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Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • Should I Get Solar Panels for my Caravan or Motorhome?

    Getting away from it all is a wonderful experience, but as much as we love getting back to nature not having electricity can make for a miserable trip.

    While many people opt for a LPG generator, there are actually huge benefits to investing in portable solar panels to power your appliances when camping, caravanning or boating;

    solar panels generator caravan motorhome
    • Solar panels help you save money - the sun’s energy is free!

    Not only is a portable solar panel cheaper than a generator but you'll also no longer be spending money on petrol, LPG or diesel for a generator. The more you use it, the more your solar panel will begin to pay for itself.

    • Solar Panels are good for the environment

    First of all, solar panels don't produce carbon emissions and secondly if you knock your panel over by accident there won’t be any dangerous spillages.

    • They make little to no noise.

    If you find the constant buzzing of a generator ruins a peaceful getaway then solar panels will make a welcome change to your caravan or boat holiday.

    • They are more portable than a generator.

    In fact, you can fold up portable solar panels.

    • They don’t actually rely on it being sunny.

    Logically you would assume that for a solar panel to work it has to be sunny. However, this isn’t actually the case and your panel will still generate energy in cloudy conditions. It is important for them not to be too shaded, though.

    While your solar panel won’t work at night, the energy it produces in the day can be stored in a battery.

    solar panel caravan motorhome

    However, it is important to bear in what your solar panel will actually be able to power:

    What can I power with a 40-Watt solar panel?

    A 40-Watt solar panel like this one will be able to power a wide range of small objects you might want to take away on your caravan or motorhome holiday including a clock radio, stereo, mobile and tablet.

    What can I power  with a 60-Watt solar panel?

    A 60-watt solar panel (which we sell for £240) is enough to recharge your laptop, tablet or smartphone, as well as to generate enough electricity to power a lightbulb (though be sure to check the wattage before you take to the road!).

    Depending on the wattage you may also be able to power items like a portable fridge as well as all the things a 40-Watt solar panel can power.

    What can I power with a 90-Watt solar panel?

    We sell a 90-Watt solar panel for £299 and with this you should be able to power items like a fan, run a mac book pro, even a printer and tv should you want.

    You will also be able to power all the things a 40-Watt and 60-Watt solar panel can power.

     One last thing:

    And finally, another thing worth remembering is that while there has been a lot in the news about home and landowners being paid by the government to generate solar electricity (Feed In Tariff) this scheme does not apply to off grid devices.

     

  • Camping with your cat: Everything you need to know

    The camping season is almost upon us, but what do you do about your pets when you want to get away for the weekend?

    We recently listed some great camp and touring sites in England that cater for pets – but while taking your dog away with you may seem straight forward, there are a few things you should think about before whisking away your whiskered friend.

    If you are hoping to take your cat on a caravanning trip, the same rules apply – there’s just less canvas to be clawed….

     

    1) Use your common sense!

    camping and caravanning with your catIf your cat gets car sick, is prone to running away and hates being put in his/her travelling cage, then camping is probably not for them!

    It is also worth bearing in mind that if you are staying at a campsite known for being pet friendly, then there are likely to be dogs around. If you cat is not used to them, this can be upsetting for your cat.

    It can be an amazing thing to share your holiday with your feline family, but if they are going to hate it or, worse, run away then it is best to leave them at home with a trusted minder.

     

     2) Pack lots of treats and familiar faces

    While cats aren’t as malleable as dogs are for the hint of a treat, it’s worth having a decent back-up of your cat’s favourite snacks to hand.

    Also make sure to line their travel box with a familiar smelling blanket and toy, while your cat may turn their nose up at them initially, they will secretly be grateful for recognising something in an environment that’s unfamiliar.

    Not quite as cute, but do also invest in a disposable litter tray.

     

    3) Don’t forget your cat’s first aid kit

    Sometimes accidents happen, so it is important to make sure you have at least a basic first aid kit on hand for your cat in case something happens and there isn’t a vet for miles.

    Typically it should include bandaging equipment, tweezers, a blanket and antiseptic wipes or lotion.

     

    4) Get your cat used to being on a lead ….

    …. they going to be spending a lot of time wearing one! If you keep returning to the same camping spot with your cat then they should eventually get used to the area, but until then you’re going to want them where you can see them.

    They will need a harness and a lead that you can attach to a tie out stake/ anchor or a washing line strung up between two trees or posts.

     

    5) Do a full test run

    caravan and camping with your cat or pet

    If you are planning on heading far from home for more than a night it is worth doing a full test run. Pop your cat in its harness and into its travel box, drive around for a bit and then take it out to explore some new surroundings on its lead. If at any point it seems overly disturbed or defensive, then you may want to rethink the actual trip.

    Remember to see how much your cat likes being in a tent, especially if you are planning on leaving it in there and you want to guarantee when you return your tent is more than shreds of material. In this instance, it’s much easier to go caravanning with a cat!

     

     

     

     

     

     7) And never ever forget this ....

    Whether you chose to put your cat on a lead, keep it in a pen, or let it roam free make sure it has access to shade and water, and never ever keep it cooped up in your car, caravan or tent for too long.

    Good luck and happy camping!

    The post we've linked to HERE is a little old and but it’s a great photo diary of a couple who took their cat camping – we like it :)

    If any of you have been on successful camping or caravanning trips with your cat, we’d love to hear from you – Tweet us @sail_trail

  • Inspirational Caravan Interiors That’ll Make You Want to Get Redecorating Today

    We love getting away from it all in a caravan or motorhome, but until recently it has never been considered an especially glamourous hobby. Now it’s all the rage to have a vintage caravan or Airstream in tow, but for those of us who prefer (or are lumbered with!) a more run of the mill version there’s no reason why we can’t still inject a little luxury to inside of our vehicle. The beauty of interiors is that don’t need to have a fancy model for it to look great on the inside as these inspirational pictures show:

     

    Caravan1Using light colours is a great way to make a small space look bigger. The cream of the throw here really does this, while its colours brighten the place up (and hides dirty smudges!). Image courtesy of lisaleonardonline.com

    caravan2Adding new curtains and / or cushions to your caravan or motorhome is the cheapest and easiest way to give it a new look. If you’re feeling creative you could make your own curtains and cushion covers. Not for you? Pick up charming readymade items for very little at any haberdashery or furnishing store like Dunelm Mill.

     

    caravan3 While this look isn’t one for the faint hearted, it’s certainly original! So maybe you don’t want to go for the full polka dot look just yet, but introducing a few spots will completely transform your caravan’s interior. It’s a clean print so manages to look both modern and classic, and if you chose light shades it will really brighten the small space you do have up. Image courtesy of Poppytalk.

     

    caravan6

    How great is this map wallpaper? This would work especially well if you have a touring caravan and you could map the places you have been. OS maps can be found super cheaply in in charity shops and on eBay. If decorating the whole interior with maps is a bit much for you, a feature board is a great way to incorporate something a bit different.

     

    caravan4

    There’s a lot of pink, a lot of lace, but it’s perfect if you’re looking to add some serious glamour to your van. As before, this can be done very cheaply with a visit to the haberdashers or an afternoon browsing on eBay.

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