Caravan Hire FAQs


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Purchasing a Caravan


Q. How old are your hire vehicles?

A. We aim to keep all the vehicles in our hire fleet as new as possible. We would usually expect all vehicles to be a maximum of 36 months old.

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Q. Do you hire all year round?

A. Yes. We are able to offer a full range of vehicles throughout the year. Because we hire the latest versions with thermostatic heating and great insulation they are warm and comfortable whatever the weather.

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Q. Are your caravans fully insured? Does this cover my personal belongings?

A. All our caravans are covered by comprehensive insurance covering travel within the UK. It does not cover your personal items and we would strongly recommend you consider personal travel insurance to protect yourself fully against loss or damage to your own belongings.

For more details of damage deposits and the insurance excess which will apply to hires please see damage deposit as detailed below.

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Q. What is the damage deposit and do we have to take out additional collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance?

A. The damage deposit, sometimes called a security deposit, is the sum you deposit with us over and above the hire charge. For all touring caravans it is £250.00.

This deposit is fully returnable provided the vehicle is returned clean, undamaged and on time. In the event of any damage to the hire vehicle the repair cost of the damage will be deducted from this deposit before it is refunded to you. For accidental damage this sum is your maximum liability and any additional costs will be covered by Tilshead Caravans or our insurance company.

Some hire companies have a high insurance excess, for example £1000 - £1500, and then charge you for collision damage waiver insurance (on top of the hire charge) to reduce this excess to a lower figure such as £250 - £500. Because our damage deposit and insurance excess are already set at the lower level, you do not need to take out additional collision damage waiver insurance.

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Q. I want to travel to Europe. Is this allowed and are there extra costs?

A. Unfortunately we are unable to allow hire caravans to leave the United Kingdom.

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Q. Do I have to collect and return my hire vehicle on a particular day of the week?

A. No. Vehicles can usually be collected and returned Monday - Friday.

Weekends and Bank Holiday collections or returns may be possible, depending on the circumstances and vehicle availability.

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Q. What are your usual collection and drop-off times for hire vehicles? What happens if I am late?

A. Vehicles are usually collected at 4.00pm on the first day of the hire. It may be the case that your vehicle will be ready before this time in which case you would be welcome to collect it early at no additional cost, subject to agreeing an approximate time with us in advance! If this would be of benefit we recommend you contact us a few days prior to the start of your hire and we can advise the situation. Please do not arrive at 10.00am and expect your vehicle to be ready without checking with us first!

Vehicles are usually booked to be returned by 12.00 Noon, as this then gives us the necessary time to clean and prepare the vehicle for the next customer. You are welcome to return vehicles earlier than planned if you wish to do so but we regret we are unlikely to be able to offer a refund for unused days unless we can book them out to another client.

We appreciate that accidents can happen and unforeseen situations can make you late, but we would ask all clients to please allow plenty of time when collecting and returning vehicles. In the event that you return your vehicle late then you risk ruining the next hirer's holiday! We do not have penalties which we charge by the hour for late vehicles like some hire companies, but we do reserve the right to levy fair additional hire charges for late return.

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Q. Do you offer delivery & collection services for your caravans?

A. Whilst many of our clients collect their hire vehicle from our site near Salisbury on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border, we can deliver all of our caravans throughout the UK if required.

Delivery rates are generally based on the mileage travelled from our site near Salisbury.

Delivery and collection of caravans to and from events throughout the UK is very common. All delivery and collection services involve full siting and set-up of your vehicle so that it is ready for your immediate use. Hirers do not need to be on site when we deliver or collect, provided suitable siting instructions and key handover arrangements can be made.

For more details of our delivery and/or collection services please visit our Delivery & Collection page.

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Q. Must I book a vehicle for a week at a time or can I specify the length of hire I want?

A. You can book any of our vehicles for as long or as short a time as you wish. For example, if you want to have ten days hire, then we will just charge you for ten days. All hire rates are charged pro-rata on our usual weekly rates (ie, there is no premium payable, as some hire companies will charge a higher weekly rate when arranging hire periods shorter than a week).

However, we do have a minimum hire charge at various times of the year, so please just contact us if you have particular requirements and we can advise how we may assist.

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Q. Do you have minimum hire periods or charges?

A. Whilst we do not have minimum hire periods, we do have minimum hire charges at some times of the year. Generally these are:

Hires during High Season

Seven days

Hires during Mid Season

Five days

Hires during Low Season

Four days



Event hires (e.g. British Grand Prix)

Five-Seven days

These minimum hire charges are most definitely not 'set in stone' but are a general guide. If you have specific requirements then please just contact us and we can chat through how we may assist you. For example, if you want a caravan for five days in August, and we happen to have such a space between existing hires then we would be able to assist at a five day rate with no difficulty.

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Q. What equipment is supplied in the vehicle? What do I need to bring?

A. The following equipment is supplied in every vehicle :-

All our caravans feature:

  • 25 metre 230V Mains Lead

  • UK 3 pin Mains Lead Adapter

  • 2 x 6 Kg (Propane) Gas Cylinders

  • Gas Auto-Changeover Head

  • Waste Container & ‘Y’ Pipe Waste Hose

  • Rolling Water Container, Handle & Fill Pipe

  • Submersible Fresh Water Filler Pipe

  • Caravan 12V Leisure Battery

  • Roof-Mounted Solar Panel

  • Caravan Leveller block

  • Chemical Toilet Fluid

  • Entrance Door Step

  • Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

  • Entrance Door Mat

  • Spare Wheel and Wheelnut Brace

  • 13 Pin Towing Electrics Parking Plug

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock / Wheel Clamp

  • Hitchlock & Safety Ball

Allows connection to 230V mains (campsite plug)

Allows connection to 230V mains (domestic plug)

Provides gas to caravan appliances (1 x Full, 1 x Part-Full)

Ensures uninterrupted supply of gas from cylinders

To collect waste water from shower & sinks

To store fresh water supply

Provides water to caravan from fresh water container

Provides 12V electrical power to operate caravan

Assists in charging leisure battery

Assists in levelling caravan on site

For recharging toilet cassette tank after emptying

Single step for ease of access into caravan



Emergency use only: Spare road wheel (no jack provided)

Emergency use only: To assist with aligning towing socket

Emergency use only: Fire Extinguisher

These security devices are required to be fitted when the

caravan is not being towed for insurance reasons

Interior Equipment:

  • Refrigerator with freezer compartment

  • Oven, 3/4 burner gas hob and grill

  • Microwave (230V electric supply required)

  • Thermostatic Heating System (230V mains &/or gas fired)

  • Water Heater (230V mains &/or gas fired)

  • Roof Mounted Boosted TV Aerial

  • 12 volt 'cigarette lighter' style Socket(s)

  • 230 volt Mains Electric Domestic Sockets (230V electric supply required)

  • Opening Double Glazed Windows

  • Window Flyscreens and Blinds

  • Washroom with Basin, Shower and Cassette flush Toilet

  • 'Aquaroll' Fresh Water Container

  • Waste Water Container & Pipe

  • Spare Wheel and wheel-brace

  • Caravan Battery & Charging Unit

  • Rear Matching Number Plate

  • Camping Gas & Toilet Chemicals

  • Smoke Alarm, Carbon Monoxide Alarm & Fire Extinguisher

  • Cutlery, Crockery & Cookware

  • Solar Panel fitted (to keep battery charge levels up)

  • Automatic gas changeover valve (no need to change gas cylinder connections) 

  • Lightweight wheel-lock (easier to use than heavy wheelclamps)


Per Person:




Wine glass


Tea Plate


Dessert Spoon

Dinner Plate

Cereal Bowl







Per Vehicle






Tin/Bottle Opener

Wooden Spoon

Pegs & Washing Line

Bread Knife

3 Saucepans

Coathangers (10)

Vegetable Knife

Frying Pan

Dustpan & Brush

Kitchen Knife


Cutting Board


Potato Peeler

Bin Bag

Serving Spoon


Dish J-Cloth & Scourer

Slotted Spoon







You only need to bring bedding (duvets, sleepings bags, etc. as appropriate), items such as towels, tea-towels, toilet paper and your personal belongings.

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Q. Do I need a generator or mains electricity to run the lights and electrics in the vehicle?

A. All our caravans are fully self-contained in that all appliances (such as hob, grill, oven, fridge, hot water, heating) will operate from the camping gas we supply, whilst the onboard 12V leisure battery supplies the power to operate lighting, water pumps and so on.

However, all our vehicles have at least three domestic style 3-pin 230V electric socket which may be used to power your own 230V appliances, such as a mobile 'phone charger, radio/CD player, small hairdryer or similar. These sockets can only be used if the vehicle is connected to a 230V mains electricity supply such as on a campsite (this is known as a 'mains hook-up'), or connected to a generator providing 230V.

If you wish to take and use your own 230V appliances and you are not going to have access to mains hook-up at your campsite location(s) then you will need to use a generator.

Generators or campsite mains hook-up are also especially useful for caravan hires to maintain charge in the caravan 12V battery. For more details on our generators for hire please see our Additional Items & Services page.

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Q. Are there TV's in your caravans?

A. Whilst none of our caravans are equipped with televisions as standard, all our vehicles are fitted with boosted omni-directional roof-mounted TV aerials in case you wish to use a television during your hire.

We can offer a range of additional items including TV and TV/DVD units (which will run from the 12V batteries on board our vehicles) if required. Please just visit our Additional Items & Services page for details. 

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 Q. Are there any speed limit or lane restrictions for caravans in the UK?

A. UK speed limits for ALL towing vehicles are NOT the same as for cars. Please see the chart below for details.

When towing any trailer or caravan, vehicles are NOT allowed to use the outside lane of a three or four lane motorway. Generally the relevant UK speed limits are :- 















Cars towing
Caravans or Trailers





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Q. Are pets allowed in your caravans?

A. We have no objection to family pets in our caravans. We do however ask hirers to be responsible for their pets and to ensure that they are provided with their own beds/blankets as necessary. Please remember that some vehicles have more floor space suitable for pet areas than others, so bear this in mind when deciding on the vehicle you require.

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Q. Are there any age restrictions when hiring your caravans?

A. There are no age restrictions for hiring caravans which are delivered by us.

If towing our caravans then you must have a suitable driving licence and have been driving for at least one year. Drivers must be over 21 and under 69 years of age at commencement of hire. If drivers are outside these age limits, have good driving records and are of good health then we can refer to our insurance company who will decide if the driver is acceptable to them. There is very rarely any additional cost but the damage deposit may be increased in these circumstances.

Please see our Terms & Conditions of Hire for full details.

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Q. Do I need a special licence to hire a caravan?

For more details on UK licences, please visit the website of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) at or contact us

A. Caravans

International licence holders

Provided you meet our usual eligibility criteria (see our Terms & Conditions of Hire) then a full international licence is usually acceptable, although we do recommend that you check with us and your licence issuer.


UK full licence holders

Provided you meet our usual eligibility criteria (see our Terms & Conditions of Hire) then you only need a full UK licence with the necessary categories of B and B+E as this is valid for you to tow one of our caravans with your tow-vehicle with a gross weight (also known as maximum authorised mass (MAM)) of up to 3.5 tonnes. .



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Q. What happens if I have to cancel my hire?

A. If you cancel your hire then we shall endeavour to re-let the vehicle to another client.

If we are able to do so, then you will get a full refund of monies paid less an administration charge, currently £50.00+VAT.

If we are unable to do so, the Hirer will be liable to pay the administration charge plus costs on a scale proportionate to the length of time before the hire commences, as set out below :-

Exceeding 28 days from hire date


Loss of deposit

Less than 28 days from hire date


Loss of Hire charges

You would get a full refund for any delivery/collection charges paid if we have not incurred any costs in this respect. We may be able to offer a credit note to offset against a future hire, depending on the circumstances.

Hirers are advised to obtain their own insurance cover to safeguard against such losses.

Please see our Terms & Conditions of Hire

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Q. Do I have to pay the full hire charge on booking?

A. A deposit of £250.00 for caravans is required on booking to reserve a vehicle for you. This deposit then acts as the damage deposit during the hire and is fully refundable within ten days of the end of the hire provided the vehicle is returned clean, undamaged and on time.

The vehicle hire charge itself, along with any charges for delivery/collection, extra items and so on, is payable 28 days prior to the commencement of hire and we would usually send a reminder prior to this date. We can accept payment by most credit/debit cards, cheque and bank transfer.

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Q. Do you offer discounts for long term hires?

A. We can usually offer discounts for hires in excess of 21 days.

If you wish to hire for 22+ days then please do contact us and we shall aim to tailor discounts to your hire according to your requirements.

Please just contact us if you need more details or a quotation.

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Q. Is my towcar suitable to tow your caravans?

Please also see the FAQ section on towbars and stabilisers shown below.

A. There are many factors to consider when matching towcar and caravan, but one of the most important is the weights of the vehicles.

Legally, the maximum possible weight of the caravan (the MTPLM) must not exceed the maximum tow limit of the towcar (set by the manufacturer).

Other factors such as the towcar engine size, the weight of items loaded into the caravan, the type of towbar/hitch fitted, how well the caravan weight is distributed and even how far and where you are travelling will all make a difference to the safety of your car and caravan combination.

Overall, we consider that a common sense approach is the key to determining which caravans are suitable for your towcar. Please remember that the day you arrive to collect your caravan is not the best day to realise that it is not up to the job! For safety reasons we will not allow caravans to leave the site if the towcar is not suitable.

If you would like us to advise please just contact us and we would be happy to offer assistance in any way we can; be that by undertaking a towcar-to-caravan match appraisal or even if this is to deliver and collect the caravan so you do not have to tow it at all!

Please also see the FAQ section on towbars and stabilisers shown below.

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Q. What kind of towbar do I need to hire your caravans? Do you fit stabilisers?

A. Your towcar will need to have a 50mm 'extended neck' towball with eirther single or double 7-pin electric sockets or a 13-pin electric socket.

Stabilisers are additional equipment to attach towcar and caravan in a manner designed to damp out excess movement by the caravan, such as pitching or swaying. All our caravans would usually be equipped with an integral stabiliser which clamps onto the towball on your towcar. These stabilisers are fitted as standard equipment on all our caravans by the caravan manufacturers.

Although no special fittings or clamps are required to be fitted to your car, there is a specific style of towball to fit these many of these stabilisers and your towcar will need to meet these requirements in order to tow our caravans. For more details please click on the link below to view the product brochure sheet produced by the stabiliser manufacturer.   :   Correct Use of Towballs with AKS stabilisers

If your towcar is a 4 x 4 model

If your towcar is a 4 x 4 style model with a spare wheel located on the rear door we recommend you ensure there is sufficient clearance for the stabiliser handle to lift, as shown on the Al-Ko information sheet above.  


If your towcar has:    Swan-neck style and Detachable style towballs

Al-Ko stabilisers will usually fit these towballs without any amendment or adjustment necessary. However, we recommend you read the Al-Ko information sheet to check the clearances between towball and vehicle.


If your towcar has:    Bolt-on style towballs

If you use a standard ‘bolt-on’ type towball, you will need to replace it with the special Al-Ko ‘extended neck’ towball. As the stabiliser clamps fully around the towball, using the standard style towball is unacceptable as the stabiliser clamp cannot locate correctly and this could lead to the caravan becoming detached during travel.


Al-Ko diagram

An example diagram of how the stabiliser fits onto the towball.
Note the minimum height of 60mm from base of towball neck to the centre of the ball.

It is this requirement that can only be met by detachable, swan-neck or extended-neck towbars.

Al-Ko stabiliser

Example: Al-Ko stabiliser


Example: Extended-neck towball kit showing spacer and bolts

Should you have an older style bolt-on towball then we can supply the 'extended neck' version to you if required. Please just contact us for details and prices.

Please note: The checking and fitting of replacement towballs and spacers should be undertaken by appointment and this may not be possible at the time of caravan collection.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the need to meet these towball specifications, but we do feel that as the stabilisers are fitted by the caravan manufacturer and designed and built by the chassis manufacturer, they are raising the safety standards of our caravan fleet and as such are to be welcomed.

Finally, please be aware :-

Although we agree that a well matched car and caravan combination can benefit from the use of a stabiliser, the use of a stabiliser will not in itself make an unsafe or badly loaded towing combination safe!

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Q. Do you supply a rear number plate for caravans?

A. A rear number plate for the caravan to match the towcar is included free of charge for all caravan hires. This number plate is usually supplied by us, although some clients will have a number plate from previous hires or other sources.

With effect from 1st January 2003, new legislation introduced by the Department of Transport came into force regarding the supply of vehicle number plates. By law, number plate suppliers need to be registered with DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licencing Agency) and are now unable to supply number plates unless specific criteria are met and full details kept of every number plate issued. To supply number plates without meeting these criteria and keeping these records is now a criminal offence.

If you are hiring a caravan and require a rear number plate for the caravan, and the following documentation is not provided when the vehicle is collected, we will, by law, be unable to supply a new number plate.

You will need : Proof of Individual’s Identity

        Current Photocard Driving Licence


        Bank/Building Society statement or recent utility bill with one of the following :- 

                    Current paper driving licence


                    Credit/Debit card with photograph  

                    Travel Pass card with photograph

                    UK Armed Forces identity card

                    Foreign National identity card


You will need : Proof of Entitlement to the registration plate 

(the purchaser of the number plate does not have to be the registered keeper) 

      Vehicle Registration Document V5

OR one of the documents below : 

      Vehicle Licence renewal V11

      Certificate of Entitlement to a mark V750

      Cherished transfer retention document V778

      Certificate of Vehicle Registration V379

      Vehicle Export Certificate

      Authorisation slip from DVLA local office with DVLA stamp

      Letter of Authority from Fleet Operators on company headed paper with full contact details – must note V5 document reference number

      Copy of schedule of vehicles supplied by a hire/leasing company under the hire contract agreement together with a letter of authority on company headed notepaper – must note V5 document reference number


If hirers already have a rectangular number plate to match the towcar; for example from a previous hire where we supplied the number plate to you at the end of that hire; then we shall be happy to fit this to the caravan.

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Q. I am going to a specific event. Can you site a caravan there ready for me?

A. We can deliver all of our caravans throughout the UK and siting caravans at specific sporting events, exhibitions, shows, seminars, camping grounds and campsites is very common for us.

Delivery rates are generally based on the mileage travelled from our site near Salisbury. All delivery and collection services involve full siting and set-up of your vehicle so that it is ready for your immediate use. Hirers do not need to be on site when we deliver or collect, provided suitable siting instructions and key handover arrangements can be made. All you need to do is ensure that there is a space reserved for your caravan and inform us accordingly!

If you would like a quotation for our delivery and/or collection services please just contact us and we shall be happy to advise the costs involved.

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Q. When described as a "15ft" caravan, is this the overall length?

A. No. The description "15ft" or "18ft" that we use should only be used as a guide to the approximate interior length of the caravan. These descriptions are only used to give you an idea of the comparison in size of different models.

Overall length of our caravans may be up to 26ft. If you have limited space for a caravan and wish to check actual dimensions of a specific caravan then please do just contact us.

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Q. Do you sell caravans?

A. Yes. We are proud to be an authorised dealer of Adria Caravans, Swift Caravans & Coachman Caravans and can demonstrate a range of new caravans to you. Please see our New Caravans page.

If you are looking for a pre-owned caravan then we have a range of vehicles to offer. Please see our Caravan Sales pages for more details and sales lists.

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Q. What do you do with your caravans at the end of the summer holiday season?

A. We strive to provide the best possible caravans for hire and aim to keep our hire fleet as new as possible.

In order to do so we have a rolling replacement system for all caravans on our fleet. Most vehicles are available for purchase throughout the year at a discounted price and this is especially true from October - March.

If you are interested in the idea of purchasing a vehicle from us please visit our Caravan Sales pages for more details and sales lists.

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