Shrewsbury owners are being advised to put safety first by booking their touring caravans in for a service before they head off for weekend breaks and holidays this spring.
Award winning caravan sales company Salop Leisure, which has bases in Shrewsbury, Machynlleth and Stourport, is recommending a series of safety checks before touring caravans, which have been stored away during the winter months, are hitched up to vehicles. The company’s busy Approved Workshops in Shrewsbury are working flat out to service touring caravans in the run up to Easter.
The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia has also issued safety advice to caravan owners before they set off this spring.
“We are extremely concerned that some people put away their touring caravan in the winter and then expect to hitch it up to the back of their car in March without carrying out basic safety checks,” said Salop Leisure’s after sales manager Viv Jones.
“They often don’t give their caravans a thought until the day before they want to use it. Our advice is to start preparing for your caravan holiday well in advance.”
Over the years, the company has come across a range of common problems relating to the storage of touring caravans, including birds nesting in the wheel hub or towing hitch and spiders and other insects blocking gas and water pipes.
Tyres can also become unsafe if they are placed under specific pressure due to the way a caravan has been stored. Caravan tyres may not wear the same as those on a car but cracks can sometimes appear between the treads, causing potential problems during towing.
Another frequent problem is the owner forgetting to change the caravan numberplate when he or she changes their car.
“They give so much pleasure to families but it’s essential that touring caravans are serviced every year before they are used,” said Mr Jones.
“We service thousands of caravans at our Shrewsbury sales centre, which is open seven days a week, and our staff are always on hand to offer advice.”
Anna Higgins, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia, said: “Maintaining your caravan and ensuring it is roadworthy before you set out this spring is essential and will help keep you, your passengers and other motorists safe on the roads.
“As well as maintaining and servicing your caravan, it’s a good time to check that you have the right licence to tow and your vehicle is safe, legal and comfortable to tow the caravan. You can find out more at www.caravanclub.co.uk
“Caravan owners are also encouraged to stay safe on the roads by driving with extra caution. Never exceed the speed limit for towed vehicles, ensure you fit towing mirrors to allow good visibility down both sides of the caravan and have consideration for other road users.
For example, if you are driving on single carriageway roads and become aware that other vehicles are stacking up behind you, find a safe place to pull off the road and allow them to pass safely.”
Salop Leisure is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of caravan holiday homes, touring caravans and motorhomes. The Approved Workshop scheme is supported by The Caravan Club, The Camping and Caravanning Club, the National Caravan Council and caravan and motorhome manufacturers.
The scheme is designed to give customers confidence that their caravans and motorhomes are being serviced by professionals, who are independently assessed in the workshop for their work and customer service against an industry wide code of practice.
Anyone needing advice can contact Salop Leisure on 01743 282400.
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