Living in a Motorhome during Winter: Don’t just survive, Thrive!
Winter In An RV – Be Prepared!
You might think of a motorhome as something that’s only used during a summer holiday. But one of the most persuasive selling points of a vehicle of this kind is that there’s no need to stick to a specific time of year – as long as the roads are open, and there isn’t a nationwide lockdown stopping you from travelling, you can take your motorhome anywhere you like.
Around two million Brits take holidays in leisure vehicles. Of these, a sizeable minority live in their motorhomes for months on end; some do so all year round!
Winter can be a bit of a gruelling time for those in this position. But there’s nothing to say that it needs to be this way. By taking a few simple steps, long-term motorhome residents can enjoy the same quality of life when the weather’s cold outside. At the same time, those who tend to abandon their motorhomes for the season can get more out of their investment.
Take heating seriously
If you’re having to rub your hands together constantly, then it’s unlikely that you’ll have a good time in your motorhome. Insulation will prevent the cold air outside from finding its way indoors. This means seals around doors, and blackout linings sewn into curtains.
Motorhome specialist Comfort Insurance recommends also keeping yourself warm within the vehicle: “Warm jumpers, fleece jackets, mittens and gloves must be part of your everyday dress, even indoors if warranted. A heated blanket is also a good idea because it will enable you to stay warm in your bed at night.”
Similarly, the addition of a few strategically-placed portable heaters can make a world of difference. But at the same time, you still want enough ventilation to prevent mildew and damp from becoming a problem. You might get around this with the help of a dehumidifier – it’ll remove the moisture from the interior, and protect your van without cooling it.
Bear in mind also that the interior of your cupboards and enclosed spaces will need to be kept heated – and that air heaters don’t always achieve this. Keep an eye on moisture levels there.
Leave the handbrake off
If you leave your handbrake on while it’s cold, then you might find that it seizes up – which, if you’re caught off-guard, can ruin your plans for a day’s holidaymaking.
Protect the water-tank
Extremely cold weather can attack your water supply, causing pipes to burst. Get around this by insulating the pipes (and the tank) and by occasionally running the hot water to prevent the temperatures from getting too low. If you’re expecting the temperatures to dip well below zero overnight, then running the hot tap for a bit might make the difference.
Winter driving conditions demand different qualities from a set of tyres. If you can’t afford to swap, then you might go for tyres that fit all conditions. Winter tyres benefit from greater tread depth – look to replace at 3-4mm. Wait for the legal limit of 1.6mm and you’ll notice the driving experience worsen during winter. Finally, if you get stuck in a blizzard, you’ll regret not having packed a set of snowchains!
Check the fuel
If you’re travelling somewhere really, really cold, then you’ll need to worry about your diesel crystalising. This will make the fuel so thick that your engine can’t cope with it. In areas where this is likely to be a problem, special additives tend to be sold with the diesel, which prevent this from happening.