How to heat your static caravan in winter

Written by Nick Grant


Published on 9th January 2023


Last Updated on 23rd February 2024


Read time: 7 minutes

winter caravan

When you’ve invested in a holiday home at your favourite getaway spot, you naturally want to spend as much time there as possible—and that includes breaks in the winter months.

You can even be comfortable in a static caravan when the days get short and the nights turn frosty. Modern caravans can have excellent central heating and insulation built in. Even older models can be winter proofed with a few simple measures. So, the good news is that you can head off for winter stays confident that you won’t have to wear thermals indoors.

In this article, we’ll provide a range of ideas for heating a static caravan. Better still, we’ll discuss staying warm while keeping the cost under control, which is a vital issue at the moment. Skyrocketing fuel prices are a worry for everyone.

Cheap, short-term ways to heat your static caravan

If you’re sitting in a chilly static caravan right now, you likely want an immediate solution. Here are some quick static caravan heating fixes.

Portable heaters

Having an additional portable heater for your static caravan is always wise, just in case the heating fails. Space heaters are also handy for supplementing central heating if the weather gets exceptionally cold. The two main types are:

  • Electric fan heaters. Blown air heating in static caravans can be ideal. Small fan heaters are cheap to run for short periods and light enough to take anywhere. Perfect for providing an instant blast of heat when you come in from an icy walk. The downside is that the heat can soon disappear if there’s a draught.
  • Electric oil-filled radiators. More reliable, effective and economical for longer periods, but bulkier, heavier, and less portable. Also, slower to warm up if you need immediate heat.

Electric blankets

The bedroom is no place for goosebumps, so keeping your sleep space warm is a high priority. The latest electric blankets are an effective and efficient solution. However, it’s important to consider safety first. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to the letter. Never leave the blanket switched on while you’re in bed, unless the instructions clearly state that this is safe.

Thicker blankets and duvets

Tog is your best friend on winter nights. The higher a duvet’s tog rating, the warmer you’ll be underneath it, so swap your summer-weight duvet for one that’s winter-worthy. More and thicker blankets will help as well.

Unblock radiators

Heating can only do its best work when the warmth is allowed to circulate. If a big item of furniture is in the way, you’re heating the radiator but not the room or the people in it. Shifting things around or putting large items in storage for the winter can make an instant difference.

Thermal curtains

Windows are where most heat can escape in caravans, so curtains with a thermal lining or coating can be the answer. But be sure to open the curtains in the daytime to let the sunshine in. Otherwise, you’re shutting out precious (and free) warmth.

Spread thicker rugs around

Heavy-duty rugs can add an extra layer of insulation and they needn’t cost much. This is especially effective on uncarpeted floors.

Keep your boiler maintained

Effective central heating is the cheapest way to heat a static caravan, but your boiler should be checked and serviced by a qualified engineer at least once a year. Not only will it heat more efficiently after servicing, but it can help to reduce the risk of breakdowns.

Check windows and doors for leaks

If you feel a draught, there’s a strong chance it’s whistling through a gap in an ill-fitting window or door. Low-tech fixes such as gaffer tape and draught excluders can be surprisingly effective short-term solutions.

Invest in a dehumidifier to minimise condensation

Condensation can soon develop when a confined space is heated and unventilated. This can lead to unhealthy damp and mould, causing rot before long. Prevention is better than cure, and a dehumidifier can be the solution.

Long-term ways to keep your static caravan warm

If you’re planning lots of breaks for years to come, it’s worth investing time and money to make your static caravan as comfortable as possible.

Install central heating

If yours is an older model with no heating system, it may be time to bite the bullet and install static caravan central heating. This may sound expensive, but long term it can pay for itself. You’ll be reducing the need to constantly use extra heaters that are less efficient and more expensive to run.

Install a fireplace or upgrade the current one

If there’s no fireplace in your caravan, installing one is a lovely way to create warmth and add an attractive feature. Modern fireplaces are expertly designed to emit the maximum amount of heat and use fuel efficiently.

Fit underfloor heating

The floor of a static caravan is typically inches away from the cold ground outside. That’s why it can be the chilliest part of your caravan, and why it makes sense to solve the problem at the source with underfloor heating for static caravans.

The warmth underfloor heating provides is also more comfortable and feels more natural than heat blasting out from a radiator or fan.

If your budget won’t stretch to an underfloor heating system, under-rug heaters are available and can be a practical, low-cost alternative.

Upgrade your windows and doors

If your static caravan is cold because it’s draughty, windows and doors are the prime suspects. Replacing old single glazing with new double glazed windows is among the most effective and fuel-efficient ways to make life warmer. They’ll help to keep noise out as well.

Add cladding and insulation

External cladding keeps the cold out with a layer of insulation. It can also make your holiday home look smarter on the outside. There are several options, including thermoplastic, aluminium, vinyl, and wood, so it’s worth shopping around and comparing prices.

Other insulating options include:

  • Improving the skirting to keep cold air out
  • Installing thermal underlay beneath laminate flooring
  • Laying boards above the base to stop cold coming up through the floor

But please bear in mind that you may need to speak to the holiday park management before making any major changes to your static caravan. You may be going beyond the terms of your warranty or the agreement with the park.

Preparing your caravan for winter when it’s empty

If your static caravan is within a holiday park, it will almost certainly be closed for at least part of the winter. You can’t be there all the time in any case, so it’s vital to prepare your holiday home for periods of lying empty in potentially cold and damp weather. Here are our winterising essentials:

  • Drain down your static caravan. That means carefully emptying the water system before you lock up for the winter. Water left anywhere in the system can freeze and cause burst pipes.
  • Ask the park staff to check your property regularly for leaks and mishaps.
  • Put tape and film over the windows as an extra layer of protection.
  • Spray a lubricant such as WD40 on hinges so they don’t freeze or stick.

Make sure you have suitable static caravan insurance

At Intasure, we’re experienced providers of caravan insurance, including specialist insurance for static caravans. We have the know-how to help meet your specific needs. Talk to our UK-based team and they’ll answer any questions, understand your concerns, and help you find a suitable policy.

Get a quote online or contact the Intasure team on 0345 111 0680 for more information.

Get a static caravan quote now >>

The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Intasure accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.

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