News and Events

White Arches Winter Touring Tips

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It’s that time of year again but colder weather doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your caravan or motorhome. With efficient heating systems, you can enjoy your vehicle all the year round.

In this article, we’ll go over the main benefits of winter touring and give you some top tips on how to get the most out of your caravan / motorhome and most importantly, stay safe.

One great benefit is that most campsites will be open for much longer and it will also be much quieter compared to summer times. The prices will be much more reasonable as well. Another benefit is that using your caravan or motorhome more regularly will help to reduce any dampness and generally maintain a good running order.

Wherever you’re planning to go for a winter getaway, White Arches have some top tips on how to keep warm and have a hassle-free journey.

Winter touring

  • Preparation: The first thing that you need to ensure is that you are prepared to drive and tow in all weather conditions – be it snow, heavy winds or rain.
  • Speed: Keep an eye on your speed whilst driving, ice patches on the roads or heavy rainfall can make roads very dangerous, so it’s crucial to give yourself enough time and distance to brake.
  • Tyres: Check your tyre tread and pressure before setting off and in some cases it may be worth fitting winter tyres to your motorhome or caravan. In some countries, you may be required to have snow chains on, so always check the local legal requirements if travelled to another continent.
  • Fuel: Ensure that you have enough fuel before you begin your journey and check the oil and water levels too as well as screen wash and coolant. It’s important to check for any signs of wear and tear or damage on things like wipers and tyres.
  • Battery: If you keep your caravan or motorhome at home, ensure that your batteries are fully charged by hooking up to the mains using an adaptor.
  • Traffic & Weather: Before you set off, check the weather conditions and be sure to pack a warm set of clothes, blanket, boots, food and drink, phone chargers, jump leads and a torch just in case of emergency.
  • Weight: Make sure you’re not carrying too much and ensure that the weight is distributed equally for safe towing.

Equipment:

  • Gas: For colder weather conditions (below 5 degrees C), its best to use propane gas (LPG) as opposed to butane gas. It’s also recommended that you perform a gas safety check to ensure everything’s working safely.
  • Water: To stop your water from freezing over, purchase an insulated water carrier cover and also foam pipe lagging will prevent the external pipes from freezing.
  • Anti-freeze: Add just a little anti-freeze to the waste water tank and if you have a toilet cassette that is not heated, you can use a toilet additive that contains anti-freeze.
  • Grip mats: Make sure to take some grip or track mats so that you don’t get stuck in snow or muddy conditions.
  • Heating: If you do not have one of latest heating systems installed in your caravan or motorhome, use a mains operated heater or oil-filled free standing radiator – however, it’s recommended that you switch it off during the night or when you leave your van unattended.

Drain down:

Lastly, remember to empty any residual water in your caravan or motorhome pipes once you get back from your trip and put your van back into storage.

White Arches Caravans wish you happy and safe travels this winter and hope that these tips help you to prepare for your adventure.

February 2017 Caravan & Motorhome Show

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Come down to White Arches Caravans and White Arches Motorhomes for our HUGE 2017 CARAVAN & MOTORHOME SHOW! It’s a fantastic event where we’ll have a LARGE selection of NEW 2017 MODELS to view at your leisure. As well as that, we have a MASSIVE selection of NEW and USED models at fantastic prices. Stop by our onsite Coffee Shop and enjoy a Cream Tea for two. There will be lots to see and get involved in and refreshments will be available onsite.

 

France’s ‘clean air’ scheme – what you need to know

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France’s ‘clean air’ scheme – what you need to know

Thinking of visiting France this year? Before you do, here’s what you need to know about France’s new ‘clean air’ stickers – make sure that you have one!

If you want to take your caravan / motorhome to France this year, you could be fined up to €135 (around £117) if you do not have a ‘clean air’ sticker displayed when you drive through particular French cities.

This regulation applies to vehicles of all nationalities, so even the locals must have a sticker too when travelling through these cities. But the question is, which cities does this affect?

Currently, this new scheme is in effect in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. However, over 20 other French towns have voiced their interest in implementing the scheme in the upcoming years.

 

What does this mean?

The ‘clean air’ stickers categorise vehicles depending on the emissions standard that they meet. These stickers are colour-coded. Green stickers indicate the ‘greenest’ cars, and black for the heaviest polluters.

Normally, every vehicle that displays one of these stickers will be able to drive in the three cities where the regulation applies. However, on certain days when the pollution levels are particularly high, the local authorities can ban vehicles with very high emissions.

Therefore, the greener your tow car is, the better your chances are of driving through the city centre, even when the air quality is low.

 

How can I ensure that I’m covered?

The RAC have said that a period of grace will be given to British drivers till the end of March, during which the need for the stickers (also referred to as vignettes) will not be enforced. So, if you are already travelling and haven’t bought a vignette for your vehicle, there’s no need to worry just yet.

For UK drivers, it is already possible to purchase a sticker from the English-language version of the government website. You will need to know the emissions standard of your car, which should be available in your owner’s handbook. Alternatively, you can look at the table on this page on the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders website.

Stickers cost around £3.50 from the official government website but be careful as there are some third-party websites that are selling the stickers at a higher price.

So, remember that whilst leniency will be shown between now and the end of March, after that driving your vehicle without a sticker in Paris, Lyon and Grenoble will make you liable for a fine. It could be as £59 or as high as £117. 

 

Auto-Trail Wins Motorhome Design Awards 2017

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This year’s Design Awards again coincided with the NEC show, where the independent judges were able to get their hands on all 65 vehicles up for consideration. Auto-Trail had another successful evening with many mentions, including two overall winners and five second places.

Please find a list of the awards below:

Overall winners:

Coachbuilts from £47k-£51k – Auto-Trail Imala 715

2nd places:

Van Conversion from £47k-£52k – Auto-Trail V-Line 635 SE
Coachbuilts from £51k-£65k – Auto-Trail Tracker RS
Coachbuilts over £65k – Auto-Trail Frontier Scout