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  • Top Christmas gifts for the caravan lover in your life


    christmas caravan print

    As Christmas rolls around again, it brings with it the familiar sense of dread; just what do I get for the person who has everything?

    Chances are the caravan lover in your life will be spending most of his or her time thinking about their beloved travel buddy anyway.

    However, here at Sail and Trail we’ve done the hard work for you and we hope you’ll be happy with the list we’ve rustled up!


    1) This beautiful caravan print is the perfect gift for the arty caravanner in your life. You might not be on the road, but this simple print is a lovely reminder of your next caravan trip. The print is £25 and can come ready gift wrapped!


    2) Give National Trust membership for unlimited access to some of the most beautiful parts of the UK. With more than 500 National Trust sites made up of many historic houses, gardens and nature reserves, as well as events running throughout the year, you’ll never be far from a fantastic day out. Gift memberships starts from £63 for an adult, £105 for a pair, or £111 for a family.


    caravan christmas t shirt

    3) Perfect as a stocking filler or Secret Santa, the Nova Multi Quirl turns a miserable rainy day in the caravan into a cosy retreat. The tiny whisk is perfect for making the frothiest of cappuccinos, a perfect milkshake or delicious omelette. At just £13.99 and dishwasher safe, it’s not hard to see why they’re so popular!


    4) With this cool eco-friendly caravan t-shirt you don’t ever need to ask him what he’s thinking about again! Each design is hand printed onto organic cotton to ensure a long lasting t-shirt of the highest quality. £20.


    5) Not exactly a glamourous gift, but the Back2You Covert GPS Tracker is potentially a crimestopper and gives caravan owners the ultimate peace of mind by altering them to their caravan’s location on demand. This GPS Tracker is an essential bit of kit for any caravan owner. Save £50! Now just £175.


    6) Fun for all the family! This cute caravan jigsaw is the perfect way to spend an evening or rainy afternoon. £12.99

    caravan christmas jigsaw




  • Five reasons caravanning is better with solar panels  


    Many people are aware that they can save money and the environment by using renewable energy but not many people know how. By simply investing in a portable solar panel, you can enjoy a much better caravan or motorhome experience than before. And while there is an initial investment (ours start from £49.99) the benefits soon make it worthwhile.


    • Free electricity

    The sun’s energy is, of course, free! This means that no matter how much you use, you will never see a bill or face a charge for using a hook up, giving you more money to spend on the things you actually care about. The amount of money you save will be dependent on how much energy you previously used, but the savings could be huge over your solar panel’s life time.


    solar panels caravan motorhome


    • Reduce your carbon footprint

    As holidays go, enjoying a trip in your caravan or motorhome is already one of the greenest options out there. But by using a solar panel you are no longer reliant on electricity produced from non-renewable sources, helping reduce your carbon footprint and keep our planet healthy and beautiful for longer.


    • Be safer

    We hope it never comes to it, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and if the worst were to happen and you need the emergency services fast it would be terrible not to have a charged phone handy. A solar panel means that no matter what, you’ve always got a source of energy to power your communication devices.


    • solar panels caravan motorhomeElectricity, no matter where you are

    One of the most beautiful thing about having your own caravan or motorhome is that you can truly get away from it all. But what if you’re in a part of the countryside, so remote, there aren’t any electrical hook-ups? Having a solar panel means you can be on the furthest tip of the country, but still power a kettle – perfect!


    • Avoid falling foul to power cuts

    Unlike other energy sources, the sun’s energy never runs out, and even  in cloudy Britain, your solar panel will be sure to absorb some energy everyday (if it’s correctly set up and facing the appropriate way). This means that even if you have a hook up or generator as a primary source of energy, you’ve always got a reliable back up in solar.


    Check out our wide range of solar panels – starting from £49.99 here!


  • Top tips for fun winter trips in your caravan or motorhome  


    Just because it’s getting darker in the mornings and evenings and the drizzle is getting just that bit closer to the bone, does not mean it’s time to give up on your favourite hobby.

    In fact, with the right preparation taking time out in your caravan or motorhome can be just as fun and rewarding in winter as it is in summer, if not more!

    Make sure you follow our tips to ensure you keep safe and warm though!


    • Check your tires

    If you are planning on travelling in icy conditions, make sure your tires are fit for the road. Most caravans have summer tires as standard, and if you are just making a short journey in relatively good conditions these should suffice.

    However, if you are likely to be travelling to an area where temperatures drop below 7 Celsius, it’s a good idea to invest in all-season or winter tires. These will have an optimised tread and grip to help your vehicle stick to the road. If in doubt, consult your caravan or motorhome guidebook to establish the effectiveness of the tires your currently have.

    Also, make sure to read up on local laws if you are leaving the UK as some countries insist on tires that meet certain specifications, especially in European countries.

    Of course, always err on the side of caution – if it doesn’t feel safe to be on the roads, leave it until another day.


    motorhome winter caravan
    •   Pack plenty of layers

    Piling on base layers and several thin layers which can be added to or removed as needed, has been proven to keep you far warmer than just one thick layer.

    It also means you can move around comfortably than if you are wearing say, one chunky jumper. A windproof fleece is always handy, and can double up as a pillowcase in the evening for maximum snugness.


    • Invest in gadgets

    While nothing quite beats the comfort of a hot water bottle, there are now countless other warming gadgets on the market that can help you make it through a chilly day or night, including portable gel hand-warmers, heated socks and, of course, the electric blanket.

    Also invest in a decent quality thermas flask, handy for keeping warm when you’re out and about.

    Please be careful about running a gas fire at night though, too many fire and carbon monoxide poisoning incidents have come from this.


    • Keep your eye on the water systems

    Even if you physically inside your caravan, a cold night can lead to burst pipes causing great damage at a great cost.

    Keep your eye on the tanks, pipes and cisterns and think about lagging them if you are concerned. At the end of your trip ensure to fully empty the water system and keep taps and other openings open.


    • Eat rightwinter caravan motorhome

    Earlier on in the year we shared some of our favourite winter warmer recipes that can be made easily on a gas stove. Keep warm with sausage cassoulet, stewed spiced apples, one pot pilaf and more – all at the click of a button!


    • Keep an eye on your awning

    A porch awning in winter is a great way to add an extra layer of insulation to your door and the windows on that side. It also gives you an area to store wet clothes and shoes without creating a damp atmosphere inside your caravan or motorhome (as well as obviously creating more living space!).

    However, it’s important to keep an eye on it in rainy, windy and snowy conditions. At worst it can get blown away completely, leaving your belongings open to the same fate, and at best get damaged.

    If it looks like your trip is set to coincide with some bad weather, it might be worth investing in a specialised awning complete with steep roof to help shift snow.


    Check out our online store for great motorhome and caravan buys!


  • How to service your own generator

    Use our comprehensive and illustrated guide to service your own generator and keep it running well for longer:

    Stale fuel is the No. 1 cause of generator starting problems. Manufacturers advise adding fuel stabiliser to the fuel to minimise fuel breakdown, varnish and gum buildup. But it's no guarantee against problems.

    We would recommend emptying the fuel tank and the carburettor once you're past a season or are going to store your generator for some time. If your carburettor has a drain, wait for the engine to cool before draining. If not, empty the tank and then run the generator until it's out of fuel. Always use fresh, stabilised fuel in your generator.

    service generator caravan motorhome boat


    Oil Change

    1. Loosen the cover screw and remove the left side maintenance cover.

    2. Remove the oil filler cap.

    3. Drain dirty oil into a container thoroughly.

    4. Refill with the recommended oil, and check the oil level. 5. Reinstall the left side maintenance cover and tighten the cover screw securely.


    generator caravan motorhome servicegenerator caravan motorhome service


    Air Filter

    A dirty air filter will restrict air flow to the carburettor. To prevent carburettor malfunction, service the air filter regularly. Service more frequently when operating the generator in extremely dusty areas.

    1. Loosen the cover screw and remove the left side maintenance cover.

    2. Press the latch tab on the top of the air cleaner body, and remove the air cleaner cover.

    3. Wash the element in a high flash point solvent and dry it thoroughly.

    4. Soak the element in clean engine oil and squeeze out the excess oil.

    5. Reinstall the air cleaner element and the cover.

    6. Reinstall the left side maintenance cover and tighten the cover screw securely

    generator caravan motorhome


    Spark Plug To ensure proper engine operation, the spark plug must be properly gapped and free of deposits.

    1. Remove the spark plug maintenance cover.

    2. Remove the spark plug cap.

    3. Clean any dirt from around the spark plug base.

    4. Use the wrench to remove the spark plug.

    5. Visually inspect the spark plug. Discard it if the insulator is cracked or chipped. Clean the spark plug with a wire brush if it is to be reused.

    6. Measure the plug gap with a feeler gauge. The gap should be 0.6-0.7mm(0.024-0.028in). Correct as necessary by carefully bending the side electrode.

    7. Install the spark plug carefully, by hand, to avoid cross-threading.

    8. After a new spark plug has been seated by hand, it should be tightened 1/2 turn with a wrench to compress its washer. If a used plug is being reinstalled, it should only require 1/8 to 1/4 turn after being seated.

    9. Reinstall the spark plug cap on the spark plug securely.

    10. Close the left maintenance cover


    Cleaning the Carburettor (Advanced)

    The carburettor sits on two studs behind the air cleaner assembly. To access it, first undo the large screw that secures the air filter cover. Remove the filter and the casing. Disconnect attached rubber hoses and slide the carburettor off the studs.

    After draining the float bowl of any remaining fuel (and replacing the screw), undo the large bolt in the middle to take the float cover off. Carefully remove the parts from the carb and clean any deposits.

    If the holes are clogged you can strip a piece of wire and use one of the strands to pass through the holes to clear it out. Do not use anything bigger the jets are made of brass and can easily be made larger, which could cause running problems later.

    Also spray with carburettor cleaner and make sure you get a good stream coming out of the emulsion tube and main jet. Reverse process to assemble.

    generator motorhome caravan
  • Thought you knew everything about your caravan and motorhome hobby? Think again!

    We know there’s nothing better than visiting a new place or returning to a favourite one in your motorhome or with a caravan in tow, but did you know you’re actually contributing £6billion to the UK economy or that you’re sharing a hobby with Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Kelly Holmes?


    Well read on to find out more about the wonderful world of caravans and motorhomes in the UK.


    lorraine kelly caravan facts

    1) Caravanning is cool. Ok we’ve always known it – but now big name celebrities have cottoned on too, with Dame Helen Mirren, Billie Piper and Dame Kelly Holmes both members of the Caravan Club.

    There’s also a chance you’ll find yourself pitching up next to Loraine Kelly or Linda Barker on your next caravan trip, though whether that’s a good thing, we’ve yet to decide!


    2) Caravanning actually contributes more than £6billion to the UK economy every year and the industry employs more than 130,000 people – making it of huge importance to the UK’s economy.


    3) If you live in your caravan you are classed as being of ‘no fixed abode’ and if you want to have your voice heard in a general, local or European election the way you need to register to vote is a little different than if you live in a ‘fixed abode.’

    We write all about it here for the Canal and River Trust (just swap the word narrowboat for caravan!)


    caravan facts

    4) In the UK, more than 51 million nights are spent in caravans each year.


    5) There’s a lot of us. In fact there are more than 1million leisure caravans in use (that’s totalling touring caravans, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes).


    6) More people are caravanning than ever before. In 2009 one in five people were going on either a camping or caravanning holiday, now it’s one in three.


    7) The most popular countries UK residents to go on a caravan holiday are the UK, followed by Spain then France.


    most expensive caravan in britain

    8) The most expensive caravan in Britain was sold for a staggering £550,000 and comes complete with an iPhone controlled heating system (we thought all caravans had these!!).

    The static caravan based in North Wales was built to mark the 75th anniversary of park owners, Haulfryn Holiday Homes.

    Despite having an integrated sound and television system, underfloor heating and an en suite spa shower and toilet, it is technically still a caravan because of its wheels and chassis.

  • The Ultimate Generator Guide: How to buy the best generator for your leisure needs

    There are many makes and models of generator out there (at Sail and Trail, we stock more than 100!) so it isn’t always easy knowing which generator is the best fit for you and your needs.

    Essentially you should be basing your purchase on four things; its portability, power, noise and fuel requirements:


    Kipor Suitcase Generator for Caravan Camping

    First things first, if you’re after a generator for leisure use (camping, boating etc) you want it to be quiet and portable – avoid back up or standby generators as these are designed for blackouts or hefty models that are meant to aid construction work.

    Suitcase generators are the lightest and most portable. The Kipor IG1000 pictured here is an incredibly popular model.



    Work out how much power you’ll want or need. If it’s for your motorhome or caravan you’ll need to think about your air con / heating unit (if you have one) as well as adding up all the electrical devices you may need or want to run at one time.

    At the lower end of the scale a 700w generator is mainly for charging, small TVs and mobiles/laptops. But the most popular models are the 2000w models as this will run just about everything you could throw at it in a motorhome/caravan apart from some household kettles which can be above 3000w and any air conditioning or electric heating units

    If all you are looking for is to be able to charge or power small items then a 1000w generator will be fine, but it won't cover items like a microwave or a hairdryer. This is because even though an 800w microwave in theory should run under 1000w, most items with a heating element start at double or even triple their rated wattage, so an 800w microwave will roughly start at 1600w. This is why you will see a peak power and then a constant power on the descriptions for generators.

    If you’re boating or camping then you’re likely to be fine with 1,000-2,000 watts. If you want to work out the exact figure, add up the power of everything you are likely to want to be running at the same time (If it is given in amps, multiply the amps by volts to get the watt value).

    However it is important to remember that the power requirements are balanced, and while many people in a motorhome might add up all of their appliances and get 4kw, not all are turned on at once; so if you use the microwave for a few minutes, you might not be able to boil the kettle until it is finished.



    SDMO quiet generator for camping and caravanning SDMO quiet generator for camping and caravanning

    All generators make noise but now there are some models out there that are actually quieter than a normal conversation.

    EU regulations mean a generator's sound has to be measured from a certain point, rather than in standard decibels which can be a little confusing.


    To get a better idea of how decibels work, regular conversation is about 60 decibels and painful noise about 140!

    The SDMO Inverter PRO models are some of the best when it comes to keeping the noise down. In fact, the 3000 model pictured above is so quiet we say it’s ‘whisper quiet' at only 51dB(A) @ 7m.

    Fuel requirements

    LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) generators are the most popular generators for leisure use as they are more efficient and cheaper to run than petrol or diesel generators.

    In fact LPG is about half the price of petrol, and because it produces cleaner emissions you’ll be able to use it in many public spaces unlike with a diesel or petrol generator.

    However, they do have a higher initial cost than a petrol generator, so provide the best value when they are used regularly.

    Petrol generators can be converted to LPG generators with conversion kits like these ones.


    We have lots of technical guidance at Sail and Trail, first of all check out our handy guide https://www.sailandtrail.co.uk/generatorfaq.

    If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts by phone or email.


  • 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.


  • 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.



    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.



    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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