Jargon Buster for Static Caravans


Posted by Justin Allitt in Buying a Holiday Home, May 20, 2019

Holiday parks have become an extremely popular place for British people to spend time. Whether it is for retirement, a long summer holiday, or just the odd weekend away. For the uninitiated, some of the holiday park terminology used can be a little confusing. So we have put together a guide for you here. A Jargon Buster for the Static Caravan Industry. Whether you are looking to buy a holiday home, rent or sell, this guide will help you with all the buzz words you may come across.

Buying A Static Caravan

Let’s start with some of the jargon that surrounds buying a static caravan or park home.

Finance

Companies and parks offering static caravans for sale will often offer Finance. Finance is a form of credit, and a popular way of funding a holiday home purchase. This allows buyers to pay in affordable monthly installments. Buying a static on finance is a form of credit, the buyer will therefore be subject to the necessary credit checks. Interest rate percentages should be taken into consideration too. Sell My Group recommends Pegasus Finance

Pitch and Pitch Fees

A pitch is the individual area of the holiday park that each static goes on. A pitch is usually concrete, but can also be grass. A Pitch Fee is therefore what you pay to put your caravan in place. A yearly rent which will vary depending on the desirability of the pitch and the park. Not all pitches are created equally, the best pitch for you will depend on your needs. Some pitched may be lakeside or have sea views for example, while others may be further from the facilities. Pitch Fees are sometimes called Sites Fees or Ground Rent.

Pitch License Agreement

A Pitch Licence Agreement is a binding document that is signed at the start of pitching your static caravan on a site. This license agreement sets out rules and regulations to be upheld by both site owner and the pitch renter/caravan owner. The content of this document should be read over carefully, and any queries raised before signing it. This document will be subject to change, and should always be kept up to date by the site owner.

Rates

This refers to an amount payable to the site in exchange for using water and other site facilities. While it might seem similar to a council tax, this is nothing to do with the local authority and is payable to the site owner, for site services only.

Residential Status

This is when you can live on the plot. The local authority will issue a site license for a park, either hoiday or residential. However, it maybe that the park has mixed useage. Check the license and ask the council and park operator to view it. Holiday parks do not allow residential living.

Season

The Season is the period of time that the park is open to the owners and holiday makers. A residential park might have a season for holiday makers, but be open for owners all year round. Other non-residential sites can close anywhere from 2 months to 6 months of the year. As it varies from park to park, it is something that should be checked.

British Holiday Home and Holiday Park Association (BH&HPA)

BH&HPA

This professional organisation represents holiday park owners, and the park industry as a whole. They are in charge of lobbying governments for matters related to British holiday homes and holiday parks.

National Caravan Council (NCC)

This trade body is a long established non-profit organisation. As representatives of the caravan and holiday park industry, the National Caravan Council offers accreditation to park operators, with focus on delivering a good service to customers.

Letting Out Static Caravans

Many owners decide to use their caravan only part of the season, and rent it out to holiday makers for the rest of the time. Here is some insight into letting out a static caravan.

Owners

The term ‘Owners’ refers to those who own their static caravan or holiday home, whereas ‘Holiday Makers’ is used to describe those who rent one for the duration of their stay.

Subletting or Sub-let

Some static caravan owners decide to rent out their van some of the time, which they allow the park to undertake on their behalf, and this is called subletting. Sometimes the park will manage this for you for a fee. It is important to bear in mind that not all parks allow letting and subletting however. This is an important factor when choosing a site on which to purchase.

Guaranteed Letting

Some sites will guarantee you the money up front for your specified subletting dates. It will be up to the sites to let out and collect the money. Sites which are confident they can let your holiday home without trouble usually offer this. This guaranteed income can offset the purchase of the caravan, or the pitch fees. This can be taken into your initial calculations when working out financing your park home. However, check other costs including cleaning etc.

Your Account

When a park talks about your account, they are referring to the account you hold with them. This will be used to add or subtract any monies gained from subletting, or owed for ground rent, for example. This will be your own personal account linked to your static caravan, on that individual site.

Booking

When holiday parks talk about a booking, it is the same as any other holiday booking – they mean someone has booked your static caravan on a date you have specified to let it out. They may let you know you have a booking, which means someone has booked to rent your caravan for a time.

Fleet, or Holiday Fleet

Holiday parks can own a ‘Fleet’ of their own caravans, used for renting out to holiday makers. They sometimes also call these the ‘Holiday Fleet’.

Knowing Your Static Caravan

Your static caravan itself comes with it’s own set of names and definitions. Here is some of the terminology that goes along with the holiday home of caravan.

Chassis

The Chassis is the metal frame underneath the static caravan, which is usually a mild steel. It is always a good idea to check the condition of the Chassis if buying a used static.

Connections

Connections, in reference to setting up your static, can mean everything from connecting gas, electric and water, to setting the van up on blocks and axel stands. This is all part of setting up your static caravan or holiday home, on the pitch.

The Deck or Verandah

This refers to the surrounding area, usually raised, used for sitting out, or keeping plants on, or outdoor furniture. This is either made from wood, or UPVC, to match the caravan or park home.

Drain Down

Drain Down is the process of removing the water fromthe caravan to prevent it from freezing in the colder months. Modern central heated caravans will contain the necessary anti-freeze to avoid freezing problems. This step usually won’t be required.

Fixed Furniture, or Free Standing Furniture

This is furniture that is built into the caravan, like benches for sitting on, tables bolted down, beds attached to the wall etc. The design of fixed furniture obviously is designed as part of the interior and can’t easily be moved. Free standing furniture in contrast to this can be removed, moved and even replaced, with ease.

Types of Caravans and Holiday Homes

Lodge

Lodges are aesthetically beautiful, spacious and with an extra touch of luxury. Built and decorated to a high standard (usually BS3632) and can range in size into excess of 20 feet. Sometimes referred to as ‘Double Units’, this refers to their width, and being made of two units which are fitted together.

Park Home

Very similar to a lodge but used for residential use and built to BS3632 standards. Park homes are really a home from home, with everything you need, as well as light and space, and multiple full size rooms.

A Static Caravan

A static caravan is a large size caravan, with interior rooms, designed to be parked up and left somewhere, as opposed to towed by a family or individual. Static caravans come with all the mod cons; heating, power shower, full sized kitchen etc

Touring Caravan

Touring caravans are those vans with a tow-bar, which allows them to be freely towed with the family car. These are perfect for those who enjoy being on the road, and visiting a range of different camp and caravan sites. Some holiday parks have allocated space for touring caravans, but not all. Names used to describe static caravans include; static, caravan, static caravan, holiday home, park home, or mobile home. A tourer, or a touring caravan is one that is a lot smaller, and towed with a car, ideal for those who prefer to move around visiting various places and caravan sites.