General Questions about buying a Static Caravan
Where can I view your homes?
We have a range of new & used static caravans, mobile homes & our famous Sunrise Lodges available to view and purchase from our showground, but they do sell quickly once here, so always call at least a day in advance as we don’t want a wasted trip! We are based in rural Weeley Heath, Essex.
How much will delivery cost?
If ordering a new model from the factory, Sunrise Lodges will include a free standard delivery to anywhere in England, Wales, and South Scotland. If ordering from our showground, this includes England only. This is a standard ‘drop off’ delivery where you may need a 4×4 to move your lodge into place. Don’t worry we can do it all for you, it’ll just cost a little extra… more info further below!
I may have access issues and require assistance getting a Static Caravan onto my land; do you offer a service to help me with this?
Yes we can assess your site first on Google, and make a site visit if need be. Our reliable and experienced transport company will quote depending on the distance, and how much work is required to get the caravan in, levelled and sited professionally. This is known as the hassle free option and costs start from around £800. If there is no way in by road, we can even quote to crane them over your house! The average cost of this is around £3-5k depending on location & job type.
Is planning permission needed?
In some cases a ‘certificate of lawfulness’ or similar might be needed. But really it depends what the Sunrise Lodge is being used for. To just put it in your garden won’t require planning, but if it’s going to be your “only or main residence” on an empty plot of land you’d almost certainly need it.
Most of our clients’ Sunrise Lodges are used as an annex. Mobile Home law states that provided a relationship remain between the mobile home and the house i.e. it’s being used as extra room space; you shouldn’t need full planning permission. For more info check out our planning guide or give us a call.
Are caravans suitable for year round use?
There are 2 main types of build in the static industry. In short, these are EN1647 – for Holiday Homes. And BS3632 – for Residential Homes.
An EN1647 ‘Holiday Home’ may still be suitable for year round use if it has double glazing, gas central heating and some extra insulation. Each manufacturer differs on this point.
There are also some homes that are hybrids, bridging the gap in budget between a high spec ‘holiday home’ and a typically very costly ‘residential home’. A good example is our own unique range of Sunrise Lodges, which are custom built to the highest specification for EN1647. As well as the usual gas central heating via combi boiler, eco-double glazing, Sunrise Lodges are fitted with top quality Rockwool insulation; 100mm boxed floors, 100mm roof + bubble foil, 70mm walls.
Can I put one of your Caravans/ Lodges on a park?
We can supply onto a number of parks, please click here
Alternatively we can supply onto any caravan park you wish, provided you have checked with the park that you are allowed to bring on a caravan you have bought elsewhere.
Unfortunately, about 90% of parks out there no longer allow you to bring on your own home, so please ensure you have written permission before purchasing from us or driving over to view.
What about insurance?
Your caravan or Lodge is fully insured while it’s in our hands. From prep at the showground or factory, to delivery.
Once its on your land we advise you insure it through NACO Caravan Services who are very helpful people. We can also recommend the NFU.
We need something to live in during a self build, when we are finished will you buy it back off us?
Yes of course! We are always happy to buy back our caravans. We can offer a guaranteed buy back within 12 – 15 months; the industry standard is 40% of the value back within the first year. However sometimes we can offer up to 60%!
This works out much cheaper than renting, and is a great fall back if you need it gone quickly and cash back at the end of the build.
Alternatively we will advise you how to sell it yourself privately on Ebay or Gumtree for example. This way you will get most of your money back, as they hardly exist second hand! Also you could keep it in your garden as extra space, or get it on Air Bnb!
We can also help you arrange the transport back out again. But no matter how long you’ve had your caravan or lodge we’ll always be interested in buying it back.
THE TECHNICAL STUFF
What sort of gas do your caravans run on?
Most static caravans and mobile homes run on Calor bottled LPG (Liquid Propane Gas). You can either buy the freestanding bottles (47kg advised), or for long term you can install a tank.
What kind of base does it need?
Personally we cannot advise you on your base, as there are many things to consider with different types of land. We cannot be responsible for the base you choose to site the home on, and if sited incorrectly you will notice doors + windows not opening/ shutting properly.
We’d recommend speaking to a local general builder/ someone who has knowledge of laying concrete bases, to advise you on this matter. And depending on which model you’re interested in, we can soon find you the weight.
Please see below the industry standard as a guide.
“Laying a correct hardstanding base”
The specification for pitches in good load-bearing subsoil are as follows (Guidelines of Good Practice for Transportation, Siting, and Commissioning v6.7):
- Sub-base All topsoil should be removed to an appropriate depth before the raft/strips are constructed. The sub-base should then be compacted until it is firm. If during excavation, soft, wet or unstable areas are detected, these materials should be excavated and replaced with well-compacted, granular fill. It is highly recommended that in this scenario a qualified structural/civil engineer is engaged.
- Concrete Raft The base raft is at least 200mm wider than wheelbase and jacking points of the home. A well consolidated hard-core sub-base with a minimum depth of 150mm should be laid first and topped with 100mm of concrete mix with steel reinforcement. Ideally the perimeter of the base should be deeper/thickener to accommodate brick, block or stone skirting and the fitting of decking or porches around the home. The concrete mix for the raft should meet the requirements of BS EN 206-1. The finished raft should be flat, level in all directions and flush with the ground. One or two shallow gullies could be formed in the surface to allow water to run off.
- Concrete Strips If concrete strips are used instead of a raft, they should be a minimum of 1m wide and should be spaced so that the longitudinal chassis members can be positioned above the centre of the strips (approximately 1.8m centres). A well consolidated hard-core sub-base with a minimum depth of 150mm should be laid first and topped with 150mm of concrete mix with steel reinforcement. The concrete mix for the strips should meet the requirements of BS EN 206-1. Rough-sawn timber may be used for longitudinal forms. This should be placed on edge, with sideways movement prevented by metal or wooden stakes driven into the ground at 1m spacing. Where strips are constructed on slopes steeper than 1 in 30 (33mm in 1m), they must incorporate anchors to prevent them from creeping downhill. It is highly recommended that in this scenario a qualified structural/civil engineer is engaged. The finished raft/strips should be generally flat and level with provision for surface drainage.
- Curing Concrete should be allowed to cure fully in order to achieve the desired strength. The curing process can be enhanced by keeping the fresh concrete damp for an adequate period after pouring. Concrete work in frosty conditions should be avoided unless antifreeze additives are used.
As soon as surface texturing is complete, the concrete should be covered with plastic sheeting held in place with a thin layer of sand or soil and stones along the edges. Allow sufficient time for the base to cure before siting the home. Damp-curing should be continued for at least 10 days in warm weather and 14 days in cold weather.
On exposed parks, recessed ring bolts and steel eyes should be cast into the concrete. The chassis of the home should then be anchored to the steel eyes to prevent movement in high winds. Each ground anchor and eye should be capable of resisting a 10 kN tensile load.
How easy is it to pull out the fitted fixtures, are there certain walls or fixtures that are not movable?
With regards to taking out walls, this can be done in certain places, always best to check with us first. As a general rule; don’t take down the middle wall (running longways down the home) as that will most likely be the supporting one.
What kind of power and water connections does it run on/need?
Most caravans & lodges run on a 32amp power supply via a blue 3 pin plug, but they can also be hardwired with armoured cable, whatever is easier your end.
Water can be connected by any outside supply/ from the main house, even a hose, but we wouldn’t recommend it long term or in winter! If you are more local to us in Weeley, Essex, we can arrange for our engineers to visit and quote you for the works.
How do they deal with waste water?
The easiest would be into the house mains drainage via manhole cover or similar, otherwise a cesspit/ macerator. All the brown waste and water pipes are common fittings.
We always advise to get a local LPG Gas Safe registered engineer and qualified Electrician round as they will be able to discuss all this with you and quote, as every job is different.
Do they come with legs/stabilisers?
All mobile homes come with wind down legs, but these are really just for showground use. If we are siting your caravan or lodge for you we’ll put it on slabs and jacks so you shouldn’t expect any movement, all the doors will open and close correctly etc.
Depending on the ground it may ‘bed in’ over the first few months, but this is just a case of tightening the jacks underneath. We can supply you with axel stands to site it yourself, however this is not the only thing needed! See our guide on how to site & level in the above menu.