How to get your campervan winter-ready# Rental Tips
As Ned Stark said in Game of Thrones “Winter is coming” and this means that you should get your campervan winter-ready! Either you get to enjoy the unique calmness, beautiful winter landscapes, and empty campsites during a camper holiday yourself or you simply prepare your vehicle for renters to hire during the winter season.
We’ve collected valuable information so you can help renters get safely through their winter holiday and prepare your vehicle for the cold months ahead.
Camping in winter: This is how you get your campervan winter-ready for your holiday
Harsher conditions in nature, empty streets – travelling during winter with your Motorhome is a completely different experience than camping during summer. Extreme landscapes and empty campsites offer some peace of mind after the hustle and bustle during summertime.
Experiencing nature and silence will turn camping in winter into an unforgettable experience. Adventures are good, however, it is important that you and your renters are safe and a tiny bit of comfort isn’t always a bad idea. There are a few things to think of before you start your holiday or rent out your campervan.
Before you get started: preparations to get your campervan winter-ready
If you own winter tyres you should check tyre pressure and tread after having them stored during the summer season and before fitting them. Once you’ve done that, you’ve already completed your first steps towards getting your campervan winter-ready.
Using motor oil suitable for winter
Winter also means frost. In order for the fluids that your vehicle contains to survive the cold temperatures, you also have to get your motor oil and cooling water winter-ready. Fill up your cooling water with enough antifreeze before renting out your Motorhome.
For colder, wintry months, choose a motor oil marked with the letter ‘W’, for ‘winter’. These are SAE 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, and 25W motor oils. Their viscosity grade is low, meaning they are particularly fluid lubricants. At low temperatures, it is better to choose an oil with a low viscosity grade in order to facilitate the circulation of the lubricant in your vehicle during a cold engine start.
Each category is defined by its viscosity at a given temperature (from -10°C to -35°C, depending on the grade). When cold, the more lubricant the fluid is, the less work is required by the oil pump during start-up.
Additionally, your vehicle might have done more than 10,000 miles over summertime, so you might want to make a filter change as well when changing the oil.
An additional fluid that you have to think of during winter is waste water. Your septic tank should be isolated and heatable in order for the fluids not to freeze once your Motorhome is rented out. Adding enough antifreeze to your windscreen wiper system is also crucial in order to use it during wintertime.
Now you’re nearly done and your campervan is almost winter-ready. Check your car battery and clean up all moveable parts to prevent them from freezing before you send your vehicle off.
Packing list for camping in winter
The last thing that is still missing is the fitting winter gear. In order to get your campervan winter-ready, you will need an ice scraper – maybe the most important tool on our list! A robust pair of gloves is also advisable to add to your campervan. They can be very useful in case there are small breakdowns.
Also, a thermal glass cover for your windscreen can be useful to keep it free of ice during the night and jump leads, just in case you or your renters need a jump start or want to help out somebody else. Further, chocks can prevent a Motorhome from sinking into sludge and will help your renters, once they want to get moving again. You might also want to tell them that they should avoid parking the vehicle on soft grass during wintertime to avoid getting stuck.
Last but not least, thick curtains in front of the windows do not just offer privacy but can also help to keep the cold out and you should also plan to stock up enough propane gas since there will be more burned during winter than in summer.
Stocking up on these things before you rent out your campervan can highly improve your renters’ experience and will definitely result in great reviews, which will lead to more bookings in the end.
Camping in winter – on the road
You’ve done it! Your campervan is winter-ready! Adventure awaits and either you or renters are ready to roll. But be cautious: you cannot compare driving on winter roads to driving on summer roads so it can be helpful to remind your renters before they’re off to winter wonderland.
There are a few tips you can share with them before “take-off“ such as checking the local weather service before heading out and listening to the traffic news on the radio. Will there be fresh snowfall? Could there be a danger of a slippery road surface? And most important: planning the route carefully, so the camping destination will be reached before darkness.
The sun does set faster during winter and the more you move towards the north, the earlier. During daylight time it is not just easier to safely pass roads, but also to set up the campervan at the desired location.
How to keep a campervan warm and cosy
In order to keep it warm indoors, your vehicle will need heating, however, you have to think of two safety precautions before you literally turn up the heat. Also, make sure to check the carbon monoxide detector batteries so they won’t stop working once the renter is on the road. Your highest priority should be the safety of all renters and yourself before hitting the road.
Should you or one of your renters ever be involved in an accident – knock on wood – liquid gas should not escape unburnt. Fixtures that will help prevent this are a must. One fixture that should be onboard your Motorhome is a so-called “crash sensor” fitted to the gas pressure regulator. The other one should be an excess flow cutoff valve for the high-pressure hose line.
A caravan awning is perfect for winter as well. Maybe there won’t be a cosy evening spent there, however, it is a good storage room for wet skiers after a ski trip or muddy shoes and it keeps the wind away from doors which will help to keep the indoors of the Motorhome warm. Which makes it a great ‘add-on‘ to provide to your renters.
Talking about muddy shoes. If you don’t want mud all over your vehicle once it’s returned, it might be good to remind your renters that they should store their shoes outside if they’re dirty from exploring nature. This will save you plenty of cleaning time once you’ve got your beloved campervan back.
How to be self-sustaining with enough gas
Stocking up enough propane gas is another important point to think about before renting out your Motorhome. Propane gas works better than butane gas since butane won’t vaporise in temperatures below 4 °C. For two weeks you should pack two full bottles since the heating will require more propane gas in order to keep it warm.
Very important: Tell your renters that they should not forget to keep the exhaust pipe and the air inlet free of snow, otherwise, there is a risk of suffocation.
Get your campervan winter-ready – Updating your PaulCamper profile
There are also a few things you might want to consider updating in your camper profile. For example, using our Flexi-price system if you haven’t activated it yet. It can help you set seasonal pricing in order to attract more low-season business and increase your bookings. Learn how to activate the Flexi-price system.
Additionally, you can already update your pricing set for spring and high season 2022. We’ve already got early bookings incoming for next year and this will help you to plan ahead for next year.
Please keep in mind that if you don’t want to rent out your Motorhome during a certain amount of time in winter, you should either block or pause your calendar in order to not receive booking request. Again, this will help you to plan ahead and already receive bookings once your vehicle is ready to be booked again.
Last but not least, update your profile description with any new information that you might have added or that your campervan is suitable to be used during winter. Are your photos up to date or is it time for a new photoshoot with your new vehicle? Always remember: the first impression counts and your Motorhome photos are the first things potential renters are seeing.
If you’re following all of these points, you can be sure to get your campervan winter-ready and you’re prepared for a successful winter season. Hopefully, this article will help and support you, and we wish you a great wintertime!