Frequently Asked Questions For Buying A Static Caravan
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Allens Caravans understands that most first-time buyers have a host of questions they want answering 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 nearly a century of experience in the caravan industry, our experts are ideally placed to answer any questions you might have. If you are still looking for your answer here, feel free to contact us for more information.
Depending on your caravan supplier, 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. Terms and conditions apply.
As with all purchases, your static caravan's cost will depend on several factors. Firstly, you will have to consider the size of your dream static caravan alongside the décor and style. Where the caravan is sited will also impact price as specific 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 built to your custom specifications.
Allens Caravans has caravans available to suit all budgets. Prices vary across the sites we manage, so we always recommend contacting the dedicated sales department of the particular site you are interested in if you require further information.
Buying a static caravan should be approached similarly to any significant purchase. Initially, clarify your budget for purchasing your caravan and its monthly outgoings. After defining your budget, you can look 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 12-month residential caravan parks, which are licensed to house people all year round. On the other hand, if you are searching for a holiday home which you can stay in periodically throughout the year rather than use as a permanent home, then focus on holiday caravan parks. It's essential to decide which option you would like to choose as the rules and regulations surrounding the two types of static caravan parks 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.
Selling rules all depend on the caravan license currently in effect. At Allens Caravans, we are usually on hand to assist 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 static caravan rules and regulations and licensing information correctly, or ask your park operator for more details.
Unfortunately, renting usually isn't possible in residential parks and is against the static caravan rules and regulations. However, renting out your caravan is a possibility for some holiday parks - it all depends on the park and the license held. Many caravan owners only stay in their holiday caravan for a short time each year, and for the remainder of the time, they rent 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.
Alternatively, in exchange for a management fee, many parks will offer a letting service and handle advertising, letting, cleaning, and maintenance of your caravan. Renting your caravan is an excellent way to recuperate some static caravan costs or contribute towards park pitch fees. However, you should always 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.
Living in a caravan in the UK can be very cost-effective. 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 stunning countryside – what's not to love?
The initial caravan purchase is one of many costs you must consider 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 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 must be aware of pitch fees. To know how much the pitch fee for caravans is, you need to check with the individual site management. The pitch fee is the annual charge issued by parks to caravan owners for their mobile homes to be sited on the park grounds. Different parks will have different fees depending on various 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 precisely 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.
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, washing down the area frequently and ensuring nothing is stored outside the caravan is usually sufficient.
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.
It would be best if you cleared 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 essential to ensure that there is no chance of water ending up where it shouldn't be.
Another way to prevent dampness 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, ensure roof vents are closed to prevent water from getting in during the wetter seasons. Although you should also 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.
You should also regularly check and clean your outer panels and caravan chassis to ensure there is no damage or rusting that will require repair. The chassis can be treated to prevent rust, although keep in mind that caravans located near the coast will likely require increased maintenance and more robust rust protection.
If you rent 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 suitable 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.
You’ll also need to ensure that any gas, electric and water supplies are turned off when 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, it will also need regular maintenance and checks to ensure it is safe and efficient to use - contact a local gas engineer for further information. Your site should have a list of trusted, preferred engineers available.
Batteries in fire and carbon monoxide alarms will need to be replaced and checked regularly to ensure 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.
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, and regularly check any external fixings to ensure they are still intact and not at risk of rust.
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. 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. Check out a few different insurance providers to know how much static caravan insurance is. Shop around to get yourself the best offer with the most comprehensive cover.
If you are purchasing a new caravan, there may be additional options for choosing soft furnishings, furniture, and fittings before it is built and sited in 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. If replaced, you must ensure that it is carefully measured to ensure any new furniture fits.
Heating costs will depend on your usage. 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 remember 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 the hot summer months, consider packing some extra fans or a portable air conditioning unit to keep things comfortable.
If your primary residence and static holiday caravan are not occupied simultaneously, you will not require a TV license. However, should you hire or loan out your caravan while residing in your primary home address, a TV license will be required separately for your static caravan. In addition, if you use your static caravan as a primary address, you must 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 number of holiday-goers increases during the summer. 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 for long or short stays, although you'll want to research which mobile network supplier offers the best signal for your area.
Living in a Static Caravan – FAQs
What do you need to know about living in a static caravan?
Static caravans are large structures that require flatbed trucks to move efficiently. This can be an expensive process and is something you want to do only sometimes! Therefore, it's essential 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 your static caravan is situated on a holiday park, it cannot be lived as a permanent residence.
If your park home is situated on a 12-month residential caravan site, you can enjoy living there all year round.
This is partly due to how park licenses work, and 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 dwellings.
You can find more information on living in your static caravan here.
Finding a site for a static caravan is relatively easy, but it’s essential to be aware of the options available. There are two main options: site your static caravan on private land with full planning permission or on a licensed and managed caravan park. Private land and planning permission can be costly to request and obtain, making managed caravan sites the most popular place for siting static caravans.
There are two types of managed options: 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 used as holiday homes. Residential caravan parks are licensed to accommodate 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 essential 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 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.
You may be wondering, “So, when can I go to my static caravan?” Well, 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 only be able to use your caravan for part of the year. Most holiday caravan parks are only open for ten months of the year, closing over the quieter winter months.
Most holiday sites close during the quiet winter months unless you have invested in a park home on a 12-month residential caravan site. During this time, the park can catch up with site maintenance and 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 it or talk to your park management about winterising your caravan before the park closes. Winterising will include:
Draining down water.
Emptying waste receptacles.
Thoroughly cleaning your caravan inside and out and removing any electrical equipment or valuables.
Only some parks will restrict the 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 you allow in your caravan, if you plan 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.
Pitch or park site fees are the payments made to cover the use of land your caravan is on and the maintenance and upkeep of your park's facilities and amenities. Pitch fees are usually paid directly to the park management annually and are considered the most significant recurring cost after purchasing a caravan. Your fees will depend on the park facilities and size, with increased fees for larger, more facilities-driven 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 let friends and family use your caravan when 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 and regulations focus on being a considerate neighbour. Don't make too much noise after a specific 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 a conversation with your neighbours! They will be happy to walk you through what you need to know, especially as friendliness is typical across all holiday and residential caravan parks.
You can access complete information about Allens Caravans' rules and regulations here.
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 is an appealing option. Find the right one for you with Allens Caravans.