Winter camping with motorhome or caravan
Hanging the caravan after the car and going on a camping trip in the middle of winter can offer both joys - and challenges. The first is of course that the whole thing is properly shod with winter tires also on the wagon. The second is to adapt the speed to the conditions. But the third and perhaps biggest challenge is finding a place to visit. Because not all campsites are open all year round, and even fewer have arranged for visitors with a motorhome or caravan. But they exist.
Winter driving with a motorhome requires few other measures than having winter tires on all wheels, and keeping the prescribed extra distances forwards and backwards, and otherwise take it easy and think about the fact that both braking distances and slip hazards increase. Adjust the speed to the conditions, are good advice for winter driving. The same also applies to winter driving with a caravan, but there are also slightly greater requirements for tire equipment and driving caution. Slopes are particularly demanding, as the caravan will want to try to pass the tractor. Sideways. Which can be counteracted by significantly reducing the speed and taking it even more leisurely than usual. A drive with a caravan from the top of the Hardangervidda and down Måbødalen on ice-frozen asphalt on a March evening can still give the editor nightmares. But it went well anyway, with a little cunning and ease.
To travel on a camping trip in mid-winter, the weather forecast is alpha and omega. The weather is capricious, and especially the weather in the mountains can change in a short time, from glorious sunshine to densely packed snowstorms with throws that can throw even a reasonably powerful caravan like a cardboard house from the road and into the terrain. In addition, the actual driving visibility may be limited. Therefore, the weather forecast is a good start for a successful camping trip in winter. If good weather is reported, and the forecast strikes, there are few things that can be compared to waking up to glorious sunshine over snow-covered plains. At many ski resorts, there are campsites that are open, and where the sanitary facilities are of a high standard. For winter camping, good sanitary facilities are a must.
For motorhomes over 7500 kg. it is mandatory to bring chains. There is no corresponding requirement for passenger cars, but another legal wording is just as important: The vehicle must be secured against slipping. And with a caravan in tow, only chains apply when the ice spreads under the vehicles. And not least: Knowledge of how they are put on the wheels. Winter tires on the wagon are a matter of course, although many, including the editor, have escaped the horror of trying to force winter roads with ordinary, rough-patterned summer tires on the wagon. And one more thing: It is not allowed to mix studded tires and studless winter tires, there must be the same type of tires on all wheels that belong to the equipment. Chains should preferably sit on the drive wheels of the tractor.
Composite gas cylinders are nice to have, especially to save weight in the summer. In winter, when the freezing temperatures say, they do not manage to supply enough gas for heating in the car. Somewhat this editor experienced during a winter holiday in Trysil, and woke up to 25 blue outside, and barely plus degrees inside, while the gas flame in the heater was smaller than the one you usually get from a match. Despite the fact that the composite bottle was about full. A quickly purchased aluminum bottle saved both the health and the rest of the holiday trip, which could be spent in almost normal indoor temperature.
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