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Static caravan is a term most commonly used in British English to refer to a type of prefabricated home that is also known as a caravan, trailer, trailer home, or, in American English, a mobile home. A static caravan is usually built in a factory and once it is finished, it is transported to the site where it is to be inhabited. They often remain for years at the same site, but most can be moved if needed. Common uses for a static caravan is as a cheap form of permanent housing, a temporary place to live after a natural disaster, recreational accommodation at a camp site or caravan park, and as accommodation for construction or seasonal farm workers. Trailer homes such as static caravans originated in Britain, but are now common in countries all over the world, including many parts of Europe, the United States, and Israel.
Available in various sizes, static caravans commonly sleep anywhere from two to eight people. Most prefabricated homes of this kind are equipped with kitchens, bathrooms, and electricity. A static caravan meant for year-round use also often has central heating, as well as better insulation than caravans designed to be used only in the warmer months of the year. Static caravans are commonly 10 feet (3 m) or 12 feet (3.7 m) wide, but they are also available in widths of 8 feet (2.4 m), 13 feet (3.9 m), and 14 feet (4.3 m). They can vary in length, with many static caravans being 29-37 feet (8.8-11.2 m) long.
A static caravan often has a chassis with axles that make it possible to attach wheels to it, but in most cases these trailer homes are not meant to function as vehicles. For this reason, they are usually not equipped with suspension, brakes, or permanent tires. To transport a trailer home of this type, it is instead placed on a large truck or towed on a large trailer.
Caravan is the preferred term used for any type of trailer home in British English. A distinction is made between a static caravan, which remains in the same location for long periods of time and cannot move on its own, and a touring caravan, which can be towed behind a car and is often used for camping. In American English, the term mobile home is more commonly used instead of static caravan. In Britain, however, the term mobile home often refers to prefabricated homes that can be transported in sections.