Useful tips for an Off-season motorhome travel
Useful tips for an Off-season motorhome travel
Tips for an offseason road trip
What to consider when traveling with a motorhome in a chilly weather?
Motorhoming is a convenient way to chill, spend free time, and travel with your loved ones or friends. It represents an easy-going mindset and outdoors lifestyle that caravanning enthusiasts share across borders. We want to share some practical tips for you to enjoy a unique late-autumn or winter adventure in the Nordics or the UK.
By the way, did you know that the British are also keen on caravan holidays? And in the Nordics, this lifestyle has been popular all year round among families and winter sports enthusiasts already for many decades. So take a ride and enjoy an off-season getaway like the locals!
There are some small differences between traveling and camping with a camper during the coldest times of the year than during the hottest summer season. But even then, motorhome is the only way to enjoy the ultimate freedom on your holiday, stay closer to nature, and experience things that are not possible in a crowded city or when traveling with a small private vehicle.
Please continue reading our tips for you to enjoy a winter adventure of a lifetime with us.
Photo by Johan Van Der Wielen
Adventurous time of the year to travel
Traveling off-season can bring many benefits: from tourist destinations being less crowded for you to relax, to lower prices on plane tickets, motorhome hire, amusement, and local dishes.
Additionally, travel destinations offer completely different experiences in winter than in summertime. Exotic winter wonderland with its quiet soundscape and visually sensual settings can be experienced at its best only far away from crowded spots. And, when you want to hunt colorful dancing waves of Northern Lights on a dark Polar Night sky, it is easy on your motorhome holiday as you can change surroundings and landscapes whenever desired.
Photo by Johan Van Der Wielen
Be prepared for changes in weather conditions
Air temperature is gradually dropping down in the north, starting from September. Especially mornings are damp, fresh, and cool. Did you know that due to this moist, you might feel yourself much colder than while going outside on a little winter frost when the weather is dry?
However, enjoying activities and adventures outdoors all year round and in all weather conditions is a matter of correct clothing. For off-season traveling we suggest you bring along warm, windproof, and waterproof outfit and wear layered, fast-drying clothing to feel comfortable on every occasion.
Take longer time for a driving phase
Already in early autumn, air temperature starts to drop down close to zero at night. We always advise our customers to be careful when driving and handling a motorhome. Smaller roads might be icy and remote rural pavements immersing soft. You can also feel stronger wind blows on a side of a vehicle while driving in autumn.
But you shouldn't be afraid of driving and going on an off-season road trip. Before you hit on the road, our professional personnel at each local rental station provide you with a full orientation to your booked vehicle and share local tips for off-season traveling. With a conscious and anticipatory driving style and by avoiding excessive steering movements you will handle everything for sure and can enjoy a safe and incredible holiday with us.
Even otherwise, a steady speed, without unnecessary overtaking, is the most ecological way to drive a camper or a van.
Yan Krukov, Pexels
Motorhome winter equipment
According to the local traffic legislation in each country, winter tires are always provided when the winter weather conditions require them. At the same time, a complimentary winter equipment package will be automatically added to your camper. Contents of the package may differ slightly in different rental stations but generally it includes e.g. snow shovel and snow brush which are needed in case of heavy snowfall. Also in some destinations, snow chains might be added as they are useful on really icy or heavy snow-covered mountain roads.
A clean windshield is essential regardless of the season. We recommend using an ice scraper added to your vehicle to remove ice or frozen dirt from windows and wash the windshield whenever it is needed at a gas station. You can check the nearest service provider e.g., from Google Maps or by using Park4night mobile application. You might also need lock oil if moisture starts to freeze into vehicle locks.
Heating with electricity and gas
Our main vehicle brand manufacturer, Hobby, states that their campers are protected with GRP from roofs and the camper's underfloor consists of weatherproof XPS heat insulation with a GRP underfloor coating. Also, windows are double-glazed to keep the cold outside.
Windows of a camper can be covered both in the living area and on the driving cabin side. Those covers not only protect from the heat of the sun but also insulate from the cold. Most of our rental stations provide separate insulation cover for front windows to keep it cold outside because additional insulation reduces gas consumption.
Motorhomes can be heated either with gas from a connected gas bottle, or with electricity when a motorhome is connected to an electricity grid. Remember to keep the heating on at all times and make sure that the gas bottle has enough gas if you leave your motorhome alone for many hours. When continuous heating is not possible, we advise you to empty the water system completely. Please make sure you empty the freshwater tank, release the water control valve to the empty water boiler, remove the fuse for the water tank, and leave all water taps open to protect the water system.
In cold months, the heating system requires vehicle batteries to always maintain an appropriate charge level. To ensure a safe battery level, and guarantee a smooth start of the diesel engine, the vehicle should be connected to an external electricity grid overnight, whenever possible.
Under extreme exterior temperatures below -10 °C, gas will be the main source of power when heating the living area inside a camper. Please be prepared for the consumption of gas to be substantially higher than in the summer months. The duration of one gas bottle during the winter season can be reduced to one or two days.
Please, note that with exterior temperatures below -25°C, the engine won´t start without connecting the vehicle to an exterior source of electricity for pre-heating. Nature and climate also appreciate when starting a warm engine instead of a cold one.
Large storage areas, available from outside of a vehicle, are also isolated and heated. You can pack strollers, skis, diving equipment, and extra hiking or camping gear with you without worries because they will stay there safe, clean, and warm regardless of weather conditions.
Photo by Eric Lindqvist
Grey, freshwater, and black water tanks
All campers and vans are equipped with three different tanks. Those names may vary in different countries but let us explain the meaning of grey water, fresh water, and black water tanks.
- A freshwater tank – fixed container for clean water. Tank is located inside a motorhome, usually under a sofa. Interior heating ensures water does not freeze.
- A grey water tank – a wastewater tank for sinks and showers. As this tank is located under a motorhome, it is often heated and isolated. But due to differences in tank location and technical structure of each vehicle model, it still can freeze easily already with few minus temperatures.
- A cassette toilet is named also a black water tank. This container is located under the toilet seat and used only for toilet waste. The cassette is placed inside a heated space, and it should be removed for cleaning outside a camper.
Integrated grey wastewater and cassette toilet systems are sustainable features on a motorhome holiday. Those features enable your stay without leaving any trace behind. Please note that emptying those tanks is only allowed at the specially designated sanitation places for disposal.
As a grey water tank (wastewater from shower, kitchen, and bathroom sinks) is located outside of the vehicle in an unheated space, we advise you in a chilly weather to keep the tank empty and the control valve open at all times to prevent the water from freezing inside the tank and causing permanent damage.
Some tips with infra system
All our motorhomes are equipped with a functional shower, toilet, and kitchen sink with a freshwater system.
In cold months, you should ensure that the rental vehicle is always heated because a water system is especially sensitive to damages and malfunctions under extremely cold temperatures. Please, note that the use of the water system cannot be guaranteed if exterior temperatures fall below -10 °C.
Especially during the coldest times, we advise using a separate drinking water bottles and utilizing services on a camping site to avoid using the water system. However, in general even if there is a freshwater system integrated into all vehicles, we always recommend using it mainly for washing hands, cooking, and rinsing vegetables.
When you are about to start a long drive to your next pit stop, we suggest replenishing the fresh water supply close to the next pit stop or at the next camping site. The less weight, the more ecologically you can drive a motorhome. The opposite recommendation is on the other hand with a grey water tank and cassette toilet. By emptying those tanks, you reduce the weight of the vehicle to enjoy a bit more sustainable drive.
If you need any caravan services on your way, check the nearest service provider or a gas station by using Google Maps or the Park4night mobile application (App Store & Google Play).
24/7 service throughout your journey
Let us remind you that, whenever you feel uncertain about a vehicle or its technology or you notice an error notification sent by the system, Touring Cars provide a complimentary 24/7 Road Service to help you with all those technical challenges. Local Road Assistance service is available around the clock free of charge when customers are traveling in a country where a motorhome has been collected.
Your satisfaction and safety are always our priority!
Parking and camping with a camper
Motorhoming is the best travel type which enables ultimate freedom to go and the possibility to enjoy your free time without schedules or plans. However, when traveling in autumn or winter, we advise you to make at least some plans for your road trip. During a low season, there are fewer camping sites open along your journey, so it is good to anticipate and book accommodation in advance. You can check available sites e.g., from www.camping.se/en or /www.eurocampings.co.uk.
Did you know that many ski resorts provide all-year-round, full camping services also for individual overnight guests? However, we recommend booking your stay in advance to ensure your parking spot and the possibility to enjoy all camping services from showers, saunas, toilets, cooking, and dish washing facilities, special sanitary cleaning rooms (for wastewater and cassette toilettes) as well as playing rooms for children and clothes washing & drying facilities.
Photo by Eric Lindqvist
When traveling abroad
All our motorhomes can be taken abroad with some limitations and a with prior notice to the rental station. If you are planning to visit other countries, you might find challenges e.g., with gas.
Gas connectors for a gas bottle and possibly gas format might differ from a country where you collected a motorhome. This means that it will not be possible to fill up the gas cylinders in your camper. However, our local rental station personnel will advise you about these issues on your vehicle pick-up. But therefore, it is very important to inform your travel plans, especially if you visit several countries during your journey. Not to mention forgetting to ensure checking vehicle insurance validations for your long road trip.
Enjoy Good Feeling holiday with us
Would you like to enjoy an adventurous off-season road trip with us in Northern Europe or England?
Please visit our vehicle categories pages to read and see more about TC motorhomes to choose the best setting for your travel group. Basic guidelines for vehicle booking can be found on our general rental info pages.
Whether you need any additional guidance, please do not hesitate to contact our international sales office (service in English) by phone or email, or online chat.
MOTORHOME RENTAL IN EUROPE - Touring Cars International Sales Office
tel. +358 9 849 4050 email@example.com
Eager for more motorhome travel inspirations?
And don’t forget to get inspiration or share your own holiday experiences with the TC community on our social media platforms by using
#touringcarsholiday, #keytofreedom, and #goodfeelings. See the link for our social media profiles from the footer element below
More local inspirations?
Please visit the official tourist websites of each TC destination country.
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To check live vehicle availability and rental station-specific pricing for each motorhome category for each travel season, please go to the main page to test the booking engine. Please note, that motorhome booking is valid only after your payment, so feel free to try the platform to plan your holiday and clarify the budget for your next dream holiday.
Read other blog articles: e.g. inspirations to travel in Sweden and Finland