Frequently Asked Questions For Buying A Static Caravan
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Static caravan holidays have always been a firm favourite of the British public. Caravan hire in the UK is an enduring holiday staple, allowing holidaymakers to relax, have fun, and get back in touch with fond childhood memories of summer caravan holidays.
Faqs About Costs
Whether you’re searching for a holiday home nestled in the countryside or want to downsize and live somewhere surrounded by natural beauty, buying a static caravan can be an incredibly appealing option. Not only is it often cheaper to live in a caravan, but owning a static holiday home can also be extremely affordable, it’s just about finding the right one for you.
That said, at Allens Caravans we understand that most first-time buyers have a host of questions they want to be answered before they take the next step. With this in mind, we have put together this detailed guide on buying a static caravan, covering all the common questions from how wide is a static caravan to what it’s like owning one.
With holiday and residential parks dotted across England and Wales, alongside over half a decade of experience in the caravan industry, our team of experts are perfectly placed to answer whatever questions you might have. If you can’t find your answer here, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information.
As with all purchases, your static caravan’s cost will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, you will have to consider the size of your desired static caravan, alongside the décor and style. Where the caravan is sited will also have an impact on price as certain locations may be more desirable; plus, holiday caravan parks and residential caravan parks can differ in their approach to pricing. Second-hand caravans that are well-maintained and taken care of hold their price well but will still be cheaper than a brand-new caravan or one that has been built to your custom specifications.
Allens Caravans has caravans available to suit all budgets. Prices vary across the sites we manage though, so, we would always recommend that you contact the dedicated sales department of the particular site you are interested in if you require further information.
The initial caravan purchase isn't the only cost you need to keep in mind when investing in a static caravan. You will also need to factor in living costs including gas, electricity and water bills. These might come in the form of a monthly bill from the park or you might be expected to pick up gas canisters to attach to your caravan home for use during your stay. If you are concerned about the living costs in your caravan, talk to other caravan owners on any potential parks you visit to get an idea of what they use and pay during their stay.
In addition to living costs, caravan owners will need to be aware of pitch fees. Pitch fees are likely to be the second most expensive cost of purchasing a caravan (behind the cost of the caravan itself) and are the charge issued by parks to caravan owners for their mobile home to be sited on the park grounds. Different parks will have different fees depending on a range of factors such as popularity, security and park facilities, so make sure to compare parks and see what is available to you as a caravan owner.
Potential caravan owners should check exactly what their pitch fees include. Find out what will happen to your caravan during off-season closure if your park operates in that manner, as well as if winter storage is included in the park site fees or whether owners will be expected to pay more for winter coverage.
These are some of the key costs of owning and buying a static caravan privately. As with all major purchases, you should do your research and read through contracts thoroughly to fully understand exactly what you are paying for and what you are entitled to.
In residential parks, unfortunately, renting usually isn't possible. However, for some holiday parks renting out your caravan is definitely a possibility - it all depends on the park and the license held. Many caravan owners only stay in their holiday caravan for a short amount of time each year and for the remainder of the time, they hire out their lodging or loan their caravan to friends and family. Owners can create a static caravan lease and rent their caravans privately, advertising and taking bookings themselves or alternatively, in exchange for a management fee, many parks will offer a letting service and will handle advertising, letting, cleaning and maintenance of your caravan.
Renting your caravan is a good way to recuperate some of the static caravan costs or contribute towards park pitch fees. However, you should always make sure to check that your site agreement allows for the creation of a static caravan lease and hiring of your mobile home before you move forward with any plans.
Depending on the caravan supplier you choose, finance options may be available subject to credit checks. At Allens Caravans, we do have a financing option available. Get in touch with our sales team for further information about how we can make owning a holiday home more affordable for you. Terms and conditions apply.
Selling rules all depend on the caravan license currently in effect. At Allens Caravans, we are usually on hand to offer assistance for anyone hoping to sell their caravan in the near future. Alternatively, sales can be made privately between the owner and buyer. Whatever the case, if you have a caravan sited on a holiday or residential park, make sure to check your paperwork and licensing information properly for details or ask your park operator for more information.
In many cases, yes. Residential caravans are often cheaper to purchase than brick and mortar houses; plus, the cost of living is much more affordable. Caravans require less energy to heat and run, plus many static caravan sites bundle electricity and water fees into other fees you would usually pay.
Pitch fees will be the largest of your monthly outgoings when owning a static caravan and they will pale in comparison to mortgage payments you would have to pay with a traditional property. So, in almost every sense, living in a caravan is cheaper than living in a brick and mortar home. Plus, you are surrounded by a community of like-minded people and the stunning countryside – what’s not to love!
There isn’t necessarily a ‘best’ way to buy a static caravan, it all depends on what you are looking for and what your goals are. In general, we would recommend you start by laying out budgets for both purchasing your caravan and monthly outgoings.
After defining your budget, you can start looking for a static caravan you like. If you want to live in your static caravan as a permanent residence, you will need to limit your search to residential caravan parks, which are licensed to house people all year round. On the other hand, if you are in search of a holiday home which you can stay in periodically throughout the year, rather than use as a permanent home, then focus your search on holiday caravan parks. It’s important to decide on which option you would like to choose as the rules and regulations surrounding the two types of caravan park are very different.
Remember, if in doubt, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will gladly help you along your caravan purchasing journey.
Caravan Living FAQs
Hopefully, the above information will have settled any questions you had regarding the costs of owning a static caravan, but to answer your questions about caravan living, we've put together the following.
This depends on where your caravan is located. If the static caravan is sited on a holiday park, then it cannot be lived in as a permanent residence. On the flip side, if your park home is situated on a residential caravan park, then you can enjoy living there all year round.
This is partly due to how park licenses work as well as how caravan building regulations operate. Make sure to check the build standards on the purchase of your caravan; structures built to EN1647 are only suitable for temporary or holiday accommodation, while caravans built to BS3632 have been designed for long-term and permanent dwelling.
You can find more information on living in your static caravan here.
Finding a site for a static caravan is fairly easy, although it’s important to be aware of the different options available. There are two main options; you can site your static caravan on private land with full planning permission or on licensed and managed caravan park. Private land and planning permission can be a highly expensive process to request and obtain, making managed caravan sites the most popular place for siting static caravans.
Of the managed options, there are two types - holiday caravan sites and residential caravan parks. Holiday caravan sites are usually only open around 10 months of the year and are designed to house static caravans which are used as holiday homes. Residential caravan parks are licensed to house residential static caravans, also known as park homes, which can be lived in all year round. Each park type has slightly different rules and regulations, so it’s important to understand the difference.
If you’re asking whether you can put your own static caravan on a site managed by a private company, that’s something which will change on a case-by-case basis. Contact the park in question to ask for more information on whether that’s a possibility for you.
Static caravans are large structures that require flatbed trucks to move efficiently. This can be an expensive process and is not something you want to do regularly! For that reason, it's important to ensure that you choose your park carefully. When siting your caravan, you'll want to consider connections, extra pitch inclusions such as decking, gardens and screening and the size of your pitch.
If you are siting your caravan on private land with full planning permission and it has been built to BS6965 standards, you can stay in your caravan all-year-round.
However, it's more likely that you've bought a static caravan and will need to site it in a holiday caravan park. If this is the case, you will not be able to use your caravan throughout the whole year. Most caravan parks are only open for ten months of the year, closing over the quieter winter months.
Holiday caravan parks close during the quiet winter months as they see a large reduction in the number of visitors on the site and it is less cost-effective for them to stay open, for both the park owners and caravan owners. During this time, the park can catch up with site maintenance, staff training and get the holiday park visitor-ready for next year's open season.
Over the winter months when the park is closed, your caravan will be left unused and empty so ensure that you take the time to winterise or talk to your park management about winterising your caravan before the park closes. Winterising will include draining down water, emptying waste receptacles, removing batteries, thoroughly cleaning your caravan inside and out and removing any electrical equipment or valuables that may have been left in your caravan.
Only some parks will have restrictions on the amount of time your caravan can remain on site. For those that do, the average seems to be around 15 years, though it can vary from park to park. Most parks won't have any time restrictions but may continue to increase pitch fees annually - just make sure to check license agreements and siting paperwork closely before agreeing to a park choice.
While you will have control over the individuals and animals that you allow in your caravan, if you are planning on regularly visiting your site with your pet in tow, you'll want to check that the caravan site allows animals before making your purchase.
Our holiday parks where pets are welcome include Abbot's Salford, Leedons Park, Overstone Lakes, The Springs and Sunbeach.
Pitch fees or park site fees are the payments made to cover the use of land your caravan has been sited on and also cover the maintenance and upkeep of your park's facilities and amenities. Pitch fees are usually paid annually directly to the park management and are considered to be the greatest recurring cost after purchasing a caravan. The fees you pay will depend on the park facilities and size, with increased fees for larger, more comprehensive parks that host regular entertainment evenings or have sports and swimming facilities.
While some privately-owned sites do not allow subletting, it's fine to allow friends and family to use your caravan during a time you aren't using it or even as a group visit. However, make sure not to overfill the caravan for health and safety reasons and if you have large group visits in mind, purchase a caravan with enough room and a large accommodated berth.
The most common static caravan park rules focus on being a considerate neighbour. Don’t make too much noise after a certain time and generally look after one-another as part of the community, and you should find yourself quickly welcomed.
If you’re ever unsure about static caravan park rules, the best thing to do is speak to park operators or start up a conversation with your neighbours! They will be more than happy to walk you through what you need to know, especially as friendliness is a trait common across all holiday and residential caravan parks.
Owning a Static Caravan FAQs
Owning a static caravan holiday home is both exciting and adventurous, allowing you and your family or friends to regularly escape from the hustle and bustle of real life to kick back and relax in serene tranquillity, surrounded by beautiful and inspiring natural sights. If you don't see your question, please get in touch with our expert, friendly team who will be more than happy to assist you - simply give us a call on 01564 792323.
Static caravans have the benefit of being relatively easy to maintain and you'll only need to perform a short regular maintenance schedule to keep everything looking and functioning well.
Clear and clean gutters regularly to prevent a build-up of debris like moss and leaf litter which can cause rainwater to overspill down the panels of the caravan. This can also lead to damp issues so it's important to ensure that there is no chance of water ending up where it shouldn't be. Another way to prevent damp is to leave your curtains open when the caravan is not in use and distribute large bowls of salt or dehumidifier packs around the caravan to draw moisture out of furniture and soft furnishings.
When not in use, make sure that roof vents are closed to prevent water getting in during the wetter seasons, although ensure that wall or floor vents are unblocked and open to allow fresh air to circulate your caravan, helping prevent damp and mould growth and keep your caravan from smelling stale the next time you use it.
Check and clean your outer panels and caravan chassis regularly to ensure there is no damage or rusting occurring that will require repair. The chassis can be treated to prevent rust although keep in mind that caravans located near to the coast will likely require increased maintenance and stronger rust protection.
If you are renting your caravan out, you'll need to ensure it undergoes a regular check by a professional electrician and gas engineer, depending on your supplied amenities. Yearly is good for caravans that undergo heavy, weekly use, although at least every three years is the best practice to ensure a safe and well-maintained caravan.
Ensure that any gas, electric and water supplies are turned off during any time your caravan isn’t being used to prevent a risk of fire or flooding, especially during winter when pipes are at risk of freezing. If you have a boiler in your caravan, this will also need regular maintenance and checks to ensure it is still safe and efficient to use - contact a local gas engineer for further information. Your site should have a list of trusted, preferred engineers available.
Regularly replace batteries in fire and carbon monoxide alarms and check that they are still working and emitting sound. Your caravan must have a fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarm and if you have a particularly large caravan, it's recommended to have at least two throughout the structure.
Make sure to keep the roof clear of leaf litter and natural debris as this can encourage the growth of mould and lead to damp in your caravan. A few times a year, ensure doors and windows are wiped down and hinges cleaned and oiled to ensure free movement, especially windows and doors marked as fire escapes and ensure locks are also maintained to prevent sticking or rusting when not in use.
Never block vents or fire escapes from your caravan and never store anything underneath the caravan as this can lead to an increased fire risk. Make sure that any steps to your caravan or surrounding decking are kept clear and clean of trip hazards, in addition to regularly checking any exterior fixings to ensure they are still intact and not at risk of rust.
The boundaries of your caravan site should be clearly marked and you will be responsible for keeping the site tidy and well-maintained. It's best to check your site agreement to ensure the level of maintenance you are required to carry out, however, usually washing down the area frequently and ensuring nothing is stored outside the caravan is sufficient.
While caravan owners are not legally obligated to insure their static caravan, most caravan parks will require minimal coverage to ensure the basics are covered while your caravan remains on their site. Having caravan insurance is extremely beneficial for caravan owners and depending on the type of policy you get, you are protected against most types of damage, including storm, flood and winter damage. Some policies also offer a new for old replacement scheme in addition to contents cover, private rental cover and coverage for your keys and locks should they fail or go missing.
There are a few different insurance providers to choose from when insuring your static caravan so make sure to shop around to get yourself the best offer with the most comprehensive cover.
Miscellaneous Static Caravan FAQs
For those questions that don't quite fall under other headings, we have included a few more answers below.
If you are purchasing a new caravan, there may be additional options for choosing soft furnishings, furniture and fittings prior to it being built and sited on your chosen caravan park. It's best to check with the caravan manufacturer. If you are buying a pre-owned or new caravan that has already been built and sited, any customisations will need to be made yourself.
Most things in your caravan can be changed and customised depending on your needs, whether you replace carpets, remove carpets in favour of hard-flooring or vice-versa, re-cover furniture and change out soft furnishings such as cushions, curtains and beddings. There will also be options to change fixings and fittings like door or cupboard handles and locks. However, you should keep in mind that some furniture may be specifically sized for your caravan and if replaced, you need to ensure that it is carefully measured to ensure any new furniture fits.
Your caravan should come with gas connections to hook up to gas mains or gas bottles, depending on the facilities at your chosen site. However, you should also keep in mind that there may only be electrical hook-ups in place of gas. Modern caravans are built well-insulated with a condensed central heating system or fireplace to protect against the cold and keep occupants warm. Much like the majority of British homes, there is no air conditioning so if you stay during hot summer months, consider packing some extra fans or a portable air conditioning unit to keep things comfortable.
If your main residence and static holiday caravan are not occupied at the same time, then you will not require a TV license. However, should you hire or loan out your caravan while residing in your main home address, a TV license will be required separately for your static caravan. In addition, if you are using your static caravan as a main address, you will need to ensure your TV license is registered to your caravan address.
While most caravan sites offer free Wi-Fi, the connection speeds and quality tend to slow down as the amount of holiday-goers increases during the summer months. Depending on the number of personal connections you have and the coverage you would like through your caravan, a mobile dongle with Wi-Fi may be suitable to your needs which plugs straight into a laptop via USB.
Alternatively, powered Wi-Fi hubs are known for having better signal pick-up and can accommodate multiple devices. These are low-cost options good for long or short stays, although you'll want to research which mobile network supplier offers the best signal for your area.
Just like regular homes, static caravans come in a broad variety of sizes. Static caravan widths vary from anywhere between 10 and 20 feet, depending on the model and manufacturer. Similarly, static caravan length can vary too, usually sitting somewhere between 30 and 40 feet. You will quickly get an idea of averages when visiting your potential static caravan home.
Owning a static caravan is an experience the whole family can enjoy and makes for a great place to escape to at the last minute on the weekend. If you have a question we haven't addressed above, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and expert team on 01564 792 323 for more information or to find out about our static caravans for sale.