Cleaning a caravan
Caravan roofs get dirty over time and need regular cleaning to get rid of any dirt or grime stuck on the metal, which could cause damage if left. Cleaning a caravan roof also allows you to inspect it for any leaks which can occur within a caravan due to its age and condition.
This is especially relevant if there were recent weather conditions such as strong winds before the caravan was cleaned.
The longer cleaning is left, the more stubborn these stains can get. The moss and algae can also hold water which when frozen during the winter months, can expand and cause roof joints and seals to open up potentially causing catastrophic leaks.
The best solution is to have good means of safe access to your caravan or motorhome roof so that you can keep your prized possession looking pristine and leak free. We will cover some of the best ways you can access your caravan roof safely and also touch on the best ways to clean it.
How to clean a caravan roof
The first thing to establish is that in order to access your caravan or motorhome roof safely, you’ll need a safe means of access to get up there. Shorter steps will not be of use because you will not be able to gain the necessary height to reach into the centre of the caravan roof.
As caravan roofs are quite wide, you’ll need the height to reach the middle and have to move around the caravan perimeter to reach the whole roof. You may even need a little more height to clean any accessories you have up there like satellite dishes or solar panels.
So, a decent set of ladders is needed and commonly, a soft brush or sponge with some mild detergent mixed with warm water. For more stubborn dirt and staining, a more specialised cleaning agent may be required that is especially formulated for caravan and motorhome externals.
We will propose a good solution further into the article.
Can you stand on a caravan roof?
A very common question is if you can stand on a caravan roof. It is not advisable to stand on a caravan roof because caravan roofs are designed to be lightweight and easily attached to the caravan frame when constructed.
The main goal of caravan manufacturers is try and keep the weight of a caravan as low as possible. This is so they are easier to tow. Because of a caravans lightweight nature, the caravan roof may not hold your weight because it has been designed to hold it roof up and nothing else.
Standing on caravan roof can cause expensive damage and cause potentially serious injuries to you! Unless your caravan manufacturer has specifically stated that it can take your weight, please do not climb onto your caravan roof. Find an access solution which we will help you with today.
Best ladder for cleaning a caravan roof
There are several access solutions that can be used to reach your caravan roof safely. The best ladder for a caravan roof will depend on the caravan type and caravan roof access requirements. Another factor will be if you intend to take your ladder solution with you on trips in case you need to access your roof whilst away.
Top tip: It is important to make sure that you select a ladder for your caravan roof that has anti-slip features on them. This means that you will not slip when the treads are stepped on whilst ascending or descending. Additional rubber attachments will prevent your caravan or motorhome from being damaged by the ladder.
A caravan access platform is also an alternative product that can be used on fragile roofs. These are essentially made from strong aluminium and have legs that fold out from underneath them, propping them up against the caravan roof.
Top tip: You need to ensure that you have enough stowage space in your caravan if you wish to take it with you. This maybe under some interior seating so just be sure to take some measurements.
So, let’s recap…..you need the height, you preferably need to make sure there is rubber protection to avoid caravan damage and you need to decide if you are going to take the ladder away with you on trips or leave it behind.
The final thing to consider is if you want a platform to stand on or if you’re happy enough to stand on the ladder. Some solutions may allow you to lean onto your caravan roof.
Caravan roof access solutions
Now that we have established that it’s not advisable to stand on a caravan roof, these are some of the things to consider. You need to protect your caravan from damage, you need to ensure that you don’t suffer any injuries and you have decided if you wish to take your access solution on the road with you.
This is in case you have any on the road repairs to carry out. At Best Ladder Access, we have chosen some great products to help you. These solutions reflect what we have spoken about in this article. We hope they are of use to you and give you some options.
3.2M/10.5FT Aluminium Telescopic Ladder
What we like:
Load capacity of 150 Kg
Slip resistant treads
Lightweight and strong
Gas safety springs eliminating crushed fingers
What could be better:
Telescopic ladders can ‘feel’ flexible
Our first suggestion is the aluminium collapsable telescopic ladder from DICN. We have put forward this solution for those who wish to have the flexibility of having an access solution that they can collapse into a very small package. This means it can easily be stowed in your caravan for when you need to access your caravan roof in an emergency.
Being made of aluminium, it remains strong but lightweight. This particular solution expands to 3.3m or 10.5 feet in old money. It also has the flexibility that you can expand it the exact height that you need. Any reduction to the maximum height helps makes the ladder more rigid.
It also has a maximum load capacity of 150Kg which is an amazing tribute to its design. One great feature is the specially designed gas safety springs that avoid crushed fingers. All telescopic ladders collapse under their own weight when locking clips are pressed in. If not done correctly, they can drop down on fingers.
This ladder slowly drops its sections with the help of a gas spring which stops finger injuries!
Keraiz 14-in-1 (15.5ft) 4.7m Folding Multipurpose Ladder
What we like:
14 combinations to fit your task
Comes with a long and short tread plate
Load capacity of 150Kg
Flexible locking hinge system
What could be better:
Folds compact but needs bigger space to transport
Our next suggestion is the Keraiz 14 in 1 multi purpose ladder system. This is one of the most flexible home solutions you’ll find. This is perfect for those who wish to stand on a platform to clean their caravan sides and roof. It’s flexible hinge system means that you’ll always find a set up to meet your task, even to access your caravan roof.
It also has a load capacity of 150Kg so will cope with the largest of users. One great feature we found was that it also comes with a short and a long tread plate so some of the possible solutions provide a working platform making you feel safer whilst allowing more access area.
It does fold up very neatly and is quite compact but doesn’t reduce in size as much as a telescopic solution. They both have their advantages however.
Telescopic Aluminium 12 Tread A Frame Ladder
For our final suggestion, we have found the closest solution that incorporates the benefits of the multi-purpose ladder system and a compact telescopic solution. This solution has the benefit of being able to be retracted into a small package because of its telescopic design.
It also benefits from being an ‘A’ frame design so when opened up fully, its flexible hinge system means that one side can rest either on the side of your caravan like a ‘standoff bracket’ or rest over your caravan roof.
It’s lightweight design also gives you the choice to take it with you as it collapses into a very small space. With the advantage of the telescopic design allowing you to only expand it to the height you need, you can rig this solution up perfectly for your task.
Fenwicks Caravan Cleaner
What we like:
Removes stubborn streaks
What could better:
May need to increase concentration for more stubborn stains
This obviously isn’t an access solution but we thought we would offer this in case it was of use. Maybe you have used good old detergent and warm water but the stains still remain on your caravan. Fenwick’s caravan cleaner concentrate seems to be the choice of most owners and has been specially formulated to remove dirt by actively surrounding it and preventing it from sticking.
This product easily removes black streaks, algae, accumulated dirt from road traffic and general grime from several seasons of exposure. It’s specially formulated for cleaning plastics, aluminium and acrylic windows. Because its also highly concentrated, you also save money because it washes up to 40 vans.
We have covered quite a bit in this article which hope has been of help. We have covered the benefits and drawbacks of certain solutions and what to think about when choosing a solution. This maybe if you decide you want to take your access solution with you in your caravan.
You also need to think about stowage space or if you prefer to stand on a platform or aren’t bothered standing on a tread. Hopefully this article has given you some things to think about and also some helpful suggestions.