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Dobloseven

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My cousin has had a bad house fire rendering his home of 79 years unliveable. Damage costs are way way into six figures and likely to take an absolute minimum of six months, I would think much more. The insurance company and their appointed loss adjusters are being very good so far. He's currently stopping with us but he's 15 miles away from where he wants to be. He lives in a small village and there's no rental properties there or in the surrounding area. The insurance people have agreed to him having a static caravan on his front lawn which we have sourced and they will pay for with a view to getting some money back on it at the end of the repairs. We went to a dealer and have selected a one bedroom 37x12 unit with double glazing and some kind of blown air heating. Its got a utility room with plumbing for a washing machine, an en suite shower room, another toilet, a double cooker with 5 burners, patio doors and a dressing area. We've tried to find one that will be as comfortable as possible if the job drags on over the winter. I shall be helping him as much as I can and no doubt will be seeking advice. Initially I am wondering about connections to the services and we're going to need some steps so he can get in and out. 

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I am guessing it’s on a big plot as you would not want to be sited right next to the work being carried out for safety and risk of damaging the static.

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He's actually got over 4 acres of land.Where we hope to site it will be fairly close to the house, but most of the  work will be inside anyway.I'm guessing they'll put security fencing round the house once work begins and there'll be room for that. The project manager was reluctant initially but he desperately needs to be back in his comfort zone ASAP. The caravan  will seem quite luxurious compared to how he's been living pre fire. 

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I he will need planning permission but should get it OK. Today in our local paper, someone is applying for planning for the same reasons as your cousin. I suggest he gives them a ring.

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Posted (edited)

So sorry to hear about your cousin's fire.

If there is a possibility that he will be living in a static over winter, then check what type of insulation it has - there are different standards, and you really want as close to residential spec as possible. Double glazing is good, insulation is better.

Caravan steps are easy - just google them, loads of suppliers out there.

Connecting to utilities is a bit more complicated, as it depends where the pipes run and what sort of power etc - you probably need to ask local specialists about this.

You probably need to have some sort of compacted standing, if you put a static straight onto a soft surface it will become unlevel which will result in doors/windows not closing, shower/washing machine not draining, etc.

Check if the company supplying the static will also supply the stands that support it - these are specialist stands, not the same as car jacks (there are specialist suppliers who will sell and advise, but better if you can get them along with the van). They may also offer a siting service as well.

EDIT: have just sent you a pm with supplier suggestion for equipment, services, etc - not sure if I was allowed to mention names on the open forum. I have never used this supplier, but I have seen several very good reports about them

Edited by 2seaside
added note

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What about 2nd hand concrete railway sleepers to stand it on. They could be lifted and taken away when it’s all done.

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Posted (edited)

the insurance should cover the cost of siting the static, which should include running services to / from it. There are plenty of companies around who do this sort of thing. It might look a bit unsightly as he'll probably have visible soil pipes running fro his van to the nearest foul sewer, pipework for water in & an armoured cable for the power. I would ask the dealer your buying from to give an all in price for 'supply & site' including running services & then forward that on the insurance company for approval. 

Edited by Woodie106

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I don’t think an insurance company would stand the cost of a residential unit, more likely a holiday unit that they could sell on easily after . Probably cheaper to pay for a couple of extra gas bottles for heating then pay for a residential unit. When all that flooding happened there was large tourers and holiday statics sited in peoples gardens .

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Many thanks to those who are responding. As things stand,the caravan will be coming in the next couple of weeks. The dealer is delivering it and arranging siting, stands etc. with a contractor they use. Just been talking to daughters partner who happens to be in the drainage business and he's keen to help us with the sewer connection. Its a very old property and all we know is the pipe is down there somewhere. Water shouldn't be a problem, he's got various plastic pipes running to out buildings etc. He uses bottled gas for cooking, there's no mains in the village, and has 4 47kg Flogas propane bottles available to exchange and in use. Electricity is a bit of an issue as the supply to the property comesin on overhead cables and was cut off on the night of the fire by Northern Power as the meter and fuse box had melted completely. Hopefully it will be reinstated ASAP as surely the people restoring the place will need power. I notice under the caravan a blue cable with a blue round plug on the end. Is this the same as on a touring caravan EHU cable? 

It's a bit of a sad story all round. The caravan isn't an ideal solution but we just want to get him back in his comfort zone ASAP. As said, we've gone for one with double glazing, blown air heating and plumbing/space for a washing machine. 

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I think it is normally up to the developer to arrange for a "new connection" supply as the metering will be different and the cabling to the meter will need to be replaced.  His current supplier should be able to arrange this.  He can then plug into a normal 13amp socket using an adaptor instead of having a normal bollard suitable for hookup for a caravan.

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2 hours ago, Dobloseven said:

I notice under the caravan a blue cable with a blue round plug on the end. Is this the same as on a touring caravan EHU cable? 

Might be, might not.  They come in different sizes 16A (touring caravans ca. 4kW max), 32A (8kW) and even 63 or 125A.  It will be marked on the plug.  Blue indicates it's single phase 230/240V so that's good.

 

Getting a supply reinstated will need negotiation with the Insurers/their contractors.  Power to the mobile home needs to suit what is in it load wise.  But all this ought to be the Insurers problem - not something for you to sort out!  How that is installed / protected from mechanical damage,  will be down to them! (Probably via a temporary SWA to a suitable socket on a post or fixed under the mobile home.)

 

The local REC may not be very fast at re-supplying power - and could even want it to go in a new underground trench to the building?  It may well need either the builders or the temporary mobile home to be metered off the others' supply?

 

Similarly the drainage side - will require Building Regs approval at a minimum...  Also a 'problem' for the Insurers rather than you?

 

The Insurers are already saving a fortune in Hotel Accommodation costs, so make them work for you and Cousin.

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We're probably going about this the wrong way, but our main concern is getting him back where he belongs as quickly as we can.It's not doing him any favours staying at ours,though staying in a hotel would be even worse for him. I'm his closest relative in the UK,he's got two other cousins, but they don't seem very concerned. He's missing his friends in the village, his workshop, his bowls etc. By trying to sort things ourselves as quickly as we can, it seems as though we're more in control rather than constantly waiting for people to get back to us. We seem to be in the wrong part of the country for this sort of thing. In the holiday areas there seems to be networks of people doing static caravan sales, repairs etc. 

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A lot of people who were homeless due to floods lived in touring caravans until their houses were fit to live in again, they included forum members.

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1 hour ago, Paul_B said:

A lot of people who were homeless due to floods lived in touring caravans until their houses were fit to live in again, they included forum members.

 

Indeed we have two friends that were out through the Hull floods long term,

geoff

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Thought about a tourer. A big twin axle with a fixed bed and good washroom might have been a consideration. Biggest downside would have been the toilet. Don't think he'd be up to emptying a cassette, and I'm not sure of access to the house while work is going on. Spacewise, even one of the latest wide bodied vans would have less than 200 square feet, while the static has well over 400.

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Connecting up sewage is going to be an issue with a static and may need to be passed by planning office?

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Rather than trying to connect to the mains sewerage, is there any possibility of a septic tank for the static as a temporary measure?  Still need to be plumbed in and arrangements for emptying (frequency depending on size of the tank) but may be a better option as a stopgap.

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Posted (edited)

Pretty well all done and dusted. Static was delivered on Wednesday afternoon. They dropped it  off in his field and the dealer had arranged for a contractor to site it that day. I rang him to tell him it had arrived. He said it was too late and that he'd be there 7.30 Thursday am. He didn't turn up and didnt answer hi phone. By 4 pm we were very frustrated. Dealer couldn't contact him either and said he couldn't get anybody else till next Wednesday. A 77 year old country types daughter keeps her polo ponies on my cousins land along with his 4wheel drive tractor.He's been helping us a lot with the project an reckoned he could do the job. We hadnt been left with a drawbar for the static, so I rang the dealer who was about 30 miles away and drove over to fetch one along with the stands we'd paid for and the siting guy should have brought. By the time I got back, tractor was out and Roger(his name) was raring to go. After much tribulation. Think Last of the Summer wine with a tractor, we got it in place. We found the tractor worked much better ging forward than in reverse, so we put a draw pin on the front and pushed it into place. My daughters partner helped us find the sewer pipe using his camera(and a spade!) two weeks ago and last weekend we had a digging party to lay a plastic pipe to lay a pipe to the  van. The pipe was about 20 feet from where my cousin thought it might be. Water was much easier. There's a buried plastic pipe from an outside tap to a barn and we tapped into that. A LPG GasSafe engineer came and fitted a regulator and got the heating and hot water and cooker working and tested. Western Power haven't reinstated the electricity yet so he's using a lead from a neighbours outbuilding at the moment. I've bought 2000watt inverter generator for power tools etc. Anyway, he had his first night in it last night and seems quite happy with his lot. We cancelled a rally we were planning to go on over the Bank Holiday and have put our tourer alongside so we can stay over and get him settled in. All seems good so far, theres still a bit to do, we need to sort the sink etc. wastes and some proper steps and fill in trenches but we're getting there. 

Edited by Dobloseven
Wrong word

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