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How to stay warm camping in winter

10 tips to keep you Warm and Cosy

Winter camping is a wonderful experience – as long as your campervan is warm. Turn your campervan or motorhome into a cosy place to rest after a long day of adventures in the snow with these top tips and tricks.

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© roadsurfer GmbH / Marina Selezneva

1. Choose the right campsite

While you can camp almost anywhere in summer, it is worth doing a bit more research and choosing a suitable campsite or pitch for winter camping. You should make sure that the sanitary facilities at your campsite are heated, especially if you have hired a campervan that doesn’t have its own bathroom on board. Some campsites also have drying rooms for wet ski equipment and clothes, so you can store them there and prevent moisture and damp from spreading in your campervan.

Campsites that have heated communal areas or playrooms for the little ones are also a good option for longer stays. Some campsites also offer gas bottle exchange so you don’t have to search for a replacement.

Exceptional Winter Campsites and Pitches

Are you looking for an exceptional winter campsite? On roadsurfer spots you will find beautiful winter pitches near ski resorts or with wellness offers and facilities.

Campsites for Snow Sports

Wake up in the ski resorts or close to the slopes at these unique campsites and pitches for ski and snow sports lovers.

Winter Wellness Spots

Escape the winter blues and treat yourself to a spa and wellness day at these beautiful campsite and pitches

2. Keep an eye on the gas bottle and battery levels

If you leave the heater on all night, or during the day, it will stay nice and warm in your campervan, but you should always keep an eye on the car battery level. You can do this at a campsite with a power supply or by moving the vehicle regularly to recharge the battery. It also doesn’t hurt to have a spare gas bottle with you or to stay at a campsite equipped for winter camping that offer gas bottle exchange.

3. Regularly Visit the petrol station

The parking heater in some models runs on diesel. If that is the case with your vehicle, you should visit a petrol station regularly to avoid being stuck at the campsite with an empty fuel tank.

4. Protect water pipes and tanks from freezing

Get adhesive heating foils or heating cables that protect against freezing and winterproof your campervan or motorhome.

Place a bucket or other large container under the grey water tank when you are camping so that it can drain off immediately and not freeze in the tank in the first place.

Another simple trick is to pack a hairdryer. If, despite all precautions, the water pipes should freeze, you can slowly thaw them out again using the hairdryer.

5. Remove snow and ice from the vehicle

Avoid unnecessary cold accumulating in your campervan or motorhome by clearing your campervan of snow and ice, especially on the roof after heavy snowfall! This is very important because it prevents the exhaust vent of the heating system from being blocked. You should also remove the layer of snow on the windshield from blocking the sunlight and enable the sun to warm up your vehicle naturally.

© roadsurfer GmbH / Marina Selezneva

6. Properly insulate the vehicle

If you insulate your campervan or motorhome well, you will put much less strain on the parking heater. Since most of the cold radiates from non-insulated surfaces such as windows and the windscreen, use special thermal mats to prevent cold from entering through the glass surfaces. There are also thermal curtains that you can hang behind the driver and passenger seats to insulate the sleeping and living areas.

For extra warmth in the campervan, you can make your own floor heating with electric heating mats. Heated carpets in the bathroom or kitchenette prevent cold feet, while stick-on heating foils or heating cables working on the same principle counteract the freezing of uninsulated water and waste water tanks and the associated pipes, unless the campervan or motorhome already has the appropriate winter equipment.

7. Avoid Causing Damp

Don’t worry, the parking heater has enough power to keep you warm even on a winter camping trip. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind to avoid accidentally losing heat. Wet clothes, for example, should never be hung out to dry in the campervan. Because dry air warms up more easily than moist air, you will make it unnecessarily difficult for the parking heater and it will warm up very slowly in your campervan. Instead, hang the clothes in a drying room at the campsite. If you have rented a model with an integrated bathroom, you can also hang the clothes there, which will at least keep the moisture away from the living area.

When cooking, tilt the window over the cooker to prevent condensation from forming. Regular airing also prevents condensation from collecting if you stay inside your campervan for a longer period of time. Open the sliding door briefly and let in some fresh air.

8. Antifreeze for the camping toilet.

Since waste tanks in almost all campervan and motorhome models are located in a compartment on the outside of the vehicle, they are particularly exposed to the cold. The heat from the auxiliary heating only reaches this area to a limited extent. In sub-zero temperatures, antifreeze can protect the toilet cassette from freezing. Some antifreeze agents are even suitable for temperatures as low as -20 degrees.

9. Set up an awning tent

An awning is a great idea for winter camping in three ways. 1.Your awning acts as a temperature lock so that when you open the sliding door of your vehicle, you’re not immediately exposed to the coldest temperatures and sheltered from the wind and weather. 2. Creates more space to store your ski and snow sports equipment. 3: You can sit outside and sip a hot chocolate while watching the snow fall around you!

10. Get yourself an electric blanket

Electric blankets have risen in popularity and are great to have when you are feeling really cold. There are no limits to your imagination from electric blankets, heating pads and heated seat cushions to heated mattress pads, heated sleeping bags and even electric hot water bottles. You can also preheat your shoes with hand warmers.

Don’t have an electric device? You can also preheat a normal sleeping bag with a stainless steel bottle with hot water. You loose a lot of heat whilst sleeping which is why it doesn’t hurt to put a warm blanket between your mattress and sleeping bag for an extra layer of warmth.

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