General Getting Ready Advice/Tips Needed

Discussion in 'Motorhome Tips Tricks and modifications for skiing' started by Stacetop, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Stacetop

    Stacetop Funster

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    Ok, I am now thinking about getting the van sorted for our April trip to VT!
    It will be our first trip skiing - apart from a very limited attempt in Scotland in December when we only saw snow for 2 days before it all melted!

    Generator- I now have a Honda 2kw generator- will this suffer at the altitude of VT? Does it need modifying?

    Gas - we have 22kg refillable on board but intend to take an extra bottle in case we run out. To make life easy I was considering a 13kg calor bottle with potentially a gaslow reserve cylinder connection hose. Although I am not fully sure how this would work.

    Our gas locker like most is not insulated as such and has drop out holes is this likely to cause a problem?

    If I use a gaslow reserve cylinder connection hose and have the spare bottle outside the van is this likely to suffer?

    As the generator can suck water up through the vents at the bottom I was think of putting on a piece of wood fixed to the bike rack- would this work? I would probably get a tent for it as well?

    All advice/thoughts welcome
     
  2. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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  3. kev1

    kev1 Funster

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    Honda generators are considered the cream of the crop
    Seen a lot of people using them mounted on the bike rack they have run fine
    But ensure you lock it away at night.
     
  4. kev1

    kev1 Funster

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    How long are you going for?
    sorry as for gas it depends entirely what you run
    But we keep the heating on trickle over night and during the day enough to stop pipes freezing and up
    and and on high in the evenings.
    If it's refillable fill up at the last big town or supermarket before hitting the run up to Vt
    But remember Sundays supermarkets are closed and you may not get gas then
    Carrying a 13kg as spare is a good idea
    We use 13kg about every 4 days. So do the maths

    As Yorick said winter tyres
    we fitted just the drive wheels the first time we went
    then the rear as well the following year
    SNOW CHAINS
    Yep you need them
    people will say we carried em and never used them.

    BUT when it dumps you need them and the police can prosecute if you dont hav ethem and hold up traffic.
    Practise putting them on before you go
    All a bit expensive the first time out but the cosr spreads itself the more often you go
    Kev
     
  5. rickwiggans

    rickwiggans Funster

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    As above. Also, if we are staying put for a few days, I put the chains on, at my leisure, when it's not dark, and not blowing a blizzard. You can always take them off when you need to move, but sod's law says if you need to move, and you need them, it'll take twice as long to fit them. We travel our generator in a large plastic storage box, and have a matching one, so that when travelling, one sits inside the other. The second one has a suitably placed hole to vent the exhaust, so I can use it, upside down to cover the generator when in use, and it's snowing. Think about where you will get water. In the places we stay, the majority of the outside taps are frozen. We quickly learned that, certainly where we've stayed, the vast majority of people don't fill their water tank. Lots of times you need to get your water in jerry cans, so we just use these inside the van. This isn't as convenient as using your taps, but has the added advantage that you don't need your heating on all day, so your gas lasts longer. As above, we use 13kg about every 4 days. The first time we used the generator for an extended stay, the thing that first caused us to move was that we ran out of petrol. We now carry enough for 3 hours a day, to last a week. Seems to be about 10 litres, but can't be sure. If it snows a lot, you will have a fair bit of snow clearing to do. Snow shovel? We carry a lightweight extendable ladder, so I can easily clear the roof. If you drive off with an iceberg on your roof, sod's law says it'll blow off and land on a gendarme! Our experience is that a lot of service points don't work reliably in the winter - don't rely on them. Use a bucket to collect waste water, and leave your drain open. That way, you won't end up with a frozen outlet pipe, and a tank full of waste you can't get rid of. Over the years we'd used the MH lots in the winter, but learned quickly that there is a BIG difference between a few days at minus 5 deg, and a few weeks at minus 15! I'm assuming you have external screens, but the addition of a full length skirt can be a godsend. I'm sure there's loads more others can add.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
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  6. rickwiggans

    rickwiggans Funster

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    Also, check, BEFORE you need gas, that you can get it where you think you can! There's a garage we've used lots of times in the Jura, but when we confidently pulled in last year - no gas. They'd stopped doing it, and the nearest alternative was an hour away, in a direction we didn't really want to go. It was still shown in the directories as selling it, but, understandably, these things take a while to get updated.
     
  7. kev1

    kev1 Funster

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    Agree entirely with Rick
    We also have a plastic shovel for clearing the van roof and a long yard brush to clear the last bits off.
    At first it all seems a bit hard work But watch other MH's the french are experts at living high in the snow
    a bit of copying really helps we use a watering can to get water from taps
    Its a amazing fun and a bit of practise it all gets easier
     
  8. Stacetop

    Stacetop Funster

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    Thanks for tips, we have got the snow chains but not tried them yet! Need to do that at some point! Got a normal external screen was hoping in April we might getaway without the bonnet one!

    We quite often fill up from 5 litre containers so will probably do that! Gas consumption is around what I thought I was thinking with 22 litres or 2 x 11kg bottles we may just last but will carry a back up just in case
     
  9. Jac Sprat

    Jac Sprat Funster

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    Reading this with interest as we are about to have our first motorhome trip to the Dolomites which are -15 at the moment.
    The thing about leaving the waste water open and a bucket underneath - is that also necessary when you have a double skinned winterised bottom (2006 Hymer) and keeping some heating on through the night?
     
  10. Jill

    Jill Funster

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    We bring a tarpaulin to use if it's very cold although didn't need it last week in La Clusaz.

    A big risk if you're not 100% sure. It's a right palarva (?) defrosting if you do find it frozen. A few years ago we forgot to leave ours open before climbing to the resort at Super Besse (not even that high) and was frozen solid by the time we'd realised. We eventually defrosted it by aiming the exhaust of our Honda genny at the outlet.
     
  11. kev1

    kev1 Funster

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    If you are letting your waste stay in your grey storage tank and you get a cold spot anywhere in the system You could be stuck with 10 or 15 gallons of waste you can't get rid of
    and sinks and showers you cannot use until you find a way of discovering where the freeze is
    then de frosting it somehow. and maybe having to try to cobble together a repair at altitude
    We leave our waste open and empty the bucket 3 or 4 times a day
    No big deal

    Prevention is much better than cure
     
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