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Ready For Winter

Roamer design and build campervans for off grid adventures in extreme winter conditions. So when we say we’re ready for winter, we mean it! The video and detailed explanations below outline the steps we take to winterise our campervans. We also talk about campervanning in winter in general terms in our blog post, What is a winterised campervan.

Winter tyres

There are a lot of great brand name winter tyres out there, we chose BF Goodrich KO2 tyres for our campervans. They have both the M+S (Mud and Snow) symbol and the 3PMSF (3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake) and are approved winter tyres in Europe. We did a load of research before buying them and knew they would work well but we have still been consistently surprised by just how good these tyres are. We spent 8 weeks in the Alps with Chewie last winter and found them fantastic in snow, slush and very cold temperatures. They also held their own well on the rare patch of ice we encountered.

Four Wheel Drive

Four Wheel Drive is actually a very rare feature on a campervan and we’ve never seen it on a motorhome. Is it essential? Well you could get by with a front wheel drive campervan and good winter tyres but 4WD definitely improves safety in difficult conditions. 4WD is like most safety features, you won’t notice it until you really need it. And where it comes into its own when you’re stuck in a snowy car park or need to drive up a slippery incline. In these situations it’s worth it’s weight in gold.

4WD, AWD, 4×4, 4Motion, it’s all basically the same. 4Motion is the brand name for Volkswagen’s version so this is the badge you’ll see on our campervans. 4Motion is based on a Haldex coupling system (another brand name) which automatically sends power to whichever of the 4 wheels needs it, at any given moment. If it senses a wheel starting to spin, the system cuts the power going to that wheel and sends more power to whichever of the other wheels can best use it. For fuel efficiency, in normal driving conditions 4Motion systems default to two-wheel-drive, all four wheels are only powered when the system decides that extra traction is needed.

Insulation

All our campervans are insulated on the floor, walls and ceiling and we used a mixture of different materials depending on available space. For example on Homer we used a combination of Celotex and Dodo Thermoliner Extreme which is a dense closed cell foam. It is expensive but is moisture resistant and has an extremely high thermal efficiency considering it is only 16mm thick. With Chewie, we used 25mm Celotex on most surfaces, with recycled plastic bottle insulation in the awkward gaps. Horses for courses. Chewie has double glazed windows but Homer has standard glass so we use thick thermal blinds. We also include a floor to roof cover for the back doors.

Separate hot water and space heaters

We fit Eberspacher S2 D2L heaters in all of our campervans which blow consistent hot air through a vent near the floor. The 2200W Eberspacher S2 is quiet, efficient and reliable, and kicks out more than enough heat to keep you toasty all winter.

For hot water we have different solutions in each van. Chewie has an internal shower and a bigger water tank so we fitted an Eberspacher Hydroplate system, which is another diesel powered system that can provide unlimited hot water (until tank runs out anyway!). In Homer, we fitted a 10 litre Surecal calorifier. It’s connected to the engine and heats the water up while driving so you can arrive at a new location with a full tank of hot water ready to go. It will also plug into a campsite electric hookup.

Thermostatic controls

The Eberspacher S2 includes the ability to automatically adjust the burner cycle according to altitude (up to 3000m). You can also use the thermostat to keep the campervan at a consistent temperature 24/7, or set a timer to switch on the heater before you get back from the slopes. 

Fuel and power to run 247

Fuel comes from the main vehicle diesel tank so you don’t need to worry about running out or needing to travel far to refuel. After our first campervan ski trip using an LPG heater, we now only recommend diesel heaters for use in the Alps for this reason!

Internal water tanks

All fresh water tanks are stored inside to prevent water from freezing. Our waste tanks are fitted externally however so if it is very cold and you are wild camping we recommend you leave the drain open. We provide a bucket for campsites and Aires.

Backup drinking water

We keep all pipes inside the main campervan insulation and also lag them individually with Armaflex insulation. Despite this, pipes can still freeze so it’s important to have a backup. We fit a separate drinking water tank underneath the sink. Water runs through a filter and to a separate tap so you can use it as your main supply if you want, or keep it in reserve just in case.

 

Other videos in this series

Built for Adventure

Styled For Comfort

Designed For Groups

 

English (UK)