Walking in Wales? Considerations for campervanning in the mountains
From the spectacular Offa’s Dyke Path to the world’s only uninterrupted trail along an entire national coast, Wales certainly has the potential for an unforgettable walking holiday. When it comes to sampling all of this, there are few better ways to do so than with your campervan.
From essential preparation through to ways to stay safe, here’s what you need to know for your campervanning walking holiday in Wales to go off without a hitch.
Preparations and insurance
If there’s one thing that Wales isn’t short of, it’s sheer variety of landscapes. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Trail is a fine example: you can expect windswept beaches, bustling harbour villages, ancient monuments and dramatic uplands — sometimes all within a day’s walk.
Depending on your itinerary, it’s likely that your campervan will experience its fair share of these landscapes too. Campervans are generally pretty hardy units; however, just be aware that a buildup of mud, chips to galvanised component surfaces, and salty sea air can all increase the chances of corrosion. To that end, it helps to get the right kind of cover, and Club Care Insurance will give you a quote no matter the make/model of your campervan, up to 30 years old (online only; if you have an older campervan, please call us as we'll be able to provide a quote over the phone).
Additionally, this may also be the ideal time to fit any safety customisations you might be considering; even a tyre in A1 condition can be struck by a blowout. Consequently, Tyron Safety Bands come highly recommended when you're navigating rough terrain – often a feature of the Welsh landscape. If a tyre blows, the bands lock the tyre onto the wheel, allowing you to stay in control of the vehicle for a short but vitally important period of time until you can bring it to a safe stop. Likewise, with a Tyrepal monitoring device, you get a vital early warning of any sudden loss of pressure. As well as providing extra reassurance, these additions to your campervan can help save money on your premium: each one attracts a 5% policy discount through Club Care.
Spending a week on a wet field by the coast can soon take its toll, so check the underbody components for signs of rust before and after your holiday. Remain vigilant by removing any dirt or silt buildup as soon as you can. It’s also worth considering a professional rustproofing treatment to keep wear and tear at bay — especially if this is going to be one of many such trips.
Traversing rough and hilly terrain
Before you set off, go through your essential checks: ensure the leisure battery is ticking over as it should, check the habitation features are operating properly, see that appliances have been serviced according to schedule, and any other problems have been fixed before you set off.
For your Wales trip, you’re likely to encounter various differing terrains: plenty of country lanes, inclines, perhaps even rough tracks. As such, the tyres require special consideration so while you’re checking the tyre pressures, you can also visually inspect them for signs of sidewall cracking, bulges and deep cuts and ensure you replace them as necessary. Mountain drives make for spectacular scenery; however, beware of scree and rocky surfaces. These aren’t the kinds of journey where you want anything less than optimum grip, so be sure to check the tread depth levels.
Finally, don’t neglect to secure your load. Following the course of the road from valley to mountain increases the chances of loose items getting displaced. Make sure all items are secured and aim for even distribution of weight — put heavy items on the floor of the habitation area and other items spread evenly throughout. This also helps to avoid putting too much pressure on your tyres when tackling those hills.
Security and comfort
When it’s time to hike, insurance cover for the actual campervan — not to mention up to £5,000 of personal effects — enables you to head for the hills with confidence. The surroundings might be idyllic but don’t let down your guard when it comes to securing your property. It’s still vital to ensure valuables are well out of sight and that the van is locked and alarmed. A tracking system significantly increases the chance of your van being identified and brought back to you safely in the event of theft.
After a day on the trail, it’s time to relax; this is where having an awning proves its worth. With the front section open, it’s perfect for eating while enjoying the sunset. If you are thinking of investing in a new one before your trip, it’s also worth knowing that our Campervan Insurance includes awnings cover for up to £2,000.