Think thermal curtains, underfloor heating, even additional insulation when it comes to heating a static caravan in winter!
There’s no denying the colder months are now upon us: all you have to do is look outside and instead of the summer sun, it’s blustery breezes, winter coats, and a distinct crispness to the air. While many have traded the seaside for a snug sofa, the half a million or so holiday homeowners are still enjoying the delights of the ownership life. And rightly so!
At Lyons Holiday Parks, we’re determined to help you and your family make lasting memories all year round – not just when the sun is shining in those summer months. We truly believe that ownership is for life, and especially those festive months. This is why we’ve brought to you a comprehensive guide to heating a static caravan in winter. In this guide, you’ll see how ownership can be enjoyed come rain or shine – or even snow if you’re one of the lucky ones at the beautiful Lyons Eryl Hall in the snowy hills of St Asaph!
Is it safe to stay in a static caravan in winter?
Gone are the days of single-glazed, structurally slim holiday homes that make even the lightest of rainfall sound like an unharmonised brass band. With the amount of well-manufactured, insulated and structurally safe holiday homes on the market today, staying in a lodge or static caravan during colder months is now more popular than ever.
When it comes to heating a static caravan in winter, there are a few do’s and don’ts which will not only keep your family safe but will also protect your beloved home-from-home from the elements and dampness. So long as you’ve taken responsible precautions to insulate, thoroughly protect, and upkeep your holiday home in the summer months, there’s no reason why you have to bid your favourite park farewell when winter falls.
Winter drain down is a separate topic altogether and is essential in any caravan park. If you are planning on wrapping up your weekends on-park in colder months, it’s vital that a correct winterisation procedure is followed. You can find out more about how to winterise (drain down and shut off) your static caravan here.
Where do I start in keeping my holiday home warm?
Start with the basics, which are not only time and cost-effective but are a sure way to ensure you and your loved ones are snuggled up come the cold weather. Here are some short-term tips to heating your static caravan in winter:
- Thermal curtains are a winner: Now in plenty of styles and available from most major online retailers and even independent high-street brands, thermal curtains are a great way of keeping the cold air out and the warm air in. The thickness and proper lining of thermal curtains act as an easy method of insulation and even a pretty one too! Remember to keep the curtains open in the day to let some sunlight and warmth in, then close them at night to keep off the chill.
- Radiator goo-goo: Despite the vast array of models that are pretty generous in space, feng shui in any static caravan is sometimes a challenge due to the compact space. As tempting as it is to overlook the location of your radiators – including bedrooms and living areas! – when furnishing your holiday home, remember to avoid blocking these sacred spaces in order to allow proper airflow when they’re on.
- You won’t rug-ret it: adding some thick and fluffy rugs or mats to your holiday home, especially the cold floors in the bathroom, hallway, and kitchen area, can help with heating your static caravan in winter. The material acts as yet another layer of insulation, and even protects your own or your family’s little toes from feeling the chill! Of course, deciding to fully upgrade your holiday home’s carpets is an option if you’re planning on keeping that particular model for a while. Just remember this can be costly – and the beauty of rugs is you can stick them in the washing machine after an invasion of muddy paws!
- Look at portable heaters: Due to our increased awareness of our ever-growing carbon footprint, the topic of portable heaters in holiday homes is a loaded one. If you’re eco-conscious, you can always look at energy-efficient heaters, or ones that use alternative energy as opposed to oil and gas. This will also help cut your costs, and save you worrying about ultra-flammable raw fuels.
- Cushion the blow: Finally, heating a static caravan in winter is a great excuse for the closet interior design enthusiasts to whack out their creative styles! We know it may sound basic, but padding your beds, sofas, and even communal spaces with blankets or cushions all acts as another insulator in your holiday home or lodge. What’s more, you can always add fleece bedsheets, winter duvets or even an electric blanket to your boudoir to ward off the chill – just remember to check up on the safety of the latter before they are used by children, especially overnight.
Longer-term ideas to heating a static caravan in winter
Here are some long-term ideas to help keep the chill out this winter:
1. Central heating
Central heating is always the first port of call when it comes to heating your static caravan in winter. Almost all newer models come centrally-heated, so if you’re feeling the chill in your older holiday home, it may be time to look into some seriously hot heating systems. Installing central heating can be costly and complex, and may not work on older static caravans. Upgrading is always a great option – especially if it means keeping warm in winter, and is a small price to pay in order to enjoy your holiday home every month out of the year.
The fireplace in the living room of a static caravan is more than likely the feature that brings everyone together. There’s nothing quite like cosying up on a cold winter night in front of a gas or electric fireplace. Due to the unit’s compact space, fireplaces tend to do a great job of heating a static caravan in winter. Consider upgrading your fireplace if you’re finding yourself chilly. This will not only keep you warm, but could add value to the reselling price of your unit.
3. Underfloor heating
The flooring on any holiday home is where a lot of heat tends to be lost, due to the large open space and often hard or laminated fittings. Many suppliers install underfloor heating, which can be easily controlled by a timer or remote. If you find this too costly, look into portable under-rug heaters which can be moved around from room to room.
4. Windows and doors
Similarly to a house or apartment, the quality of your windows and doors could be a huge vantage point when it comes to retaining heat. Feeling drafty winds come through? It could be time to upgrade your holiday home from a single-glazed to a double-glazed unit. This has been one of the nation’s most popular decisions in the Year of the Staycation, as many holiday homeowners see the benefits of using their caravan year-round, which calls for more functionally glazed windows and doors.
One of the biggest improvements to heating your static caravan in winter comes from the outside. Cladding your holiday home with approved materials can not only keep the cold out, but could also add to the aesthetic of your beloved unit. Options include aluminium cladding, thermoplastic cladding, vinyl or wood cladding, all of which act as a superb layer of insulation. This can be costly, so if you would like some help and guidance in choosing a trustworthy provider, do give the sales office a call on 01745 342265.
How expensive is heating a static caravan in winter?
Any improvements to your holiday home can be costly – especially when it comes to large scale projects such as installing underfloor heating, cladding, or even a new fireplace.
There are plenty of options to adding additional heaters to your unit, but like anything in life, it’s not just the retail price of the product to take into consideration. There have been many talks over the years of energy and money-efficient ways to heat your holiday home, including the cost analysis of buying a portable heater which, of course, uses electricity in large amounts.
For more information on cost-effective ways of heating your static caravan in winter, visit here.
What heating-related things shall I avoid?
Here’s a list of things to avoid at all costs in order to protect you and your family from the colder weather this winter:
- Don’t worry about electric consumption – we all know people who refuse to put the heating on at home. Unfortunately, holiday homes don’t work like this, and avoiding putting the heating on once the weather turns colder in the autumn is a sure way of exposing your unit to damp, frozen pipes, cracking, and other breakages.
- Don’t avoid the warning signs – if your unit seems to be a wind tunnel and the draught is too harsh to ignore, it may be time to bite the bullet and upgrade to a double-glazed or central-heated unit.
- Leaving for the week but back soon? Don’t forget to move all furnishings, such as beds and sofas, a few feet away from the wall to protect against damp. Put your bedding in a binbag or storage case until you return to avoid damp sheets.
- Don’t ignore the safety warnings – especially when it comes to portable heaters, electric blankets, or thermal rugs.
- Don’t overlook the park rules – these are here to keep you, your neighbours, even the park staff safe. It’s vital that you discuss any holiday home improvements with a member of the aftercare team, and they may even be able to offer you a few pointers. Some parks require plot improvement forms to be completed before such installations or improvements are carried out.
Keeping your caravan warm when it is empty
Decided to pack up and stay at home for the winter? No worries, just make sure you’ve followed these simple precautions below to ensure everything is in order when your return!
- Perform a proper drain down process, or ask the park’s approved contractors to do so. Remember to leave a spare key if you’re doing the latter, and fill in the appropriate paperwork to avoid any stresses or strifes once you do return home.
- A time-controlled thermostat is a great way to keep the pipes from freezing over, and the damp at bay, when you’re enjoying the festivities at your long-term home.
- Chat to the security or maintenance team on your park, especially when the season ends, and relay any concerns you may have. Depending on the size of the park, they may be able to check up on your holiday home regularly.
- Sort the windows out by adding a layer of insulation film to each window and door. Once you’ve done this, heat it with a hairdryer so it shrinks to fit, stays secure, and keeps out the draughts. Insulate windows with window film. After placing window film on windows, heat it with a hairdryer to shrink it and seal out the draughts.
Please note: it’s always worth checking the park’s terms and conditions of ownership, especially if you’re looking into making some concrete and long-term changes to your unit. It’s also vital that any additional accessories, like portable heaters, electric blankets or thermal rugs, meet the approved safety requirements and include a warranty.