When it comes to caravans, sometimes, it can be all too easy to feel overwhelmed by confusing terminology used when referring to your different accommodation options. This is particularly true if you're new to the caravan lifestyle, especially if you're interested and just want to find out more. Here at Allens Caravans, we have been part of the UK's caravan sector since the mid-1930s, so it's fair to say that we know a thing or two about caravans!
Some of the most common questions we receive are about the different types of caravan, the phrases used to describe them and how they differ from one another. If you're wondering what a static caravan is, whether one is suitable for you or how they compare to other types of caravan, then you're in the right place. This brief guide should answer all the questions you might have about both vintage static caravans and their modern counterparts. Let's get into it.
To fully understand exactly what a static caravan is and to clear up any confusion between the different phrases, it's important that we define each individual type of caravan. We'll start with the two main types of static caravan in the UK before moving on to some of the other commonly used terms in the industry.
The touring caravan is what most people imagine when the word ‘caravan' is mentioned - a trailer-style home that is designed to be towed by a vehicle (usually a car). Touring caravans are almost always made to be both lightweight and strong, otherwise, the caravan will not be secure and you may encounter issues while towing it.
On the other hand, static caravans aren't meant to be towed around the country. Instead, they are designed to be transported only once - directly to a holiday or caravan park - where they will stay for a sustained period of time.
In short, a static caravan stays in one place whereas a touring caravan is towed and can be taken wherever you want.
The fact that static caravans remain stationary means that they can benefit from more comprehensive facilities and home comforts. For example, static caravans usually include central heating, double glazing and fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms. Similarly, whilst the interior of a touring caravan needs to be fixed to avoid issues during travel, static caravans open the door to additional appliances and free-standing furniture.
Now that we've looked at the major terms used in the UK market, it's time to address some additional phrases that people use in reference to caravans. It's important to note the differences between these phrases because they will have a big effect on when you can use your static caravan.
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In a wider context, the term 'holiday home' can be used to describe any property that you own or reside in for a short period of time each year - whenever you want to go on holiday. When it comes to caravans specifically, holiday home usually references static caravans which are based on a holiday park and can be bought or rented for use as holiday accommodation.
The most important point about holiday homes is that they cannot replace your permanent residence. Depending on where you live in the UK, there is fixed legislation about what type of property can be used for permanent residency and most static caravans based in holiday parks cannot or do not meet the specific criteria.
Furthermore, the holiday parks that house these static caravan holiday homes are usually open for only 10 months of the year; therefore, you wouldn't be able to stay in your caravan all year round. If you really wanted to, though, you could live in your caravan for all 10 months!
To summarise, a holiday home is a static caravan that is housed on a holiday park. You cannot live in a static caravan holiday home permanently; you must have another property that is designated as your permanent residence.
‘Mobile home' is actually quite a misleading phrase because it's generally used to reference static caravans that are being used as permanent residential properties, meaning that a mobile home isn't actually meant to be moved around at all.
It must be emphasised that just like holiday homes, park homes are stationary and fixed in position. The key difference between park and holiday homes is that you can stay in a park home permanently, whereas you may only be able to stay in a holiday home for 10 months of the year.
Now that we've cleared up the confusion around static caravans and how the types of static caravan differ, you might be wondering whether a static caravan is suited to you and your requirements.
Most people can find a static caravan suitable for their needs because of the variety available. However, the most important point to consider is that every caravan and every park is different, so always investigate and, where possible, organise a visit before making a purchase.
We hope that this brief introduction has helped you to understand some of the more confusing terms in the UK caravan industry. If you're interested in acquiring a static caravan, you can discover more about our holiday homes here. If you're unsure about anything, please don't hesitate to get in touch and we will gladly help you.