Each winter the UK experiences cold and icy weather which can prove dangerous to motorhome owners, especially when they are on large open roads such as motorways. High winds and slippery surfaces are never welcomed by motorhome owners, and we have already seen a number of reports on motorhomes being involved in accidents while on the road.
At Comfort Insurance, we take the safety of our customers extremely seriously, which is why we often discuss how they can stay safe even during the winter months. Along with the increased likelihood of being involved in an accident, cold weather can often damage motorhomes or cause them to break down at the most inconvenient times. This is why all owners should have a back-up plan should they find themselves in a difficult situation, such as being stranded on the side of the road.
Unfortunately, if you break down in your motorhome due to the cold weather, one of the first things you need to do is get out of your vehicle and move away from the traffic. One of the biggest causes of accidents on motorways is moving vehicles knocking stationery ones parked on the side of the road, so it is of the utmost importance you get out of your vehicle straight away if you break down. There is also the danger that your motorhome could catch fire, which is why you need to move a safe distance away from it and never open the bonnet if you see smoke.
If you have a motorhome insurance policy with breakdown cover included, you would naturally call your provider straight away to let them know the situation, however it is also important you protect yourself from the cold. If you are visiting a rural area you need to remember they are often colder than cities and towns, and so you need to pack clothes and blankets to make sure you stay warm while waiting for a recovery truck. There are a number of winter emergency car kits that you can invest in too which contain blankets, torches, shovels, and tow ropes for if you get stuck in a ditch.
Even if your motorhome is parked up for the winter there are still dangers that owners need to be aware of. For example, it is essential you make sure you protect your motorhome from theft by installing an alarm and wheel lock, as well as parking it in a safe area. If you don’t have enough room to park your motorhome at your home then it is advisable to look into motorhome storage options available near you. Before you put your motorhome in storage it’s also important you shut everything down properly, otherwise your motorhome is left prone to fires.
There have already been reports of motorhomes catching alight while in storage, such as in a North Lanarkshire garage in Scotland where there were several explosions. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spent a number of hours putting the fire out and even had to set up an exclusion zone to protect the safety of those in the area. A spokeswoman for the Fire and Rescue Service said: “It was because of the gas tank involved that’s caused us all the problems. I believe there had been quite a lot of explosions because it was a 1,000 litre tank.”
“No persons were injured. One person was in (the vehicle) but they were safely rescued by the fire service. The fire, as I understand it, is now out, but they (the fire crews) are still at the scene. They’re just making sure that the fire is completely out. All persons are safe and well.” As shown by this story, motorhomes can pose a considerable danger if they catch alight, which is why making sure they are stored safely during the winter is so important. When you are preparing your motorhome for storage don’t forget to also remove any beddings, clothes and towels which could easily catch alight or cause mildew.
Whether you are planning a winter journey or are storing your motorhome over the colder months, keeping safe should be your number one priority. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and preparing your motorhome now will ensure it will last until next year.