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Top tips for winter motorhome holidays
Whilst we’re still technically seeing out the end of summer, you’ll have noticed that the nights are drawing in and the weather isn’t all bright skies and sunshine anymore. We’ve taken this turn of weather as a good opportunity to bring you our top tips for motorhoming in winter, so you can be fully prepared when the bad weather hits.
Preparing your motorhome
Motorhoming in winter is great; if we’re lucky enough to get a sprinkling of snow the scenic forest routes are picturesque, but either way the frosted winter mornings are always a welcome site. But before you get too ahead of yourself, make sure you prepare your vehicle for the unpredictable British winter weather.
- Check all pipes, including water and waste, ensure they’re not frozen but thaw immediately if they are. Ensure you take ample antifreeze and salt with you to defrost pipes on your journey.
- As you normally would before any journey, check water, oil and coolant levels. Also ensure you have antifreeze in the coolant and window wash.
- Choose your gas carefully. We recommended using propane as this will carry on providing gas right down to -40°C, while butane ceases gassing off as the temperature approaches zero.
- Check tyre pressure and tread. We also recommended either using winter tyres or carrying snow chains, it’s best to know that your family will be safe in any conditions.
- Carry a snow shovel. For the little bit of space they take up, it’s best to be prepared, nobody wants to try and push a motorhome out of a snowy lane.
Preparing for the cold
Now you’ve prepared your motorhome, don’t forget to prepare yourself. Even brand-new motorhomes can get cold so ensure you have everything you need with this quick check list:
- Extra blankets, duvets and rugs (especially if your motorhome isn’t carpeted).
- Warm clothes, such as jumpers, hats and woolly pyjamas.
- Take electric heaters. The heating in a motorhome will never live up to that of your house, so heaters can be incredible if used correctly under manufacturers’ guidelines.
When choosing to travel in winter ensure you check the site is open, not all sites open 12 months a year and we’d hate for you to turn up to a locked gate!
The Camping and Caravanning Club has a host of sites that are open year-round, or many with extended opening periods. Find the full list here, https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/ukcampsites/camping-by-season/year-round-sites/.
A full list of the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s year-round campsites can be found here, https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/uk-sites/club-sites/open-all-year-sites/.
And finally, view a list of year-round campsites on the Alan Rodgers campsite guide website here, https://alanrogers.com/camping/england/all-year.
If possible always park on hard standing, this way you’re less likely to get stuck in a wet or snowy field at the end of your trip. Choosing to stay on a site with an electric hook up is beneficial as it will mean you don’t have to use your battery and can therefore preserve the power for when you need it most.
Whilst you’re away
Once you’re all set up and cosy, be aware that the temperature can drop dramatically at night. But there’s a few easy ways to avoid this; fit internal and external covers on all windows and the window screen, as well as shutting blinds, to prevent heat escaping. If you’re used to expanding outside your motorhome into an awning, it could feel quite cramped to suddenly have the whole family crammed in the motorhome, so it could be worth treating yourself to a heavy duty, all season awning, which will keep you warm and relaxed even in the midst of winter.
If you do get cold easily, it can be tempting to shut vents to get rid of cold drafts. This is fine, providing you follow manufacturer guidelines on appliances such as the fridge, and never block the low vents as these are built to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
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