Can you stand on a caravan roof to clean it?

Like many caravan owners, you may find that the most challenging place to clean your caravan is the roof, yet it’s also the place with the most dirt on it. This is because the roof is a very large and flat surface that can easily collect the natural dirt such as dust, leaves, twigs and moss. The roof can be a tricky area to clean as it can be challenging to reach and makes you stand in an uncomfortable position on your ladder to clean it. Many caravanners become tempted to climb up onto the roof of their caravan while cleaning it. Although this seems like a much easier way to clean it, It may not always be a good idea to do this.

When it comes to standing on your caravan, many people in the caravanning community seem to have opposing opinions. The root of this opposition seems to come from the Bailey’s Alu Tech advert that showed images of a car on top of their caravan. From this advert, people became more confident to step onto the roof of their Alu Tech caravans, while others argue against this idea due to the health and safety risks that come with it. Whether or not you can stand on your caravan roof may depend on your specific caravan model and how strong the roof is. This blog post will look at the Bailey advert in more detail and look at some of the discussions that have taken place online surrounding caravan roofs.

This blog post will discuss the following:

Cleaning the roof of your caravan

Cleaning the caravan roof. Image from:

Most of the time, when people consider standing on their roof, it’s usually for cleaning purposes. Standing on the roof of your caravan can make it much easier to access and reach all the places that need the most attention while cleaning. However, standing on your caravan may not always be the best option. Even if your caravan roof can take the weight, there is a chance that you could slip and fall off. Therefore it is highly recommended that you use a ladder to do this instead. I asked forum users on Practical Caravan what they thought about standing on the roof of a caravan to clean it, and the majority of replies I got stated they used a ladder and avoided standing on the roof. User ‘Beachball’ said, “We have an extending ladder put at the side of the caravan and with an extending telescopic brush”.

Using a ladder is the most common and widely accepted way of cleaning your caravan roof, but you have to ensure you use the correct ladder to clean your roof well. You’ll need a ladder that allows you enough access to the centre of the roof while also ensuring your safety. This is why telescopic ladders are the best, as they can be adjusted to the height of your caravan. This means you can have better access to the centre of the caravan roof and will ensure your safety. Telescopic ladders are lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry around the caravan.

If you would like a more detailed guide on cleaning the roof of your caravan, read our blog post, ‘How to clean the roof of a caravan’.

The effects of the Bailey advert

Baily Alu Tech Advert. Image from:

As mentioned previously, caravan user’s felt that it was safe to stand on their roofs after the release of the Bailey caravan advert, where they demonstrated the amount of weight their Alu Tech caravans could take by placing a car on top of it. This advert can be seen in the image above. After seeing this advert, some caravan user’s believed that as long as their caravan had a strong roof, it was safe to climb onto the roof, even if their caravan wasn’t a Bailey Alu Tech model. Practical Caravan forum user ‘Damian’ speaks about this advert and explains:

“What they did not show was the supports that were placed along the length of the caravan above the roof to wall joints to spread the weight along its length. Whilst the bonded roof vans do have the advantage of being able to take some weight it is still not advisable to walk on what will become a wet and slippery surface as you wash it, and it is a long way down to the ground!”

Before discussing whether or not it is safe to stand on your caravan roof, let’s take a look at the Bailey Alu Tech system and what exactly about it makes it safe for people to stand on the roof.

Alu-Tech is a new approach to bodyshell construction that uses a unique interlocking aluminium framework to clamp the body panels together. The shell of these caravans are made to be more robust and durable. Bailey also claims that the Alu Tech caravans offer greater protection against the elements thanks to a significant reduction in the number of external joints and fixing points. These caravan use timber-free components in the upper bodyshell panels and thicker, better-insulated panels cloaked in impact resistant GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic). This provides a hugely improved thermal performance of the bodyshell.

One important thing to remember about this Bailey advert is that it was used as a marketing technique and a selling point for the Bailey Alu Tech caravans only. By releasing this advert, Bailey demonstrated the weight their own product could endure, not any other caravans. This is important to remember as it can be hazardous to climb onto a caravan roof if the manufacturer hasn’t explicitly said it is safe.

Discussions on forums

Cleaning the caravan roof. Image from:

As I mentioned previously, I posted on the Practical Caravan forum to ask users if it was safe to climb on top of their caravan roof to clean it. When I went back to the forum to look at the replies, I didn’t expect to see the opposition within the comments that were posted. It’s clear by looking at my post that caravan users tend to have a difference in opinion when it comes to this matter. After reading through the replies, it appears that both sides of the argument seem valid to some extent. In this section of the blog post, I will be sharing the discussions that took place on the forum to allow you to understand both opinions.

User ‘Hoomer’ explained that they often climbed onto the roof of their caravan to clean it. After multiple comments strongly disagreed with this cleaning method, ‘Hoomer’ explained, “If you caravan roof can’t take the weight of a human shuffling about washing it, it’s not built very well.” ‘Hoomer’ also posted the picture of the Baily advert that shows a car on top of the caravan.

User ‘ProfJohnL’ then explained:

“Not all caravans are Bailey’s and not all caravans are built the same way. It is not advisable to stand on a caravan roof, not only might it damage the roof, there is the risk of slipping and falling off, an even greater risk if you are using cleaning products.”

‘Hoomer’ then referenced caravans that are built with a ladder on the back that leads up to the roof of the caravan and says:

“It’s a curious attitude when manufacturers offer roof racks and access ladders to models. Slipping? You are no more likely to slip than when cleaning your kitchen floor”.

User ‘Buckman’ ended the discussion by stating:

“I would think that the majority of caravans made in the UK could have a car placed on the roof without issues as the load is spread and the actual load is on top of the walls of the caravans. Good marketing by Bailey if you believe it.”


As you can see from the discussions on the forum, there appears to be quite a divide between those who think it is safe to stand on a caravan’s roof and those who do not. The idea that solid caravan roofs are suitable to stand on usually comes from the Bailey Alu Tech advert that many forum users keep referencing. However, as I explained early, it’s important to keep in mind how that advert was only to promote the Baily Alu Tech caravan and not any other caravans. Therefore this advert should not be used as a way to justify standing on a different caravan that is not Bailey Alu Tech model, as it could read to severe damage to your caravan, but also to yourself.

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