Tips on using your static caravan or holiday lodge in winter

In a recent poll 38 per cent of static caravan and holiday lodge owners told us that they would like to escape to their static caravan or holiday lodge during the winter months.

Holiday park in the snow

And 48 per cent said that their holiday parks will remain open between November and March so they can continue to snuggle up and relax whilst the frost twinkles on the great outdoors!

If you’re looking to retreat to your static caravan or holiday lodge in winter follow our tips on using it during the colder months and make sure you’re still protected.

Firstly if you’ve not done so already, you’ll need to check your park’s winter opening plans. Most UK holiday parks are closed for one to four months over the winter months so you won’t be able to stay in your caravan all-year-round.

Holiday park in the rain and wet

Some park owners might allow you access to your caravan during winter so you can check everything’s okay – but you won’t be allowed to stay overnight and their onsite facilities will probably be closed.

If you do have a holiday caravan or lodge on a site with a full 12 month holiday licence then you’ll be free to stay and get the most out of your unit – and enjoy those crisp and cold, but clear winter days – if you’re lucky with the weather!

But it doesn’t mean you can move into your holiday caravan full time – it’s for holidays only. Under UK law, citizens living in the UK must be registered to pay council tax somewhere and your holiday park will need proof of a different permanent address from you.

A park that is open throughout the winter means you can keep a check on things and it can help to minimise the potential damage caused by winter weather. If you rent out your unit it could also mean some extra income!


If you are using your holiday caravan or lodge then you’ll be running the water and using the heating, reducing the risk of frozen pipes and other winter perils – but when you leave make sure you winterise according to your insurance policy and manufacturer’s recommendations. Failing to do so could leave you without insurance cover or invalidate any warranty on your caravan or lodge.

Static caravans are less insulated than houses, so if holidaying in winter make sure yours has double glazing and central heating to keep you nice and warm – in case there’s a cold snap or windy weather!

Also check your caravan is built to be used in the winter months if you want to spend the majority of the year living in it. Caravans that are built to the European Standard EN1647 are not designed to be used all year round and will not be as well insulated. Some manufacturers will exceed these standards by building caravans that have insulated walls and roofs. But if you want to use your holiday caravan throughout the year then you’ll need to check that it’s been built to Residential Standard BS3632.

Not water bottle and blankets

If it’s just the occasional winter holiday use be sure to pack some extra blankets – or even an electric blanket – and some extra layers for the colder nights. Hot water bottles are a must as well as hat, gloves and scarfs for those brisk walks in the cold!

If you’re going out for the day and it’s very cold outside leave your heating on low just to keep the temperature above freezing.

boiler frost setting

An electric fan heater for the bedroom will also help to take the chill off. But be careful not to leave any electric heaters on overnight or unattended to reduce the risk of fire. It’s better to leave the heating on low overnight to prevent any frozen pipes.

And if your lodge has a wood burner be extra careful with those burning embers! And don’t leave candles burning if you’re not in your unit or while sleeping.

Make sure you keep crumbs at bay so as not to attract any unwelcome visitors looking for somewhere warm and well stocked with food! Keeping floors and worktops clean and food in metal containers will help to prevent vermin.

Salt crystals

Condensation can be a problem in the colder months so it’s worth placing bowls of salt or dehumidifier crystals around the caravan to soak up moisture in the air and help to reduce damp.

Remember to still keep doors locked and valuables out of sight from prying eyes – house burglaries traditionally increase during the darker months so it’s important not to be complacent when on holiday. Leave lights on and curtains closed and activate any alarms when you’re out for the day.

If your holiday park does allow extended use of your unit, you might want to consider extending your personal possessions and emergency accommodation insurance cover as you’re likely to have more high value high risk items, such as jewellery in your caravan or lodge.

If you have more ideas or stories on using your static caravan or lodge in winter, why not share them here?

18 comments on “Tips on using your static caravan or holiday lodge in winter

  1. read your manual on the boiler as mine tells me to switch off both the heating and water knobs but leave the mains on at the switch as the boiler has an anti seize mode for the water pump and it will run the pump for thirty seconds every twenty four hours to prevent it from seizing while you are not using it.

  2. I have not drained down this year, but have got 3 anti frost heaters situated inside the caravan at strategic points. The water is switched off and the taps left open. I am hoping that the water in the pipes will be maintained at the temperature of the caravan , between 0 and 5 degrees, through convection currents . Will let you know how I get on.

  3. Does anyone have details of reliable companies in the NW who would do under floor insulation on lodges?

    1. Hi Greg
      Just read your post on under floor insulation. We’ve just sited a unit in Cumbria and would like to do this.

  4. Hi – my neighbour wants to buy a residential caravan to live in all year round. He doesn’t fancy being situated in a “park”, so what are his chances of living in one on farmland – do farms accommodate for this? If so, will he need to go knocking on farmhouse doors to ask?!?

    1. Hi Catherine, we’d suggest your neighbour speaks to a caravan dealership as he will be able to buy a caravan direct. He would then need to find the land to site the caravan and make sure it has the relevant planning permissions in place.
      We can’t provide insurance cover for a residential caravan unless it’s sited on a council registered holiday or residential park.

  5. Hello.I live in a lodge.Use LPG for cooking,heating and water.Would you recommend any alternative,cheaper method.YN

    1. Hi, Yvonne. I have gas for hot water and cooking as well. I also have a gas fire. I think the gas and electricity costs are similar, but I am always anxious about running out of gas in my static. Thus I try to spread the load with an oil filled radiator and microwave. There are many meals that can be prepared quickly in a microwave, and they are nutritious too, plus easy clean. If I put the oven on I fill it with meals for the rest of the week, and just reheat in the micro. Like any home, there is no cheap solution.

  6. First of all thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful information. Actually, I’m planning to go on a ski holiday next year with my family and I must say this is really great as well as helpful info for me. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi.
    I have had Trace Heating and auto drain down fitted to mine.Absolutely fantastic. Keeps all the pipes from freezing when the temperature drops to 5 degrees or less. Water automatically shuts off if no movement detected in 12 hours.

    1. Hi Alun
      Like the sound of what you’ve done. We’ve sited a unit in Cumbria and will use it through the winter.
      Did you do the job yourself or get someone in?
      If diy, what did you use and where from?
      If you used a contractor, where are they based?

  8. why is the unit above my gas fire getting hot when i have the gas fire on ? my TV sits on the unit.

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