conditions frequently and review the roads ahead of time if you have not driven them before.
- Keep up to date with local road traffic updates – a GPS can be handy for this
At Hastings, we deal with a number of Campervan insurance providers. Don’t hesitate to call 0818-911-222 or send us an enquiry here and we will be back to you asap.