Living in a van through the coldest months of the year can be challenging, so it’s important to be fully prepared. You will require a great amount of resilience and hard work to ensure everything goes smoothly. Although there are certain difficulties that you will need to overcome, living and travelling in a campervan during the winter can provide you with a variety of opportunities. This means that you will get to have some amazing experiences that you wouldn’t be able to have in the summer months, which tend to be busier. Within this guide, you will find a few practical solutions that will help you make the most of living in a van through winter.
Prepare For Driving In Winter
Driving in winter is rarely easy, so you should ensure you know what to expect. You will need a lot of concentration and courage to get through adverse weather. It’s important to familiarise yourself with good driving practices, such as driving a bit more slowly, allowing for more space, and taking it easy while braking and accelerating. It might be helpful to get some practice before you set off to increase your confidence, especially if you are worried about how your van will perform in winter. This will also help you prevent accidents from occurring.
Take Out Motorhome Insurance
Travelling in cold weather can pose a range of risks, so it’s crucial to ensure you have the right protection in place. If you want to get good motorhome insurance cover in the UK, check out Motorhome Protect. Their team of experts will provide you with an online quote so that you can select the right motorhome insurance cover for your vehicle. Keep in mind that there are a few key differences between motorhomes and campervans that you may need to consider before taking out motorhome insurance.
Insulate Your Van
Insulation is another important factor to think about, as you will want to keep your van warm at all times. At the same time, this can help you keep it cool during the summer months. It’s advisable to go for the best insulation possible to ensure you don’t lose precious heat quickly. Moreover, you should insulate every area you can, including the floor, which is often forgotten. Check that you have good camper windows, which should be double-glazed. Make sure you fill as many voids as possible by using insulation boards.
Buy Proper Winter Clothing
One of the most enjoyable parts about travelling in a van is that you will be able to spend more time outdoors. However, this means that you will need to buy good-quality winter clothing to keep you warm and protected from the elements. Therefore, you should ensure that you have a nice selection of jumpers, coats, and jackets, as well as quality mid-layers. Also, make sure you wear a cosy hat and gloves when temperatures drop. Bring pairs of thick wool socks and boots to keep your feet warm as well.
Get A Good-Quality Heater
You should also find a good heater, which will help you create a comfortable atmosphere. There are a few different options to consider, so it’s worth researching their advantages and disadvantages. For example, diesel heaters might be a good choice, as they can be supplied directly from your van’s diesel tank. Also, gas heaters may be suitable, especially if you already have a gas system for cooking. However, remember that proper ventilation is essential with gas heating. Wood burners can be another great addition to your van, as long as you can secure a supply of firewood. Choosing the right type of heater will also depend on your budget, so it’s important to think about this in advance.
Ensure You Have A Good Water Supply
It’s more difficult to find water in the winter months, so ensuring you have a good water supply should be one of your top priorities. Whenever you find water, it’s important to use the opportunity to fill up as much as possible, such as at camper service areas. If you are struggling to find water, consider buying it at campsites. Moreover, it might be beneficial to have your tanks inside your van instead of underneath it, as they can freeze during cold weather.
Provide Good Ventilation
Good ventilation is key if you want to achieve a comfortable living environment in your van. This means that you will need to find a way to regulate the airflow, which goes in and out of your vehicle. In addition, this is the best way to stop moisture from building up, which could lead to condensation. Moreover, you will reduce the chance of dealing with unpleasant odours, pollutants, or mould. Some good ways to ensure good ventilation include opening your windows or installing wind deflectors.
Keep Your Van Well-Serviced
Before you go on a long trip, it’s always advisable to get your van well-serviced to prevent problems from occurring. This will reduce the chance of your van breaking down in the middle of nowhere and making things more difficult than they need to be. For example, you may need to check the quality of your running battery and invest in a new one, if necessary. It can be helpful to seek professional help from local mechanics, as they will have access to the right tools and equipment you need to keep your van in great condition.
Plan Your Time Indoors
Keep in mind that days are shorter during winter, so this means that you may need to spend more time indoors. Consider visiting a range of places that might help you get some free heat and some food. For instance, you can check whether your local library is open or find a nice bookshop where you can get some tea or coffee. Also, there might be gyms you can visit or any other place that might be open until late.
Check The Weather Forecast
Remember to check the weather forecast regularly, since you never know what to expect when you are on the road. This might help you adjust your plans and make the most of living in a van. It can be beneficial to be aware of when snowstorms are expected to come in. As a result, you may need to take a trip a day early or late to avoid any problems. It can also be a good idea to prepare emergency food and water in case the weather changes unexpectedly, and you get stuck somewhere remote.
Find Winter Tyres
Another key consideration you will need to make is choosing the right type of winter tyres to help you get through adverse weather. Make sure you buy winter tyres that are rated for snow use, especially if you are going on a trip to Europe. You will find that in some European countries it is compulsory to have winter tyres. Most importantly, winter tyres will ensure that you can get to places that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Moreover, they are normally quiet, so you wouldn’t even see a difference from your other tyres.
Have Safety Equipment On Hand
Safety is crucial when you are living in a van through cold weather, so you will need to think ahead. This means that you should ensure that you have safety equipment on hand and adhere to all safety regulations on the road. You will likely be able to find most things you need in a compact kit, including a high-visibility jacket, warning triangle, first-aid kit, spare bulb kit, torch, and a fire extinguisher. It might also be a good idea to add some extra equipment, which can help you in various situations, such as a shovel. This will ensure that you can clear snow quickly in case you need to dig out spaces to park.
Invest In Good Bedding
Although this might sound obvious, adequate bedding can make a huge difference to how you feel in your van. To improve your comfort and sleep quality, it’s important to layer up with the warmest materials you can find. If you have a fixed bed, you should get a few extra blankets to keep you warm. Comforters can be a great option to consider, as they are suitable for most climates and can be covered with sheets or a duvet cover. Sleeping bags can also be useful, particularly in sub-zero temperatures.
Bring Enough Food And Water
Aside from all the other preparations you will need to make, you will also need to remember to take good care of yourself. This means that you should make sure that you have enough food and water so that you can stay fed and hydrated while living in a van. Sometimes when you are feeling cold, a hot dinner can help you feel better in no time. You can make things simple by preparing a soup or chili and mixing in a tablespoon of butter. As a result, the fat will burn slowly and help keep you warm for longer.