How to insulate your caravan for winter
As the days and nights get colder, you may be feeling a chill in your caravan that you want to fix. Winter’s for being cosy and warm, not tackling draughts and cold temperatures.
In this guide, we’ll lay out how best to ensure that your caravan is insulated throughout the winter. This will help you breeze through the season without a worry!
No matter how well you manage to heat your caravan, if it’s not insulated well, your efforts could go to waste. But not to worry, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate these problems.
Here’s a few things to try:
Insulate your pipes
The last thing you need is your waste water becoming frozen on a cold winter’s day! Ensure that your pipes are softly insulated using padding to prevent freezing. You could also add salt or glycol-free antifreeze to the wastewater container.
Protect external water carriers
Similarly to your pipes, external water carriers can also be prone to freeze. You could solve this problem by investing in an insulation bag or do it yourself with bubble wrap or old duvets/coats. We’d suggest that keeping a small freshwater container inside your caravan in case of emergencies!
Switch your gas
With butane gas struggling to work in temps below 5°C, you may have problems with it during the winter month. We’d advise switching to propane cylinders throughout the winter as these operate at a higher pressure and will still work even when the weather is not on your side.
Is double glazing your friend?
Double glazing can be a savior during the winter months when the cold from outside is finding its way in. They add an extra barrier against the chill and reduce the levels of heat moving through them.
However, it’s important to note that by installing double glazing, it could also make your caravan stuffier in the summer, which could cause other problems! Weigh up the pros and cons before you make your decision. For example, if you tour all summer but only use the caravan on occasion in the winter then maybe it’s not the right choice.
If double glazing is out of your budget or you want a DIY option, adding layers of plastic sheeting to your windows can help to give better protection from the elements.
On the topic of windows, you could also tackle the cold with curtains or thermal blinds. This will add another level of snug to stop the cold getting in.
You should also ensure that there are no cracks or bad seals around your window panes. Fix any damage you may find as this could help you maintain a good inside temperature.
It can get wheel-y cold
Your wheel arches could also be causing you cold problems! You lose a lot of heat through the arches, as well as around your door. Try using padded insulation such as carpet, polystyrene, pillows or a draught excluder to stop the warm escaping.
You must remember however, never to block the air vents as this can be a major fire hazard.
Keeping your caravan warm
Ensuring your caravan is insulated is the first step. Next, it’s good to make sure that you’re heating it effectively. Here are our top recommendations:
Utilise your heating
If you have heating installed, there are ways that you can use it more effectively. For example, keeping it on at night to make sure that your pipes don’t freeze. Using a system that runs off a timer can be a great purchase as this means that you don’t have to leave it on all night but can have it turning on just before you wake up or at intervals throughout the night, keeping you cosy and the pipes unfrozen. You could also do this if you’re out all day during the winter.
If you do try this and you have gas or diesel heating, you must make sure that the duct is not and can’t be blocked by snow or debris.
Invest in a portable heater
On really cold days, sometimes even the heating doesn’t feel like enough. This is when it’s time to break out a portable heater. More about this later…
Invest in dry underfloor heating
Dry underfloor heating is great for touring caravans as they take up less space than wet and only require electricity to run. When being installed, very thin cables are laid in the floor of the caravan meaning that a gentle heat can rise up into the rest of the caravan.
Treat yourself to a heated blanket
A heated blanket can turn those chilly nights into cosy delights by using just a small source of electricity to warm your bed while you sleep. Make sure you use one that is in good condition and does not pose a fire hazard.
Best caravan heaters
You may be looking into buying a portable caravan heater, but where do you even start? Here’s a run down about the different types available and some options to buy:
Electric heaters - These are the easiest and cheapest option. All they need is a plug socket and a source of energy to run and before you know it, the caravan will be toasty warm.
Ceramic and fan heaters - These are a great choice for instant warmth. A fan heater will blow out warm air while a ceramic one pivots around the space, helping it not to overheat.
Plug socket heaters - These are perfect for if you’re looking for a heater that is compact to fit into a smaller space. They plug straight into a socket so are really easy to set up!
Carbon heaters - These are similar to halogen heaters as they use a lamp bulb. However in this version, the filament is carbon which is safer for your caravan and works better to warm the skin.
Oil-filled heaters - These offer better safety as you don’t run this risk of wires heating up and there are no naked flames. However, they don’t work as quickly as fan heaters to warm up the room, despite the fact they will help to contain the heat more efficiently in the longer term.
Oil free heaters - These are the safest options as there is no risk of oil leakage. This are heated through aluminium and work silently, which is a real bonus if you’re using it while you sleep!