First skiing trip preparations?

Dec 8, 2014
1,745
2,651
Leyland, Lancashire
Funster No
34,450
MH
Autotrail Dakota
Exp
Since 2014
2018 we've decided we're taking the motorhome and going for approx 3 weeks. We've only ever done 7/10 days before now and always flown. I've searched the ski threads for advice about winterising vans but still have a few questions:

1. The water tanks are all insulated and so is the grey waste outlet and all exposed pipes. What do you do a about keeping your fresh water from freezing? I've been told we can retro fit a heater which kicks in at set temperature to stop the water from freezing, only problem is the cold water would always be tepid if you wanted a cold drink but I always use a filter jug in the fridge so no issue there. Is this heater a good thing or what else do others do?

2. What are the winter covers for fridge and heating vents for? Do we need them?

3. Assume we need winter tyres and snow chains?
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
13,287
21,025
Plympton, Devon
Funster No
24,219
MH
PVC, Murvi Morocco
Exp
2013
Depends where you are going but I doubt your vehicle could cope with an alpine winter. Temperatures could get down to minus a lot and insulation around pipes will only delay freezing. So any exposed pipe will freeze withing a day or so at sub-zero temperatures. You might be able to stop the tanks freezing but not any exposed pipes.
 
Oct 29, 2009
1,375
1,221
Derby
Funster No
9,111
MH
Dethleffs
Exp
Since 2006
Do you expect to be on hook-up or off-grid?

If the latter, do you have the battery capacity to support the heaters?

Do you plan to take a generator?

Ian
 
OP
Allan & Loren
Dec 8, 2014
1,745
2,651
Leyland, Lancashire
Funster No
34,450
MH
Autotrail Dakota
Exp
Since 2014
Do you expect to be on hook-up or off-grid?

If the latter, do you have the battery capacity to support the heaters?

Do you plan to take a generator?

Ian
Do you expect to be on hook-up or off-grid?

If the latter, do you have the battery capacity to support the heaters?

Do you plan to take a generator?

Ian
Probably a bit of off grid and hook up depending on Aires we choose and obviously hook up on the sites. We've 2 leisure batteries and solar plus 2 X 11kg refillable Gas cylinders. Thought probably 4/5 days in resort then drive on somewhere else. Yes plan to take a generator too.
 

Armytwowheels

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 10, 2012
5,639
9,135
Market Harborough
Funster No
22,346
MH
Carthago S Plus - Iveco
Exp
Since 2011
It does not matter so much about your waste as you should leave the waste tap open and drain into a wedge shaped bucket (for ease of emptying the bucket ice block every morning. Even if you have a heated waste tank, from experience, the last few inches of pipe from the tank to where the water actually comes out, will freeze. Leave this open all the time and no problem.

As for your fresh water, as Chris said, @haganap upgraded his Bessacar to cope with extreme temperatures successfully. Have a search on here, if I find the thread I will post a link.
Alternatively, if you are booked into a campsite, drain your water tank and plug into the leccy, if you don't need water for your heating system that is. You can shower on site and use a water carrier for cooking and drinking etc. Use a sports drink bottle to flush the loo and bottle water for teeth and so on.

If you have refillable gas bottles, i.e Gas-it or Gaslow, fill up near the resort, the higher the better, as the mix of propane to butane will be higher (in propane's favour) also your diesel is less likely to wax up if you fill up near the mountains.
 
Reactions: DBK

Armytwowheels

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 10, 2012
5,639
9,135
Market Harborough
Funster No
22,346
MH
Carthago S Plus - Iveco
Exp
Since 2011
Thanks @Armytwowheels that's really helpful
You are welcome. The first year we skied using the motorhome we made loads of newbie mistakes, but nothing drastic and with a bit of thought it can all be overcome.

Another tip is to cover your bonnet and grill with a bit of tarp, a motorhome burka if you like. If you have a heavy snow fall in the night which then melts as the day warms up, you can end up with a thick coating of ice over the grill. Should you want to move on this is a bit of a mare to remove.
 

haganap

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 5, 2007
11,798
15,373
Cheshire- England
Funster No
974
MH
N +B Arto 79le
Exp
I'm an oldbie
The first thing to remember is 1) you won't die !!! you might get cold and need to put a hat on or an extra blanket as you might get a little cold but you won't die for sure.
Water, what's it all about, completely over rated, make sure you have bottled water for drinking brewing, brushing teeth etc.
Waste water, leave it open drain in to a bucket if it freezes, it freezes, you are only brushing your teeth anyway so the waste tank wont fill up.
Shower's, they do have them in all the countries you mention, use the local hotel sports center or wherever, or simpl;y smell by staying in your ski gear all the time.

We have done all the above with kids and without.... Remember this though, the best memories are made from disasters. Essentially it matters not what you do to your van, it might get too cold to cope with things or you could be like our last 3 trips whereby the temps got so warm in the day everything stayed as it should and thawed out nicely everyday.

or

Try a good campsite with great facilities. You say you like Austria and there are some very nice (expensive) sites out there with heated outdoor swimming pools, bolt on bathrooms and even plug in gas points etc etc. Since the kids don't come anymore we opt for nice sites in great areas. The van is that good that even in temps less than -5 we only used one bottle of gas for 10 days (used to go through 3 in 7 days) We haven't frozen for years now unlike the days when we hit -27 in Three valleys in a brit van and lived and loved to tell the tale.

There are a few of us going to Italy for a get together in Feb/March... check it out, great site, great fun...
 
OP
Allan & Loren
Dec 8, 2014
1,745
2,651
Leyland, Lancashire
Funster No
34,450
MH
Autotrail Dakota
Exp
Since 2014
Thanks Paul @haganap

We were looking at campsites last night in Austria and Italy. Where in Italy are you going? I looked for a thread but cant see anything? We're probably going to do 10 days or so on a site then head to Les Gets to the aire and meet my sister and family who are there in a chalet.

I (Loren) x country ski so need places that have both facilities which is why we love Austria and Italian dolomites.

Got a couple of mega warm blankets we used when caravanning in a non insulated non double glazed tin box so hopefully the cold won't get us!
 

haganap

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 5, 2007
11,798
15,373
Cheshire- England
Funster No
974
MH
N +B Arto 79le
Exp
I'm an oldbie
Not entirely sure, but probably heading out to Livigno before going off to Montgeneve but everything is of course snow dependent, last few years have been quite poor in the French alps so like to keep an eye on the weather. Not posted anything just a few of us planning on going out from last weekend in Feb, first couple in March.
 
OP
Allan & Loren
Dec 8, 2014
1,745
2,651
Leyland, Lancashire
Funster No
34,450
MH
Autotrail Dakota
Exp
Since 2014
Your right about snow. We went to la plagne last year and it wasn't great but flew so no choice, that's what will be great with taking the moho. As it's our first year think I'll pull together some options then head to where the snow is. We're off earlier than you but might see you over there somewhere.
 

Armytwowheels

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 10, 2012
5,639
9,135
Market Harborough
Funster No
22,346
MH
Carthago S Plus - Iveco
Exp
Since 2011
Not entirely sure, but probably heading out to Livigno before going off to Montgeneve but everything is of course snow dependent, last few years have been quite poor in the French alps so like to keep an eye on the weather. Not posted anything just a few of us planning on going out from last weekend in Feb, first couple in March.
I suspect we might gatecrash that particular party too! Colin has his new helmet cam he is dying to try out.
 
Feb 18, 2009
447
121
Guisborough North Yorkshi
Funster No
5,677
MH
Carthago
Exp
Since August 2008
Hi Allen & Loren

Great fun to ski from your van - especially the first time you go - so much better than packaged trips.

If you are going to les Gets then perhaps Samoens might be a good start before then? Cheap - good ACSI camp site at base of Gondola - 5 mins walk max - heated ski/boot room - and there is the possibility to go x country skiing right next to camp site - if weather is right.
You can ski all Grand Massif from there = also option to move up higher to Flaine - you can park in long stay car park for a fee-barrier operated payment no waste/toilet facilities but you can get water from kitchen nearby
Enjoy planning your trip - you can get some further info on motorhomeski.com that might be helpful?
 
SMC Motorhomes Newark
RoadPro
Johns Cross
Safeguard Motorhome Insurance
Rhino Installs
Friendly professional service from qualified technicians
Free Club Stickers
Dave Newell Leisure Vehicle Services
Top