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Getting Through Winter While living In Your Campervan.

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

For most people, the winter season is a time to cosy up indoors next to a warm fire. However, for those of us who live in our campervans, it's a whole different story. Winter in a campervan can be tough, but with these tips you'll be able to make it through without any problems!

van life in the winter

Dealing With Bad Weather

Bad weather is inevitable when winter camping in your campervan. But there are ways to deal with it and still have a great time. Here are some tips:

Dress in layers: This will help you stay warm and dry.

Use a diesel heater: If you have one, use it sparingly to keep the inside of your campervan warm.

Make sure your campervan is well insulated: This will help keep the heat in and the cold out.

Cook warm meals: Nothing warms you up like a hot meal. So make sure you have plenty of food that can be easily cooked in your campervan.

Have some games or books: To help pass the time when you're stuck inside due to bad weather.

Be Prepared

winter van life

One thing that is essential when living in a campervan during winter is to be prepared. This means having a plan and knowing what you need to do to stay warm and comfortable. Here are a few tips to help you get through winter while living in your campervan:

1. Make sure you have enough insulation. This is important for keeping the heat in and the cold out. You can add extra insulation to your campervan by using things like bubble wrap or blankets.

2. Be aware of the weather conditions. It is important to know when it is going to be cold so that you can adjust your living arrangements accordingly. For example, if it is going to be very cold outside, you might want to spend more time inside your van during the day and only venture out when necessary.

3. Have a plan for keeping warm at night. This might involve using extra blankets or sleeping in thermal underwear. It is also important to make sure that your van is well-sealed so that no cold air can get in.

4. Stock up on food and supplies. It is always a good idea to have extra food and supplies on hand in case of emergencies. This is especially true during winter when you might not be able to get to a store for a while.

5. Keep your van clean. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is actually very important. A clean van will be easier to keep warm and will also help you stay healthy.

6. Stay active. It might be tempting to just curl up in a ball and stay inside all day when it is cold outside, but this is actually not a good idea. Exercise helps to keep your body temperature up and can also help prevent cabin fever.

7. Be prepared for emergencies. This means having a plan in place in case you need to leave your campervan in a hurry or if something happens to it. It is also a good idea to have an emergency kit that includes things like food, water, and first aid supplies.

Embrace the Cold

campervan in winter

As the winter season sets in, many of us start to feel the itch to get away from the cold but what if you live in your campervan? Embrace the cold! Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

1. Layer up The key to staying warm in any weather is layering. When it’s cold outside, you want to be sure to have a base layer, an insulation layer, and a waterproof layer. This will ensure that you’re warm even if the temperature drops or you get caught in a storm.

2. Bring along some cosy blankets There’s nothing better than snuggling up in a blanket when it’s cold outside. Be sure to bring along a few cosy blankets for those chilly nights.

3. Make use of your heater Most campers come equipped with a heater. If you find yourself feeling chilly, make use of it! Just be sure not to run it all night long as this can be a fire hazard.

4. Cook hearty meals Nothing warms you up quite like a hearty meal. When it’s cold outside, make sure to cook up some warm and filling dishes. Stews, soups, and chili are all great options.

5. Get outside and explore Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up inside your camper all day. Get out and explore! There’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of winter than by getting out in it. Bundle up and go for a hike or a snowshoeing adventure.

Stay Active

One of the best ways to beat the winter blues is by staying active. If you can, make sure to get outside for a walk or hike every day. Even if it’s just for a short time, being in nature can help boost your mood and give you some much-needed Vitamin D. If you can’t get outside, there are still plenty of indoor activities that can help you stay active and beat the winter blues. Things like Yoga and Pilates.

Foods to Stock Up On

If you're living in your campervan this winter, there are certain foods you'll want to make sure you have on hand. Here are some of the best foods to stock up on to help you get through the winter:

1. Soup: Soup is a great comfort food and it's also easy to make in a campervan. Just heat up some broth and add whatever vegetables or protein you have on hand.

2. Stew: Another comforting winter dish, stew is perfect for warming you up from the inside out. Plus, it's easy to make in a campervan since all you need is one pot.

3. Chili: Chili is another hearty dish that will warm you up on a cold day. It's also easy to make in a campervan and can be tailored to your liking by adding different types of beans or meat.

4. Potatoes: Potatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. They're also filling and satisfying, making them perfect for a winter meal.

5. Bread: Bread is essential for any winter diet. It's perfect for dipping in soup or chili, or simply eating on its own with butter or jam.

Find a Community

When winter comes, many people choose to pack up their campervans and head south. But for those of us who live in our vans year-round, winter can be a tough time. The cold weather and short days make it hard to get out and explore, and the lack of daylight can be depressing.

But it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. One of the best ways to get through winter is to find a community of other vanlifers. There are lots of Facebook groups and forums dedicated to van life, and meeting up with other people who understand your lifestyle can be a huge help.

At first it might seem like everyone is huddled up in their vans, avoiding the cold, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get out and about. Many vanlifers plan group trips or meetups, so you can still enjoy the outdoors even when it's cold outside. And when spring finally arrives, you'll be all the more ready to hit the road again.

Location, Location, Location

campervan parking in the winter

If you live in a campervan, winter can be tough. But if you choose your location wisely, you can make it through the cold months without too much difficulty.

Here are a few things to consider when picking a spot to hunker down for the winter:

1. Proximity to amenities: Make sure you're close to stores, petrol stations, and other necessary services. You don't want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere when a snowstorm hits.

2. Weather conditions: Obviously, you'll want to avoid areas that are prone to severe weather. But even if an area is generally mild, pay attention to local forecast before setting up camp. A sudden cold snap can catch you off guard and make life in a campervan very uncomfortable.

3. Campground rules: Some campgrounds close down or have restricted hours during the winter months. Others may allow overnight camping but prohibit campfires. Be sure to check the rules before settling in for the season.

4. Road access: Many roads in rural areas are not ploughed or maintained during the winter, so it's important to make sure your chosen destination is accessible by an all-weather road.

Winterizing Your Campervan

If you're like most people, you probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about your campervan during the winter months. But if you're one of the lucky few who gets to call a van their home, then winterizing it becomes a top priority. Here are a few tips to help you get through the winter months while living in your campervan.

1. Invest in a good set of tires. This is especially important if you plan on doing any winter camping. Make sure your tires are rated for snow and ice and have enough tread to provide good traction.

2. Insulate your van. This will help keep the heat in and the cold out. You can use insulation panels or even blankets to achieve this.

3. Install a heater. A small diesel heater can make a big difference when it comes to staying warm in your van during the winter months. Just be sure to follow all safety precautions when using one.

4. Get a portable power source. This will come in handy for charging your electronics and running small appliances. A solar panel or generator is ideal, but if you're on a budget, a car battery will do the trick as well.

5. Stock up on food and water. It's always a good idea to have extra food and water on hand in case of an emergency.

6. Keep your van clean. This will help prevent the build-up of condensation, which can lead to mould and mildew.

7. Check your propane tanks. Make sure they're full so you don't run out of heat in the middle of winter.

8. Disconnect your water lines. This will prevent them from freezing and bursting during the coldest months.

9. Add antifreeze to your holding tanks. This will help keep your waste from freezing and causing problems down the road.

10. Invest in a quality set of winter gear. This includes items like boots, gloves, hats, and jackets that will keep you warm when the temperatures start to drop.


Although it may be challenging, winter camping in your campervan can be a great experience. By following the tips in this article, you can prepare your vehicle and yourself for the cold weather ahead. With a little planning and preparation, you'll be able to enjoy all that winter has to offer from the comfort of your campervan.


1 Comment

Manon Deslauriers
Manon Deslauriers
Sep 13, 2022

As a Canadian I am tempted to camp into winter wonderland. This is my first year as a vanlifer and I will probably rush south comes December, however I can see myself in Scotland the following winter. My main concern would by tyres. I am not particularly afraid of the cold as I know how to dress properly and have seen more snow storms than I can remember and temperature below -30C, mind you usually in a well insulated house. I would probably do it with a group of people for support . Anybody else doing winter camping?

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