No one wants to return to their static caravan to discover substantial damage and the upheaval of getting it sorted, so let’s reduce the likelihood of this damage happening and ensure there’s one less thing to worry about.
If you’re not occupying your static caravan during the winter, then you should turn the water off at the mains and ensure all equipment is fully drained down. Sealed central heating systems containing antifreeze should not be drained but antifreeze levels should be checked annually. The hot and cold water system of a combi boiler should be drained as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Whilst your static caravan is still in use over winter (before your park closes), leave your central heating system set at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature to avoid frost damage. Remember, central heating systems cannot be relied on as the only precaution, as an issue with the pilot light, gas supply or drop in pressure could cause the boiler to fail. You should always turn the water off at the stopcock and drain down if leaving your static caravan unoccupied during winter, even if only for a short time.
By taking these actions you are ensuring that you minimise damage to your static caravan. 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 and often have a professional on hand to help.
• Arrange for your static caravan or holiday lodge to be drained down as described above.
• 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.
It is worth reading your static caravan insurance policy to see how your insurer deals with burst pipe and escape of water claims over winter months. Leisuredays have posted out a copy of this advice to all policy holders.