Christmas Skiing

Jonny5

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We are embarking on a super exciting family skiing adventure over the Christmas period this year in our MH. We are booking our euro tunnel to take us to France early on the 22nd (dec) and the return on the 7th (jan). There will be our 3 year old daughter, 5 year old son, the Mrs and me going in our 2014 Dethleffs Esprit Comfort A-class. My parents have spent most of the winter for the last several years living on Aires in the Alps at around 900m altitude and I have stayed in their van for a few nights over the years but this will be my first time taking my own van/family so if anyone can give us any pointers / tips / tricks that would be great. Also if anyone would be kind enough to recommend Aires or campsites that too would be appreciated. We are planning on France and due to having just 2 weeks I don't really want drive further than I have too however I will head where the snow is if its a poor start to the season.

Anyway here is what I have worked out for myself so far.....

Take our generator
Take Snow chains + snow shovel
fill up with diesel in the mountains
take silver screen
take x 2 big double sleeping bags to cover the dash internally (cold spot)
cut celotex square to fit into skylight aperture (cold spot)
our van is fully winterised with twin floor housing all tanks and pipes so no worries on that front
Use damp traps in garage area
rent ski locker at lift station (bit of a must with the kids)


I am sure as time goes on I will have loads of questions but the one troubling me right now is.....

We have a Gazlow system so what do we do to try to stop the butane liquefying?
 
Mar 23, 2012
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On the last one its propane so shouldn't be a problem. I like my motorhome and I like ski-ing I know its different at peak times (and there are only 2 of us) but I doubt it would usually be a lot cheaper than an apartment rented through a French agency and driving there. We usually go early January high to get certain(almost) snow its getting dearer now but 3 years ago we got flights transfers half board free wine for £399 each.
 
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Jonny5

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I seriously doubt that it will be cheaper in an apartment @The Wino, remember we are going over Christmas / New Year and there are 4 of us. Our Tiguan gets 50mpg (ish) and our MH gets 25mpg so admittedly there will be an extra fuel cost however we will have little to no cost for where we stay. We don't have a choice on when we go due to school holidays plus we would have to book the apartment in advance risking the snow conditions whereas with the MH we can just cross the channel and head to the resort with the best Snow if the season is slow in starting.
 
May 7, 2015
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On the last one its propane so shouldn't be a problem. I like my motorhome and I like ski-ing I know its different at peak times (and there are only 2 of us) but I doubt it would usually be a lot cheaper than an apartment rented through a French agency and driving there. We usually go early January high to get certain(almost) snow its getting dearer now but 3 years ago we got flights transfers half board free wine for £399 each.
That's amazingly cheap... Where did you go?
 
May 7, 2015
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We are embarking on a super exciting family skiing adventure over the Christmas period this year in our MH. We are booking our euro tunnel to take us to France early on the 22nd (dec) and the return on the 7th (jan). There will be our 3 year old daughter, 5 year old son, the Mrs and me going in our 2014 Dethleffs Esprit Comfort A-class. My parents have spent most of the winter for the last several years living on Aires in the Alps at around 900m altitude and I have stayed in their van for a few nights over the years but this will be my first time taking my own van/family so if anyone can give us any pointers / tips / tricks that would be great. Also if anyone would be kind enough to recommend Aires or campsites that too would be appreciated. We are planning on France and due to having just 2 weeks I don't really want drive further than I have too however I will head where the snow is if its a poor start to the season.

Anyway here is what I have worked out for myself so far.....

Take our generator
Take Snow chains + snow shovel
fill up with diesel in the mountains
take silver screen
take x 2 big double sleeping bags to cover the dash internally (cold spot)
cut celotex square to fit into skylight aperture (cold spot)
our van is fully winterised with twin floor housing all tanks and pipes so no worries on that front
Use damp traps in garage area
rent ski locker at lift station (bit of a must with the kids)


I am sure as time goes on I will have loads of questions but the one troubling me right now is.....

We have a Gazlow system so what do we do to try to stop the butane liquefying?
Hi Jonny

We stayed on a campsite at La Bresse in January I think it was Camping La Belle-Hutte. Its less of a drive than down to Morzine, Avoriaz, etc. The ski lift was right next to the site which, especially with your little ones, could be useful for you.

We didn't need snow chains although there was a lot of snow and ice - but we did have snow tyres and I can highly recommend them. It saves the hassle of putting chains on and they grip really well even on a ice/snow incline.

We didn't put our awning up but if you have one it would be really handy for all your skis, toboggans, etc it might mean you won't need a ski locker.
 
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Jonny5

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we have a huge heated rear locker @Southdowners so no need to pitch an awning the ski locker is more a case of convenience...

kids do ski school in the morning, we do a few runs as a family after lunch. Kids get tired and want to go back to the van (understandable), Wife wants to carry on skiing as conditions are good (understandable) so I take 1x 3 year old (in ski boots) 1x 5year old (in ski boots), x2 sets of skis + 1x snowboard x3 helmets back to the motorhome (possibly via a busy bus service or a walk that might only be a few hundred meters but would feel like a test of endurance). If you do the maths you will see this all adds up to one stressed out short tempered daddy with an overwhelming urge to kill!
 

Chris

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We are taking the snow train on the 22nd December ( I think). So Christmas in the Alps for us but not sure we will have snow where we are staying
 
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Jonny5

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For me that is the beauty of going in the MH. We have our prefferred resort we want to go to (in the northern french Alps) but its not that high altitude. Our current second choice is La Plagne as its very high and more snow sure. That said we could easilly head to Austria if France has a poor start to the season
 

Jenben

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We stayed at the airs at Montgenevre last season which was a great spot right by the slopes and the shops with the ski bus passing as well. Hookup included in the price which I think for a week averaged about 9 euros a day, (more than 7 nights and the price was high to encourage you to move) it was a lovely spot.

B1F4CE6D-2FBA-4BFC-946C-50F0CDE1366F.jpeg
 
Mar 23, 2012
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That's amazingly cheap... Where did you go?
It was Arc2000 hotel Aguille rouge as I say its getting more expensive the past few years we go as part of a group last year 14 of us (but usually the prices are not reduced due to numbers its always first or second full week in January so low season and look for a deal). We have often booked through Iglu Ski they sometimes sell Crystal holidays as cheap if not sometimes a bit cheaper than direct from Crystal and fly from midlands airports. When we used to go with the kids we used to book an apartment through local French agencies and the drive/easyjet/ryannair but for the two of us the deals work out well. We always go high given the time of year and like big ski areas (motorway reds a few blacks) the drawback being the lift pass prices I suspect heading towards 300 euros this year.
 
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I seriously doubt that it will be cheaper in an apartment @The Wino, remember we are going over Christmas / New Year and there are 4 of us. Our Tiguan gets 50mpg (ish) and our MH gets 25mpg so admittedly there will be an extra fuel cost however we will have little to no cost for where we stay. We don't have a choice on when we go due to school holidays plus we would have to book the apartment in advance risking the snow conditions whereas with the MH we can just cross the channel and head to the resort with the best Snow if the season is slow in starting.
We used agence de beleville a few times in les menuires (3 valleys). There isn't a lot more room in the appartments than a motorhome!!! but each to their own heres an example its the first one that came up in st martin de belleville

https://www.agence-des-belleville.com/fr/location/saint-martin-de-belleville-2-pieces-4-personnes-401

Our cheapest week at Christmas was at Flaine they look to have a deal this year too https://www.flaine.com/en/winter/bon-plan-christmas-offer-729.html but not so high so snow not as good a bet (we were lucky loads)

Have a good trip you won't appreciate ski-ing with the kids fully until you can't do it anymore it was great!!
 
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Jonny5

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Just been looking at the lift pass prices for Mont Genevre and it looks like kids get free passes until they are 6 which means both our kids would benefit from free passes which would be great.
 
May 31, 2015
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An expensive experience.. still..!
I hope you find the snow and have a great experience, I’m sure the kids will love it and remember it forever ....(y)

Just a couple of concern for me, I’m pretty sure you need winter tyres up a certain altitude by law...?

And I note your age, I take it you have the C1 entitlement on you driving license as that outfit sounds more than 3500kgs..?

Not trying to put a downer on your travels but out of concern for your young family :)
 
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Jonny5

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I do have a C1. I know in Austria you need winter tyres but pretty sure in France its fine without.
I did spend 4 winters doing Ski Seasons and even took a few ice driving cources in VT and Flaine. I am not planning on changing my tyres as I have descent Conti radials with loads of tred on them and will be carrying chains. We will arrive at the bottom of the mountains after dark on the 22nd however I wont be heading up them until the 23rd in daylight to park in our chosen resort.
 
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Jonny5

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I am really liking the idea of the Aire in Montgenevre. I spent a ski season living in Chantmerle just a few miles away so know the area pretty well. As an added bonus our son would still be eligeable for a free area pass as its under 6 years old wheras most resorts are under 5 years old.
 

Armytwowheels

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Just been looking at the lift pass prices for Mont Genevre and it looks like kids get free passes until they are 6 which means both our kids would benefit from free passes which would be great.
As @Jenben said - Montgenèvre has a great aire right by the ski slopes. It is also high up and has a good snow reputation.

Also for the kids there is an outdoor ice rink and the Monty toboggan run.

We enjoyed Montgenervre so much that we are going with a season pass this year, funny enough, so is Jenben and coincidently we are going together! :hi5:
 
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Jonny5

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I saw the early season pass offer @Armytwowheels and must say Im very tempted. That way we could head back for another Ski Holiday over half term for a week.
 
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Jonny5

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We stayed at the airs at Montgenevre last season which was a great spot right by the slopes and the shops with the ski bus passing as well. Hookup included in the price which I think for a week averaged about 9 euros a day, (more than 7 nights and the price was high to encourage you to move) it was a lovely spot.

View attachment 255656
 
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Jonny5

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I have noticed the prices start going up again after 7 days and after 9 its 40 euros a night. Is there a loophole round this? Leave and come back again and pay on a different card perhaps?
 

Armytwowheels

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I have noticed the prices start going up again after 7 days and after 9 its 40 euros a night. Is there a loophole round this? Leave and come back again and pay on a different card perhaps?
Just drive round, out the exit barrier and straight round to the entrance barrier, thereby getting a ticket for the next week. We used to time it with the need to shop and go down the mountain for a good shop in Brianćon (if the road was clear of snow). Otherwise it was just a simple case of driving out of paying, out of one barrier and back in the other. Did the motorhome good to move and the engine warm up.

Forget your English credit or debit card, it will not work, cash is the only thing the machine would take from all the Brits we met.
 
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Jonny5

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Well after plenty more research we are starting to seriously consider Austria as a viable option.
After loads of research Montgenevre looks to be the only French resort where our Son will benefit from a free lift pass at the age of 5 that has an Aire close to the slopes.

In Austria many resorts allow children up to 8 to benefit from a free lift pass. However I cant find any aires in any Austrian resorts. It seems to be that there are some campsites in Austrian Ski resorts but you can expect to pay 30€+ pernight which seems like a lot..... Until you offset the toll road saving you make by going to Austria of 100€ each way and add to that the cost of the Aire for 13 nights of around 120€ and suddenly you have a pretty healthy budget of 320€ for the campsite.
Admittedly it will probably work out a bit more than 320€ for the week but you will be guaranteed a serviced pitch in most cases and some seem to have saunas etc.

It would be a great help if anyone could reccommend Austrian campsites to us to look into.
 
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Jonny5

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Well we have made a decision and bought season passes for montgenevre. Needless to say we are super excited and already batch cooking food to take with us and meticulosly planning for our christmas adventure
 

Imbiber

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Enjoy your trip Jonny.

One of our favourite destinations is Les Saisies. We always stayed on the Free Aire, however, the old campsite just round the corner would be where I'd head now for 19€ per night including electric and water / waste disposal > Les Saisies Grand Tetras Camping Car <

Easy ski off and back to the van.

Maybe one for nest time!
 
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Jonny5

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Got the skis and boards waxed and edged on sunday ready for our trip. Im pretty sure the wife thinks I must be going crazy as I have become completely obsessed with planning this trip.
 

Armytwowheels

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Got the skis and boards waxed and edged on sunday ready for our trip. Im pretty sure the wife thinks I must be going crazy as I have become completely obsessed with planning this trip.
Nothing like early prep. We have still to get an actual van to go in!:Eeek: we should have a van but it is in the dreaded 'Dealer Prison' waiting for parts.
 

RyanandKimT5

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Hi All,

Has anyone ever stopped at camping Montchavin in La Plagne? We are currently preparing for our New Years trip out to the alpes and for a van without facilities it looks like the perfect site.

We were planning on travelling back to Alpe D’Huez (where we used to live) but the site has very limited facilities.

It would be interesting to know if anyone can recommend sites near the lifts and with toilets/drying room etc..

Happy Sunday!

Ryan
 
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