Buying a static caravan is a big investment and a fantastic opportunity, but it’s important that you carefully research and consider exactly what you want from a static. With so many models and features available from a range of brands, choosing your first static caravan home can be daunting, but knowing how to approach it can reduce a lot of the stress, and ensure you’re also excited for the benefits they can bring.
In this ultimate guide, we will help you navigate through the process of choosing a static caravan by providing expert advice and trusted tips, from understanding what static models offer to assessing your needs and preferences, budgeting, and choosing the perfect one for you.
For more advice on the best static for your needs, speak with N. Doe Caravans and arrange a caravan viewing at our showground in Horsham, West Sussex.
Understanding what static caravans offer
If you’re considering your first static caravan, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, static caravans can be a cost-effective way to have your own home or temporary accommodation without breaking the bank, however, there are potential drawbacks as well.
Advantages of static homes
Here are main reasons why owning a static caravan is beneficial:
- Affordability – Static caravans, both brand new and used, offer great value for money and are certainly a good option for full-time accommodation while traditional homes and mortgages are so expensive.
- Flexibility – With many models to choose from, you can pick a static that meets all of your criteria in terms of number of rooms, features, and of course, location. There are many welcoming caravan parks across the UK, including beauty hotspots that would be wonderful places to live. When you’re choosing a static for the first time, make sure you contact your preferred parks (unless siting on private land) to check the models they allow, and whether or not they require you to buy directly from them.
- Amenities – When choosing a static, you’re creating your own home and newer units provide all of the mod-cons you’d expect, meaning you don’t miss out on the features of modern living and comfort.
- Caravan parks – Owning a static caravan gives you the opportunity to live in a caravan park of your choosing. Parks typically have a great sense of community and offer on site facilities for recreation, as well as beautiful surroundings.
- Simplicity and minimalism – Living in a static caravan encourages a simpler and more minimalist lifestyle. The limited space available promotes decluttering and prioritising essential possessions, leading to a more organised and less chaotic living environment.
- Nature and location – Caravan parks are often situated in scenic locations, such as near the coast, in the countryside, or close to national parks. Living in a static caravan allows you to be closer to nature and enjoy natural surroundings on a daily basis. If siting on private land, you can choose a location that fits in with your needs and preferences.
- Lower environmental impact – Static caravans tend to have a smaller ecological footprint compared to larger houses. They typically require fewer resources to construct and maintain, and their reduced size often means lower energy consumption.
Disadvantages of static homes
- Site fees – Fees can vary greatly depending on the park you choose. It’s essential to research and compare different options before committing to one. Other options include considering siting on private land, but ensure you have the correct permissions for this.
- Running costs – Running costs can add up quickly as gas and electricity bills increase during colder months or when using more amenities. However, it’s important to note that your bills will likely be lower when compared to a brick-and-mortar property – just take them into account when budgeting.
- Limited mobility – Choosing a static means being tied down to one location for extended periods or even permanently, limiting your ability to travel as you might do with a touring caravan.
- Limited storage – Statics are limited in the amount of space they can offer owners. To mitigate this, you can sell items and remove clutter, as well as looking at different ways to organise the storage space available to you.
By weighing the advantages against the disadvantages, you’ll have the information you need to make an informed decision about whether owning a static caravan is right for you.
Assessing your needs and preferences
Consider what you’ll be using the caravan for, think about the number of occupants and their requirements, location and amenities, size and layout options, as well as storage capacity. By understanding your specific needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision when selecting your first static caravan.
What will you use it for? (e.g. holiday home, permanent residence, short term accommodation during a self build project)
If you’re considering investing in a static caravan, it’s important to determine what purpose it will serve. Will it be your home away from home for holidays, your permanent residence, or temporary accommodation while you complete a building project? Knowing what your needs are will help you select the right one that meets all of your requirements.
For those looking for a holiday home, consider factors such as location, amenities on-site, and nearby attractions. If you plan to make it your permanent residence, then space and comfort become even more critical. For short-term accommodation during self-building projects, you may need something smaller and budget-friendly.
Whatever the reason for buying a static caravan, take time to assess how much time you’ll spend there and what features are essential before picking one.
Number of occupants and their requirements
It’s crucial to ensure that everyone has enough space to move around comfortably, store their possessions, and relax. You’ll also want to consider the facilities required by each occupant such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen amenities. Be careful to consider how much space you actually need but keep in mind your budget, as this will play a significant role in determining what kind of static you can afford.
Size and layout options
Think about how many people will be staying in the caravan regularly, as well as any visitors you may have. You’ll want to make sure that there is enough space for everyone to sleep comfortably, as well as common areas where you can all relax together.
Consider what types of activities you’ll be doing while in the caravan. If you plan on cooking meals or spending time indoors during bad weather, you’ll want a larger living area and kitchen space. On the other hand, if you’re mostly using the caravan as a home base for outdoor adventures, then smaller spaces might be more suitable.
As you visit statics in person, look at different layout options to find one that suits your lifestyle and needs best.
Having enough storage space is crucial for a comfortable life in a static caravan. Whether it’s clothes, kitchenware or outdoor gear, having everything neatly stored away will help keep the living area tidy and inviting.
For your first caravan, if budget allows, try to think ahead about how your storage needs may change over time and choose a model that allows you to accumulate more possessions without it feeling too cramped. On viewings, take a good look at wardrobe space and kitchen storage, and think about how you could increase storage, for example, by choosing furniture with it built-in.
Location and amenities
When choosing a static caravan, it’s important to consider the location and available amenities that will enhance your overall experience. Research the park or locations where you would ideally site your caravan and look into what they can offer you, including the surrounding local attractions, restaurants, shops, and not forgetting, local health services. Is there enough for you to do in easy reach? How does it compare to where you’re living now?
Budgeting for a static caravan
There are several initial costs you should consider when thinking about affordability and your personal budget. These include but are not limited to:
- Purchase price
- Transport and siting
- Initial setup costs
Whilst your focus will likely be on the purchase price, other expenses cannot be overlooked, such as the cost of transporting your chosen static to its location, and setup costs like buying furniture and appliances. Quite quickly, you will need to budget for big expenses in addition to the cost of the caravan itself.
There are also several expenses you need to consider beyond purchase and siting. These include:
- Annual site fees
- Utility bills
- Maintenance and repairs
- Any necessary modifications or upgrades
One of the biggest expenses associated with owning a static caravan is the annual site fee charged by caravan parks. This fee covers maintenance costs and access to park facilities such as swimming pools and entertainment venues. Depending on the location and amenities offered by your chosen park, these fees can vary greatly, so it’s important to research your options before committing to a purchase.
In addition to site fees, you’ll also need to budget for utility bills such as gas and electricity which can add up quickly if not managed carefully. By factoring in these initial costs when budgeting for your first static caravan, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether this investment is right for you.
Will you look to let your static caravan?
Subletting can be a great way to offset some of the costs of owning a static caravan. However, before selecting your first static caravan with this in mind, make sure to research park rules and regulations regarding subletting.
Some parks may have restrictions on how often you can let your caravan out, or may require certain maintenance standards for subletting caravans, or may not allow it at all. By doing your research beforehand, you’ll ensure that letting out your static caravan is possible and as stress-free as possible.
How to choose your first static caravan
When choosing your first static caravan, it’s important to do your research and consider different models and features. Visiting dealerships in person allows you to get a feel for the caravan and complete thorough interior and exterior checks.
Research different models and features
To find the perfect static caravan for your needs, start by researching the different models and features:
- Make a list of must-have features – Before you begin your search, it’s important to know what features are essential for you and your family. Do you need a certain number of bedrooms? Would you like an outdoor decking area? Consider all aspects that will make your stay comfortable while living in a static caravan.
- Check the size – Static caravans come in various sizes, so it’s important to consider how much space you need and what size pitch is available on site.
- Look for energy efficiency – Saving money on bills is always desirable; look out for statics that have high-quality insulation or double glazed windows.
- Research online reviews – Once you’ve narrowed down some potential models, take the time to read through customer reviews and ratings from other owners before making any final decisions.
By doing thorough research about different models and their features, selecting the perfect static caravan will be much easier for you as a first time buyer.
Visit dealers and view in person
While online research is a great starting point, nothing beats seeing a static caravan with your own eyes. By doing so, you’ll be able to examine the interior and exterior features up close before making a decision, as well as asking any questions you have, and you’ll get a feel for how it could be to live in one particular model over another. As it’s a big investment, you want to trust you know exactly what you’re buying.
Complete interior and exterior checks
Check all the windows, doors, and locks are secure, and that there are no signs of water damage or dampness. Look out for any cracks, holes or leaks which could potentially lead to bigger problems down the line.
Consider the age of the model, service history and log book
When selecting your first static caravan, it’s important to consider the age of the model and its service history, if you’re buying it used. Inspect the log book thoroughly for any maintenance or repairs that have been carried out over the years and make sure you have a good understanding of its condition before buying. Investing in a well-maintained model with a clear service history can save you time and money in the long run.
Ask the static caravan community
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced caravan owner looking for something new, asking for recommendations from other owners can be incredibly helpful in selecting the right static caravan.
The caravan community is vast and supportive, with many forums and online groups dedicated to owning and maintaining statics. By joining these communities you’ll be able to connect with owners who have years of experience who will be able to offer recommendations on which models are best suited for your needs, and tips on maintenance and getting the most out of your investment.
Take your time
Make sure to take your time when considering a static caravan purchase. The process of selecting your first one can be exciting and overwhelming, so it’s important to give yourself the space and opportunity to make an informed decision.
Invest time in visiting dealerships where you can see various models up close. Ask questions, talk to other owners, and gather as much information as possible before making a decision. By taking the time to consider all options, you’ll feel more confident in your choice and ultimately enjoy your first static caravan even more.
First static caravan FAQs
How do I make the final decision on which static to buy?
When selecting your first static caravan, it’s important to make a well-informed decision. With so many options available, take the time to carefully consider all of your choices before making a final decision. To help you make the best choice for you and your family, keep in mind the following tips:
- Work out your budget and stick to it
- Consider the size and layout
- Think about location – where will you be using it?
- Look into additional features such as decking or central heating
- Don’t rush – take the time to view multiple caravans before making a final decision
As it often is with buying a house, you will probably realise it is the right static for you when you view it in person.
What if my perfect static caravan is too expensive?
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what to consider when deciding which static caravan to buy, it can be disheartening to find your perfect static only to realise it’s too expensive. But don’t worry, there are still options available for you.
Firstly, consider looking at used static caravans – pre-owned models that are still in excellent condition, and they can save you a significant amount of money compared to buying new. Additionally, some holiday parks offer financing options or payment plans that could make purchasing your dream static more manageable.
Is there a best brand for first time static caravan buyers?
For first time buyers and any buyers, there is no ‘best’ brand to choose from. The choice really comes down to your personal preferences, needs, and budget. However, it is important to research different brands and models, read reviews, and visit dealers to see statics in person. Take your time and make an informed decision that will provide you with years of happy memories.
Do static caravans depreciate in value over time?
Static caravans typically lose value over time due to wear and tear, age, and market demand. As you use your caravan, it can take a toll on the interior and exterior over time, and the older a model gets, generally the less valuable it becomes. If and when you come to sell, the price you get will also be impacted by whether the demand for statics at that time is low or high.
How long do first time buyers usually stay in their first static caravan?
When you’re selecting your first static caravan, it’s natural to wonder how long most first time buyers stay in their initial purchase. While there is no set time frame, the average is around 5-7 years before upgrading or moving on.
Of course, this varies depending on factors such as personal circumstances and lifestyle changes. Some first time buyers may find that they outgrow their static caravan sooner than others, while some may choose to hold onto it for longer. Ultimately, finding the right fit can make all the difference in how long you end up staying.
Is it best to buy from a dealer or buy privately?
Buying from a dealer has its benefits. When purchasing from a reputable dealer you can rest assured of the quality, as they often have strict standards for the condition of their stock. However, keep in mind that dealers may charge higher prices due to added costs such as site fees and commissions.
On the other hand, buying privately can save you money as they shouldn’t need to account for these extra costs, however you may also find there is no warranty or guarantee offered by the seller. Whether you buy from a dealer or privately, always do your research.
Contact N. Doe Caravans for expert advice
With so many options available when it comes to selecting your first static caravan, it’s important to have access to expert advice that can guide you through the process. At N. Doe Caravans we have over 40 years experience in both new and used static caravans, and are specialists in helping all buyers find the best model for their needs and budget, with a focus on customer service and satisfaction.
Get in touch today to book a viewing.