If you want to go touring in winter, you’ll need a motorhome that’s up to the job. Let’s look at some of the best models available for off-season road trips, and how to stay warm when you’re on the road.
One of the joys of owning a motorhome is that you can go touring any time of the year. Unlike staying in a tent, you don’t need to worry so much if it rains, or the temperature goes below zero.
The type of motorhome you buy can make a big difference, though. Certain models are better equipped to deal with the bitter winter weather and keep you toasty inside.
Not sure what to look for? Read our guide to discover the best motorhomes to travel in during the coldest months and what features they should have to protect you from the elements.
We also share some winter travel tips, ways to keep warm, and how to store your motorhome in the cold when not in use.
Remember, as soon as you buy a new vehicle, you’ll need motorhome insurance in the UK to drive legally on the road and protect your home on wheels against accidents, damage, or theft.
FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN A WINTER MOTORHOME
When shopping for a motorhome to use year-round, you want to make sure it has everything you need to stay warm during the colder months. Not all vehicles are made the same, and some are better-equipped than others to brave below-freezing temperatures.
So, what should you be looking for when buying a winter motorhome?
- A double insulated floor that houses pipes and water tanks to stop them from freezing.
- Thermal insulation in the ceiling, floors, and walls.
- Electrical heating and silver bubble wrapping to coat pipes and tanks.
- Plenty of hob and oven space to prepare warm winter meals.
- Soft and cosy furnishings to curl up on at night.
You might also come across two terms when searching for the right vehicle– winterised and winter proof. What’s the difference?
Although they might sound similar and some people use them interchangeably, they are different.
Manufacturers grade motorhomes according to the DIN EN 1646-1 standards, and they go through four phases of rigorous testing to get their classification. Learn more about the different classifications on a blog elsewhere on our site.
Grade II means it’s winterproof and grade III makes it winterised and able to withstand colder temperatures – usually -15°C for 10 hours or more.
WHAT IF MY MOTORHOME ISN’T READY FOR WINTER?
If you head out on a cold road trip without being prepared, your vehicle could suffer several issues, like:
- Engine trouble
- Tyre problems
- Seal issues and leakages
- Infestations from mites and rodents
- Damp and mould
Any of the problems can cut your winter holiday short and even make you ill. What’s more, most motorhome insurance in the UK won’t cover damage due to freezing water troubles in the cold, so it’s important to equip your home on wheels for the winter.,
4 OF THE BEST MOTORHOMES FOR WINTER CAMPING
You know what to look for, so now it’s time to find the vehicle of your dreams. With so much on offer in the way of motorhomes, it might be difficult to know where to start.
To give you a hand, we’ve narrowed down the best winter motorhomes that are well-equipped for colder climates and can keep you cosy on the chilliest of nights.
Remember, when you buy your home on wheels, you also need to get motorhome insurance in the UK and tax the vehicle to drive legally.
Adria Coral Axess – From £77,685
To make the most of the outdoors this winter, the Coral Axess from Adria comes with an exclusive sunroof design and panoramic window for ‘atrium-style’ living. You can feel like you’re out in the elements while staying toasty inside your motorhome.
The storage space is well-organised, and you can sit back and relax in the open plan living area and listen to your favourite sounds from the hidden speakers throughout.
What makes this motorhome winter worthy?
- Market-leading heating system
- Underfloor space with insulation
- Soft and warm furnishings
- 3-burner hob with oven and grill
HYMER B-Class MasterLine T – From £106,590
This spacious motorhome comes with a smart ecosystem to connect to your phone and control many of the living room components from anywhere in the vehicle. With a warm and cosy feel to the interior, you’ll spend many happy hours in this home on wheels.
HYMER puts its vehicles through rigorous grade III testing to make sure they can withstand the winter elements to keep you warm however cold it gets outdoors. Expect lots of comfort and plenty of room to cook up some warming stews in the kitchen.
What makes this motorhome winter worthy?
- Heating control with the HYMER connect app
- Insulated and heated fresh water
- Thermal insulation equivalent to an 80 cm-thick solid brick wall
- Double floor for improved insulation
Swift Edge 486 – From £60,595
If you’re a first-time family motorhome buyer, this vehicle is ideal. It’s easy to operate and comes with cosy beds that holidaymakers of all ages will love getting into each night.
There’s quick storage access for when you need something fast and plenty of outlets for charging your devices to watch winter films on. The bathroom has all the essentials, and the kitchen workspace is big enough for preparing family meals on a chilly night.
What makes this motorhome winter worthy?
- Simple to use heating system
- Combi oven and grill and 3-burner gas hob
- High grade insulation throughout
- Cosy and robust furnishings
HOW TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR MOTORHOME WARM IN WINTER
You might enjoy outdoor activities during the day that make you rosy cheeked and feel a chill, but when you get back to your motorhome, you want to get warm and cosy.
Here are a few ideas you can implement to keep the inside of your motorhome warm and toasty this winter:
- Close blinds and curtains as soon as the sun goes down – temperatures drop fast once it’s dark. If you travel a lot in winter, you might want to consider installing thermal blinds.
- Use silver screens on your windows for extra thermal protection.
- Consider putting up a thick curtain around the cab area to stop draughts.
- Take a blow heater or oil filled radiator to keep you cosy in the evenings and early in the morning.
- Shut ventilation grills in the cab to stop icy air from coming in. Do not close low-level vents as these are there to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Cover hard floors with a rug to keep it warm and soft underfoot.
- Pack some hot water bottles and a high tog duvet or sleeping bag.
WINTER MOTORHOME HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS
If this is your first time going away in the winter, you need to be as prepared as possible to brave the cold weather. We’ve put together a few top tips to make this your best winter getaway on wheels yet.
Perform a safety checklist before setting off
When you go away in the winter, you’ll likely be driving in the dark a lot. The road may also be wet and icy, so performing a safety check before you leave home can make sure you stay safe and lower the risk of claiming on your motorhome insurance in the UK.
- Check your tyre tread and pressure before setting off.
- Check the engine’s water and oil levels.
- Top up your windscreen washer and coolant.
- Make sure all lights are clean and working – replace bulbs if necessary.
- Check windscreen wipers for wear and tear.
Not sure what your tyre tread should be? Gov.uk states that the legal requirement is 1.6mm, but National Tyres recommends changing them any time between 2-3mm.
For your tyre pressure, you may be able to find it in your vehicle's handbook. Alternatively, you can use the handy tool on the National Tyres page to look it up.
Take the journey slowly
When driving a motorhome in winter, you need to be more cautious. Remember that larger vehicles take longer to come to a stop, and you must take corners more slowly.
Wet weather, dazzle from the sun, and fog all pose further challenges, so keep your speed down and share the driving with someone else if possible. Just make sure you name them as a driver on your motorhome insurance in the UK.
Plan for plenty of stops en-route to your destination and give yourself lots of time to get there.
Don’t rely on the weather
Don’t plan your entire trip reliant on good weather. See what’s in the area you’re visiting and find indoor alternatives like museums in case it starts to pour with rain.
Read up on cosy cafes and warm local pubs to watch the world go by and fill up on your favourite food and drink.
If the weather is too bad to leave your motorhome, you’ll need to make sure it’s well stocked. Keep plenty of canned and packet foods inside for emergencies and take lots of board games, books, and music to entertain you.
If you are taking lots of expensive gadgets like Kindles or iPads on the road, make sure your motorhome insurance in the UK covers them, too.
Pack the right clothing
Packing your thickest warm coat and jumpers might seem like a good idea, but if they get wet, they are a nightmare to dry in a motorhome when it’s cold.
It’s better to take various thinner layers that you can put on to keep warm but that dry quickly. Top your winter outfit off with a windproof and waterproof jacket and you shouldn't feel the chill. Don’t forget your woolly hat, scarf, and gloves.
Make the most of daylight hours
The days are short during winter, but you can enjoy more light when you get out as early as possible. Take a morning stroll through the woods, along the coast, or through a pretty harbour, and make your way to somewhere warm for lunch.
Do all you can to stay warm
Use our tips mentioned above to keep in the warmth as much as possible. Hopefully, you’ll have a winterised motorhome that has built-in heating, otherwise you’ll need to take a heater.
Stock up on tea, coffee, and hot chocolate to warm you up and pack extra blankets for cosy nights in. Whip up some hot winter stews and soups to keep you warm and snug when it’s chilly outside.
Be mindful of gas and water
The last thing you want on your winter holiday is for your water supply to freeze. You should be fine if your water tank is onboard, and your heating is on often.
If the tank is outside, you’ll need to cover it with an insulated jacket, which should be enough to protect it from the elements. Just to be on the safe side, always keep a small jug of water inside so you can at least clean your teeth and heat up the kettle in the morning.
You also need to make sure you have the right gas, or your stove might not turn on at all. Propane gas works the best in cold conditions, so switch out your butane tank during winter.
Prepare to combat the cold
You’ve done all you can to stop yourself from freezing, but you still need to look out for your home on wheels. In addition to motorhome insurance in the UK to protect it against damage and theft, make sure you do the following to keep it safe and running as it should in winter:
- Top up the antifreeze in the engine if it’s running low.
- Keep some de-icer and a windscreen scraper in the cab to beat frost in the mornings.
- Wipe windows regularly and pull beds and seats away from the walls, when possible, to stop condensation.
- Store a snow shovel and snow traction mats in your motorhome to get you out of emergency situations.
- Use snow chains if you’re going somewhere very cold. Some European countries even require you to have them on your wheels by law, so check your destination for local rules and regulations.
HOW TO STORE YOUR MOTORHOME WHEN NOT IN USE DURING WINTER
If you’re not hitting the road in your home on wheels this winter, it still needs some special care to make sure it's ready to go when the temperatures warm up again.
Here are a few ways to look after your vehicle and prepare it for storage through the coldest months of the year:
- Give it a thorough clean – Scrub water tanks, the toilet, and wash and store the sewer hose. You also need to clean up any food debris or insects and mice might find their way in. Most motorhome insurance in the UK policies don’t cover damage by pests.
- Remove your valuables – Take all your bits and pieces out of cupboards and wardrobes and remove all the electronic equipment.
- Wash the exterior – Thoroughly clean and wax the outside of your motorhome and check no seals are damaged. Look for leaks to fix and block any entries where pests could get in.
- Drain all water – You must make sure every last drop of water is removed from the pipes to prevent freezing. You’ll have to drain and check the heater, fresh and wastewater tanks, internal taps and showerhead, and any u-bends.
Take your vehicle for a short drive with all the taps open to help shake out any droplets that might be lingering.
- Top-up and disconnect gas – To protect your vehicle from hazards, take out the gas tank and make sure it’s topped up to avoid it spoiling.
- Protect tyres – Check all tyres for wear and tear and make sure their pressure is correct. Consider tyre covers to protect them from the winter elements.
- Use a levelling system – To take all the pressure off your tyres and avoid damaging them when your vehicle is stationary, support your motorhome with jacks.
- Check the engine – Check the coolant levels are topped up and let your engine run for 30 minutes a few times throughout winter.
- Keep it undercover – If you don’t have a garage or somewhere indoors to keep your home on wheels dry, consider getting a motorhome cover.
WINTER MOTORHOME HOLIDAY PACKING LIST
The last thing you want on your winter wonderland getaway is to leave something behind – especially one that’s going to keep you warm. Use our handy packing list below to check items off before you leave home.
- Important documents (Licence, proof of motorhome insurance in the UK, vehicle paperwork, breakdown cover)
- Emergency contact list
- Windscreen scraper
- Snow shovel
- Cards and cash
- Snacks and drink for the journey
- Electronic devices and chargers
- First aid kit
- Personal medication and painkillers
- Board games
- Windproof and waterproof jacket
- Warm coat
- Thermal base layers
- Thick socks
- Cosy pjs
- Woolly hat
- Hiking shoes
- Hot water bottle
- Warm blankets
- Backup heater
BEST WINTER ACCESSORIES FOR YOUR MOTORHOME
With a winterised motorhome, you’ll be well protected from the elements outdoors, but for the ultimate cosy holiday, consider these accessories.
- MONHOUSE Heated Throw (£64.99) – Cover yourself in this heated blanket when watching a film on the sofa or lay it over your bed half an hour before you get in to keep you warm.
- EHEYCIGA Oversized Blanket Hoodie (£29.99) – Stay constantly cosy on those chilly evenings with this wearable blanket.
- Night Comfort 16.5 Tog Double Duvet (£40.99) – You won’t want to get out of bed in the mornings when you’re snug in this 16.5 tog bed cover.
- Netagon Motorhome Temperature Control Thermal Blind (£69.99) – Instead of losing lots of heat through the large front windscreen, cover it with a thermal layer to keep the interior warm and cosy.
PROTECT YOUR MOTORHOME THIS WINTER WITH MOTORHOME PROTECT
Your home on wheels is a big investment, and if you’re taking all these measures to make sure it stays safe in winter, you’ll also want to protect it against accident, damage, and theft with motorhome insurance in the UK.
Not sure where to find the right coverage for your vehicle?
The team at Motorhome Protect can help you get an insurance policy to fit your budget and needs, which can include:
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Cover for vehicles up to £120,000
- Cover for your camping personal effects up to £3,500
- Unlimited cover across the EU
For motorhome insurance in the UK, come to the specialists at Motorhome Protect.