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Why Do I Need Caravan Steps?
Some caravans have quite a high step up to get in and this can be difficult for people who have limited mobility. Even if you don’t have a disability, constantly having to take a giant step in and out of your caravan can be a pain so caravan steps just make life that little bit easier. It’s especially important if you are going away for a longer period of time.
These steps will also give you a stable way of getting in and out and many have a non-slip surface which provides you with greater safety. If you have serious mobility problems then you will also find your step invaluable when getting out of the car.
The only real issue with using caravan steps is that, when pitched on grass, there is a chance that they will sink. However, there are some simple ways to prevent this including looking for steps that have a wider surface area as this will make it more difficult for the feet to sink. Alternatively, you could use an old board to lay underneath the steps to create a more stable base.
The Best Caravan Steps For Your Weekend Away
If you’re looking to buy caravan steps then you’ll have noticed just how many options there are out there. It might feel a bit overwhelming so we have put together some top picks that have seriously impressed us.
What Should I Consider When Buying Caravan Steps?
You’ll probably agree that caravan steps are not the most complex piece of equipment you’ll purchase for your adventures. However, there are still a few important things to think about before making a decision and it’s important to look at your own needs as well as the features of the step.
Looking at the material that the step is made from is crucial as this will tell you a lot about its durability. But it’ll also tell you a good deal about how easy to use the step will be. Typically, a lot of caravan steps are made from metal and this is usually steel or aluminium. The latter is a softer metal but during manufacturing it will have been treated to ensure greater strength and stability. Because of its very nature, aluminium is the more lightweight option so if you are looking for something that won’t break your back when moving it around, this is a good choice. That said, steel isn’t exactly the heaviest material on earth.
Steel is a durable material but it will damage far more easily and your step may begin to look worn long before an aluminum equivalent. But if you want something cheap and cheerful then steel is definitely the way to go.
You should also note that aluminium is much more resistant than steel and it’ll take a lot more for it to corrode and rust. This is great news since you’re going to be using the steps outside but because of this and other factors, you’ll find that aluminium steps are a little more pricey.
Now, if metal doesn’t appeal to you, there are also a number of plastic steps on the market. These are very lightweight and there’s no risk of them rusting. However, while they do offer a degree of durability, they aren’t quite as robust as their metal cousins.
If you choose plastic caravan steps, you’ll find that these usually come as a solid piece whereas many metal steps can be folded. If you are limited on storage space then it is vital that you choose something that isn’t going to eat too much into this. Folding steps, in this instance, are a must.
Number Of Steps
When choosing caravan steps, you will notice there are generally two options; those with one platform and those with two. The steps that have two platforms are naturally much bigger so you will need to compare this to your available storage space. Again, looking for steps that can be folded will eliminate any storage problems you may have.
The great thing about double steps is that the distance between each step tends to be smaller which is good news if you struggle to take larger steps. They’re also a good choice for those who are taking pets and children on a caravanning break.
It’s also a good idea to compare the height of the steps to your caravan door. In some cases, especially if the pitch is not even, you may find that the steps are actually higher than the threshold. This will pose a safety hazard and will make it very difficult to use the door.
On the other hand, you might choose a single step, but it’s important to note that these offer less stability so should be used by adults with good physical ability. In addition to this, the step up into the caravan will be larger so this type of step won’t be suitable for people with mobility issues or young children.
However, the good thing about single platform steps is that they are much more lightweight so they’ll be easier to store. When you head off out for the day, you can pop them underneath the caravan so they won’t be in the way.
Having a stable set of caravan steps is crucial where safety is concerned so this is one of the most important things to think about. You’ll be able to tell a lot about the stability of a step by looking at the legs. If the legs sit at more of an outward angle then this gives the step a larger base, therefore making it more stable. Even when someone is standing on the step, it’s highly unlikely that it’ll tip over.
It’s also important to think about where you will place the steps. If the ground is very soft then this is going to affect the stability. Again, looking for steps that have a larger base is essential here but there are also some designs that come with a base frame which will stop them from sinking. There are also some steps out there that have pegging points so they can be secured and the stability improved.
Another aspect of safe use that you’ll need to consider is whether the step is non-slip. This is even more important where the user has balance or mobility issues. You’ll find that many steps feature a rubber tread or metal mesh that gives greater tread and grip. Rubber tends to be the more effective option, so do keep this in mind. On plastic steps, this grip is usually moulded into the design.
However, if your step doesn’t have adequate traction then there are ways you can improve it yourself. A lot of people opt to stick some carpet to the surface to provide better grip. Of course, this will require maintenance to keep clean and dry and you’ll need to replace it often.
While caravan steps might not be the most high-tech or top of the range piece of caravanning equipment, they are certainly indispensable, especially for children, pets and adults with mobility issues. There’s not too much difference between designs but we would recommend checking out the features of a step before making a final decision.