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Winter Caravaning


Jacqui F-J

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Having now got blown air heating in our nice new van and discovering how cosy it is, we are considering extending our season and using the van into November.

Any tips or advice anyone can gives us such as how to stop Aquarolls and pipes freezing (should it get that cold) for caravaning in winter would be greatly appreciated.

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Any tips or advice anyone can gives us such as how to stop Aquarolls and pipes freezing (should it get that cold) for caravaning in winter would be greatly appreciated.

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Never had a problem either but there are measures you can take like sitting the barrel on cardboard or wrapping in a jacket etc.

 

The gas can be more of a problem if you are using butane, even if the temperature is above freezing in Winter you will notice a lack of pressure resulting in the shutting down of the water heater. Propane is the preferred gas for winter vanning, I use it all year round.

 

Just a thought, drying towels is always a challenge in winter, anyone got any info/reports on the quick drying type?

                                                           Fiat Rimor Europeo 69P Motorhome

 

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Hi There

 

We were away in January this year - minus 2 at night. The aquaroll did not freeze and i did not change gas to propane. I think we were fortunate since the day time temp was fairly high about 6-7 degrees C. For the last few years where i live (N. Ireland) our winters have been mild so if i am going away ove winter i just check the weather forcast. If the news is for really cold weather then i think i would change over to propane. If i were a regular winter caravanner then i think i would install an on board water tank to minimise the risk of water freezing.

 

One other thing i make sure when going away over winter to have adequate heating arrangements. Some caravans heating systems tend to be fine for the summer not the winter. TRy taking away an electric blow heater in case your heating is not up to scratch. Also if the blow heater has a thermostat then set it low when you are away from the caravan to keep internal temp above freezing - that should prevent freezing pipes

 

 

 

Happy winter caravanning

 

Lee :)

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Thanks for all the tips. We are already on propane so at least our gas supply should be alright. We also have an old electric fan heater which I could dig out in case of any problems. ( it was the one we used in our previous van which did not have blown air heating but it does draw on the amps)

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We winter all year round and take the following precautions.

1/ Use Propane.

2/ I got a Cold water laging jacket from B&Q which I wrap around the aquaroll to avoid it Freezing. I also get a cardboard box which I flatten and sit the aquaroll on.

3/ For the pump hose I use a peice of large pipe insulation to avoid it freezing.

4/ If it is going to be a very cold night I empty the waste water container to avoid it freezing.

4/ We always fill the kettle at night and also cary a small electric kettle.

5/ For the fridge I fit winter vents.

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To dry the towels I have bought a shower curtain rail, the extendable type, just extend it from one wall in the bathroom to the other, and tighten it up. leave the towels hanging over it and they dry, while you are out. Ours is high enough to leave up pemanently when on site, without being in the way,and the towels dry quite quickly, especialy when the heating is on

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I use my caravan all year - and although I use propane bottles rather than butane thats about the only thing I would say is necessary. I have never had any problems with the water freezing - and I also take a small electric heater which warms the van up quicker than the gas fire does. (Of course you have to watch the electric as if you use the heater and too many other items it does blow the circuit breaker on some sites !).

 

Have a great time - winter caravanning is great fun

 

Margaret

Margaret

 

I don't do technical !!!

Just me and my showdogs!!

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Never had a problem either but there are measures you can take like sitting the barrel on cardboard or wrapping in a jacket etc.

 

The gas can be more of a problem if you are using butane, even if the temperature is above freezing in Winter you will notice a lack of pressure resulting in the shutting down of the water heater. Propane is the preferred gas for winter vanning, I use it all year round.

 

Just a thought, drying towels is always a challenge in winter, anyone got any info/reports on the quick drying type?

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We bought some of those mocrofibre towels from Aldi they do indeed dry very quickly, but they seem to take a bit longer to get you dry. We always try to dry off with a well wrung out facecloth first, then finish off with the towel. That way the towel doesn't get so wet.

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We bought some of those mocrofibre towels from Aldi  they do indeed dry very quickly, but they seem to take a bit longer to get you dry. We always try to dry off with a well wrung out facecloth first, then finish off with the towel.   That way the towel doesn't get so wet.

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Snap! We go down the facecloth first route and the towels don't get too damp.

Two years ago at The Invercauld, Braemar, in December, it WARMED up to minus 10deg during the day! It had been minus 16 overnight and minus 13 when I took the dog out at 0730. Needless to say, the aquaroll froze but we keep a 10litre container in the 'van and the kettle is always full. We have found the 'van itself is nice and cosy but we always have an awning up to prevent the wind whistling in when the door is opened.

 

Mlamont

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We bought some of those mocrofibre towels from Aldi  they do indeed dry very quickly, but they seem to take a bit longer to get you dry. We always try to dry off with a well wrung out facecloth first, then finish off with the towel.   That way the towel doesn't get so wet.

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To dry the towels I have bought a shower curtain rail, the extendable type

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Great. ...Thanks guys

 

Steve :)

                                                           Fiat Rimor Europeo 69P Motorhome

 

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Guest Hobbybod
We winter all year round and take the following precautions.

1/ Use Propane.

2/ I got a Cold water laging jacket from B&Q which I wrap around the aquaroll to avoid it Freezing. I also get a cardboard box which I flatten and sit the aquaroll on.

3/ For the pump hose I use a peice of large pipe insulation to avoid it freezing.

4/ If it is going to be a very cold night I empty the waste water container to avoid it freezing.

4/ We always fill the kettle at night and also cary a small electric kettle.

5/ For the fridge I fit winter vents.

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del's point 4) is one which is most often overlooked, especially when very cold.

 

It's also a good idea to insulate any waste pipes under the 'van, and the pipe feeding the waste water container; last thing pour boiling water down the waste pipes.

 

The waste water flow on a lot of 'vans can be very slow and if any water freezes in the pipes or container, then in the morning, you'll find the waste water in the shower, and sinks, will 'back-up', causing a BIG nuisance.

 

Continental 'vans (as in my Hobby) have in-board 'water tanks', either built-in or portable, but these waste water precautions are certainly required in winter sites used for skiing etc. Some add salt etc. to the waste container to act as an antifreeze.

 

Finally, do NOT mistakenly insulate any gas bottles, especially Butane. When gas is used, the remaining liquid butane cools down, and heat from the outside needs to enter the gas bottle; insulating it will prevent this, cooling the remaining liquid further.

 

The higher the gas take-off from the gas bottle, the bigger the cooling effect.

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A tip from camping days - keep a couple of hot water bottles in the van - they warm you up quicker than anything I know when you come in from walking the dog or whatever, and I just find them very comforting. At a recent camping session with lots of friends (we were using the caravan 'cos we're softies now!) it got cold outside after dark, and one of the teenagers was really feeling the cold. . I went into the van, heated water in the kettle, and handed her a hot water bottle to cuddle - she thought it was so good that her parents went out next day and bought 3!

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I caravan all year round, without electrics!!! has its moments when the gas runs out at 3am and its minus 5 outside - thats what thermal undies are for!!!

 

But, I did fit winter vents to my Charisma last winter, which was fine at the time, but in the spring when I took them off again, after a week or so I got a really nasty smell in the caravan and black soot up the outside. Thetford came out and changed the burner. The engineer said there was a lot of corrosion on the burner and flue - then he saw the winter vents and said they were the culprit and not too use them. The cause too much moisture to collect in the area behind the fridge - I was on gas only.

 

I wont be using them this year no matter how cold it gets.

 

The vents I had were from Thetford, yet their engineer said not to use them - confused to say the least.

 

Hope to see some more winter caravanners this year!

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We went away several times last winter with no problem.

 

To dry towels I put them in the car spread out over the top of the seats.

 

It usually works, more so if the sun gets on them.

 

It's a great feeling to be all snug in your van when freezing outside!

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A tip I was told by my brother was after showering use a flannel to dry yourself off, wringing it out a couple of times ( abit like using a chamois leather on your car) you will be amazed how dry you get and then just finish off with your towel which will hardly get wet and so dosen't need much drying.

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I guess one of the many benefits of the modern caravan is the blown air heating system and the full size shower cubicle in which we have a hanging rail (intended for hanging those wet coats on) but also great for the wet towels which very quickly dry with the blown air circulating around them.

 

:)

 

As a PS I suggest you remove any wet coats and towels before you have a shower :blink:

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To dry the towels I have bought a shower curtain rail, the extendable type, just extend it from one wall in the bathroom to the other, and tighten it up.   leave the towels hanging over it and they dry, while you are out. Ours is high enough to leave up pemanently when on site, without being in the way,and the towels dry quite quickly, especialy when the heating is on

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Hi madmax, Where did you buy the shower curtain rail? Mrs Spursboy saw one in the shower of a used van when we were looking to change and hasn't stopped nagging, sorry suggesting, that we need one! (P. S. Love your movies, thought Thunderdome was the best)

Cheers, Mikey :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi madmax, Where did you buy the shower curtain rail? Mrs Spursboy saw one in the shower of a used van when we were looking to change and hasn't stopped nagging, sorry suggesting, that we need one! (P. S. Love your movies, thought Thunderdome was the best)

Cheers, Mikey :)

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For a towel rail we used 2 plastic wardrobe rail clips and a piece of 21mm overflow pipe in the shower room. We use a convector heater to get the 'van warm (it's silent) and to keep really cosy an electric blanket on the bed. This only uses 180w and so can't trip the electrics. Made thhe mistake of running out of propane and had to pour hot water on the butane spare to get the gas out. Dalby Forest in February in the snow - fantastic!

 

Mike

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My pet hate about winter caravanning is having to clean the chassis and running gear when you return, <_<

The salt makes a mess if you forget it, :(

 

otherwise I enjoy it :)

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Hi madmax, Where did you buy the shower curtain rail? Mrs Spursboy saw one in the shower of a used van when we were looking to change and hasn't stopped nagging, sorry suggesting, that we need one! (P. S. Love your movies, thought Thunderdome was the best)

Cheers, Mikey :)

 

 

I bought it at a hardware shop in Aberystwyth when I was on holiday there, it was about £6. I would think you would be able to buy them at any DIY or hardware store. :)

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Following on from the Aldi Microfibre towels thing, I've bought two Microfibre face cloths from Aldi this week for (I think) 75p. they dry out really quickly, and you can actually get yourself almost dry one one of these, then finish off with a towel. That way, there's no wet towels hanging around, they just get a bit damp.

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We use Propane all the year round and never had a problem with caravaning during the winter. Just once we we had to supplement the electric blow air heating with gas.

 

Bear in mind though that yesterday the Met Office issued a warning (amber) that this winter is expected to be unusually cold! You have been warned!

 

Yossa

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