While winter may almost be over, February is typically one of the coldest months of the year. That doesn’t stop die-hard ‘vanlifers’ from exploring in their camper vans, though, proving that camper vans aren’t just for summer. So, with that being said, are our tips on how to enjoy your camper van in winter.
What are the benefits of winter camping?
Camping in summer is great, don’t get us wrong, but soaring temperatures can be uncomfortable, and the insects can be a menace. While it may be chilly, winter camping has its upsides. The biggest of which is avoiding the crowds. Visit popular tourist locations out of season means there are no traffic jams, campsites aren’t fully booked, there aren’t queues for amenities, and things are often a bit cheaper.
It can make for a more authentic trip; seeing these tourist hot spots without the wealth of sightseers helps you get the vibe with locals in the pubs and restaurants.
Make it Hygge
One of the most enjoyable parts of winter is the Hygge vibe. Comfy sweaters, warm blankets and bowls of soup set the mood. When campervanning in winter, ensure you can bring some of those hygge vibes and creature comforts aboard the van.
Try hanging blankets or curtains over the windows, put up a hanging shelf to store extra bedding and clothing, bring an electric blanket or heated mattress cover. And of course, don’t forget the candles, although you may feel safer with some LED ones over a naked flame.
When the temperature outside plummets, it can be a challenge to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the van. But with a few winter-proofing tricks, you can keep your camper snug as a bug.
One of the most important things is to have good heating in your van. If you’re lucky enough to have a winterized camper, then you will have a heater installed. However, if you’re not so lucky and the van isn’t winterized, or your heater stops working for whatever reason, there are lots of other ways to keep warm in winter.
You can use electric blankets as an alternative to a duvet to keep warm and cosy, especially at night when the temperature drops further. Another option would be a portable fan heater. These can be picked up relatively cheaply from shops such as Tesco and Argos.
Cooking can also help warm a small space like a campervan.
Layers, Layers, Layers
Winter can be unpredictable, so layers are imperative. When packing for the trip, make sure you have some cold-weather gear, wet weather gear and are able to layer clothing for optimum comfort.
Cosy sweaters, waterproof jackets, wellies, gloves, scarves, t-shirts etc., will all allow you to add or remove layers weather permitting to keep yourself warm but not too hot.
Camping is perfect for hearty soups, stews and comfort food. Pack some winter warming ingredients in your cupboards, or stock up when you arrive at the campsite. If you haven’t invested in a slow cooker, it’s definitely worth getting one. You can pick them up cheaply and leave wholesome stews cooking in them all day.
Pot noodles make a quick and easy winter warmer if you are short on time but still want to get out and about.
Make sure that you have cutlery and crockery for everyone travelling with you before setting off on
Enjoy some winter outdoor activities
The winter months are the perfect time to get outside and enjoy some activities. Wrap up warm and take advantage of lower prices on outdoor gear in the sales. There’s plenty to do, whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, or just taking a winter walk through stunning scenery.
If fitness isn’t your thing, you can explore the local pubs, restaurants, art galleries and areas of historical interest while they are quieter.
Check campsite availability in advance
While you probably won’t need to book months in advance, you should check which sites are open as some sites take a break for a few weeks in winter. A quick Google search and a couple of phone calls could save you turning up somewhere that isn’t open.
We hope this guide on how to enjoy your camper van in winter helps you enjoy your motorhome more frequently and truly get the most from it. If you have any tips to add, drop them in the comments.