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Static caravan advice.


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Hello everybody. 
 

Im hoping for some advice from long time static caravan owners. 
 

I am currently looking at buying a plot of land, with the idea to site a static caravan on and live in it full time, grow my own food etc, subject to planning permissions. 

 

the static will be off grid, which I’ve already looked into and priced up solar systems, rain water harvesting, and waste composting, however my big question area is around the static itself. I’ve never even stepped foot in a static caravan, so I’m hoping you can all direct me to anything I should be looking out for? Or avoid etc. 
 

im on a budget so I’m going to be spending £1000 or less on the static, but I am hoping to slowly renovate it to make it more comfortable to live in. Insulation is one of the big ones, I seem to see a lot of people talking about putting in under floor insulation, so I’m guessing this can be done fairly easily? Along with improving the wall and roof insulation, with I imagine plaster board and put behind it. 
 

Bit of a wall of text I know.. but any help and advice would be greatly appreciated 

 

thanks

james
 

 

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Planning is by far your greatest hurdle. Talk to the planners before proceeding at all. 

A £1,000 tourer would be possibly a wreck but a static for that money???? 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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First, welcome to the forum.

I am afraid that is the most optimistic part of my reply.

The biggest hurdle will be getting planning permission for siting a static caravan for permanent residential use; planners may be lenient if it is for temporary accommodation while a permanent home is being constructed, but are much less likely to consider a cheap static permissable for long term residency.

One for less that £1,000 (have I read that right?) will be small, and designed for occasional holiday use.

Apart from the cost of transporting and siting and connecting to utilities (and the local water authorities will want to see you plans for this) to make it suitable for year round full time living it will have to be almost rebuilt - underfloor insulation will be the easiest part, extra wall and roof insulation may need extra structural re-inforcement, same for double glazing.

The planners will want to know whether your planned accommodation is suitable for residential use - and at less than £1,000 it will not be.

I'll wish you luck, but I think you will find the cost of making a cheap holiday static suitable will be a lot more than you expect.

Edited by 2seaside
pressed submit too soon..
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You are not going to get much in the way of a static van for £1000 I’m afraid.

 

Don’t forget that in addition to purchasing one you will then have to get it transported to your chosen location, and that’s not an inexpensive exercise especially if it’s got to be moved any appreciable distance. You will also probably need to provide some form of hard standing to prevent it sinking into the ground. 

 

Lots to think about and, more importantly, to research very thoroughly.

 

I suspect that planning will be the major “hurdle” 

 

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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I suspect there are much better forums for you to ask than this one, which is mostly tourers. And even the few that aren't are on "Park Home" sites.

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We do however have quite a few static members so we want to encourage discussion on this topic.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Thanks for the replies everybody.

 

planning permission will definitely be the awkward bit. In the long term I am going to be building an eco house, and already had it confirmed that I can use the static caravan while it’s being built, but I don’t know when that process will realistically be able to start, which is why I’m looking at making the static permanent, for a while at least!

 

The budget of £1000 is just for buying the caravan itself, transport I have put money aside separately for that, along with getting a concrete pad installed to place it on.  I have been looking at a lot of 2nd had static caravans on places like eBay, gumtree etc, and there does seem to be a lot in the up to £1000 mark, granted they will need some love, but are being marketed as dry and air tight with no damp etc, which I was assuming would be a solid starting point? Or are these not going to be something that can be built on for the kind of use I want. Here is the link to some I have been looking at. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Static-caravans-for-sale-from-750-ALSO-STATIC-CARAVANS-WANTED/154193962788?hash=item23e6ad2724:g:AbIAAOSwWMhfdDxt 

 

the plan for the static(and for the house I will be building at sone point) is to not be connected to utilities, it is to be 100% off grid, I’m still getting my research done on it all, but I’d say I’m about 80% there with being able to evidence sustainability being off grid like that, as it’s just little old me living there.

 

I can’t be the only person who’s tried this, I’m hoping to hear sone success stories! 

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The link that you supplied only relates to one van at £750, and that one is sold,  all the others are over £1000.

 

As far as the selling blurb goes "  being marketed as dry and air tight with no damp etc, ", everyone selling caravans , whether static or touring say that, and sadly not all are what they promise !!!!

 

Another thing to take into  account is that Static vans fall under gas and electrical regulation and any work on the gas or electric MUST be carried out by suitably qualified engineers and the relevant safety certificates issued .

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Of course, that link was only an example, I’m a good few months away from being able to start this process and buy the caravan, so it’s mostly just to gauge what’s about and rough prices.

 

I’d of course inspect them before buying, and maybe try and get somebody who knows a bit more to come with just so I don’t miss anything! 
 

I didn’t know that about the gas/electric work being done in caravans having to be signed off, so that’s really good info, thanks! 

 

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Even off-grid you will still almost certainly need to have approval for your waste arrangements as both planners and the Environment Agency will want to check that you are not likely to cause any contamination.

Many people live in caravans on site while carrying out a self-build, so if you get planning permission for the self-build then permission to live in a caravan or static while it is being built should be a lot easier than just a static, full stop.

The most common complaint about the cheap old statics is being hot in summer, cold in winter, and very prone to condensation - your price range is not going to get you one that was designed for living in all year round, and probably one that is not in very good condition.

Having said that, as it is a temporary situation, all you want is one that will stay in one piece long enough to get your house built.

As long as you make sure the gas/electric/water and waste is done properly, you can probably bodge insulate and repair as you go along - just keep enough money aside to pay for somebody to take it away when you have finished.

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8 hours ago, 2seaside said:

just keep enough money aside to pay for somebody to take it away when you have finished.

Noooooooojust strip it out, put some roosts up and you have a nice hen and other poultry house. 😋😂

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4 hours ago, Silversurf said:

Noooooooojust strip it out, put some roosts up and you have a nice hen and other poultry house. 😋😂

;)I like it - half as a poultry house, the other half as a feed store.

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  • 2 months later...

A lot of people on this forum don’t really understand that things are doable maybe because they’ve never tried. Maybe because they’ve always had money to throw at things and can’t imagine doing it on the cheap and live in residential parks. Anyway, the answers aren’t very focused on what you’re asking here. It puts people off asking questions. I know 3 couples who live in statics that they got for free or for a couple of hundred which they converted and I’m about to do it myself.  If you’re a handy person you can most certainly do it but it’s probably best to get some help with it too. It’s not crazy at all. 

 

According to what they’ve done:

•insulation inside and out, floors and roof, new walls fitted

•cladding 

•Multi fuel stoves

•double glazing bought second hand and fitted themselves

•Extra heaters

•one has underfloor heating

•one has air conditioning

•all have dehumidifiers

•they say it gets cold but warms up quickly
 

They assure me it’s not a crazy idea at all and that they love living in the homes they pretty much built. But they’ll be helping me with mine so I would suggest getting some extra hands. 

 

Good luck!

 

Edited by AliceW
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16 minutes ago, AliceW said:

A lot of people on this forum don’t really understand that things are doable maybe because they’ve never tried. Maybe because they’ve always had money to throw at things and can’t imagine doing it on the cheap and live in residential parks. Anyway, the answers aren’t very focused on what you’re asking here. It puts people off asking questions. I know 3 couples who live in statics that they got for free or for a couple of hundred which they converted and I’m about to do it myself.  If you’re a handy person you can most certainly do it but it’s probably best to get some help with it too. It’s not crazy at all. 

 

According to what they’ve done:

•insulation inside and out, floors and roof, new walls fitted

•cladding 

•Multi fuel stoves

•double glazing bought second hand and fitted themselves

•Extra heaters

•one has underfloor heating

•one has air conditioning

•all have dehumidifiers

•they say it gets cold but warms up quickly
 

They assure me it’s not a crazy idea at all and that they love living in the homes they pretty much built. But they’ll be helping me with mine so I would suggest getting some extra hands. 

 

Good luck!

 

You'll probably find that a lot of people on here don't own a static for one. :D

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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7 minutes ago, JanandJay said:

You'll probably find that a lot of people on here don't own a static for one. 

 

 Why on earth does that matter ?

 

 I don't understand the need for the grinning face.

 

The repair, renovation, refurbishment, restoration, of tourers, statics and even motorhomes has a lot of overlap.

 

There are many on here, around at least four over the past year or so who have done a virtual rebuild, and have restored, modernised, repaired both with great success and with a great sense of pride that comes with doing such things yourself.

 

There is a fantastic feeling when having gone through all the trials, tears and tribulations of such things, then standing back and with a smile on your face and thinking " I did that " something money can't buy.

 

Similarly there are many on here who are only too happy to pass on their experiences, skills and advice in the methods, tools, ideas, materials, used for such jobs, much of it quite simple DIY and woodworking in the main.

 

JamesM should be applauded in having the courage to take on such a task and have a go, he obviously has the sense and feeling that " I can do that ", and more power to his elbow.

 

Such a nice change from many out there these days, who can't change a plug, put a washer on a tap, repair a puncture in their child's pushbike or knock a nail in straight.

 

You have a go James, don't be put off, comeback for ideas or answers as you need them, some folk don't understand 1) many people enjoy a challenge and learning new skills, 2) not everyone has the funds to attain a goal, but are willing to graft to attain it.

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

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The grinning face was to show it wasn't a serious post. Bit lighthearted. 

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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2 hours ago, AliceW said:

A lot of people on this forum don’t really understand that things are doable maybe because they’ve never tried. Maybe because they’ve always had money to throw at things and can’t imagine doing it on the cheap and live in residential parks. Anyway, the answers aren’t very focused on what you’re asking here. It puts people off asking questions. I know 3 couples who live in statics that they got for free or for a couple of hundred which they converted and I’m about to do it myself.  If you’re a handy person you can most certainly do it but it’s probably best to get some help with it too. It’s not crazy at all. 

 

According to what they’ve done:

•insulation inside and out, floors and roof, new walls fitted

•cladding 

•Multi fuel stoves

•double glazing bought second hand and fitted themselves

•Extra heaters

•one has underfloor heating

•one has air conditioning

•all have dehumidifiers

•they say it gets cold but warms up quickly
 

They assure me it’s not a crazy idea at all and that they love living in the homes they pretty much built. But they’ll be helping me with mine so I would suggest getting some extra hands. 

 

Good luck!

 

:goodpost::Thankyou:

 

When you say " If you’re a handy person you can most certainly do it but it’s probably best to get some help with it too."

 

I like nothing better than seeing this attitude, in young or old, 'I think I can do it, I will do it, but I may need some help'.

 

It looks like you are in contact with like minded folk with the" I don't know how to do it, but I know someone who will show us." mindset, you gain something, knowledge and invariably someone needs your expertise and all this goes on without cash changing hands, simply because of the willingness to help others.

 

I do the same up here in the sticks, though hard, life has eventually treated me very, very  well and I want for nothing, but I still remember my hard times and the help I was given by others.

 

So when I get a call from down in the village or beyond, could you just, could I use one of your trailers, nan's gate needs welding, have you got, could you give me a lift to, I could do with another pair of hands and so on, my reply is yes, knowing full well that they would do exactly the same for me and over the decades, everyone knows that I won't accept any payment, but if anyone does insists, the bill can be settled by the only currency I accept which is,  thank you and a smile, or a bottle of wine, anything as long as it's red, or some mussels, fresh, frozen or otherwise, any one, or all three will be graciously accepted. 😋🍷😉

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Silversurf said:

:goodpost::Thankyou:

 

When you say " If you’re a handy person you can most certainly do it but it’s probably best to get some help with it too."

 

I like nothing better than seeing this attitude, in young or old, 'I think I can do it, I will do it, but I may need some help'.

 

It looks like you are in contact with like minded folk with the" I don't know how to do it, but I know someone who will show us." mindset, you gain something, knowledge and invariably someone needs your expertise and all this goes on without cash changing hands, simply because of the willingness to help others.

 

I do the same up here in the sticks, though hard, life has eventually treated me very, very  well and I want for nothing, but I still remember my hard times and the help I was given by others.

 

So when I get a call from down in the village or beyond, could you just, could I use one of your trailers, nan's gate needs welding, have you got, could you give me a lift to, I could do with another pair of hands and so on, my reply is yes, knowing full well that they would do exactly the same for me and over the decades, everyone knows that I won't accept any payment, but if anyone does insists, the bill can be settled by the only currency I accept which is,  thank you and a smile, or a bottle of wine, anything as long as it's red, or some mussels, fresh, frozen or otherwise, any one, or all three will be graciously accepted. 😋🍷😉

 

 

 

 

Yes definitely! And when people help you then you realise the value in that and feel good about other people asking you. I’m sure we used to share skills a lot more as a country.  It’s only relatively recently that everything is seen as “time is money”, “I buy property based on how much I can sell it for in 5 years”, “don’t ask, just google”.
 

I’m curious as to how the OP is getting on with the ideas they had. 

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AliceW - I mildly object to the comment about people of the forum "not realising that things are doable", and "maybe having money to throw at it".

We frequently see posters asking about getting a piece of land and living in a static caravan, and in many cases (not yours) it is evident that they have an idyllic dream about being free and off grid and all they have to do is find a patch of land and off they go.

It would be nice if the only answers they received were, Yeah - go for it - but it would be extremely negligent of us if we did NOT point out the downsides and potential problems, so that people can either reconsider OR start preparing to cope with them.

Sometimes (certainly NOT either you or JamesM) it also becomes quite clear that what people are trying to find out is how they can evade all regulations, planning etc, which we will not help with.

 

In your case, you already have somewhere to put your static,  were clearly aware that there would be problems to be overcome, and I think the responses you received were mainly positive - as they should be.

In the case of the OP, he did not yet have land, let alone planning or utilities, which we all highlighted as being the biggest hurdle, so it is not surprising he is not yet back as getting that sorted will be the longest part of his journey. If he finds land, then I am sure he too will receive constructive advice from many of the can-do people on here.

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The responses to mine were great. Was very pleased with the help but I’ve seen many others that are snooty. Except it still got to people telling me to get written permission from the owner (it’s a good friend of mine). 

 

He’s not asking about land. If he breaks the law then that’s on him as he’s an adult. And if his dreams fail then that’s also on him. He asked questions about the static itself but got pretty much 0 help on this. It’s just a bit of a common theme that people ask a question and then get people trying to limit their ideas. There are plenty of people out there who renovate statics under £1000. I know of 3 and they’ve made them into a log cabin style. It’s not a good idea to put people off posting and replying. 

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