Winter Touring Tips
Here’s a blog for the hardy campers among you, the ones who don't let the darker and shorter days, and biting cold stop them from exploring our beautiful country. As a lot of campers pack their caravans up for the winter and draw curtains on the wetter windier days, a few of us are only just getting started with our camping getaways. So, join us today as we cover some top tips for having a great wintertime getaway in your caravan.
With many campsites open year-round there is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing where to explore next. Most open campsites will also charge a slightly reduced pitching fee during the quieter winter months - so you can have the same great getaway and still save yourself some money.
Preparing the Caravan
Preparing your caravan correctly for a winter stay can make all the difference when you get to your caravan pitch. Having the right supplies, and taking the right precautions both before and during your stay can dramatically improve your camping experience.
Ensuring your caravan is rocking some good quality tyres with plenty of tread on them will make towing your caravan during the winter far safer. At this time of year, we expect to see some ice on the roads, so a tyre with a good amount of tread is sure to make a difference when it comes to manoeuvring, turning, and stopping your caravan. Inflating your caravan tyres to the correct pressure will also help when it comes to tyre performance. If you are expecting to travel on a particularly icy or snowy route it can sometimes help to reduce the pressure in the tyres very slightly. This is to allow a higher road contact surface, which can help with braking, and increase the overall traction your caravan has. If you choose to do this, make sure to re-inflate your caravan tyres to the correct pressure once you return to more normal road conditions.
Water & Waste
Taking the right measures to protect your water and waste systems in your caravan from cold conditions will help to keep your equipment in use, as well as avoid the risk of temperature-related damage.
As the weather gets colder any water in your caravan will be inclined to freeze if the systems are left unprotected. This not only means you will be unable to use water in your caravan, but it can also lead to the cracking of pipes and equipment due to expansion. To avoid this, consider using a form of insulation around your main water and your main waste tanks. This will help keep the contents of your tanks in liquid form and protect them from the colder conditions outside. Remember the water in the pipework of your caravan (especially external pipework) will be at risk of freezing along with the water tanks, so insulating these at the same time as the tanks is a good idea.
If you are planning on travelling to particularly cold regions, such as Scotland, it may also be worth investing in a 12 Volt electrical tank heater. These can be used during cold times to keep the contents of your caravan tanks at a stable temperature and stop them from freezing.
If you have a hot water boiler in your caravan it is worth considering the frost control level of your boiler system. Most modern boilers in caravans and motorhomes are fitted with a frost control valve which will release water from your boiler if the temperature drops below 4 degrees Celsius - this is to protect the boiler from frost damage. Keeping your caravan heater on at a low level can help avoid this temperature drop, and will mean your boiler will be usable all of the time.
It is always a good idea to keep a small amount of freshwater inside your caravan at all times, just in case your water systems do freeze and you are unable to get water from any other source. Don’t forget to drain down your caravan after each use during this time of year to help protect it against frost and ice damage.
What Should I Look for in a Winter Campsite?
We are sometimes limited in the things we can do during the winter months, this is why it is important to choose a campsite with plenty to offer you during your stay. You should look for a mixture of both indoor and outdoor activities so you will always have something to do no matter what the weather is doing. Here are a few ideas!
Look for a hard standing caravan pitch. If there is a lot of rain before or during your time away a grass pitch will tend to become muddy and very slippery. Caravans and motorhomes are notoriously bad when it comes to very wet grass or muddy conditions, so sticking to paved roads and pitches will help you avoid getting stuck.
During the winter you are more likely to use external resources such as electricity. Choosing a campsite with electrical hook-ups can help save some worry when your caravan batteries become low. Hooking Your caravan up to the mains with a power cable will also mean you will be able to keep your caravan warm and toasty throughout your stay, which not only makes it far more comfortable but also helps protect your caravan from frost damage.
Toilet and shower facilities at a campsite may also be far more comfortable and reliable than those onboard your caravan. It can sometimes take a while for caravan heaters to sufficiently heat enough water to get the whole family showered, this is not an issue if you can use the facilities at the campsite you are staying in.
Pubs & Restaurants
Is there anything cosier than sitting down in a nice warm country pub next to the fire? Choosing a caravan site with easy access to pubs and restaurants means you will never be short of an afternoon out and some good food. As the weather will most likely be too cold to sit outside it is good to have a few venues up your sleeve to keep you and the whole family entertained. Doing some research before leaving will mean you will never be caught out when it comes to choosing where to go.
For any more help and advice when it comes to using your caravan during winter, get in touch with one of our expert team members!