Caring for your motorhome in winter
If you’re the sort of holidaymaker who doesn’t let a bit of winter weather deter them, then your motorhome gives the flexibility to be able to pack up and head off, come snow, rain or sub-zero temperatures. If you’re planning on using your vehicle year round, there are several aspects you should consider to make winter motorhome ownership safer and more comfortable.
Winter motorhome tyres – are they worth it?
Each time the UK experiences a cold snap, people advise getting special winter tyres fitted on your vehicle. Winter tyres are made with a special kind of rubber and tread which stays flexible when the temperature drops, making it safer to drive on ice and snow. They’re really only necessary when it snows or is icy, and the cost of around £100 per tyre plus fitting, means that it’s really something worth considering if you are going to be using your motorhome extensively in winter months, and in areas where it’s likely to be icy.
Motorhomes and caravans are notoriously badly insulated, making them baking hot in winter, and freezing cold through the summer. Adding insulation will stop heat escaping from the motorhome, and prevent condensation. There’s a variety of options for doing this, and one of the easiest ways of increasing insulation is using the “space blanket” type of loft insulation rolls slid between the outer and inner shell of your motorhome. Solid panels can also be used when cut to shape. Take advice from the motorhome manufacturer as to which insulation is most appropriate. There is going to be a cost associated with adding insulation into a motorhome or paying for it as an extra on a new motorhome, but it should pay for itself in terms of lower heating costs.
Water – Don’t let it freeze
One of the other challenges with camping or using a motorhome in winter is that the dips in temperature overnight can cause your water butt to freeze, meaning a trek to the tap in the morning to fill the kettle. One really cheap gadget is an insulated jacket for your water container, aiming to keep the temperature up and stop it freezing in the first place. Alternatively, buy a separate container which allows you to keep your water inside in the relative warmth and stop it freezing. You should also consider your waste water container if you have a toilet or shower in your motorhome. Make sure you have added anti-freeze to both the water in your radiator and the water used to clear windscreens. It’s a good idea to carry some extra antifreeze and screen wash with you when travelling in winter months.
An obvious solution to being cold in winter is adding extra heating, but this isn’t always as easy as it seems. If you overload electrical circuits with too many heaters, this could cause a fire, and there are additional issues with using gas for heating too. Get advice from the experts and remember that a combination of insulation and heating will keep you warmest.