It’s that time of year again when snow starts to fall and Christmas makes an appearance. If you fancy a winter like no other, why not try campervanning across the UK’s most beautiful sceneries?
Need some winter campervan tips first? Our ultimate winter campervan guide will tell you everything you need to know, from converting your regular vehicle to a winter campervan to learning safety measures.
What Are the Benefits of Winter Camping?
Think you can brave the cold? Here are some benefits of winter campervanning:
- Enjoy comfort food and drinks
- Get the real camping experience
- Make use of the camping items you never use
- Visit interesting and tranquil places
- Bug-free camping
- Less crowds at tourist attractions
- Cheaper entry fees
- More spaces available at campsites
- Make the campfire you’ve dreamed of
- Winter activities
- Christmas and New Years under the stars
- Winter wildlife
- See snow (less of a luxury if you’re surrounded by snow anyway)
For extra peace of mind, the Met Office has a comprehensive guide about what to do when travelling in heavy snow and ice. Alternatively, Better Health Channel can help if you find yourself injured and don’t know what to do, or how to plan for snow sports and harsh weather.
How Can I Ensure Winter Campervan Safety?
Even the best campervan for winter conditions will not fully protect you against harsh weather. To ensure your safety before and during your travels, we’ve compiled a list of safety measures you should take:
Before travelling, we strongly recommend you reconsider your travel plans if the weather isn’t looking good. But this doesn’t mean you should cancel altogether.
Here’s some tips for before you start your journey:
- Get campervan insurance
- Check the weather forecast
- Make a plan B and C (e.g., can you rent a car, find alternative accommodation, where are the local stores, what other activities can you do…)
- Carefully choose your campsite, one with concrete parking is best
- Tell family and friends where you’re going and what route you’re taking
There’s a chance you may be caught in snow. This is what you need to know:
- Drive slowly to prevent accidents
- If you skid, move your foot off the pedal and turn the wheel to the direction you want it to go in
- Pull over if you’re struggling to see
Stuck in Your Vehicle
- Stay in your vehicle to reduce disorientation (unless help is close)
- Contact emergency services, family, and friends
- Turn off the engine, run the heat and open the window (to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning) for 10 minutes per hour
- Clear snow from the exhaust pipe to avoid gas poisoning
- Be visible to rescuers by turning on lights at night, tying a bright coloured cloth to your car, or raise the hood (once the snow has stopped)
Your Vehicle is Stuck
- Once the weather has calmed, try moving your vehicle
- Rock your campervan
- Place mats or ramps under wheels (loose logs also work)
- Slightly reduce tyre pressure (inflate afterwards)
- Once out, remove excess dirt and snow
- Check for damage
How Do I Winterise My Campervan?
There is no such thing as a ‘ready-made winter campervan’, but you can winterise it. This ensures normal functionality during colder months, and isn’t as hard as it sounds. Like any trip, you still need to complete routine checks before travelling. Here’s how to winterise your campervan:
Check the tyre tread, pressure, and condition before travelling. You can also get winter tyres for better grip. If you are travelling abroad, keep in mind some countries require you to have snow chains during the winter months.
We’re not talking about covering yourself but the campervan itself. Ensure the vehicle is clean before placing a breathable cover. You can also buy made-to-measure thermal covers for the canvas on your pop-top roof. If the weather conditions are too harsh, consider moving your campervan inside if possible.
Having a fully emptied system ensures protection against frost damage. You should empty anything exterior or interior still holding water. This includes your:
- Shower: tilt down shower head
- Water heater
- Water tank
- Pipes: blow air into taps
Keep your petrol tank full and use antifreeze to improve engine performance and avoid breakdowns. Before you start your long journey, take a short drive to check performance.
Tackle unwanted moisture by using moisture traps and maintaining airflow. Turn on the air conditioning every so often so promote healthy circulation when in use.
Use screen wash that gives -45 degrees protection so it doesn’t freeze.
What Should I Pack for Winter Camping?
Packing comfy, warm clothes is only step one of winter camping. Here’s everything you need to stay safe and warm:
- Warm clothes
- Winter jacket and raincoats
- Wellingtons and winter hiking boots
- Warm socks
- Pjs, blankets, and sleeping bags
- Goggles (if skiing)
Health and Hygiene
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Hand and body soap
- Hand sanitiser
- First aid kit
- Sunscreen (if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors)
- 13.5 – 15 tog duvet and pillows
- Snow shovel
- Window scraper
- Thermal window covers
- Roof box
- Cooking gear
- Levelling ramps
- Warm drink sachets
- Canned food
- Mobile phone and charger (potentially a powerbank too)
- ID, wallet/purse, passport, and permits
- Hot water bottle
- Thermo flasks
- Books, board games, and indoor entertainment activities
- Rubber door mat
- Torches and backup lighting
- GPS or Phone navigation
- Ready meals
- Stove and fuel
- Hand warmers
- Notebook and pen
- Insulated heating pad
How Can I Keep My Campervan Warm in Winter?
Whether you’re taking a long haul or short haul trip, you and your campervan’s health should be at the top of the list when travelling. Keeping yourself warm while travelling is similar to what you do at home. Here’s how your campervan can keep warm in winter:
- External and internal thermal screen covers
- Install an awning
- Add draught skirts
- Apply plastic sheet insulation to windows and doors
- Install curtains or blinds
- Place a rug
- Replace caulking to reduce gaps
- Install heater/use a portable heater
- Drain your water system
If upgrading your campervan is a little pricey, here’s a how you can keep warm during winter while on a budget:
- Make use of hand warmers and hot water bottles
- Use an insulated sleeping bag or mat at night
- Take warm showers
- Eat warm food
- Enjoy a hot beverage
- Add thermal layers (cover up)
Where Are the Best Places to Go Winter Camping?
There are many campsites open all year round, but why should you go camping in winter? Here are some places we recommend to truly embrace winter campervanning:
- Northern lights in Scotland
- Winter village of the Cotswolds
- Wildlife appreciation in Norfolk and Suffolk
- Peaceful Lake District
- Christmas lights in Cornwall
Here’s our more general picks:
- Anywhere with an amazing Christmas market
- Embrace the mountains
- Take part in winter sports
- Go to a wellness spa
How Should I Store My Campervan in Winter?
To prevent damage to your campervan in winter, learn how to properly store it:
- Drain the water system to prevent frost damage
- Cover fridge vents to prevent water ingress
- Cover any gaps in your campervan
- Fix any holes or cracks in your campervan
- Park in a place you won’t get snowed-in
- Cover your campervan when not in use
- Turn off your battery when not in use
- Protect your tyres with snow chains and grips
- Regularly maintain and check your campervan
How Can I Make the Most of Winter Camping?
Here’s the fun bit! Now that you’ve successfully prepared and packed for your trip, you’re likely wondering what winter activities there are. Here are our top tips for making the most of winter campervanning:
- Indulge in Christmas markets and New Year sales
- Go hiking in the mountains
- Photograph the winter scenery
- There’s nothing like a hot chocolate and snack fest
- Read your book, journal, or draw in peace
- Take part in winter sports, like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, ice fishing, and more
- Make a campfire and roast marshmallows
- Bring your guitar and have a sing-song
- Watch a film at the local cinema
- Enjoy a cosy night in with board games
- Cook a luxury meal together
- Go to a spa and bathe in thermal springs
- Gaze at the stars
- Enjoy winter wildlife to the fullest
Searching for the best campervan for winter? View our new and used stock to begin your winter adventure. Our campervans are available in a variety of colours and seat up to six passengers. Nothing you like? You deserve only the best – that’s why Redline Campers offer complete custom-made campers.
Already have a campervan of your own, but it’s not prepared for winter? We can also convert any camper ready for your next trip. Contact us today to learn more about our services.