Motorhome Snowboarding & winterising your van- 10 ESSENTIAL suggestions it’s essential know in 2022

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Should you’ve ever needed to take your motorhome snowboarding or park up within the mountains over winter, this put up is for you!

Discover ways to winterise your motorhome & put together for snow and dwelling in excessive chilly. We additionally speak about learn how to discover in a single day parking locations for vans, aires or campsites throughout winter, learn how to handle energy throughout winter vanlife, issues to organise earlier than you permit and getting essentially the most out of ski tenting.

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Motorhome skiing- what’s it?

One of many issues we love most about travelling in our motorhome is the liberty. The power to go the place we wish, once we wish to (international pandemics apart!)

We spend numerous time touring Europe in a motorhome and we wish to assume we’re pretty good at adapting to the environment. We’re fairly self-sufficient, know learn how to keep off-grid for a number of days with out problem and may handle energy, water, waste and all that different stuff which comes with expertise.


There’s something about staying in a motorhome up excessive within the mountains, whereas temperatures drop effectively beneath freezing, snow falls (loads!) and issues get much more inaccessible which is a very completely different kind of vanlife.

Your choices are fewer and it’s important to be way more ‘on the ball’ with issues like campervan heating and caring for your automobile.

That is motorhome snowboarding (or ski tenting, because the Europeans name it).

So, what’s the large cope with motorhome snowboarding?

We’ve completed numerous winter highway journeys within the UK. We’ve been within the mountains in Europe as late as December, and once more in March. Each instances there was snow, however we didn’t keep longer than a day and it wasn’t proper within the coronary heart of the chilly season.

A few years in the past, we spent every week at Mont Dore in central (ish) France, and had a VERY steep studying curve each earlier than we went and while we had been there.

On this put up, I wish to share with you the most important suggestions and methods we learnt for dwelling in a motorhome over winter.

Our fears earlier than we headed to the snow…

Our largest concern is whether or not our motorhome (a UK-built Swift 685) will probably be as much as the rigours of winter motorhome dwelling in such a chilly, hostile atmosphere.

Would we be heat sufficient? Will our programs cope? What preparation do we have to do prematurely to make life simpler? What occurs if all of it goes improper?

To assist educate ourselves, we spoke to somebody who has spent months in mountains over winter. In actual fact, 95% of all her time in a motorhome EVER has been throughout winter.

Please observe that winterising your motorhome to be used in mountains just like the Alps is NOT the identical as getting ready your van to be used within the UK all through winter- that’s a lot simpler and also you don’t have to do a lot of the steps talked about beneath.

Should you’re not going to be utilizing your van for just a few weeks, we extremely suggest shutting it down safely to keep away from burst pipework or harm. Learn our step-by-step information to winter shutdown right here.

Motorhome snowboarding and winterising your motorhome video

Watch our video chat with Hannah from and Should you want to learn or need extra info on factors mentioned within the video, you’ll discover them beneath.

We hope you discovered the video helpful. Should you did, we’d like it if you adopted us on Youtube. New movies with suggestions for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.

Motorhome & Campervan skiing- important suggestions

As mentioned within the video above, listed below are some tricks to put together your motorhome or camper for winter spent within the mountains. A few of them genuinely are life-saving; getting caught in temperatures and circumstances like these with out being ready isn’t any joke.

Winterise & Put together your automobile

It’s extremely probably that your motorhome or campervan is not going to be ample in its present state (until to procure one particularly for winter use!)

Subsequently, you’re going to want to do some work to it to get it snow-ready!

Jobs to do to organize for winter within the mountains embody:

Insulating your motorhome

Apparently, the conventional ‘gray’ lagging insulation will not be sufficient. The black model (referred to as Armaflex) is the one to get- out there from most European {hardware} shops or Amazon. Locations to focus on embody:

  • Exterior water tanks and pipework (It’s value including some to inner water tanks too if you happen to can)
  • Any pipework which runs alongside the ground (that’s most of it!)
  • Wheel arches
  • The ground– attempt to create a ‘double flooring’ impact utilizing insulated matting the place you’ll be able to, or use carpet items
Prepare RV motorhome or campervan for winter storage- winterizing tips for campers and leisure vehicles
Motorhome skiing- getting ready your camper for excessive temperatures and circumstances is crucial!

Important GEAR to take

There are some stuff you NEED to carry- and a few stuff you SHOULD carry to make life simpler for you!

This isn’t an exhaustive checklist, however a very good start line consists of:

van life with kids- everything you need to know about travelling in a motorhome or camper van with a child
Our motorhome on our first journey to the mountains- our daughter cherished it!

Utilizing your motorhome throughout winter

It’s necessary to keep in mind that how you employ your motorhome between spring-autumn is not going to be the identical as utilizing it in the midst of winter up a mountain in -17c!

Your programs is not going to perform in the way in which you may be used to, and there will probably be different jobs it’s essential do to maintain every part operating.

Even if you happen to’re used to wild tenting along with your motorhome, be sure you take note of the following tips:

Waste tanks

Once you park up, place an exterior bucket or container beneath the gray waste drain, and depart it open. This helps forestall freezing. Remember to empty the bucket usually!

Most Aires could have locations to get rid of waste, though not all amenities can be found on a regular basis (we’ll get to that!)


Many aires and campsites will depart a contemporary water faucet operating, in order that it doesn’t freeze. We additionally counsel utilizing a water filter for ANY campsite water- simply in case (or get one in all these AMAZING lifesaver jerrycans)

TOP TIP: Don’t drink yellow snow… 😉

Motorhome skiing- how to winterise and prepare your motorhome or campervan for winter in the mountains
Motorhome skiing- learn how to winterise and put together your motorhome or campervan for winter within the mountains

Energy & Heating

Many campsites within the mountains don’t have 16 amp electrical energy provide and so your campervan or motorhome heating won’t work in addition to you might be used to! It additionally means it’s essential be selective about how a lot electrical energy you might be utilizing without delay (you don’t wish to be THAT van which is consistently tripping everybody’s electrical…)

Gasoline heating is a superb alternative- however it makes use of numerous gasoline. We get by means of a 6kg bottle in about 3 days. We extremely suggest becoming refillable gasoline bottles in your motorhome if you happen to’re going to be travelling in Europe a lot- ensure you know the place the closest provide is (and if it stays open throughout winter!)

Diesel heating can be a fantastic different, however many vans don’t include it as commonplace. Should you do match it, pay attention to the burden and the way it impacts your motorhome payload.

Don’t overlook, you will have someplace to dry moist gear. It helps you probably have a rest room with heating- string a line throughout the highest and hold every part as much as dry in a single day.

READ MORE: All the things it’s essential find out about motorhome/ camper heating

Photo voltaic

You possibly can’t depend on solar energy throughout winter in the identical means you’ll be able to at different instances of the 12 months. The solar isn’t as sturdy, there are extra dead nights and extra areas of shade. Additionally, you’ll be utilizing extra energy than you would possibly usually.

If you have already got a photo voltaic panel fitted, then by all means use what you’ll be able to, however don’t depend on it as your solely energy supply.


Batteries don’t like chilly. They don’t run as successfully so it’s essential be extra vigilant about taking care of them, ensuring they don’t run too low, giving them a very good cost usually and customarily babying them.

READ MORE: All the things it’s essential find out about motorhome leisure batteries


Should you’re going to take your motorhome snowboarding, you’ll in all probability wish to carry a motorhome generator. Everybody does- simply be sure you use it in the course of the day, not late at evening!

LED lights

We all the time suggest LED lights to avoid wasting power- particularly if you happen to’re doing numerous motorhome wild tenting, however in winter it turns into important.

After all, don’t overlook your clothes. Right here’s an important information of what to put on when snowboarding

Hiring a motorhome or campervan for snowboarding

There are corporations which hire out motorhomes or campervans for snowboarding. Should you select to try this, please ensure that the van is correctly insulated and geared up with every part you want.

Motorhome skiing- aires or campsites?

Certainly one of our largest questions was HOW do you discover someplace to remain within the mountains? Motorhome touring in France is straightforward sufficient in ‘regular’ seasons, however we all know many mountain roads shut throughout winter- so how do we all know the place we will go or the place is open?

It’s true that many websites shut throughout winter, however there are locations, together with free motorhome parking and in a single day stopover spots which stay open all 12 months. Sadly, it appears to be like like some aires are being closed, however there are nonetheless campsites open and out there.

There are professionals and cons as to whether you keep in an aire or on a campsite to your ski tenting journey!

TIP: Should you’re searching for ski tenting websites, search for the phrases ‘caravaneige’ or ‘snowmobiling’- each phrases utilized by the French

Professionals of campsites

  • Can typically be booked in advance- simpler if you happen to’re reserving ski colleges or gear rent
  • Extra dependable electrical hookup
  • Bus or service to take you to the lifts if it’s not close by
  • Drying rooms- this looks like a fantastic resolution to the moist clothes issue- there’s nothing worse than damp ski jackets and pants the day after! (Keep in mind to take your personal padlock for safety within the drying room)
  • Assist getting towed out if you happen to get caught
  • Different amenities, corresponding to a small store or restaurant, which might be useful

Right here’s an instance of a campsite we’ve heard good critiques about which caters to motorhomes, campervans and even caravans throughout winter! (I like the very fact it has an indoor pool!)

Professionals of Aires

  • Cheaper
  • Extra flexibility to observe the snow
  • Feels extra like an journey!

How you can discover locations to stick with your motorhome throughout winter

It may be tough to discover Aires in Europe within the common means for motorhome snowboarding. It’s not simply discovering the places- it’s realizing if they’re open throughout winter, what amenities they’ve open throughout winter and what number of areas will probably be out there (aires can go from 140+ areas to lower than 50!)

A greater possibility is to make use of, which caters for winter websites and has extra info than you possibly can even assume to ask!

Is motorhome snowboarding cheaper than occurring a ski vacation?

It is a robust one. Most individuals who go on a snowboarding vacation solely go for every week or two most.

Most individuals who take their motorhomes to the mountains both stay close by or are going for a few months.

Nonetheless, as Hannah says, the hassle and expense wanted to ensure your automobile is correctly in a position to hand a winter within the mountains typically makes it not value it until you propose to spend months on the market.

It’s additionally much more tough by way of sensible life- you could have moist clothes and damp to cope with, water, gasoline and electrical points and the fixed concern about getting snowed in. Should you’re simply doing it to save cash, you would possibly wish to assume once more or at the least do the sums very rigorously earlier than you commit.

Phew! That was numerous info to soak up however, as we found, ski tenting is a very completely different kind of motorhoming or vanlife.

Nothing beats ‘doing it your self’, however I hope you are feeling way more knowledgeable earlier than your first motorhome ski journey.

Should you’ve been snowboarding and brought your motorhome or camper and have some other suggestions, please do depart a remark and share your knowledge.

Protected travels!

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