Winter camping in a Motorhome# Camping
Most people tend to go on a camping trip during the summertime, however, winter camping in a Motorhome is such a unique experience that you should definitely consider it! It offers a break from the bustling summer season and is an affordable way to discover ski destinations in Scotland, for example.
There is something magical about those crisp and dark nights, and what could be better than watching the sunrise over a snowy blanket, glistening in the early morning sun? Campsites are quieter, there are fewer crowds, and the woods are so peaceful.
So get that hot chocolate or mulled wine ready because we will provide you with everything that you need to know before heading out for winter camping in a Motorhome.
Packing list for winter camping in a Motorhome
Our owners offering Campervans suitable for winter use will take care that your vehicle is equipped with the right motor oil, insulation, and everything else that a Campervan needs in order to be ready for colder nights. However, there are a few things that you should consider packing before you leave.
Which clothes should I bring for camping in winter?
Usually, we would say “less is more” but in this case, it is advisable to pack more than not enough. We wouldn’t want to end up without any socks, wouldn’t we? Let’s start with the basics. A warm winter jacket, as well as a raincoat, is a must. Depending on the weather in the area that you’re going to, wellingtons, as well as winter hiking boots, should keep your feet warm and dry.
A scarf, bonnet, gloves and warm socks should also be on the list and last but not least, thermal underwear can help you keep warm during the day and night. Overall, layers can help adapt your clothing style depending on the weather conditions.
What else do I need?
A thermos flask is perfect for long walks or hiking adventures. Bring some hot tea or coffee to warm you up once you’re on the move. Books, board games and audiobooks can bring some entertainment during the evenings or if there’s bad weather to entertain the kids when travelling with the whole family.
Bringing a rubber mat for your muddy or wet boots can help you keep the Campervan clean. After all, it belongs to someone else, and you wouldn’t want to get it all muddy on the inside as well, right? Just think about stepping into some water with your sock on, ugh, worst feeling ever! Alternatively, you can also keep your boots on the steps of your Campervan until they’re dry.
Blankets and sleeping bags for winter camping in a Motorhome
Don’t we all love blankets? The more, the better! They’re perfect for cosy evenings and cuddling up with your loved ones. Insulated camping blankets are also perfect for winter camping in a Motorhome. They’re supposed to keep the cold away and by simply laying them on the floor of your vehicle, you can keep your feet even warmer.
A sleeping bag is always a good option, even when you’re renting a Campervan. A winter sleeping bag should be suitable for 10 °C or even colder. You can even find some that are suitable for below 0 °C. Choosing synthetic insulation for winter keeps you warmer and dries more quickly, also, it’s cheaper. Putting a hot-water bottle inside your sleeping bag before actually going to bed makes it even more comfy.
Camping in winter with dogs
If you want to take your dog camping in winter, there are also some things you should remember to pack. Some towels to dry off your four-legged friend after a long and joyful day playing in the snow, as well as a blanket to warm up again. There are thermal dog mats that you can either place below your dog bed or blanket to keep the cold coming from the floor in check.
Depending on your type of dog and the area that you’re travelling to, it can make sense to bring a winter coat for dogs. Yes, of course, dogs have fur to keep them warm, however, if there are sub-zero temperatures or your dog doesn’t have thick fur it can be useful – same as dog boots. Road salt can cause injuries to your dogs’ paws. In order to keep them from getting an infection or keeping the wound dry, putting on a dog boot can be very helpful.
Tips and tricks for winter camping in a Motorhome
When renting a Campervan for your winter adventure, there are two things you should be aware of. You should definitely rent a Motorhome suitable for winter, and you should check the information provided by our owners regarding winter use.
“Winter proof” means that the vehicle has insulation degree 3 and is frost-proof. Heatable septic tanks can be a part of that. “Suitable for winter use” means that the vehicle has insulation degree 2 and has heating that will warm up the vehicle to a minimum temperature of 20 degrees within two hours.
On the road
You’re packed, you picked up your Campervan, and you’re ready to roll! As much fun camping in the winter is, it is definitely different than in summer, and there are a few things that you should keep in mind while you’re on your road trip.
During winter, it is important to check your local weather station before you go. The weather can change fast, and you do not want to end up in a snowstorm on the road. Also, keep in mind that the sun sets faster and that you make sure to arrive before sunset at your destination. Setting up your Campervan in the dark is way more complicated than during the daytime.
Also, make sure that the campsite that you’ve chosen is definitely open. While driving, look out for black ice! If you’re hitting black ice, make sure not to hit the brakes hard. This will cause your vehicle to start spinning. Keep your Campervan in a straight line and let it roll to a stop.
You should also keep your petrol tank full. This will improve engine performance and keep ice crystals from building up in a half-empty tank.
At the campsite
Once you’ve arrived at the campsite, choose a pitch in the sun. The natural heat will warm your vehicle up and will melt possible snow. If you can, you should also pick a spot that is protected from the wind by bushes or trees. If there are no available spots, the wind should hit your Campervan from the front, rather than the sides.
Make sure your power connection can’t freeze as well as your water connection if you’re using it. Additionally, keep the roof of your Campervan clear of snow. Heavy snow will stress the roof and make the inside of your vehicle colder.
Last but not least, make sure that the exhaust pipe and air inlet are free of snow. Otherwise, you’re at risk of suffocation due to fumes.
Campsites open during winter in the UK
The last thing that you will need for winter camping in a Motorhome, of course are campsites that are open during the winter! But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Following is a list of year-round open campsites by the Camping and Caravanning Club in England and Scotland.
Year-round open campsites in England
- Blackmore campsite, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire
- Conkers campsite, National Forest, Derbyshire
- Kingsbury Water Park campsite, West Midlands
- Sherwood Pines campsite, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
- Teversal campsite, Peak District National Park, Nottinghamshire
- Braithwaite Village, Lake District
- Delamere Forest campsite, Cheshire
- Derwentwater Campsite, Keswick, Cumbria
- Canterbury campsite, Kent
- Chertsey campsite, Surrey
- Hertford campsite, Hertfordshire
- Bracelands, Forest of Dean
- Postern Hill campsite, Wiltshire
- Tavistock campsite, Devon
Year-round open campsites in Scotland
Now you’ve got all the information you need for a magical winter holiday. If you’re looking for some inspiration where to go, check out our top 5 places for a campervan ski trip in Scotland or our 4 destinations for winter breaks in the UK. Happy winter camping!
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