How to remain fully insured and protect your static caravan or lodge this winter

With the weather getting colder and winter fast approaching, it’s time to start planning how you are going to protect your holiday caravan.

Holiday caravans are less insulated than houses and residual water can easily freeze, causing pipes to burst, water to escape and damage to your boiler and holiday caravan.

hh winter

With only a few weeks to go until the cold really sets in, now’s the time to remind yourself of the simple precautions you need to take to ensure your static caravan or lodge remains fully insured.

The conditions of static caravan and holiday lodge insurance policies for winterisation do vary from insurer to insurer, however for Leisuredays policyholders we request the following precautions are taken:

Between 1st November – 15th March whilst your park is closed for winter:

  • Turn the water off at the stopcock Drain down and winterise all equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations

Turn the holiday caravan's water off at the stopcock

Between 1st November – 15th March whilst your park is open, whenever unoccupied:

  • Turn the water off at the stopcock
  • Turn on all taps and the shower to let all water out
  • Flush toilets, ensuring all water is drained from the cistern

Let all water drain out of the holiday caravan

You may also want to consider the following precautions:

  • Set the central heating system to avoid frost damage
  • Check anti-freeze levels of sealed central heating systems – these should not be drained
  • Drain the hot and cold water system of combi boilers as per the manufacturer’s recommendations

Set your static caravan's boiler to avoid frost damage

  • Ensure exposed piping is adequately lagged
  • Add a small amount of antifreeze or salt to remaining water in the toilet, sink, bath and shower traps
  • Leave external water drainage plugs open

By taking these actions you are ensuring that you minimise damage to your holiday caravan and your policy protects you.


  • Turn off water at the stopcock to prevent a burst pipe or leak becoming a disaster
  • Set the heating to avoid frost damage
  • Drain down – Open caravan drain plugs, turn on the taps and shower, flush the toilet and remove residual water from all equipment. Consider asking your park for a professional drain down using compressed air

Rather than provide detailed technical advice on how to drain down and prepare for winter, we suggest you to talk to your park, who will be well versed in draining down.

Other winterisation tips include:

• Unplug any electrical devices including large white goods.

• Remove any bedding, clothing or soft furnishings from the caravan or lodge completely or store them in a place where air can circulate to avoid damage from damp or mould.

• Prop open all internal doors and cupboards, and slightly pull out all draws to encourage air to circulate.

• Remove or hide from view any valuable items such as Televisions or Hi-Fi’s. Then leave curtains open so that any would-be thieves can see such items have been removed.

• Completely empty and clean any fridges or freezers and leave switched off with the door slightly ajar. Remember to drain any ice or chilled water dispensers built into your fridge.

• Ensure external vents are clear of debris

• Remove any food stuffs which might attract vermin (mice etc).

• Close and lock all external windows and doors.

• Lubricate door hinges and window locks with a dab of petroleum jelly to ensure they open smoothly when you return.

Have we missed anything? Let us know your tips for winterisation.


15 comments on “How to remain fully insured and protect your static caravan or lodge this winter

  1. We also leave a plastic dish in each room full of salt and a £1
    dehumidifier in each room (from the pound shop)to keep down condensation.

  2. We take our micro-wave / combination cooker home for the winter. We have had 2 “fail” irreparably upon first time use due to condensation, even though it was well lagged and all “aired out before re-use”.

  3. I purchased a device to which you attach a foot pump and force water out of all pipework by attaching it to a suitable point in the system (outside tap or dishwasher connection etc). I cant remember what it is called but it was £30:00. I have used it three times and there have been no problems.
    You should pay particular attention to the shower mixer as these trap water and are expensive to replace. Also do not forget the dishwasher as this has a large amount of water left in it which is difficult to remove.
    I would not rely on the heating system to prevent frost as all sorts of things can stop it from being effective.
    One more tip, make sure curtains are not left in contact with the glass as they will grow mould badly. Oh and leave all internal doors and drawers open to allow ventilation. I have never had a problem in 16 years.

  4. Salt attracts and absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, thus reducing the risk of condensation and damp damage. Not as good as a dehumidifier, but much better than nothing. You will need a bucketful per room to be effective. If you have a salt brine water softener you can use it in this afterwards, when it is saturated.

  5. the salt absorbs water from the atmosphere when you go back it will be like a solid brick

  6. salt certainly does soak up any moisture and we pull any mattresses from outside walls also

  7. We left a tray of cat litter in every room rather than salt. Absorbs moisture much like salt but without risk of turning to corrosive brine.

  8. We found an empty square/oblong ice cream tub half full of salt in each room more than adequate last year, I would imagine it would depend on sizes of room. We remove all the mattresses from the beds and away from the walls and stand them and seating cushions on side ends in the middle of the rooms which enables the air to circulate all around them. We remove all nets, clean windows, and pull curtains back to prevent mould, and leave all cupboard doors, and room doors, open. We take all bedding home. We leave emptied/cleaned turned off fridge/freezer door open, and also cleaned kettle lid open. We all so spray and wipe down all surfaces which have been touched by persons over the year with an anti-bacterial spray. Nice smelly hanger in each room. Good scrub of all hard floors, and back out the door with the mop and bucket in hand. We have also been fortunate to walk back in, the following March, and have found no problems.

    1. So many great tips here Wendy thank you! I’m sure others will find them very useful.

      Many thanks

  9. The device is called Floe and it works by pushing air into the water system and pushes the water out of the taps and pipework. ( One thing however is that you need to remove the backflow valves from an outside tap for it to work. This should not be a problem as the water is already turned off so backflow into the main water system cannot happen.
    The other thing I do is remove the cooker knobs, clean the brash fittings and spray a little WD40 onto the brass cooker controls and work them in and out. This stop them sticking/seizing when you return to the van after the winder

  10. Further to my earlier comment here is a link to the drain down device that I have used over two winters now. It pushes water out the correct way from the system with the aid of a footpump or electric air compressor. Works great.

  11. i Put anti freeze down all drains and toilets after drain down. Do not empty the water from the toilet bowls as smell can occur from the waste pipe. A balloon blown up and shoved down the pan prevents smell if you need to empty the bowl.

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