Motorhome Snowboarding & winterising your van- 10 ESSENTIAL ideas you could know in 2023

In the event you’ve ever wished to take your motorhome snowboarding or park up within the mountains over winter, this put up is for you!

Discover ways to winterise your motorhome & put together for snow and residing in excessive chilly. We additionally speak about the right way to discover in a single day parking locations for vans, aires or campsites throughout winter, the right way to handle energy throughout winter vanlife, issues to organise earlier than you permit and getting essentially the most out of ski tenting.

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Motorhome skiing- what’s it?

One of many issues we love most about travelling in our motorhome is the liberty. The flexibility to go the place we would like, after we wish to (international pandemics apart!)

We spend lots of time touring Europe in a motorhome and we wish to assume we’re pretty good at adapting to the environment. We’re fairly self-sufficient, know the right way to keep off-grid for a number of days with out problem and may handle energy, water, waste and all that different stuff which comes with expertise.


There’s something about staying in a motorhome up excessive within the mountains, whereas temperatures drop properly beneath freezing, snow falls (quite a bit!) and issues get much more inaccessible which is a very completely different sort of vanlife.

Your choices are fewer and you must be rather more ‘on the ball’ with issues like campervan heating and taking good care of your automobile.

That is motorhome snowboarding (or ski tenting, because the Europeans name it).

So, what’s the massive cope with motorhome snowboarding?

We’ve achieved lots of winter street journeys within the UK. We’ve been within the mountains in Europe as late as December, and once more in March. Each occasions there was snow, however we didn’t keep longer than a day and it wasn’t proper within the coronary heart of the chilly season.

A few years in the past, we had an epic winter street journey in Europe and spent every week at Mont Dore in central (ish) France, and had a VERY steep studying curve each earlier than we went and while we have been there.

On this put up, I wish to share with you the largest ideas and methods we learnt for residing in a motorhome over winter.

Our fears earlier than we headed to the snow…

Our greatest concern is whether or not our motorhome (a UK-built Swift 685) will probably be as much as the rigours of winter motorhome residing in such a chilly, hostile atmosphere.

Would we be heat sufficient? Will our methods cope? What preparation do we have to do prematurely to make life simpler? What occurs if all of it goes flawed?

To assist educate ourselves, we spoke to somebody who has spent months in mountains over winter. The truth is, 95% of all her time in a motorhome EVER has been throughout winter.

Please observe that winterising your motorhome to be used in mountains just like the Alps is NOT the identical as making ready your van to be used within the UK all through winter- that’s a lot simpler and also you don’t must do a lot of the steps talked about beneath.

In the event you’re not going to be utilizing your van for just a few weeks, we extremely advocate shutting it down safely to keep away from burst pipework or harm. Learn our step-by-step information to winter shutdown right here.

Motorhome snowboarding and winterising your motorhome video

Watch our video chat with Hannah from and In the event you desire to learn or need extra data on factors mentioned within the video, you’ll discover them beneath.

We hope you discovered the video helpful. In the event you did, we’d adore it if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with ideas for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.

Motorhome & Campervan skiing- important ideas

As mentioned within the video above, listed below are some tricks to put together your motorhome or camper for winter spent within the mountains. A few of them genuinely are life-saving; getting caught in temperatures and situations like these with out being ready isn’t any joke.

Winterise & Put together your automobile

It’s extremely seemingly that your motorhome or campervan won’t be ample in its present state (until you got one particularly for winter use!)

Due to this fact, you’re going to wish to do some work to it to get it snow-ready!

Jobs to do to organize for winter within the mountains embrace:

Insulating your motorhome

Apparently, the conventional ‘gray’ lagging insulation isn’t sufficient. The black model (known as Armaflex) is the one to get- accessible from most European {hardware} shops or Amazon. Locations to focus on embrace:

  • External water tanks and pipework (It’s value including some to inner water tanks too if you happen to can)
  • Any pipework which runs alongside the ground (that’s most of it!)
  • Wheel arches
  • The floor– attempt to create a ‘double ground’ impact utilizing insulated matting the place you’ll be able to, or use carpet items
Prepare RV motorhome or campervan for winter storage- winterizing tips for campers and leisure vehicles
Motorhome skiing- making ready your camper for excessive temperatures and situations is crucial!

Important GEAR to take

There are some belongings you NEED to carry- and a few belongings you SHOULD carry to make life simpler for you!

This isn’t an exhaustive listing, however a great start line contains:

van life with kids- everything you need to know about travelling in a motorhome or camper van with a child
Our motorhome on our first journey to the mountains- our daughter liked it!

Utilizing your motorhome throughout winter

It’s vital to do not forget that how you utilize your motorhome between spring-autumn won’t be the identical as utilizing it in the midst of winter up a mountain in -17c!

Your methods won’t operate in the way in which you is perhaps used to, and there will probably be different jobs you could do to maintain every part operating.

Even if you happen to’re used to wild tenting along with your motorhome, make sure to take note of the following pointers:

Waste tanks

Once you park up, place an exterior bucket or container beneath the gray waste drain, and go away it open. This helps stop freezing. Make sure you empty the bucket recurrently!

Most Aires could have locations to eliminate waste, though not all amenities can be found on a regular basis (we’ll get to that!)


Many aires and campsites will go away a recent water faucet operating, in order that it doesn’t freeze. We additionally counsel utilizing a water filter for ANY campsite water- simply in case (or get one in all these AMAZING lifesaver jerrycans)

TOP TIP: Don’t drink yellow snow… 😉

Motorhome skiing- how to winterise and prepare your motorhome or campervan for winter in the mountains
Motorhome skiing- the right way to winterise and put together your motorhome or campervan for winter within the mountains

Energy & Heating

Many campsites within the mountains don’t have 16 amp electrical energy provide and so your campervan or motorhome heating may not work in addition to you might be used to! It additionally means you could be selective about how a lot electrical energy you might be utilizing directly (you don’t wish to be THAT van which is consistently tripping everybody’s electrical…)

Gasoline heating is a superb alternative- however it makes use of lots of gasoline. We get via a 6kg bottle in about 3 days. We extremely advocate becoming refillable gasoline bottles in your motorhome if you happen to’re going to be travelling in Europe a lot- ensure you know the place the closest provide is (and if it stays open throughout winter!)

Diesel heating can be a terrific different, however many vans don’t include it as customary. In the event you do match it, pay attention to the burden and the way it impacts your motorhome payload.

Don’t neglect, you’ll need someplace to dry moist gear. It helps when you’ve got a rest room with heating- string a line throughout the highest and cling every part as much as dry in a single day.

READ MORE: Every little thing you could learn about motorhome/ camper heating

Photo voltaic

You may’t depend on solar energy throughout winter in the identical method you’ll be able to at different occasions of the yr. The solar isn’t as robust, there are extra nighttimes and extra areas of shade. Additionally, you’ll be utilizing extra energy than you would possibly usually.

If you have already got a photo voltaic panel fitted, then by all means use what you’ll be able to, however don’t depend on it as your solely energy supply.


Batteries don’t like chilly. They don’t run as successfully so you could be extra vigilant about taking care of them, ensuring they don’t run too low, giving them a great cost recurrently and customarily babying them.

READ MORE: Every little thing you could learn about motorhome leisure batteries


In the event you’re going to take your motorhome snowboarding, you’ll most likely wish to carry a motorhome generator. Everybody does- simply make sure to use it throughout the day, not late at evening!

LED lights

We all the time advocate LED lights to avoid wasting power- particularly if you happen to’re doing lots of motorhome wild tenting, however in winter it turns into important.

After all, don’t neglect your clothes. Right here’s an important information of what to wear when skiing

Hiring a motorhome or campervan for snowboarding

There are firms which hire out motorhomes or campervans for snowboarding. In the event you select to do this, please be sure that the van is correctly insulated and outfitted with every part you want.

Motorhome skiing- aires or campsites?

Certainly one of our greatest questions was HOW do you discover someplace to remain within the mountains? Motorhome touring in France is simple sufficient in ‘regular’ seasons, however we all know many mountain roads shut throughout winter- so how do we all know the place we are able to go or the place is open?

It’s true that many websites shut throughout winter, however there are locations, together with free motorhome parking and in a single day stopover spots which stay open all yr. Sadly, it appears to be like like some aires are being closed, however there are nonetheless campsites open and accessible.

There are professionals and cons as to whether you keep in an aire or on a campsite in your ski tenting journey!

TIP: In the event you’re on the lookout for ski tenting websites, search for the phrases ‘caravaneige’ or ‘snowmobiling’- each phrases utilized by the French

Execs of campsites

  • Can typically be booked in advance- simpler if you happen to’re reserving ski colleges or gear rent
  • Extra dependable electrical hookup
  • Simpler if you happen to’re motorhoming with youngsters
  • Bus or service to take you to the lifts if it’s not close by
  • Drying rooms- this looks like a terrific resolution to the moist clothes issue- there’s nothing worse than damp ski jackets and pants the day after! (Bear in mind to take your individual padlock for safety within the drying room)
  • Assist getting towed out if you happen to get caught
  • Different amenities, resembling a small store or restaurant, which will be helpful

Right here’s an example of a campsite we’ve heard good critiques about which caters to motorhomes, campervans and even caravans throughout winter! (I like the actual fact it has an indoor pool!)

Execs of Aires

  • Cheaper
  • Extra flexibility to comply with the snow
  • Feels extra like an journey!

Find out how to discover locations to stick with your motorhome throughout winter

It may be troublesome to seek out Aires in Europe within the regular method for motorhome snowboarding. It’s not simply discovering the places- it’s realizing if they’re open throughout winter, what amenities they’ve open throughout winter and what number of areas will probably be accessible (aires can go from 140+ areas to lower than 50!)

A greater choice is to make use of, which caters for winter websites and has extra data than you would even assume to ask!

Is motorhome snowboarding cheaper than happening a ski vacation?

This can be a robust one. Most individuals who go on a snowboarding vacation solely go for every week or two most.

Most individuals who take their motorhomes to the mountains both dwell close by or are going for a few months.

Nevertheless, as Hannah says, the trouble and expense wanted to verify your automobile is correctly capable of hand a winter within the mountains typically makes it not value it until you intend to spend months on the market.

It’s additionally much more troublesome when it comes to sensible life- you will have moist clothes and damp to cope with, water, gasoline and electrical points and the fixed concern about getting snowed in. In the event you’re simply doing it to save cash in your street journeys, you would possibly wish to assume once more or no less than do the sums very fastidiously earlier than you commit.

Phew! That was lots of data to soak up however, as we found, ski tenting is a very completely different sort of motorhoming or vanlife.

Nothing beats ‘doing it your self’, however I hope you’re feeling rather more knowledgeable earlier than your first motorhome ski journey.

In the event you’ve been snowboarding and brought your motorhome or camper and have every other ideas, please do go away a remark and share your knowledge.

Secure travels!

Final replace on 2023-10-12 / Affiliate hyperlinks / Pictures from Amazon Product Promoting API

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