Nine essential tips for caravanning in winter
Caravanners and motorhome enthusiasts are a plucky bunch who won’t have their holidays ruined by something as trivial as a little cold weather.
Or torrential rain.
Or a blizzard.
And with more and more caravan sites staying open all year round, you crazy cats are taking to the road for some festive adventures in even greater numbers.
So, we’ve compiled a list of 9 Top Tips for winter holidaying.
Fit winter tyres to your vehicles
Towing a caravan or driving a monstrous motorhome can be hazardous at the best of times; add snow and ice into the equation, and you’ve got the potential for a nerve-racking journey.
Fitting winter tyres to your tow vehicle, caravan, or motorhome will improve the amount of grip you have on slippery roads. Steering will be more responsive, and stopping distances reduced when compared with comparable vehicles with standard boots.
Pack tyre grip mats
While winter tyres give you a better chance of not getting stuck in snow, ice, or mud, they’re not infallible.
If you get stranded but have tyre grip mats stored in your boot, you give yourself the best chance of working your way free. Slide these handy contraptions under your tyres so you can get some purchase in slippery conditions without going full Sebastien Loeb.
Drive carefully and plan ahead
There’s not much worse when you’re towing a caravan or driving a behemoth motorhome than encountering a tank-slapper in treacherous conditions.
Reducing your speed and making more considering steering inputs will stabilise your vehicle, while evenly distributing the weight throughout your van will lessen your chances of getting sideways.
It’s also a good idea not to set a timescale on your journey so you don’t feel compelled to rush on the road.
Fit a towing jacket
Installing a Towing Jacket to the front of your caravan in the winter months will stop your pride and joy from getting absolutely filthy from sludge and dirty rainwater. It’ll also help guard against any potential minor damage that could be caused by flying road debris.
Don’t install a towing cover to the front of your motorhome because that would be crazy.
Take clothing for all weathers
If you’ve lived in the UK for more than a couple of weeks, you’ll be well aware of the unpredictable nature of the British weather and how cold caravanning in the winter can be. Last November, I wore shorts, a t-shirt, and sunglasses while I took a walk to the shop, only for a blizzard to hit us with its full fury a couple of weeks later.
Cover all your winter bases with a selection of clothing to cater to all weathers. Boots, wellies, shoes, jackets, coats, jumpers, and t-shirts. All comers are welcome.
Buy a spare battery
Having a spare battery for your caravan or motorhome is just good sense whether it’s winter or not.
Having a power failure while you’re trying to enjoy your winter retreat can ruin your entire getaway. But if you have a spare battery at your disposal, you can quickly connect it and carry on having fun.
Use propane gas instead of butane
Using propane gas in your heating and cooking systems is far more efficient in cold weather conditions than butane gas.
Butane gas becomes almost unusable when temperatures fall below zero, whereas propane is perfectly serviceable at any temperature that you would be comfortable going caravanning in.
Untilise antifreeze in wastewater
Nothing hampers your daily routines like having to unfreeze your toilet when you’re bursting for a pee (or worse).
Adding antifreeze to your waste system will simultaneously stop your fluids from turning to ice and keep you regular. Make sure you find an appropriate tutorial before attempting this. NEVER introduce antifreeze to systems that come into contact with water that you’ll consume, or a frozen toilet will be the least of your worries.
Service your heating systems
Check your heating system before you set off, or go one better and have it serviced if it’s been a while.
Unless you’re a polar bear or penguin, chances are you won’t have a fun holiday if the heating system in your caravan or motorhome fails while you’re away in the winter months.