avatar Jonathan December 23, 2021

Unlock winter sport adventures with the original access-all-areas ski pass

Take ski and snowboarding trips to the next level with your campervan

Most of us tend to associate campervans with warmer weather. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun when there’s snow and ice about.

Plenty of fun, actually.

Do you like to ski? Maybe you’re more adept on a snowboard? Or, perhaps your idea of heaven is relaxing near a roaring fire at the ski lodge while your friends and family hit the slopes. In any case, campervans are extremely well-suited for winter sport holidays.

One big plus is that campervans provide a lot more space than cars. You can much more easily take all your gear along, whether or not you decide to stay inside the van it when you get there.

Though you always have the option to book some lodging, campervans can be cosy and warm all year round. So, why not let your campervan make you winter sports holiday a bit more fun and affordable?

Not yet convinced? Let us inspire you.

Probably our favorite thing about having a campervan along on ski trips is the way it enables you to experience a variety of mountains in one trip. You can much more easily visit several ski resorts rather than being based at just one. It also leaves open the flexibility to stop into other interesting places along the route.

What was a mere ski trip yesterday can be a ski tour today!

Go where there’s snow

Have you experienced European winter sports? There are a lot of great places to get your ski or board ‘fix’ in. 

The snow-rich regions of France aren’t terribly far away from the UK, making them a good option for a first winter campervan trip. If you’ve never visited Strasbourg, now might be a good time to look into it. Not only is it a good stopover on the way to the French Alps – but there’s a campsite in the centre and it has one of Europe’s largest christmas markets. 

Les Deux Alpes is a popular skiing area that is just a ski lift away from Camping Caravaneige Champs du Moulin in the village of Vėnosc. Apparently, the chair lift is only seven minutes walk from the campsite. That might be perfect.  

Or how about the ever popular resort of Meribel? Take a closer look to see a few simple campsites in the area. Some cater exclusively to snow lovers in campervans and motorhomes.

Heading over to Austria or Switzerland means a bit more travelling, but both destinations can be well worth the trip. Our experience of Austria includes the Sportcamp Woferlgut, with some of the best facilities we’ve ever seen. It’s got a hotel with a new wellness and pool area, featuring saunas and no less than five pools. It’s also on the doorstep of the Zell am See-Kaprun ski resort.

In Switzerland, our personal experience includes the Einwäldli campsite in Engelberg, which is about an hour from Zurich. Although our visit was in summer, friends who ski there every winter highly recommend it for all ages.

In these covid-times, staying in the UK might be easier, which means a road trip to Scotland. Aviemore is one of the most popular resorts. And, the Glenmore Campsite in the Cairngorm National Park is a good place to base yourself. 

Take comfort in the knowledge that there are many campsites open during winter – either in or near European ski resorts – and they are kind of popular! On your first visit, you might be impressed by how many people use their leisure vehicles as a base for skiing. Think of your campervan as your own ski chalet on wheels!

Typically, these ski resort-based campsites are open most of the year. A few cater to winter sports enthusiasts, complete with drying rooms for your skis, boots, and jackets. Most offer accommodations, depending on availability, and some even have a sauna available.

Unlock Winter Sport Adventures Insert

Unlock Winter Sport Adventures Insert

Shape the plan to work for you

Some people really go for the ‘vanlife’ lifestyle, taking advantage of the simple aires or stellplatz parking areas for campers that can sometimes be right in the town centre.

Given the right circumstances, these are an option, but remember they may not have toilet facilities or showers. On the bright side, you could stll be first on the slopes in the morning, and have your own place to come back to for lunch rather than paying mountain lodge prices.

Another difference about campsites in alpine regions is that they may charge you for how much electricity you use when connected to the main hook-up rather than the standard charge we’re more used to in summer. They’ve realised that their winter customers need more heating, so usage rates are bound to go up.

Sometimes, campsites that are really geared up for campers who leave their leisure vehicles on site for the whole season have a gas supply to each pitch. We’ve seen this on campsites in Austria. This supply will be metered as well, but is only going to be of use to campervan owners if you have an external filling point and on-board gas tanks.

Adapt to the local power

Speaking of gas, make sure you have enough for your trip! You won’t be very popular with your partner if you run out of gas for heating or making a cup of tea. Remember that you have to use propane (rather than butane) gas for the winter as it has a much lower freezing point.

To conserve your own gas, most people connect to the mains electric hook-up and use as many electrical appliances as the supply will allow. But, if you like to keep the new friends you meet along the way, consider plugging in only what’s necessary. You don’t want to risk knocking the power out for everyone. Remember also, that UK gas bottles are not interchangeable with continental gas bottles. For a start, they use a different regulator. The only exception might be camping-gaz.

If your camper has a diesel fuel heating system, then you’re not reliant on a gas or electricity supply. They’re quite efficient, but just make sure you arrive on site with a decent amount of fuel in your tank. And, for safety reasons, make sure the flue for any gas or diesel heater is kept clear and not blocked by snow. Do not leave the cooker’s gas burners on to generate heat. This is dangerous. You should always have get a carbon dioxide detector fitted.

Don’t miss the best part of winter

Hopefully, this has inspired you to pack up your campervan for a winter adventure. The attraction of a campervan skiing trip is not just that it’s more affordable than a regular ski holiday, but that you’re more independent.

Before you bought your campervan, you’d probably never heard of people going on ski breaks with them. Rest assured that plenty do! For first timers, going away in the depths of winter might seem a bit daunting, but you’ll soon meet plenty of people who do it all the time. Enjoy.

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