One of the biggest questions posed by people living in a caravan year-round is how to keep the caravan warm during cold winter months. While spending time inside and outside of a caravan or static home during the mild summer months can be lovely, the cold weather can soon seep in through floors and other areas of the unit. What can you do to insulate your caravan and guarantee to keep the heat in when it's blowing a gale outside? Keep reading.
Insulate your caravan floor
Caravans by their design are much less insulated than a traditional home so to combat the cold one of the most effective steps you can take is to install underfloor heating. Along with heating your entire caravan, this is also quite an energy-efficient way of ensuring you stay warm.
The heat from elsewhere in the caravan will move towards the cold floors so underfloor heating will allow you to get the full benefit of any warmth. As an added bonus, underfloor heating also reduces the risk of damp or moisture permeating the floor area. Plus there's nothing like stepping onto a warm floor to make you feel cozy. Here are some estimated costs by area for underfloor heating.
|Heated area||Running time AM||Running time PM||Approximate Winter Cost|
|4 square metres||2 hours||1 hour||£22.75|
|5 square metres||1 hour||2 hours||£27.81|
|15 square metres||0 hours||3 hours||£78.19|
Seal draughty windows
Check the areas around windows or vents to make sure there are no cracks or bad seals allowing cold air to creep in. Energy efficiency can be reduced by even small draughts so check around and replace perished seals in any problem areas. During the day leave curtains or blinds open to allow in any sunlight that's available to warm the caravan as much as possible; close curtains during the evening to reduce warm air escaping.
Make sure along with good insulation around your windows you also have a good seal on your doors, using weather strips or draught excluders to keep the cold air out.
Most caravan owners know that when it comes to keeping the heat inside, exterior cladding cannot be beaten. Although this will cost a bit of money on the front end you will save in the long run on caravan running costs and improve energy efficiency dramatically. Cladding the exterior of your caravan can be done relatively quickly and will provide you with a much better level of insulation. If you are spending winter months in the unit this is really an essential upgrade.
Other tips to stay warm
Along with the usual heating sources inside your caravan there are also a few other things that you can do to ensure you stay warm and toasty. Think about adding a couple of storage or portable heaters to warm living areas. These heaters are available in gas or electric models and can have a big impact on interior temperatures. The cost to run a portable heater depends on the output of the heater and how long you run it—for example 1000 kW heater that's switched on for 6 hours a day would cost you around 93p per day to run.
Also, a couple of electric blankets can work wonders to help you stay warm at night in bedroom areas—and a tried and true hot water bottle can always help take away chills.
Spending winters in your caravan can bring its own set of challenges but this list should provide you with enough ideas to make sure your stay warm throughout the colder months, and can also enable you to rent out your caravan during winter months to bring in extra income. Larger investments like cladding and underfloor heating should provide you with overall cost savings due to improved energy efficiency.