Winter Pack

Ruth

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Oct 18, 2014
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While doing my what motorhome to buy research, I came across the winter pack, which the dealers seem to offer as an added extra. Do I need a winter pack? is it a one off buy? any other comments or advice most welcome:)
 

Bertie Bassett

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While doing my what motorhome to buy research, I came across the winter pack, which the dealers seem to offer as an added extra. Do I need a winter pack? is it a one off buy? any other comments or advice most welcome:)
Good morning Ruth are you an insomniac, an owl or like me a nightworker?
 

Bertie Bassett

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In answer to your question, UK manufactured motorhomes are not (for the most part) prepared for the sort of conditions that prevail in Central Europe and the Alps (for example). UK companies like Autosleepers provide a winter pack on their vehicles which includes the following:- 1. An upgraded heating system which increases the output from 4Kw to 6Kw. (that's your water heating and van heating sorted by one unit often (but not always) a Truma. 2. Tankblankets. These are heated pads placed on the underside of the external water and waste water tanks to ensure that freezing doesn't occur. (The jury's out on these as they can only be used on the mains which makes travelling with water in the tanks in winter a possible issue). 3. Thermal blankets over the rear wheel arches as these areas have been noted as high heat loss areas. 4. Blinds on all single glazed front windows including the windscreen rather than curtains which allow condensation to build.
There are many variations on the theme but if you are likely to be in the High Alps in Winter a winterised van is a must.
Autosleepers (for example) also claim Grade 3 protection for all their vans including their panel van conversions (PVC's) which is measured in a cold chamber as follows. The core of the van has to achieve an ambient temperature of 20 degrees C within a specific time when the outside temp is a constant -15 degrees C.
 
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Ruth

Ruth

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Im kind of an insomniac lol, its at these times things pop randomly into my mind, mostly my brain isnt really in gear, its asleep as i wish i was. Thank you for the info, Im not planning to leave the uk (yet)
 

Bertie Bassett

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Im kind of an insomniac lol, its at these times things pop randomly into my mind, mostly my brain isnt really in gear, its asleep as i wish i was. Thank you for the info, Im not planning to leave the uk (yet)
The sort of detail you need to plan for now is first Budget, are you buying new or secondhand? Second, where will you be travelling and at what time of year. Thing is that the beauty of a motorhome is:- 'ooooh it's cold here lets go south'!(y):D
 
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Ruth

Ruth

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I'm buying second hand, I found you can get the AA to come with and look the MH over for you, for a price of course, Im sticking to the uk to start, planning to go everywhere at all times of the year, but as you say, probably south when its colder, north at other times
 

Bertie Bassett

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I'm buying second hand, I found you can get the AA to come with and look the MH over for you, for a price of course, Im sticking to the uk to start, planning to go everywhere at all times of the year, but as you say, probably south when its colder, north at other times
That's a good plan Ruth but whilst the AA will give you an assessment of the base vehicle they won't be able to tell you about the state of the van itself. In particular damp is something that plagues vans old and shockingly new. Swift have a bit of a reputation for damp vans. Whether this is actually the case I have no idea I've never owned one but a damp check on any van is an absolute must. Depending on where you live there may be a mobile van mechanic who you could hire to do these sorts of tests for you before you buy. It'll be money well spent I believe. I'm sure there will be an army of posters on here tomorrow with advice for you and some may even have some names of local mechanics. I see you're from Gloucestershire, there's a company called Motorhome Medics based just outside Cheltenham off the M5. They have a good reputation and though I haven't used them myself people who seem very hard to please are well impressed with them :- first link is to the website for the medics. http://www.motorhomemedics.co.uk/ Don't worry about the American RV's they cover all vehicles.
Second Link is to MagBaz travels which is a very useful site for someone entering the motorhoming world for the first time.
http://www.magbaztravels.com/
 

Bertie Bassett

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OOOps, the last comment I made about useful site about MagBaz travels...........useful yes but not nearly as useful or friendly as this one!:D
 
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Ruth

Ruth

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Great advice thank you. I have a trip to my local dealer planned for tomorrow so I can play in their motor homes, I doubt they would have anything I could afford to buy, but doesn't cost anything to look
 

Bertie Bassett

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Great advice thank you. I have a trip to my local dealer planned for tomorrow so I can play in their motor homes, I doubt they would have anything I could afford to buy, but doesn't cost anything to look
Once again as you're in Gloucestershire Ruth does the dealers name begin with M and end in S? If it is please have a look at the thread on Mag Baz commenting on that organisation, having bought from the same company many moons ago I can endorse every word they say.
 
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Ruth

Ruth

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Oh dear, yes thats where I was going, just read the thread on Mag Baz too, will now look elsewhere. Thanks again
 

Bertie Bassett

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Oh dear, yes thats where I was going, just read the thread on Mag Baz too, will now look elsewhere. Thanks again
No harm in pulling their vans about Ruth just be very wary of the sales patter. Even now with that company I think you'll find a salesman with you all the time. For a first visit that's a good idea but once they've given you what you need to know about the features you need to have time to pull the van about to see what it would be like to live in!
 
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Ruth

Ruth

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Have decided to try Cotswold Motor homes instead. Pushy people scare me lol
 

Bertie Bassett

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Have decided to try Cotswold Motor homes instead. Pushy people scare me lol
I have heard good reports of them so good luck and enjoy pulling them about. (y) Never be afraid to tell the salesman that you want to have some time in the van by yourself. There is another dealership at Blunsdon near Swindon, West Country Motorhomes, I've only heard good reports about them but have never bought off them personally.
 

Bertie Bassett

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I've just had a look at the Cotswold site and they seem to have a broad selection of vans for you to look at. With no part exchange you would be looking at quite a discount on the price you see on the front screen. Once again enjoy!(y)
 

simply

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While doing my what motorhome to buy research, I came across the winter pack, which the dealers seem to offer as an added extra. Do I need a winter pack? is it a one off buy? any other comments or advice most welcome:)
"Winter pack" seems to be one of those terms that can be as varied as winter days. What one manufacturer includes in their package can be totally different to another. I found that some German motorhomes wwithout their additional winter pack were better equipped for cold weather than British built with all their extras.
I would also like to add that even if you intend to head south to the sun for your winter trips you can encounter some very wintry weather en route especially when travelling through mountainous regions.
Time alone in vans when viewing them is very good advice. However daft you may feel about doing it use this time in a practical way. Sit looking and thinking by all means but also move around and try everything. Lay on the bed, sit up as you would to read a book or whatever it is you would want to use the space for. Go through the actions of putting the kettle on, going to the loo, washing your hair etc. Actually lift the lid and perch on the loo, stand in the shower and rub your hair, reach to soap your feet etc. This way you will get a much better idea of which van will work for you. Go through the actions of preparing a meal and if you intend using the van to entertain guests try and get the same number of people (customers/salesmen or whoever) in the van at once so you can decide if it really will work for you !
 
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Try Cotswold Edge in Beckford, near Tewkesbury. They are only Bailey agents, but get a few second hand vans come through and they are always reasonably priced. Their service is friendly and second to none, and you won't get a pushy salesman. We have been delighted with them as have our friends.
 

Cal54

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Ruth I agree entirely with the above post by 'simply' , it is essential to ensure that the layout is right for you. I am now on my 7th van and think I have eventually got it right!!
I now have a PVC having downsized from an Autotrail coach built van. My current vehicle enables me to use the loo in private with sufficient leg room- my previous bigger MH you had to be a contortionist!
I am a firm advocate of getting the layout right.
 

Judge Mental

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Depends on what type of camping you intend to do. Fully winterised with double floor and all the tanks and pipe work within, the best bet for winter camping. But many use their van two or three seasons at most so unnecessary for them

I am wary of UK so called winter packs, when if van was designed and built properly at least the fresh tank and associated pipe work should reside inside van.

Go to a dealer by all means to ID what you are after. But look at buying privately from a genuine seller
 

simply

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I am wary of UK so called winter packs, when if van was designed and built properly at least the fresh tank and associated pipe work should reside inside van.
Yes, design and winter packs need to go together. I don't see how a van can be fully winterised if you are expected to sleep with your head up against a window. Nor have I ever understood the absence of winter tyres on a fully winterised van, especially when it is a German one !
 
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