Buying a static caravan: Is this the cheapest and easiest way to own a ‘holiday home’


Is it a static caravan? Or is it the cheapest and easiest way to own a luxury holiday home? I’ll go for the latter. But yes, it’s still a caravan.

If you follow me on social media you’ll already know that Sam and I recently bought a static caravan in the gorgeous seaside town of Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsular in Wales.

Since posting about the caravan I’ve had a few people send messages and ask questions about buying a static caravan and how we did it and why we did it etc, so I thought I’d answer all your questions here! If you have any more questions about buying a static caravan then please do leave them in the comments below or send me an email and I’ll do my very best to answer.

^ I gave up on trying to take photos without a child or a dog doing something weird!

What’s it like to have a static caravan?

Wouldn’t it be lovely to go on holiday every single weekend?

To go somewhere beautiful and somewhere that’s usually sunny – but still only two hours from home. Somewhere you can drive to so you don’t need to worry about the extra time and expense of flying (and you can take the dog!)

And when you arrive all your stuff is already there! All your clothes and favourite things are ready and waiting. Your favourite wine is already chilled in the fridge, the book you started last weekend is there, the kid’s toys are all there and their favourite blankets are on their beds and their best PJs and bedtime stories are there waiting. Even the dog has a little bed waiting by the fire with his ball and bone inside. You know all your neighbours and they greet you with a friendly wave and a smile. They ask how your week was and you all agree you’re happy to be back on holiday.

There’s no stress, no hassle, no worries and you’re straight into holiday mode. You don’t need a day to settle in and find your feet. You are on holiday the second you arrive.

This is exactly what it’s like with our static caravan in Abersoch.

Now I’m the first to admit that I was a static caravan skeptic. I didn’t understand it all.

Why would you pay THAT much money for one? (I’ll get on to how much money THAT MUCH is later!) Why would you opt to stay in what is basically a posh shed? And why would you keep going on holiday to the same place when there’s a whole world to explore?

The simple answer for me is this: The kids.

It’s an amazing way to holiday with kids and we definitely wouldn’t have bought one if we didn’t have children.

Sam grew up with a static caravan and spent most weekends with his family near the beach. It sounds like such a dreamy, idyllic childhood. His entire summer was one long holiday.

There are lots of kids on our caravan site and every single one of them just seems so flipping happy. They’re constantly outside so they’re all sporty and slim and tanned. They’re not indoors haunched over iPads; they’re on the beach, swimming in the sea, chasing their dogs, surfing and getting up to mischief like kids are meant to!

This is what I want my kids to do!

Sam and I work Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so we usually drive up to our caravan on a Thursday evening and return on a Monday afternoon. We get to spend a 4 day weekend there and we love it and it genuinely feels like we’re on holiday every time we arrive. We leave all our stresses at home and spend the weekend doing holiday stuff. We go to the beach, go for walks, go for picnics, go out for dinner, go shopping, go to the pub (it has a great play park so it’s not just for us!), we have BBQs with our friends, we cook, we play and have movie nights snuggled on the sofa with the boys. But mostly, we just spend time as a family in a way that we don’t at home.

I honestly and genuinely don’t know why it isn’t this simple and relaxing at home. We can do all of these things at home (except the beach bit because our nearest beach is hideous) but it just isn’t the same!

^ Views from our bedroom window

Why would you buy a static caravan?

For us, it was the cheapest and easiest way to have the closest thing to a holiday home as we could afford.

That’s basically it.

We did toy with the idea of buying an actual holiday home which, admittedly, is a much better investment. But there were a few reasons why we didn’t go down that route.

  1. We can’t afford one – that’s a biggy!
  2. Houses involve a lot of maintenance and we’d end up spending every weekend doing all the house jobs we’re trying to escape at home.
  3. We could rent it out but we actually want to be in it for the majority of the summer or spontaneously think, ‘It’s sunny this weekend, let’s go to the beach!’ You can’t do that if it’s rented out for most of the summer.

Would you buy a static caravan or a touring caravan?

It really depends if you want to be in one place or tour around. We started off with a tourer and drove it around but we quickly realised this was actually quite hard work, especially with two little kids. We’d imagined we’d drive somewhere pretty, find a campsite, park up the caravan and, hey presto, you’re all set and your home is ready and waiting. But the reality wasn’t like that at all.

Firstly, campsites get booked up quickly so you have to be really organised and book a long way in advance. Yep, no spontaneous weekend breaks here unless you don’t mind staying somewhere a bit shit. Secondly, it was taking us hours to get set up. You have to level the caravan, set up the awning, hook up the water and gas and electrics and entertain a baby and a toddler at the same time! For two adults in a small van it wouldn’t take long but Sam basically had a large van and a large awning on his own because I always had my hands full with the boys – who were at an age where they couldn’t just entertain themselves for an hour (especially after a long drive).

If we left after work on a Friday it was 9pm before we were settled – by this time we had two overtired children and everyone was stressed and grumpy.

So the following year we decided to site the caravan for a whole summer and keep it in one place. We sited it in Abersoch and LOVED it. We loved ease and simplicity of having everything ready and waiting and absolutely adored Abersoch.

But the novelty of being squished into a caravan was wearing off. If we were doing it once a month it wouldn’t have been so bad but we were going almost every weekend. There wasn’t enough space and we all kept each other awake at night so we’d be tired and naggy the next day. This wasn’t feeling like a holiday.

The more we fell in love with Abersoch, the more we realised we’d want to be here the next year and the next, so we started looking at static caravans rather than tourers. It seemed silly to have a tourer we never toured and we realised that for an extra £10k, we could have something 5x the size.

Sam had been keeping his eye on second hand statics for sale in Abersoch. There really wasn’t a lot around so when one popped up that was within our budget we excitedly went to have a look and bought on instantly.

To put it simply, a touring caravan feels a lot like fancy glamping. A static caravan feels a lot like a slightly shitter holiday home.

^How we spend most weekends

Friends + Beach + Beers = Happiness

How much does it cost to have a static caravan?

Prices can vary enormously.

A new static caravan can cost anywhere between about £30,000 and £250,000. Our new caravan is near a place called The Warren where static caravan prices start from £219,000. Of course, you’re not really just paying for the caravan, you’re paying for all the facilities you get to access – things like epic spas and swimming pools and lovely grounds and beaches.

Anyway, we bought ours second hand for £25,000 and it’s 9 years old. When it came to choosing the actual caravan, we really didn’t have many options within our price range so we’ve ended up with a Pemberton Serena which is lovely so it worked out well!

Once you’ve bought your van you need to pay site fees to keep it somewhere. Our site fees are £3,000 a year but, again, site fees vary massively depending on the facilities available and the location of the site.

Most caravan sites close for the winter but we open March until October but some of the more expensive ones are open for longer.

We then pay for our gas and electric at the end of the year.

One thing to be aware of when you buy a static caravan is that you can’t keep it forever. The obviously don’t last forever because, at the end of the day, it’s not much more than a fancy shed, but some sites require you to upgrade every 10 years. Our site requires us to upgrade after 15 years – although we have been told that it could be longer if your van is kept in good condition (and I think if you’re liked on the site it can make a big difference too!)

So it’s not cheap!

Technically, we have 6 years left before we need to upgrade so it’s essentially costing us just over £4,000 per year for the van and £3,000 site fees. With bills, you’re talking about £8,000 per year. You can only use it for 8 months per year, so that’s £1,000 per month!

Yikes, that’s the first time I’ve worked it out like that!

It is expensive but I still think it’s worth it. We’re currently spending most of our time at our caravan and many of the families on our site spend all the school holidays there and every other weekend during term time.

Apparently, the average UK family of 4 will spend £4,792 on a two week holiday (source here) so it’s really only like having two family holidays a year. Most kids get 13 weeks off school and if you spend 8-10 of those at the caravan it’s really kind of cheap…sort of…kind of. Can you see I’m trying to justify it to myself here?

Other initial costs to be aware of is the cost of kitting your caravan out. Static caravans come with all the furniture but you’ll need everything like bedding and towels, TVs, kitchen appliances like a kettle and toaster (most come with a proper oven and hob, dishwasher, microwave and a big fridge freezer and some have a washing machine) If you want decking and a BBQ area that’s extra and most people have a garden shed too for all the beach stuff you’re going to accumulate!

Where would you buy a static caravan?

This is going to be a personal one for everyone but here’s how we decided on Abersoch:

  • It’s a 2 hour drive from home
  • We have friends there already and know a few people who have caravans in the area
  • It’s beautiful
  • It has its own little microclimate and the weather is often better than other areas in Wales
  • There are plenty of bars and restaurants
  • There’s lots to do

When it came to finding a campsite our criteria was:

  • Close to the beach
  • Close to town
  • Affordable
  • Doesn’t allow rentals – we didn’t want somewhere where the neighbours could rent out their static caravan as a holiday let as you could end up next door to anyone

Abersoch and the site we’re on tick every box for us. A part of me would have liked a site with more facilities like swimming pools and private beaches but that would have been way out of our price range and Abersoch Beach is incredible anyway!

Do you have any more questions about buying a static caravan? If you do, please leave them in the comments below!

Read more: Owning a static caravan: The pros and cons

  1. Anna Makridi 3 years ago

    Interesting post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. John Taylor 3 years ago

    Great post, We bought our static 12months ago and never looked back. We just wish we had done it sooner rather than spending so much money on a two week holiday!!

    • TheTravelHack 3 years ago

      This was Sam’s argument for buying one. We always knew we’d get one ‘eventually’ and Sam kept saying, ‘why wait for everything? Why not just do it now?’ He eventually wore me down with this argument!

  3. Laura 3 years ago

    Is it weird that all I now want to do is come and stay with you in your caravan (Claire too?!) Laura x

  4. Shauna 2 years ago

    Very interesting blog – thankyou! I am agonising over buying a 2nd hand static – 13 years old and £12, 750. The owner has it on a lovely quiet site by the beach in North Norfolk (an area I have fallen in love with). The only thing is the site owners won’t allow the caravan to stay after 5 years (like yours) and I would probably get very little for it. I am not interested in upgrading to a posh new one (and can’t afford it). Just like with yours the outlay would be about 8k per year. I feel so torn because I want this caravan more than anything!! Can you think of any way round this? I don’t want to end up with nothing at the end of 5 years!
    Thanks, Shauna.

    • TheTravelHack 2 years ago

      I know what you mean, it’s a tough choice! I don’t know what it’s like on your site but on ours, the guy who owns it basically said that if we keep the van in good condition and it looks nice then he won’t force us to upgrade it. I think it’s a safety net for them to get rid of people (and their vans) if they aren’t looked after or if the family aren’t liked on the site. There are some caravans on our site that are really old so I think if you have a good relationship, always pay on time, get along with everyone and look after your caravan then there’s room for negotiation.
      Good luck!

  5. SineadW 2 years ago

    Hi – great article! I know all parks/sites are different, and you are keeping your caravan just for your own use, but do you know how it works for owners who may want to let their static out for odd weeks or weekends to get a little money back, eg on AirBnB? (I am just thinking those weeks or weekends where it would definitely not be in use, maybe 6 or 7 times a year.) Do site owners take a similar approach as with the age of the caravan, ie. if you are responsible and well-liked you would get away with it?? Or are there very hard and fast rules about keeping the site ‘private’? Not sure if you can advise, but any info helpful!

    • TheTravelHack 2 years ago

      Hi, yes people definitely do that with renting out their caravans, some sites even encourage it. I know of people who have bought two caravans at the same time and they hire one out to pay for them both! The site we’re on doesn’t allow it – which is something we’re happy with because if the caravan next door was rented out every weekend you don’t know who you’d be next to.

      And every site is different when it comes to the age of the vans and how relaxed they are. Some are very strict and you have to get rid of them as soon as they reach a certain age.

  6. […] spend a lot of our summer at the beach and I’d really love to get a paddleboard this summer. We have a caravan a short walk from Abersoch Beach on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales and it’s gorgeous. Early […]

  7. Louise 2 years ago

    I have a few questions as I have been considering buying a caravan for awhile now.
    Do you have to buy the static caravan from the caravan park itself?
    Also what are pitch fees…is this basically just renting the land and gas and electricity is not included in this price?

    I don’t have any children so I am basically thinking of this for myself and my elderly parents to spend some quality time every weekend. We would only be looking for a quiet resort in North or Mid Wales and we do not need any extra facilities such as a swimming pool. Do you think this would lower the cost?

    What does alarm me is having to replace the caravan every 10 years. Can you get good part exchange deals? To be honest I would not be renting the caravan it would be for my sole use so I know it would still be immaculate condition after 10 years.

    • TheTravelHack 2 years ago

      Hi Louise.
      To answer your questions:

      Do you have to buy the static caravan from the caravan park itself? – No, you can buy it from anywhere!

      Also what are pitch fees…is this basically just renting the land and gas and electricity is not included in this price? – Yes, that’s right. Just the land. Nothing else is included.

      I don’t have any children so I am basically thinking of this for myself and my elderly parents to spend some quality time every weekend. We would only be looking for a quiet resort in North or Mid Wales and we do not need any extra facilities such as a swimming pool. Do you think this would lower the cost? – This is what we have. Ours doesn’t have any facilities other than a laundry. It does lower the cost significantly if there aren’t facilities there.

      What does alarm me is having to replace the caravan every 10 years. Can you get good part exchange deals? – We’ve been told they’re worth very very little. Apparently there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of caravan parks all around Europe where owners have to get rid of their caravans every 10-15 years so there are thousands of old caravans being sold. There’s very little demand for them and a lot of supply.

      I hope that helps!

  8. […] am very lucky that if the building work all gets too messy and dirty I can escape to our caravan in Abersoch or hide away at my parent’s house (who are already a bit excited about the […]

  9. […] far from my home and I spent many summers camping in Abersoch with my friends. We love it so much we even bought a caravan in Abersoch. The beautiful beach is a long stretch of golden sand and colourful beach huts surround the […]

  10. Carl 1 year ago

    I 1st bought a static at Stourport on seven , 15 years of bliss , took my kids there most weekends and the loved it . Unfortunately they grew into teenagers and football and other events took over . So we sold it 7 years ago , with a heavy heart . They are now grown men of 24 and 27 , so two years ago , me and the wife decided we wanted a static again , this time by the sea , so Barmouth it was , to be precise taly- Bon . Once a caravan owner , always a caravan owner . Best decision we ever made , walks by the sea with the dog , lovely local pubs and friendly people . Now with this covid situation , staycation is the new word .

  11. Jackie 1 year ago

    Hi, I’m thinking of buying a static caravan and I’ve been told you have to have insurance. What is the cost for this and who do you buy it from. Thanks, Jackie

    • TheTravelHack 1 year ago

      Yes you do. The guy who runs our campsite organises insurance for everyone and gets it much cheaper than we could find it ourselves. It’s £225 for a year.

  12. Beth 8 months ago

    Great blog, thanks! Last night after a few bottles of red wine my husband and I put a deposit down on a £24,000 2012 static. Today – as the merriment of the wine has worn off – I’m feeling a bit scared. We have a son 4 & daughter 1. Reading your page has reassured me a little that we’ve done the right thing. I hope!

    • Monica 8 months ago

      Aww you definitely have. Especially at the moment when so many of us won’t be going abroad! I’m a firm believer that the best decisions are usually made after a bottle of red!

  13. Lo 7 months ago

    Did you get a survey carried out before you bought your static home?
    Thanks, ?

    • Monica 7 months ago

      No we didn’t. In fact, we just bought it almost as soon as we saw it! It does help that Sam is a gas engineer, my dad is an electrician and between them and our friends they are very handy – so any kind of maintenance or jobs that need doing can be done by them. A few months after buying our van be realised it needed a new boiler (which wasn’t really a huge deal for us because Sam was able to do it himself) but other than that it’s still in perfect condition.

  14. Clare 6 months ago

    Thank you for your blog!
    Likewise looking for a caravan static did toy with the idea of a tourer but myself & husband have stressful jobs so seems too much hard work which you have confirmed!
    We are also looking for a owner only site, ideally with a pool as part of the facilities!
    Would you know of any in that area?
    Van wise we have about £40k to spend but ideally don’t want to over stretch ourselves.

    • Monica 5 months ago

      How exciting! I’m afraid I don’t know of anywhere but I hope you manage to find somewhere!

  15. eric 5 months ago

    Why a 15 year old static on park site cost as much as 40k . technically the van itself cant be worth more then 10k at a push.

    • Monica 5 months ago

      It’s worth as much as people are prepared to pay for it!

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