How to winterise your static caravan

Preparing your static caravan for winter

If you own a static caravan, you may want to spend as much time there as possible. But winter might be your least favourite time of year to be there, as it’s when holiday parks typically go into hibernation.

So when do caravan parks close for winter? That can vary, depending on size, location, demand, prevailing weather conditions, and the owners’ personal preferences. However, most close for at least a few weeks. Even if the park stays open, getting there might be tricky.

Having to say goodbye to your holiday home for weeks or months can be bad enough, but returning to find it in a state of disrepair would be worse. That’s why you might feel carefully ‘winterising’ your caravan is vital. Knowing how to stop damp in a caravan over winter and keep it in good condition can help you to lock up for the season with peace of mind.

Not sure how to shut down a static caravan for winter? You’re in the right place. At Intasure, we’re insurance specialists for static caravans and offer cover for holiday homes of all types. We’ve learned a lot about their care and maintenance over the years.

So here’s our at-a-glance guide to preparing your static caravan for winter. When you return from that long-awaited first break next year, let us help you ensure everything’s in top condition.

Drain down your static caravan, so pipes don’t freeze

Draining down is an important task to complete before leaving your caravan for the winter. In fact, it’s so vital that we’ve created a guide to draining down your static caravan.

Even one cold snap while you’re away might result in any water left in the water system freezing. Frozen pipes could mean burst pipes, causing flooding and lots of mess. To help avoid that nightmare, complete the following steps:

  • Open your caravan’s drain-down taps
  • Flush the toilet cistern and run the taps to empty all pipes and tanks, then add one part of anti-freeze to two parts of water as it refills.
  • Remove the shower head and hose. Water tends to collect there, causing damage if it freezes – and it smells if it stagnates.
  • Finally, turn off the water supply at the stopcock.

Disconnect the gas and electricity

If you have a piped-in gas supply, turn it off at the mains. If you use bottled gas, turn off and disconnect the bottles and store them inside. This will help to prevent any gas leaks. You should also turn off all electrical switches, unplug all appliances, and then switch the power off at the mains.

Clean and empty your caravan

A deep clean will help to minimise the risk of returning to unpleasant sights, smells and growths. It’s vital to remove all traces of food and drink. A tiny morsel or sticky stain on a carpet may turn unpleasant and unhealthy if left to rot for weeks.

Keep your caravan dry over winter

Mould and mildew can quickly develop and spread unless carpets, curtains and upholstery are thoroughly vacuumed and kept dry. Wondering how to stop condensation in a static caravan? A simple and effective method is to leave open containers of salt around the interior. The salt absorbs moisture in the air.

Keep out insects and vermin

Check for any holes, loose joints or gaps, cover plugholes, and ensure lids are down on toilets. Vermin can get in through any opening and make themselves at home, given half a chance.

Remove everything you can and secure what you can’t

Take your valuables and small electrical appliances home, including TVs, hi-fi equipment, games consoles and computers.

All bedding and soft furnishings should go home with you for the winter to keep everything in the best condition. Keeping them in sealed vacuum bags is an alternative if you haven’t got space in your car.

Air the whole place out before closing up

Allow fresh air to circulate inside your holiday home when you close it up. Open all the doors and windows for a while before locking up securely for the winter. Leave internal doors, cupboards and drawers open and move any remaining furniture into the middle of each room so air can circulate. Leave the door of your empty, switched-off fridge open as well.

Protect the exterior of your static caravan

The exterior of your static caravan will be exposed to the worst winter can throw at it, so it also needs thorough preparation. A frequently asked question is: ‘should you cover a caravan in winter?’. The answer is that it’s not a practical option because static caravans are so much bigger than touring models. It’s also unnecessary as long as the holiday home is well-maintained – modern static caravans are sturdily built and designed to withstand all weather. Here’s the exterior ‘to do’ list for winterising your caravan:

  • Clean the gutters. Any debris will cause blockages and overflows, leading to leaks and corrosion.
  • Store decking furniture away to help ensure it’s in the best possible condition when you return.
  • Check the caravan seals, as a tiny crack can let a lot of water in over a prolonged period.
  • Inspect the outside and inside for vermin-friendly holes, gaps and loose joints that need filling.

Inform the park and check your insurance

The people who run your holiday park need to know that you’ve left for the winter and, if possible, when you’re planning to return. It’s also important to check that your insurance provides suitable cover for an empty static caravan during the winter weather.

At Intasure, we’ll be delighted to help if you’re ready to renew or need additional cover. We offer insurance policies for different types of caravans, which can include theft, damage, personal accident, and loss of use cover.

We’re here to help with your Caravan insurance, whether you use it for family holidays, weekend breaks, residential use, or holiday rentals. Call us on 0345 111 0680 for more details today.

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.