Winter campervanning can be just as enjoyable as it is during the summer months if you’re well prepared.
In this article, we explore some essential items that can make winter campervanning a more comfortable and cosy experience, to keep you adventuring the whole year round!
Condensation can be a problem at any time of year, but more so during the winter months. Condensation occurs when warm air collides with cold surfaces, or when there is too much humidity in the air. When this moisture-packed warm air meets a chilly surface, it quickly cools and releases water, which turns into condensation on the cold surface. As campervans are small spaces, they are naturally prone to condensation.
Condensation will form on the coldest parts of your van, such as the windows, roof, and walls, if not properly insulated. Attaching thermal blinds to the inside or outside of your windscreen and windows, will provide a layer of insulation to prevent heat escaping from these areas. This in turn will massively reduce condensation build up and humidity in your van.
Thermal pop-top cover
Putting your pop-top roof up during winter trips can not only make your van cold, but your roof canvas is more likely to get wet on the outside. Wet pop-tops can be harder to dry during winter. Taking your roof down when wet can lead to mould and deterioration of the canvas, if left over a certain length of time without being aired.
Like thermal blinds, a thermal pop-top cover or wrap will help to keep heat in. It will also keep the wind out. It’s a good idea to invest in one that’s also waterproofed to keep the canvas dry, helping to preserve its lifespan.
Try Rainbow Screens for custom made to measure roof covers.
Teddy fleece bedding is great for putting over your duvet if you use one. It will create additional warmth on winter campervanning trips, simply because it's not as breathable as other fabrics, such as cotton, which is ideal during the summer. Teddy fleece is also incredibly soft, so it can make the whole sleeping experience much more comfortable during the winter months.
Warm sleeping bags and duvets are great whilst you’re in bed, but any campervan owner will tell you, getting in and out of bed when your van feels like a freezer is not a nice experience.
Diesel heaters are reliable and convenient, making them one of the most common heating systems used in campervans.
As the name suggests, they run on diesel fuel. Inside a diesel heater, there is a burner which uses diesel combustion to heat coils. Cool air is drawn into the heater, which passes over the coils and then warm air is passed out into the van. The heater requires a small amount of electrical energy to pump diesel into the burner. Diesel heaters can be fitted underneath or inside your van and connected to your fuel tank (if your campervan runs on diesel) or to a separate fuel tank. The only downside is they do emit a diesel fuel smell when in use.
Oil filled radiator
If you don’t fancy a diesel heater, oil filled radiators are good for winter campervanning, providing you have EHU. They have excellent heat retention, which means when the radiator is turned off, it will continue to emit heat for longer. Because there are no exposed heating elements, grilles, or vents, there’s no chance of objects becoming lodged, causing air flow blockages or fires. This makes them the safer option for portable campervan heaters.
Hot water bottle/hand foot warmers
If you’re not on EHU you can fall back on a good old fashioned hot water bottle for that extra bit of warmth. Simply use your gas burner to boil water, partially fill it and it will keep you warm for hours. We also recommend USB chargeable hand warmers, and disposable hand and foot warmers for winter campervanning trips, to keep icy cold hands and feet at bay.
Thermal under garments
Thermal layers are great for extra warmth under your regular day clothes, while you’re out and about, and can also be worn under pyjamas at night. Thermals come in the form of leggings, tops and socks, and should be a staple in your winter campervanning wardrobe.
Moisture crystal bags
Breathing alone is enough to create moisture in your van, but as we all know, this can’t be avoided. Moisture-absorbing crystal bags are readily available and cheap to buy. Placing them in your van can help to absorb moisture from the air for around 30 days. When full, you simply pop them in the microwave when you get home and reuse. They are a much cheaper and more compact alternative to a standard dehumidifier.
Mat or Rug
Campervan floors are typically lined with vinyl or rubber, as both materials are practical and easy to clean. The only trouble with this is they can make the floor feel cold. While carpet is a flooring option for your campervan, it is not best suited for outdoor living. Carpet attracts dirt, and is difficult to keep clean, even more so on winter campervanning trips. For extra warmth under foot, we recommend a small rug, which can be shaken outside of your van, and will give you that cosy home from home feeling.
If you’re parked-up on a muddy grass pitch, mud mats placed underneath your wheels during the winter months or long periods of wet weather can prevent you from getting stuck. The great thing about mud mats is they are flat and lightweight, making them easy to store in your van when you’re on the move.
Standard knee-high wellies will take up valuable space in a campervan, but you may need wellies if you are staying on a muddy campsite or field. Ankle length wellies are easier to store under your van when not in use. They can also be slipped on and off quickly, for impromptu dog walks or trips to the loo. Remember to pack wellie socks, to prevent icy cold feet.
Entertainment can be overlooked if you’re used to summer trips. During winter camping trips, you’re likely to spend more time in your campervan than you would do during the summer. So, having something to keep you occupied is strongly advised.
Make sure you’re equipped with a book, a streaming device such as a tablet, a pack of cards or a boardgame to keep you entertained.
Get yourself covered!
From frozen doors and windows, to dreaded battery draining problems, winter can play havoc with your campervan, so it’s essential to make sure you have breakdown cover in place for winter campervanning trips.
Our campervan insurance comes with optional RAC breakdown cover, to provide that extra bit of reassurance, should the worst happen.
Other tips for winter campervanning
- Keep wet clothes and towels out of your van, to avoid a damp campervan. Store them in a plastic bag under your campervan or awning if you have one. NEVER lay them over your campervan heater to dry.
- Keep a scraper and/or de-icer in your campervan, for times when you need to move on early in the morning.
- Plastic shoe covers can be good for keeping your van free from muck and dirt. Simply pop them onto your boots or shoes before getting into your van.
Disclaimer: The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance and suggestions on the topic covered. We cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in the external links, which were live at the date of publication. All products mentioned in this article have been tried and tested by our marketing team - Prices and product availability are subject to change.