Guest blog from Sue Taylor – digital editor of Camping and Caravanning Magazine
Caravanning is cool even in winter…
I’m often asked what the appeal is of caravanning or motorhoming? Quite simply it’s the freedom and flexibility it allows you, from where and when you camp to the choices it affords you once at your chosen destination. It also provides the means to enjoy the great outdoors and enjoy new adventures with family and friends in the great British countryside.
As an affordable holiday option, especially for families, summer is undoubtedly the most popular time for caravanning holidays. With long school holidays and the premise of good weather there’s no better way to relax and unwind. But what about winter caravanning?
There’s no reason why you can’t still enjoy a winter break in your caravan or motorhome. With more peaceful campsites and winter landscapes to enjoy, it’s worth braving the cold.
Touring in winter can be great fun as long as you’re prepared and have taken the right steps for winterising your caravan. The following tips should help you to enjoy the winter months…
- Be weather aware. Keep a close eye on the local weather and be prepared to be flexible with your travel plans to suit the weather conditions.
- Choose a campsite with facilities – heated loo blocks are a bonus on cold mornings or late night trips to the toilet. Check out The Camping and Caravanning Club’s website www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk for details of 17 campsites open all year and several more with extended opening.
- If you don’t already use it, change to propane gas which operates at lower temperatures than butane, working at -40 degrees centigrade.
- If you use an Aquaroll or similar consider wrapping it in an old duvet or blanket to help prevent it freezing, I find removing the pump at night is the best solution. Keep an extra supply of water inside your unit just in case and keep an eye on drainage outlets as these could freeze too.
- Be aware of power usage. It’s easy to overload your power supply with extra heating and lighting. It’s worth carrying a spare leisure battery if camping without hook-up.
- Keeping blinds and curtains closed can help retain heat. Thermal screens can help with heat retention in motorhomes. Run mains heating on low if you are out during the day.
- Porch awnings are great for storing wet kit and footwear and help retain heat in your unit when opening the door. Remember to pack some rock pegs should the ground be frozen or if you are pitched on a hardstanding. If snow is forecast it’s advisable to take the awning down as it won’t stand the extra weight.
- Use a two-season sleeping bag – it will be warmer. Pack duvets and blankets too. I find a hot water bottle useful. Wear base layers and socks in bed.
- Pack plenty of warm clothing – layering is key to keeping warm, from base layers and fleece through to a good wind- and waterproof jacket. And don’t forget hats, thermal socks and gloves – we lose most of our body heat through our extremities.
Some of Weird Fish’s top picks for your winter trips:
- Additional kit like a snow shovel, a broom – for sweeping snow off your caravan (essential for keeping vents clear) or awning – torches, portable power packs for keeping mobiles charged.
If you really can’t be persuaded to get out there this winter, The Camping and Caravanning Club runs some amazing Winter Sun Rallies in Spain and Portugal – imagine you, your caravan and plenty of warm winter sunshine – heaven! You’ll find details at www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/wintersun