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Thread: Static Caravan/Mobile Home

  1. #1
    Regular Poster Robb's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Kingdom of the East Saxons

    Static Caravan/Mobile Home

    Is there such thing as a warm and damp free static caravan or mobile home during the winter months ? Reason is im going to be helping someone do some building extension and maintenance work during the year and i know the work will run into next winter and the following year, it will be a permanent home apart from weekends for 18 months or so i want something as comfortable and warm as possible, has anybody stayed in one for any length of time while doing a self build etc ? I know nowt about caravans/mobile homes etc and there is so much choice out there i dont know whats good and whats not, Got a budget of about 5000 max.

  2. #2
    Yes can be damp free the problem is leaking on seals on windows rooves joins etc. Even relatively new caravans can suffer from damp and leaks. When you go to see them take a damp meter with you and test everywhere.once water finds its way in its a slippery slope so a damp meter is a cheap investment to make.

  3. #3
    The secret is to fit a good wood burning stove (properly). This gives a good warm dry heat that with proper circulation (other than just convection) will keep things lovely and dry.
    My stalking accommodation is a normal touring caravan which I have fitted a good stove in and it's too warm. Door needs leaving open sometimes. All stalking clothes dry in a few hours and moisture is taken out through the chimney and roof vents.
    Obviously this needs doing correctly so there is no risk of surrounding structure heating up. However as a boat builder this is normal work for me.

  4. #4
    I'm thinking of doing something very similar althou on a lot more minimal budget (a farmers has offered 1 for 500 quid )

    We stuck a log burner in shoot static and it is a complete wreck, with a lot of introduced moisture from loads of wet jackets + leaks (log burmer is a complete botch job, sits on a big slab with some corrageted tin behind it) but it really works, seats never get damp or mouldy now even when cushions left in all year now. Knew of a couple of woodcutter/harvester operators who also had wood burners in caravans and were spot on and these boys live in them 5 days a week for years.

    Wot would u say the key things are woodmaster to instaling a log burner safely and getting it working rite?
    Do u use a twin wall/selkirk flue immediately from the log burner or just from 400 below the ceiling hieght? How high does the flue need to be above caravan roof?
    And wot sort of money would u be looking at to install a log burner (obviously just a ball park)

  5. #5
    I've just moved into my new house after two winters in a static it cost me 650.00 delivered my mistake was not fitting a wood burner when I had a narrow boat it had a pot belly stove and was always warm and dry within an hour or two of lighting it .It had single skin flue for most of the way but a double flue is a must through a caravan roof and extend the flue about 3ft above any obstruction if you are next to a taller building.

  6. #6
    Here's a few pictures of mine.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Don't matter how cold it gets!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1150404.jpg  

  7. #7
    Stay away from gas heating, if you dont want to fit a log burner fit a couple of small aircon units. I lived in a static for the best part of 10 years and only found out near the end how to get the best out of it, they heat in the winter and cool in the summer.

  8. #8
    Regular Poster Robb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Kingdom of the East Saxons
    Ok a Woodburner it is, While we are on the subject Steel or Cast Iron ? Im guessing a good quality Cast Iron like a Jotul or similar ? Or will it not matter too much in relatively small space like a caravan ?
    I was originally thinking of maybe cladding the outside of the static with some good quality ship lap to help insulate it a bit, dont know if it would be worth the bother or would help at all, i know it sounds a bit over the top but i can see me being there longer than expected and anything i can do to keep the heat in will be gladly welcomed, it was just a thought.
    One thing i have noticed over the years is the floors in these things are bl**dy freezing in the winter, Woodburner and Thicker socks i suppose is the answer to that one.
    Thanks for the replies so far.
    Last edited by Robb; 13-01-2015 at 09:59.

  9. #9
    Don't clad the outside you'll just make loads of potential leaks in the van. Most more modern vans have insulated floors which help alot. Then it's best to put a skirt of bales or timber round the bottom to stop the wind blowing under all the time.
    Cast stoves are better as they retain heat longer so less fluctuation in temperature. However in such a small place a good quality steel one will do the job fine.
    Installation of a stove would be round 1000 to build the surround and supply the flue etc. However I don't really work away from my yard as it's a pain having to try and do this work with out having all my gear to hand, and just being able to make things up as I need to.

  10. #10
    If you've got the space, build a free standing porch type space on the door side, just 3 x 2, cladding and some old windows / clear roofing sheets with pallet & ply floor if its rough. Just a more structural version of an awning seen on touring vans. Its a good place to stack firewood to dry out, hang dripping coats, filthy boots etc etc. The extra semi outdoor space makes a massive difference to living / working from a van and if you site the van to take advantage of the evening sunshine on the porch side its can a be a good drying space or spot to sit outside of the van on nicer evenings.

    Small cast wood burner is the way to go indoors, perhaps with a stove top fan to help circulation (funds allowing).

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