Drain down guide for static caravans

Written by Nick Grant


Published on 6th September 2022


Last Updated on 23rd February 2024


Read time: 4 minutes

drain down caravan

Are you heading home for winter? Before leaving the park, preparing your static caravan for the colder months can be crucial. Static caravans risk flooding and frost damage, so correctly draining down your prized possession can prevent considerable costs from arising come spring. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. Read on for information about draining your caravan to help ensure it’s in top condition when you return.

What is draining down your caravan?

Draining down your caravan involves removing all fluid and water from your caravan’s pipework, boiler, and water systems. You do this because, during winter, it’s common for pipes to freeze. If you leave your caravan unattended and undrained, any water in your pipework could solidify if temperatures drop below zero.

Why should you drain down a static caravan?

Frozen pipes can damage your caravan, which could be costly. If water is left inside your pipework, it could freeze and cause pipes to burst, which may flood your caravan. Or, it could freeze essential parts of your boiler and water systems, causing them to split, crack, or no longer work.

Although you may have caravan insurance to protect your static caravan from risks, such as flooding and damaged pipework, not all insurers provide cover for poor maintenance. As a result, you may be liable for costs caused by lack of down draining, even if you have a policy in place.

How to drain down a static caravan

Draining down a caravan doesn’t require a specialist, so you can complete it yourself following the steps below.

  1. First, switch off your heater and turn off the water supply.
  2. Open your caravan’s drain-down taps, usually located underneath your caravan.
  3. Turn on all the taps until they’re fully drained.
  4. Flush the toilet, turn on the shower, and let the water drain out. You could also remove the shower head and connecting pipe to help the water flow away.
  5. Using compressed air, blow through the pipes to remove any remaining water.
  6. Pour non-toxic anti-freeze down the toilet and any plug holes to remove water residue.
  7. Close and lock all windows, skylights, and doors to stop cold air from entering your caravan.
  8. Although it’s important to drain all pipework, pay close attention to your boiler and external pipes as they’re most likely to suffer damage from the cold.

Of course, it is important that you follow the manufacturer’s guidance closely. If you are unsure, use a professional.

When should you drain down your static caravan?

Draining your caravan should be completed in preparation for winter, usually before it gets too cold. As a general rule, complete your drain downs by early November.

That said, most static caravan parks have guidelines on when to complete drain downs, so speak to the park owner or check your contract first. You should also check your insurance policy for any clauses that require the caravan to be drained down while empty.

What can happen if you don’t drain your caravan?

Failing to drain your caravan can be risky. It can leave your caravan vulnerable to damage, especially burst pipes and flooding. You’ll then need to pay to replace damaged pipework, which can be costly. Your caravan insurance policy is unlikely to cover damage caused by poor maintenance, so you could be liable for repair costs.

How else can you prepare your static caravan for winter?

Aside from draining down your caravan, there are other steps you can take to protect your static home from cold, mildew, and other wintery risks:

  • Clear all external drains and gutters of debris to ensure any water can flow freely.
  • Ensure the caravan is entirely draught-proof, covering any holes that may let in wildlife.
  • Disconnect the gas supply.
  • Secure the caravan properly. For instance, use suitable locks and surveillance.
  • Buy static caravan insurance to help cover you against risks while your caravan is unoccupied.

Some parks require you to have insurance, while others strongly advise it. Either way, you might find purchasing static caravan insurance helps to ensure you’re protected against risks like damage and theft, especially while your caravan is unoccupied during the winter.

At Intasure, we understand the many risks of owning a static caravan. That’s why our policies include a range of covers, such as public liability, theft, damage, natural disasters, and more. We’ll work with you to understand your unique risks and help ensure you receive suitable cover.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our caravan insurance or to get a quote, then please call Intasure on 0345 111 0680 and we’ll be happy to help.

*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.

Nick Grant is a Business Development Manager at Intasure with 10 years of insurance experience.