Do you have to drain down a static caravan?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do you have to drain down a static caravan? We will discuss the basics of winterizing a static caravan. 

Do you have to drain down a static caravan?

Yes, you have to drain down a static caravan, especially if it is winter and you do not plan on using it for a while. Drawing down a static caravan is essential because if water freezes in the caravan pipes and boiler it can cause them to burst, thus causing major issues and lots of unnecessary costs. 

How do you drain down a static caravan?

Draining down a static caravan is simple: you simply have to remove all the water from the caravan’s pipes and boiler. 

Drain the static caravan’s circuit by opening the tap located under the residence (next to the door). Open all the mixers (hot and cold) and put the shower head in the shower tray. Drain the water heater following the manufacturer’s instructions.

In short, if your static caravan is not inhabited in winter, you must follow the following procedure to drain it down:

  1. Shut off the water supply and unplug the power supply.
  2. Drain the circuit by opening the tap located under the residence (next to the entrance).
  3. Open all the mixers (hot and cold) and put the showerhead in the shower tray.
  4. Drain the water heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Empty the toilet flush and the toilet bowl, and put antifreeze in the bottom.

And that is it, your static caravan pipes are now ready for winter!

Note: If there was no time to drain the static caravan and avoid the static caravan pipes from freezing, the water would stop coming out of the tap. To recover the supply, it is recommended not to defrost them with hot water because they could burst the pipes. In that case, it is appropriate to apply dry heat to both the pipe and the meter. Applying it with a hairdryer is a good option.

Extra steps for winterizing a static caravan

Besides draining down your static caravan, there are additional steps to winterize your mobile home. If you own a static caravan and it is not your primary home, it is likely that part of the year will be an uninhabited space that must be maintained, especially if that season is winter. 

In this section, we tell you how winterizing your static caravan can save you a lot of money in the long run. If you take the appropriate measures to avoid damage, you will likely save having to pay for damage that occurs later.

  1. Ensuring proper airflow and avoiding mould problems:

• Store your cushions and mattresses on their side to ventilate them.

• Leave the doors to rooms and furniture open.

• Do not cover your mobile home with tarpaulins. It will cause condensation.

• Do not block the aerators.

• Use products that absorb moisture.

• Clean and empty the refrigerator and leave the door open.

• Make sure all windows are securely closed.

  1. Gas and Electricity:

• Close the valve of the gas cylinder and put it in a safe place.

• Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker.

• Cut off the power supply and the cold water supply, open the hot water mixers and drain using the safety group lever.

  1. Take care of the pipes: While you do not inhabit your static caravan, the water spreads through the pipes and in the cold it catches it. When a warmer season arrives and the pipes thaw, they could be damaged.

If you want to prevent this from happening, a simple solution is to drain the water from your mobile home before leaving. First, turn off your water storage system. Next, open all the taps in the mobile home so that no water remains in the tunnels. This could include:

•Kitchen sink

•Bathroom sinks

•Shower or bath trays

In addition, it would be advisable to drain the water tanks as well as the water heater, which should be left off to avoid possible damage.

  1. Prepare the toilet for winter:

•Hold down the toilet handle until all the water has been drained. If it doesn’t finish draining, flush a bucket of water down the toilet to force the water.

•Another option is to pour antifreeze into your toilet tank as long as it is suitable for your pipes and does not damage them. Rinse after pouring so it goes through the pipes.

  1. Power cut:

As is logical, an uninhabited caravan does not need to maintain a temperature that is too warm inside, however, it is advisable to keep it at a minimum temperature that guarantees the good maintenance of your mobile home. The interior temperature required will vary depending on the external temperature and the insulation of your mobile home, but in general, 10º is an optimal maintenance temperature.

Placing your static caravan into service in spring

Besides knowing how to winterize a static caravan, it is also important to know the procedure for placing your static caravan into service in spring. For example, water points that remain unused for a long time are particularly prone to contamination by Legionella. The rule is to let the water flow for a few minutes before using it. 

Also, descale and disinfect the fittings: shower heads, jet breakers, hose joints. If these items are worn out, do not hesitate not to replace them (approximately every 2 years).

Warning: it is very important to retest your mobile home when filling it with water in order to remedy any leakage problem. The leaks can indeed cause serious damage to your mobile home (humidity, deterioration of your floor, furniture, etc.).

Helpful tips for leaving your static caravan prepared for winter

If you are in possession of a static caravan, a motorhome or a camper van, or if you plan to acquire one soon, it is likely that you will not be able to inhabit it throughout the year, since the obligations and the work sometimes make it difficult for us to enjoy our vehicle as much as we would like.

That is why sometimes we are forced to park our vehicle for long periods of time waiting for a vacation period in which we can enjoy it as it should. This section offers useful tips to keep your vehicle in good condition during that period of time in which we have our uninhabited vehicle parked in a caravan park.

An important factor to consider is the weather. Because you will keep the static caravan outdoors and the weather is cold, it is necessary to pay attention to issues such as water. It is advisable to empty all the tanks because in case of freezing the water occupies more volume and our pipes, the pump or taps can crack and even break.

Humidity is one of the biggest enemies of a parked static caravan, so certain precautions must be taken. It is convenient to park it in well-ventilated places with minimal humidity, separating it from other caravans or walls so that the air circulates well.

If you have a caravan, it is advisable to cover the hitch head with a tarp or cover it to protect it from oxidation, but leaving a hole open at the bottom to keep it dry.

If it is not too inconvenient, it is advisable to visit the caravan regularly to open it and ventilate it. If it is in a very humid place, the heating can be turned on to dry the environment.

Putting a dehumidifier can also be a good option, in addition to leaving the aerators open. It is important not to leave anything in contact with the roof of the caravan to avoid condensation.

They may seem obvious, but it is important to cut off the gas and electricity, as well as not to leave anything in the fridge.

The bottom line

For more details on how to prep your static caravan for winter temperatures check out articles on how to insulate the underside of a static caravan and how to stop your static caravan pipes from freezing. 

And if you have any questions or comments on the content, please feel free to get in contact!

FAQ on Do you have to drain down a static caravan?

How cold does it have to be for pipes to freeze?

The coldest temperature for RV pipes to freeze is 32 F (or a temperature below 0ºC) for a long time. 

What to do so that the pipes do not freeze?

So that the pipes do not freeze, a splash of hot and cold water may be all you need to keep the pipes safe. Let the warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an exterior wall. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature during the day and at night.

How are pipes protected from the cold?

Here are some tips to protect the pipes from the cold:

  1. Wrap the pipes in heating tapes or paper. 
  2. Insulate all water pipes to prevent cold air from entering. 
  3. Insulate and heat drain pipes. 
  4. Let the water run for moments. 

Why is it important to protect water pipes from freezing?

It is important to protect water pipes from freezing because, in cold winter areas, icy pipes can cause a sudden emergency. The frozen water expands and cracks the pipes which, when thawed, lose water through the cracks.

What causes water to burst pipes in winter?

The most common cause why pipes burst in winter is if a pipe full of water is cooled so much that the water freezes, its volume will increase, which will cause pressure on the inside of the metal pipes that, if sufficient, will eventually break the pipe.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!