winter campervan

Are you planning a winter campervan trip?

As the temperature drops and the days become shorter, some of you will be thinking about storing your camper van safely over the winter months. While the more daring will be planning a winter campervan trip either in the UK or Europe. If you’re thinking about setting off in the campervan over winter, read our guide on winter camping.

Why would anyone want to go camping in winter?

Some people may think it’s crazy to want to go camping over winter, it’s cold and dark, usually rainy and often snowy. When you could curl up by the fire in the comfort of your own home or a warm hotel, why do people want to be out braving the elements?

The changing seasons in the UK have their own individual beauty. Winter offers snow or frost touched views that are calming and serene. The bare trees give way to landscapes that might not have been visible when the trees were in full bloom.

Top tips for winter camping

  1. Get there early.  There are fewer daylight hours in winter, so to make the most of your trip, arrive early so you can get set up and head out for your day’s activity. Remember to check campervan site opening times as many close over winter.
  2. Be prepared for snow and ice. Pack a shovel & items that can be used for grip pads, like carpet or wood if your campervan gets stuck.
  3. Make sure your vehicle is fit for purpose. Fresh and waste water can freeze in really cold weather, make sure you have antifreeze with you on your trip as well as warm high vis clothing so you’re prepared for any eventuality.
  4. Keep your campervan well ventilated. Your campervan is subject to condensation and mildew during the colder months. You could try moving upholstery away from the walls of your campervan to help prevent mildew.
  5. Bring items to provide extra warmth. To make sure you’re comfortable inside your campervan, bring extra blankets, hot water bottles, jumpers, hats scarves and gloves and even a rug for the floor.
  6. Head south! Southern England is beautiful all year round and the further south you go, the warmer it is likely to be. Or you could head out of the country altogether and travel to Europe for some winter sun!

Taking your campervan to Europe

If you’re looking to escape winter for a week or two or even the whole season, we look at what to prepare when taking your campervan out of the country. 

campervan in Europe

    1. Do your research. Depending on what you want to get out of the trip there are plenty of destinations to explore and the internet has made life really easy when researching places to go. Find out about the weather, local events and campervan sites in the places you want to visit.
    2. Avoid overnight stops on French Auto Route aires. The French roadside rest areas are great, and a wonderful place to stop during the day to break up your journey. However, there have been reports of problems from many campers who have stopped at these aires overnight. The main issue is theft, particularly on the A7 and A9.
    3. Invest in GPS and road map. This point seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to ensure the GPS system you choose has maps for all the countries you intend to visit. Avoid relying on your phone as a map or GPS. Having a detailed road map as well as a GPS system is strongly advised.
    4. Know your vehicle’s dimensions. Measure the height and length of your vehicle and keep this information handy. It is likely that you will be presented with a narrow gap or low bridge.  Save embarrassment by knowing that you will fit through.
    5. Check your insurance and passports. Make sure your passport is up to date and with at least 6 months expiry date. If you want to take your 4 legged friend, you will need to look into getting a pet passport! Make sure your insurance will cover the vehicle abroad and all passengers you intend to travel with. Phone your insurance company to ask if you’re not sure.
    6. Know the law. The road laws in each country vary, so do your research beforehand to make sure you know what to expect. For example, in France, you’re expected to carry a fluorescent jacket for the driver which needs to be put on if you get pulled over. In France, Germany and Spain you will be expected to carry a red warning triangle and if you break down the triangle needs to be placed 30 meters away from the vehicle. In Greece, you’re expected to carry a first aid kit, which is good practice when travelling in your campervan anyway, along with spare bulbs, engine oil and screen wash.
    7. Make the most of it! Finally, make the most of your trip and enjoy yourself. Travelling in a campervan is a fantastic way to see the world. Just make sure to take a camera with you!

 

Thanks for reading our winter campervan travel tips.

Our VW Campervan Conversions story

Here at Effective Campervans, we are passionate about creating high-quality campers. All our vans have been lovingly converted to a high standard by paying attention to every detail.

When searching for new conversion projects, our focus has always been on finding good vehicles that are well-maintained, ideally with low mileage. We believe it’s really important for a campervan to have a good base, an old wreck would simply not be good enough. We look for the rare gems that have been treated lovingly! A good quality van will lead to a brilliant quality and reliable campervan.

red vansIn April 2017 we traded two brand new Renault vans for two 2012 VW transporters from a small, family run business in London. The business had bought the vans new and both vans had just one mature owner, who kept them clean and in good repair with low mileage.

Therefore the vans were perfect candidates to be converted into campervans, there was something different about them. The bright salsa red paint really stood out, we knew they would make unique, functional and stunning looking campervans.

The VW campervan conversions process

We designed the interiors to reflect the striking sporty look of the vans. The only difference between the two is the interior colours and alloy wheels.

Ventilation and insulation

To begin with, both vans were fully ventilated, lined and insulated. This is probably the most important stage of the conversion process to make sure the campervan will be comfortable enough to live in, even during Winter. The ventilation ensures that the campervan doesn’t become stuffy with condensation and cooking smells and the installation will ensure it’s warm and cosy.

Windows and doors

Both sides of each van were fully glazed in privacy glass as well as the twin barn doors. The kitchen window can be opened to let in fresh air and release cooking fumes.

The kitchen

We installed a SMEV combination sink/hob with electric folding tap inset in gloss black worktop and a 50ltr 12v WAECO compressor fridge. Black altro flooring was added to each van and extra LED lighting in the kitchen and the roof.

Electrics

The vans are equipped with internal mains sockets, USB’s and a 12v socket. The internal van battery has a split charge system and we installed a power management system (PMS). The PMS provides an easy solution to help monitor all electrical systems in the campervan from one location. As an added bonus the campervans come with air-con, which is not a regular campervan feature!

campervan family holiday

Campervan Cooking Tips

Camping, we love it! The feeling of packing up and setting off in the campervan to escape our busy modern lives, even for just a day or two. There’s nothing like waking up, getting dressed and heading straight outside – ah the great outdoors! And nothing tastes better than a meal cooked outside, there’s something about cooking the old fashioned way that makes us really appreciate our food, the tricky part though is to master meal preparation when camping. Even if you have a hob inside your campervan you may want to cook outside from time to time. Here we look at some handy campervan cooking tips when planning your next campervan trip.

campervan campfireWhat to bring

Whether you are a simple cook who likes to make meals quickly and easily or someone who enjoys taking the time to create a gourmet meal, you need to think about what you might want to cook on your campervan trip. Write a list of all the ingredients you need to make each meal, this will ensure you have everything you need. For those super organised people, you could even measure out your ingredients, store them in a ziplock bag and label the bag for the appropriate meal.

Basic Essentials

  • Plates, bowls, knives and forks, spoons, mugs, cups
  • Teatowel, dish cloth, washing up liquid, washing up bowl
  • Camping stove and/or fire pit, pots and pans, camping kettle, oven mitt
  • Cool box, chopping board, swiss army knife, tin foil, matches

Quick Meal Tips

  • Before your trip, prepare a casserole, stew or soup etc. and freeze, store in your cooler and reheat for an easy meal.
  • Freeze any meat before putting in the cooler, it will last longer as well as helping to keep other items cool.
  • Bring plenty of snack foods like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts in case you get hungry in between meals.
  • Instant or dried meals are brilliant for rainy days.

Campervan Cooking tips

  • Always cover the top of a pot when cooking outdoors, to cook your food quicker, save on fuel and keep pesky bugs out of your food.
  • Keep your food stored out of sight of wildlife to avoid unwanted visits.
  • Put a hole in the centre of your burger to ensure it’s cooked evenly throughout
  • Add a little powdered sugar to your bag of marshmallows to prevent them from sticking together.

There you have it – a few useful tips to remember when you’re planning your next campervanning trip.  We’d love to hear your camping and cooking tips, or tasty camping meal ideas – please share your wisdom in the comment box below!

campervan site review

Campervan Site Review – The Duke of York

We are spoiled for choice in the UK when it comes to finding our next staycation destination. There are hundreds of beautiful campervan sites to choose from right on our doorstep. Your campervan is packed and ready to go, that’s the easy part! The next step is to pick a campervan site to suit you, here we explore a beautiful site in the Peak District which is famed for its breathtaking views and dramatic scenery, it’s a highly popular destination for cyclists, hikers and lovers of the great outdoors.

The Peak District, Derbyshire

The beautiful Peak District

The Campervan site

The Duke of York traditional country pub and campsite is a gem nestled in the small hamlet of Pomeroy, Flagg in the White Peak area situated between Buxton and Bakewell. The Duke of York is open all year-round so visitors can enjoy the change of scenery the seasons have to offer, whether you like to spend long days walking in the vibrant Summer Countryside, or enjoy fresh, calm Winter landscapes.

The Duke of York campsite is recently transformed to accommodate 30 caravans & campervans all with electric hookups from £23 per night and from April to October they can accommodate 30 tents from £18. The dramatic rural setting is perfect for families, groups or couples and you don’t have to leave your four-legged friend behind, the campsite is dog-friendly! The shower block has everything you’ll need, they’re clean with warm showers, pot washing facilities, and underfloor heating!

The Duke of York Campervan site

The Duke of York pub and campsite

campervan site facilities

The Duke of York on-site facilities

The Duke of York pub is friendly and welcoming, they serve a selection of cask ales and traditional food, proper homemade chips! So, if you’ve been out cycling or enjoying an afternoon walk, warm yourself by the log fire and enjoy a home-cooked meal and a pint or two at the Duke of York in the evening.

dining at the campervan site pub

The Duke of York pub dining area

Things to do

The campervan site adjoins the North end of the 17 mile long High Peak trail, starting at Dowlow near Buxton, to High Peak Junction, Cromford. The trail is well-used by cyclists, walkers and horse riders. You can experience life in a Victorian Mill worker dwelling at The Bakewell Old House Museum just a 15-minute drive from the campsite. Or for the more adventurous, Poole’s Cavern and Country Park is a short 10-minute drive; take a journey beneath the earth to explore Limestone caverns, and see how crystal Stalactites and Stalagmites have lined the chambers over millions of years.

The High Peak Trail

The High Peak Trail

The Bakewell Old House Museum

The Bakewell Old House Museum

All in all, a great campervan site, brilliant location, on-site pub, friendly atmosphere and lots of things to do in the surrounding area, the Duke of York Campsite can really cater to all your staycation needs. It’s not surprising that The Duke of York gets so many visitors every year, book early to avoid disappointment, you won’t regret it!

If you’re looking to invest in a campervan, have a look at our range of new and used campervans

living in a campervan

Living In A Campervan: The Ultimate Guide

Living in a campervan is a perfect way to see the world on a reasonable budget. Not only this, but it is an extremely convenient and comfortable way to explore and travel afar.

There are many advantages to living in a campervan – and we are here to discuss them today. First of all, what better way to travel than in the comfort of your own home? There is the excitement of travelling, meeting new people and exploring new places, all whilst having little to worry about. Not only this, but it’s a great feeling to set off on the long open road, with some good music playing and being surrounded with good company too.

Although living in a campervan can be advantageous, there are also some difficulties in this lifestyle, which we hope to be able to provide some helpful tips to help you overcome these.

Plan your route

Whether you choose to travel throughout the UK – or further afar, be sure to have some idea of where you are planning on going. Most campervans do not have basic luxuries such as toilets and/or showers etc, so it’s always good to plan in advance which campsites you intend on visiting and make sure you have enough time to get there and get settled.

Pack light

The topic of what to take with you while living in a campervan can be somewhat quite controversial. From our experiences, we have always found that it is best to take as little as possible in order to save yourself both space and stress. Do you really need to take all of those clothes with you and cramp up your living space?

Stock up

If you are lucky enough to have cooking facilities on your campervan, then be sure to take lots of food essentials with you.  This will not only make your life a lot easier on, but it will also save the cost of having to buy food at service stations on the route.

If you are thinking about purchasing and living in a campervan for your dream getaway, then why not check out what we currently have in stock here. Alternatively, contact our friendly team on 01484 961567.