Winter caravanning is a great way to get out on an adventure, long after the popular summer season has ended.
Caravanning in the winter is the perfect alternative to enjoy the outdoors during a quieter time, away from the hustle and bustle.
There are some things to consider before you go on a winter caravanning trip, so we have put together our top tips for making your winter getaway unforgettable.
Pick Your Site
An increasing number of touring sites are staying open for longer periods of time, and some, throughout the year.
You’ll often find that caravanning during the winter will not only be quieter, but it will also be much cheaper to book a pitch.
In the winter it’s preferable to look for a site with an electric hook-up, especially if you want to use a heater to take the chill out and not rely on a leisure battery to run things.
And if you prefer using the shower block over the shower in your caravans, check that your site has heated washrooms with nice hot water!
Most modern tourers are very well insulated and so keeping warm when inside shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s wise to travel prepared.
A winter tog duvet or winter sleeping bag will likely be enough to keep you snug, but it’s worth packing some extra blankets for the colder nights.
Take layers, even for sleeping in – or better still, pack a onesie and stay really toasty under your duvet or sleeping bag! You could also consider thermals.
Although your tourer will have its own heating system if you want to have the reassurance of an extra heater on standby you can use an electric oil-filled heater or one that is thermostatically controlled. A quick blast from a blow heater on a frosty morning should be enough to get you going.
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Putting up a caravan awning can be worth the effort to provide not only an extra place to store winter clothing and boots but also to reduce too much cold air coming through the caravan door when you open it.
A porch awning is a good solution as it is smaller, and if you can get one with a slanted roof it’ll better cope with any heavy snowfalls!
You will need to use propane gas rather than butane for winter caravanning. Butane gas becomes unreliable when you get to temperatures of around 4C and below – it effectively stops ‘boiling’ or, in short, providing you with any gas to use!
When the temperature goes below zero you need to think about ways to prevent your freshwater container from freezing;
- Keep it on bricks rather than leaving it on the frozen ground
- Get an insulated cover (like a winter jacket!) to keep it warm
It’s also a good idea to keep a smaller freshwater container inside the caravan and fill up the kettle the night before, just in case everything outside does freeze.
Try to empty your waste water container at night before the temperatures start to dip. In addition, you can also insulate it, like with the freshwater tank.
Some caravanners recommend replacing the Wastemaster style container with a bucket so that you can easily dispose of a ‘giant ice cube.’
What is the best caravan for winter?
Most modern caravans will be suitable for winter caravanning and all year round use.
All of the main caravan manufacturers now make tourers with grade three insulation, meaning they are perfect for using a tourer during the colder winter months.
What is the best winter tow car?
If you are going to tow your caravan throughout the year it might be worth looking at a four-wheel-drive car.
If the forecast looks like snow, it’s best to avoid towing a caravan in it. Towing a caravan in the snow should only really be considered for very experienced drivers or if you have no choice but to absolutely do so.
More tips for winter caravanning
- Plan when you will arrive on-site – it’s best to arrive during daylight if possible. Reversing your caravan onto the pitch during darkness is not so much fun!
- Before you set off on your trip, make sure that you have all the winter essentials, especially if you are planning to use your caravan for longer periods of time.
- Take some extra propane gas on board so that you won’t run out.
- Keep your caravan temperature low for those times that you are out all day – it’s much nicer to return to a warm tourer!
- Bring your caravan steps inside at night so that they don’t frost or ice up overnight.
- Consider using a dehumidifier to reduce condensation.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecasts!
- Remember to drain your caravan down when you return.