Tuesday, 01 November 2016 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
You’ve invested thousands on your new motorhome and now winter has arrived you’re packing it up ready for next summer – but why? Most new motorhome models are equipped to endure the cold months, so it makes economic sense to drive it year round.
There are many positives to holidaying in your motorhome during the winter season;
- There’s less traffic
- Campsites are less crowded
- A selection of destinations with varying weather conditions
Taking your motorhome to Spain, Portugal, France or Austria can be a fabulous way to celebrate the party season. Just remember a few key things;
- Snow chains – they are a legal requirement in some countries
- Check local laws
- Take plenty of water, in case of freezing temperatures
- Carry anti-freeze
- Use external blinds to reduce condensation
- Pack well; walking shoes, winter boots, jumpers, waterproof clothes etc.
If you’re planning a motorhome holiday this winter then we’ve got some inspiration for you. From the sunny beaches of Spain to the snow topped peaks of the Alps, with a motorhome the world is your oyster.
UK getaway this winter
You don’t need to travel far to find a beautiful winter escape. With beautiful scenery and many campsites open all year round the UK can be the perfect place for a winter motorhome holiday.
Just take a look at some of these campsites found on our Campsite Finder:
Beech Croft Farm, Derbyshire. This is a peaceful family run site; set in farmland and surrounded by the landscape of the Peak District there is plenty of walking and beautiful scenery to enjoy. During the winter months the site is only open to caravans and motorhomes and there are 30 hard standing pitches.
Globe Vale, Cornwall. Recommended by one of our lovely customers, this award-winning family holiday park is situated along the coast-to-coast trail. There’s plenty to enjoy even during the winter months with local attractions nearby.
Park Bryn Bach, South Wales. The sites lakeside location offers plenty of adventure from kayaking and canoeing to land based activities like archery and climbing. After an action packed day campers can relax in the onsite bar and restaurant.
Green Hill Farm, Wiltshire. Located on the edge of the New Forest this family run site offers a tranquil location to relax – apart from on New Year’s Eve when there’s a party to enjoy.
If you want to venture further afield for some winter sunshine then try Spain and Portugal. Both steeped in history, heritage and if you’re travelling to the coast, golden sandy beaches they are the perfect winter sun destinations.
There are also plenty of motorhome stopovers and campsites in both Spain and Portugal. Stopovers are known as ‘Aires de Service’ or Aires for short. Stopping at Aires can be convenient and many of them are free of charge or have a small fee. Just be wary of Aires at motorway service stations and always have a backup.
If you decide on Portugal keep in mind that most roads are toll roads which need to be paid for in advance. For more information about toll roads and payments visit: http://www.portugaltolls.pt
When driving in Spain you’ll also come across many tolls however these can be paid for at booths. Although if you plan on returning regularly or you’re staying for a long time it may be worth investing in a VIA-T Box, which allows you to pay using your credit/debit card as you pass through.
Traditional Winter Wonderland
A traditional skiing holiday can be expensive, so staying in your motorhome instead of a hotel can save you a pretty penny. Obviously driving in the snow can be awkward and extra precautions must be taken.
Before setting off on your journey complete a full motorhome inspection, identifying cold or freeze spots. The below areas may be more likely to freeze, so be prepared;
- The Cab
- The Wheel Arches
- Behind the Lockers
- The Water System
When driving in freezing temperatures it’s important to check the laws of each country, as they do differ. For example winter tyres may be necessary when driving in the snow but when you reach warmer climates they must be changed and there may be a fine if they’re not.
If you’re looking for snow then you may need to travel upwards towards higher altitudes and one of the most popular areas is the Alps. Surrounded by a thick blanket of snow, driving through the Alps is breathtaking but also difficult. So, it’s very important to plan your route before you take to the road.
When searching for suitable resorts think about the drive and altitude. The resort of Les Gets, France may be low lying but this means there is less chance of snow. Resorts such as St Anton, in Austria and Serre Chevalier, in France are home to several campsites and can be easier to get to than the likes of Val d’Isere and Chamonix.
Finally before you take to the road remember your motorhome insurance, you won’t get far without it.