Wondering how to camp with a camper during the winter? Then look no further as we lay out a few basics everyone needs when starting out in a campervan for the first time this winter.
By: Mary Deasy
Campervans are recreational vehicles built on the frame of a truck or van making them smaller and easier to drive than a motorhome. They do not require a special drivers license to operate and are typically cheaper while containing many of the same features of an RV. Perfect for any adventure, a campervan is super easy to use and is ideal for winter camping - Drive it to your booked campspace, park it, and that’s it, your own portable home is set up, ready to go!
The most important thing to consider when renting, purchasing, or DIY-ing a campervan for winter travel, is heat - “how will I stay warm?” There are many ways to heat campervans- propane, diesel, wood, or electricity. Before purchasing or installing one of these, consider the campsites you are staying at - “do they offer electricity for campers?” Also consider your fuel availability! Once you have chosen a fuel type, it's important to think about how to avoid excessive heating costs. Firstly, consider sacrificing space. A smaller van heats up quicker - saving energy, heating time, and allowing even heating throughout the van. Secondly, If you are choosing to DIY your own van or need to furnish a recently purchased van, remember to insulate! Insulation is incredibly important to reduce the risk of cold air entering or hot air leaving. Some great tips to help insulate could be thermal curtains or a thick rug. Once your van is ready to go, don’t forget to put on your winter tires.
The first thing to think about when moving into a campervan, especially a smaller model, full-time or for a short trip is “‘do I actually need this?’. Campervans fill up quickly, to house all your winter camping needs. Therefore, keeping your camper organized is important. Firstly, to accomplish this, you must simplify. When considering whether to pack something, think about how versatile it is. Challenge yourself to pack only that which has multiple functions - Be ruthless! Secondly, invest in storage containers, this will prevent items from shifting during travel. Don’t forget to take advantage of the outside of the campervan- If you are planning on enjoying outdoor sports, install a bike rack or roof rack- the roof rack can also be used to store extra gear in a rooftop cargo box - don’t forget to measure the height of your van after packing it ensure it can fit in parking garages or through toll stations.
Understanding what your campervan offers is the first step in knowing what to pack. Does your van include a stove, fridge, shower, or toilet as this will help you plan what to pack and what you should look for at your campervan friendly campspace. Apart from these considerations, check the weather and plan your trip in advance so you get an idea of the length and where you are going- this will facilitate packing for your upcoming adventure.
For basics, your campervan should always contain weather appropriate clothes, food and beverages, potable water, kitchenette fuel (if necessary), chains for your tires, connection cables for campsites (if necessary), bed linens, ice scraper for your windows, cleaning products, and cash.
Condensation can be incredibly dangerous since it can lead to poor health or lead to rot in your vehicle, if unchecked. Condensation is caused due to the lack of ventilation. Simple actions that can lead to condensation include cooking, showering, or solely the act of breathing. To avoid this, and help replace stale, humid air with fresh, dry air, we recommend installing roof vents - Constant airflow is insured and battery is required.
Camping in a campervan could come with many unseen costs. Therefore, planning beforehand will help avoid overpaying more than expected on your next adventure. Important costs to account for are gasoline costs and the price differences across countries, toll, campspace booking costs, motorway Vignettes, and extra budget for food, activities, shopping, or entertainment. Remember to always carry a bit of cash to ensure everything can be paid.
Many campspaces allow campervans. Book at campspace.com- filter “vans'' and put in your destination and arrival date, if space is available, you can book one night or multiple. Don’t forget to filter by facilities your van doesn't have or those you want such as showers, campervan electricity stations, sauna, toilets, kitchen, hot tubs, and many more. Book in advance to ensure availability and enjoy your next winter campervan trip.
Overall, campervan camping is one of the easiest ways to explore especially during the winter since they provide heat and shelter from rain or snow. If you choose to travel with a campervan, let us know if these tips helped you better understand how to camp with your camper during the winter.
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