Parts & Accessories

Tour Don’t Store: Out-of-Season Travel Explained

29th February 2024 | Lee Davey
Putting your caravan, motorhome, or campervan into storage can be heartbreaking, especially if it’s likely to be out of action for a lengthy period, so why not use it year-round? If I rewind to the time we purchased our first caravan, my mind wasn’t filled with images of out-of-season travel, but because it's so easy, our touring season extended year-on-year.

I’m not a fan of spending money unnecessarily, so bagging a holiday bargain when storage yards are at their fullest makes perfect sense. If you’d like to maximise your return on investment by exploring the UK and beyond in the low to mid seasons, here are ten tips to help you enjoy travel outside peak periods.

1. Whatever the weather

Leisure vehicles caravans, motorhomes, or campervans – are designed to be used in seriously cold temperatures. Even when travelling in spring or autumn, it’s reassuring to know that they are designed to keep you warm, whatever the weather. The recent Bailey cold chamber article is worth reading if you’re unsure how low these temperatures can go.

Testing the Bailey Alora 69-4S motorhome to the limits in temperatures as low as -20°C in the Italian Dolomites

2. UK Club sites

The Camping and Caravanning Club has 16 sites that stay open throughout the year, with an additional five benefitting from extended opening beyond the traditional March-October/early November period. The Caravan and Motorhome Club has 48 club sites that open year-round. In addition, a percentage of CL and CS sites (privately owned 5-pitch sites accessible to club members) are also open. For example, members of The Camping and Caravanning Club have 500 CS sites to choose from in winter.

Bailey caravan on Certificated Site

3. Lower site fees

Club sites and caravan parks often reduce rates during low-season and mid-season to attract visitors. Using a recent booking with The Caravan and Motorhome Club as an example, low-season per-night fees at Cadeside were £22.70 for two people. That was a hardstanding awning pitch with an electric hook-up.

4. Reduced travel costs

Should you find yourself drawn to warmer European weather during the cooler months, significant savings can be had when booking a crossing with Eurotunnel or a ferry operator such as Brittany Ferries. I always price-check crossings before booking, but I’ve yet to beat prices from The Caravan and Motorhome Club or The Camping and Caravanning Club. The ports are much quieter, too.

5. Have you heard of ACSI?

It’s a great way to save money on pitch fees if you plan to explore Europe outside of peak periods. Visit their website for further details.

Boarding the ferry in Dover

6. Quieter attractions and destinations

Popular tourist attractions are often less crowded, and you may find that you have a beach or beauty spot to yourself. Not a fan of long queues? Low-season travel could be for you.

7. Dog-friendly destinations

A greater number of beaches allow dogs outside of peak periods, with many having a dog-friendly pub, café, or restaurant nearby. Whatever type of pet you choose to travel with, it’s their holiday too.

8. Increased availability

Have you tried to book a specific site umpteen times only to find it full on each occasion? If the site opens year-round or during the low/mid seasons, it could be the perfect time to secure a booking.

touring off-season offers the perfect opportunity to secure a booking at busier sites

9. Try something new

If the weather is challenging, why not try something different? The temperature within Cheddar Caves is a constant 12°C year-round, making it perfect for wintry trips. If you are drawn to the coast in summer, a winter-grade wetsuit can make all the difference, extending your water sports window.

10. Do you use an Aquaroll and Wastemaster?

Keep the Aquaroll an inch or two off the ground and insulate with a dedicated cover or thick jacket. If using a jacket, ensure it zips up around the Aquaroll and run the inlet pipe through one of the arms. Be sure to empty the Wastemaster before bed if freezing temperatures are forecast.

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