The question of whether you can or should store a caravan on your drive is typically something a new caravanner will be looking for the answer to. However, potentially you are paying to keep your caravan on a storage yard and find the fees expensive or the distance travelling to the storage yard just isn’t working out. Many of our guests to Horton Common store their caravan on their driveway as we do. While you may wish to store your caravan on your driveway you need to check a couple of things first. That includes discussing storing your caravan on your driveway with your insurance company. Your insurance provider may require that you invest in certain security measures before you can store a caravan on your driveway.
When you are paying a storage yard to keep your caravan safe and protected from thieves its their responsibility to do so. While storing your caravan on your drive may be an option for your that responsibility to secure and protect the caravan falls onto you. Hence, while when storing a caravan on your drive you will not be paying annual storage yard fees there may be additional costs to secure the caravan on your drive which your insurance company requires.
Introduction to Storing a Caravan on Your Driveway
As stated above, one of the most important parties to contact before you decide to store your caravan on your driveway is your insurance company. Ultimately, its their decision if they will continue to insure the caravan from damage/theft while it is stored on your drive at home. The insurance company will therefore likely stipulate various conditions on what security devices must be fitted to the caravan to meet the terms and conditions of the insurance agreement. One of the most popular caravan insurance providers is Caravan Guard. They have produced a handy and quick 3-minute video on how they expect their customers to secure their caravan while its stored on a driveway.
As stated in the video above, there are obvious benefits to storing a caravan on your driveway when it comes to cleaning your caravan, general caravan maintenance and loading up before you go on holiday. However, there are various checks and considerations you have to carry out first.
Is it Lawful to Store a Caravan on Your Driveway?
The answer to whether its lawful to store a caravan on your driveway will depend on your own personal circumstances and whether you own or rent the property. Check your property deeds for any covenants which may be stated restricting the storage of a caravan on the property. Likewise, if you do not own the property, check the terms of your rental agreement. While such restrictions are fairly rare on properties developed before this millennium, restrictions on driveway caravan storage are more common on new property developments.
Obstructing the Public Highway
While your property may not have any lawful restrictions on storing a caravan on your driveway, its very important that the totality of the caravan actually fits within your property boundary. If any part of the caravan overhangs the public highway/footpath the local authority does have the power to take action and force you to remove the caravan.
Consider Your Driveway Access and Caravan Manoverabiltiy
Let’s presume for this example that you can lawfully store your caravan on your driveway. Well, the next consideration is do you have sufficient space to actually get the caravan onto your property and manoeuvre it into position without a high risk of damage? Do you have sufficient clearance on the driveway entrance etc? In most instances, the best way to get a caravan on to a tight driveway and to manoeuvre it into position is to use a motor mover if you have one fitted.
If access and manoeuvring the caravan on your driveway is ‘tight’, I would strongly suggest using a motormover to manoeuvre the caravan into position: Image – Amazon
With the motormover, you can position a caravan precisely on your driveway into a position that would be practically impossible to do with a tow car. You could of course try and push the caravan. However, pushing a caravan up or down almost any slope while maintaining complete control is almost impossible. Our caravan is stored next to our garage and greenhouse with just a couple of inches from the guttering. To get our caravan into this position on our driveway by pushing it or with our tow car would be stressful, to say the least. However, by using the motor mover its simply a breeze.
There is, of course, another benefit of having space on your drive that only a motormover can position the caravan in. It also means that unless a potential thief has access to the motormover remote control its going to make it very difficult for the thieves to actually steal the caravan. Furthermore, as you do not need the hitch to manoeuvre the caravan into position you can face the caravan hitch away from your driveway entrance. Hence, again this would make it very difficult for a potential thief to manoeuvre the caravan to hitch it up to steal it.
Caravan and Driveway Security
Using a motormover to position a caravan in an awkward position on your driveway is an additional security benefit, but its not a proper security solution. As stated in the video above, your insurance company is likely to require a minimum of a suitable caravan hitch lock and caravan wheel lock. My two posts on those security devices are linked, so I’m not going to discuss their various security rating standards in this post. Just be aware not all security devices are made equally, and some will return a better insurance discount than others. Other devices such as door locks will not return any insurance discount.
The AL-KO premium hitch lock (black not red) is one of the strongest most secure hitch locks available and will likely return the best discount from your insurance provider: Image – Amazon
Now, there are corner steady leg locks. However, I interpret these as secondary security devices over the primary security devices of the hitch lock and the wheel lock. In other words, if your budget cannot stretch to all three security devices, personally, I would skip the leg locks and buy a better quality hitch lock or wheel lock.
Consider Installing a Security Bollard
As well as making sure your caravan has its own security devices fitted you could also consider installing additional security devices such as a security post/bollard. There are lots of different bollards available, and if you are reasonably competent at DIY its a pretty straight forward installation. Some security posts are removable where others such as the example below actually lower into the ground.
A typical example of a telescopic security posts which could be installed in front of your caravan when stored on your driveway at home: Image – Amazon
As seen in the Caravan Guard video above, some people choose to install two bollards instead of just one. The number and type of security post is a personal choice. However, as stated above, check if your insurance company will provide more of a discount for installing a particular make of security post or two bollards over one. The main point being, a security post will help to deter potential thieves. A thief is looking for the highest return with the lowest risk. If your caravan has a wheel lock, hitch lock and its positioned behind two security posts these are visual security measures. Hence, these help to deter a thief even trying to steal the caravan which is obviously the ideal scenario.
Caravan Security Lighting on Your Driveway
Caravan alarms and trackers are important caravan security measures. However, these security devices only really come into use after the caravan has been broken into or towed away. Your main objective when your caravan is stored on your driveway is to deter a potential thief from even considering trying to break into the caravan or tow it away. Hence, fitting a security light aimed at your caravan is not a bad idea. You could consider a light on a timer to come on in the evening. However, having a light on constantly could be pretty annoying and expensive. A better solution is to have a light with a PIR sensor attached. The PIR sensor will only turn on the light when it detects movement. Therefore, for the best security protection aim the PIR at the caravan hitch or door.
A typical example of a PIR security light with an LED bulb. LEDs last significantly longer than a traditional bulb and are also more suited to frequent on/off lighting: Image – Amazon
Consider CCTV To Watch Your Driveway
Even up until a few years back home CCTV setups were a collection of cameras wired up to the central recording unit. Hence, a CCTV camera would be good at recording what happened during the theft of the caravan, not a great deterrent at actually stopping the theft in the first place. Yes, you can put ‘warning CCTV in operation’ signs around your driveway. However, most people still want their driveway to feel apart of their home and not part of a security compound. With the abundance of smartphones and smart home apps however, there is a growing number of ‘smart’ home CCTV cameras. For instance, many homes today have Hive or Nest devices to remotely control their central heating with their smartphone. Well, you can now also get Hive and Nest home CCTV security cameras.
A typical example of a Nest ‘smart’ home CCTV camera: Image – Amazon
Where these new ‘smart’ CCTV cameras differ from tradition CCTV cameras and centra recording units is their ability to instantly communicate a potential thief. The cameras have motion sensors which will alert you of detected movement and you can then instantly view the live video footage on your phone. You can even listen to any noise and communicate through the camera. So yes, if there was a potential thief looking around your caravan its a lot safer for you to shout through the security camera for them to ‘get lost!’ instead of confronting them.
Conclusions on Storing a Caravan on Your Drive
Now, on first impressions, it would seem obvious that if you have space and the lawful right to store a caravan on your driveway at home that would be the cheaper option compared to a storage yard. And while yes that’s true over the life of the caravan, there will likely be some upfront costs. For instance, when you contact your insurance company they may increase your premium to store your caravan on your driveway at home compared to an approved storage yard. They may reduce your premium if you invest in additional/better security devices, but that is obviously an additional cost.
If you are going to store your caravan on your drive its worth considering additional security measures such as security posts, a PIR light and CCTV. Your insurance company may provide an additional discount for these security measures. However, that’s obviously not the only reason to fit them. First and foremost you want your caravan to bee seen by potential thieves as a high-risk scenario. In other words, it would not be worth the risk to even try and steal your caravan. Finally, while your caravan is on your drive make sure you have a mains supply adaptor. You can then keep the leisure battery topped up so the alarm/tracker will be working properly.
Thanks for reading, I hope the above has been useful as part of your considerations for storing your caravan on your driveway at home. I also hope in the near future you consider coming to visit us here at Horton Common caravan site. 🙂