The seasons are changing! As we head towards the colder months, you might be wondering about the best way to keep warm in a static caravan in the winter. So here’s Byron with a few tips and ideas …
Static caravan double glazing is a worthwhile investment. If you’re currently hoping to buy a static caravan on a limited budget, it’s always worth paying a little more for one with double glazing.
If your existing static caravan has single glazing, upgrading by adding double glazing can make a bigger difference than you think.
And whilst we’re talking about windows, remember to make good use of curtains to help stay warm.
* Pull them back during daylight hours to help warm the caravan.
* Draw them at, or just before, dusk to help maintain as much heat as possible.
* If the caravan has thin curtains, think about replacing them with fully lined curtains or add thermal linings.
Heating a static caravan in winter is not as much of a problem as you might think. There’s a good range of portable electric heaters on the market, many of which are thermostatically controlled and very cost-effective to run.
Fixed, wall mounted electric heaters can also make a difference to the warmth inside your static and can also be an economical way to keep warm.
Electric heating offers other benefits too:
* Many electric heaters can be coupled up with solar panels, to create an environmentally-friendly, as well as economical, heating option.
* If you’re considering solar, research options which are made specifically for mobile homes and boats. Full domestic kits can be purchased for under £1,000. These can be sufficient to get you started with solar and have the added benefit that you can add to and upgrade the system over time.
* Some electric radiators are designed to double up as heated towel rails and tea towel rails too.
* Wall mounted electric panel heaters are also useful, and take up little space. They can cost around £80 each but can be economical to run and can have a very long life-span.
Going with gas?
Many static caravans, especially used models, have a gas fire in the living area. These can be a great source of instant heat for a quick warm-up. During the winter though, it’s often necessary to insulate the gas pipes and wrap insulation around the gas bottles. This adds protection against freezing in very cold weather.
If your gas fire is dated, upgrading to a new static caravan gas fire can cost under £300 – but should always be fitted by a gas-safe professional.
Alternatively, you could remove the gas fire and replace with one of the many contemporary static caravan electric fires, for a warming focal point which can cost under £100.
Need more? Go underfloor
If you’re upgrading your caravan’s interior, don’t forget that underfloor heating can be an option.
The heating looks like foil and is cut for size and sold by the meter. It should always be fitted by a professional electrician. It’s ideal for creating warmth in those areas where you’ll particularly need it, such as:
* Where you stand for food preparation in the kitchen.
* Your comfort zone, where you sit in the evenings.
* The bathroom, where you’ll be paying chilly visits in the night or showering on cold mornings!
Underfloor heating can make a real difference to that sense of ‘cold’ that can creep in from under the caravan, and can also help prevent damp.
Insulation and cladding
If an upgrade to underfloor heating isn’t possible, you can still use or add to the current flooring to help you warm up. Perhaps you could add an extra layer of insulation? Layers of carpet are also useful, and rugs can be a helpful addition. Do beware of creating trip-hazards though!
On the exterior, adding ply-board and skirting to the ‘outside’ of the underneath can also add protection from the cold, particularly if your static caravan is an older model.
Wood cladding fitted around the outside of a static caravan has proved so popular for both aesthetics and warmth that many static caravans and lodges are now manufactured with wood clad exteriors.
If your static is new though, you probably won’t want to make significant changes which will invalidate your manufacturer warranty. Instead, consider a solid wooden fence to protect from the north or from the prevailing wind. This seemingly small action, even at a safe distance from your caravan, can make a surprising difference.