The first view in the morning falls on the snow-covered winter landscape and the morning sun in the clear blue sky. The most beautiful ski areas, cross-country trails, hiking trails, and snow-covered winter backdrops are experienced in a completely different way as a winter campervan, and you are practically right in the middle. As lovely as it can be to be out and about with a motorhome in winter, there are a few things you should consider and have with you for a cozy holiday.
"An eleven-kilo gas cylinder can last up to four days at -15 degrees," says Stephanie Schuricht, spokeswoman for PaulCamper and an enthusiastic winter campervan herself. "Of course, it depends on how much you use for heating, refrigerator, stove and hot water. So it would be best if you had a spare bottle with you or at least knew where to get a new bottle nearby. "In campervans equipped with a Duo Control System, the new gas bottle switches on automatically when the old one is empty. Some heating manufacturers offer warnings via app or SMS when the fill level is low. A good service, because even die-hard campervans don't find a failed heating so nice. "Many winter-proof mobile homes, as you can also find them on PaulCamper, have integrated heating, mostly based on gas. So you can set your comfort temperature directly and lean back with a hot cup of tea," says Schuricht.
A winter-proof motorhome corresponds to a defined standard by EN 1646-1. This ensures that the motorhome can be heated to an internal temperature of 20 degrees after two hours at -15 degrees. However, the designation suitable for winter-only confirms that the motorhome can still be started at 0 degrees. Winter-proof campervans usually offer warm air heating, an insulated waste water tank, electrically heated wastewater tanks, and pipes and insulated underfloor pipes. "If you rent a cheap campervan for the winter vacation, you should make sure that it is well insulated; otherwise, air will be lost," says Schuricht.
In particular, the windshield is the largest cold surface in mobile homes. With insulation mats placed on the windshield either from the outside or inside, you can reduce gas consumption a little. Curtains - if necessary, blankets or towels - help separate the front part of the campervan from the lounge area and thus to heat the essential places more quickly. Stephanie Schuricht's tip for chilblains: "Take a hot water bottle with you and put it under the covers before you go to bed."
An awning works as a practical airlock in winter. The heat from the camper does not directly meet the outside temperature, and the freezing temperatures do not get into the warmed-up motorhome as quickly. In addition, you can take off your ski clothes and snow-soaked shoes and leave dirt, stones, and moisture right in front of the door. If you then lay out a small carpet, the wet shoes can also dry well. "If you don't have an awning, a classic in the campervan will also help: the good old doormat," says the experienced winter camper; before doing this, pat and clean your boots outside on the step.
Sure, anyone who drives into the mountains needs snow chains. And it would help if you pulled it up in good time and not only when you are already hanging in the curve on the slope. Since you usually only use snow chains once a year, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the handle before you set off. Then things are on their wheels very quickly, and things can go on.
If the campervan is really snowed in, it is worth having a shovel and broom on hand. So you get the windshield free, and you can shovel your way through the entrance. Thanks to the ladder, campers can also clear the roof of their vehicle because the warmth from below melts the snow, and the cold from above freezes the melted snow, creating a thick, heavy layer of ice that can hardly be loosened.
Putting a large bucket or tub under the vehicle is more sustainable than antifreeze in the wastewater tank. The drain slide will then always remain open. The water in the bucket then freezes, but you can quickly get it out again with a bit of jerking and shaking. A heating wire or even a hairdryer can help if the lines should freeze. "But I still recommend testing the campervan in advance to see whether everything is working correctly and is isolated. Camping beginners can sometimes be overwhelmed in such a situation, but then they should not hesitate to ask a friendly neighbor or campsite employee for help. Maybe this has a unique trick or even a hall where you can shelter for defrosting at short notice. "
A practical tip at the end: the headlamp. Anyone who has to adjust, repair, or change something outside at five in the afternoon or want to go to the shower early in the morning or to the toilet at night will be grateful for a headlamp. "To get around that, you'd better choose a mobile home that is equipped with a bathroom. This is then superheated, and you save yourself the frosty walk in the morning. You can also wash your cat for the first time here. Then you have your first coffee, dress comfortably, and stroll to the washrooms if necessary. If the cat wash is enough in the morning, you can go straight to the slopes afterward and treat yourself to a warming shower after a day of skiing.
Published by Flo Rin