With darker evenings upon us, thoughts may turn towards putting your caravan or motorhome into storage. However, with your leisure vehicle tucked away for the winter months, you may be missing out on some of the UK’s best months for touring. Caravan guru, Lee Davey is here with his advice.
Getting cold is an obvious concern but most caravans or motorhomes will be able to shrug-off the British winter with ease. Grade 3 insulation tests have been around for a number of years and this measurement means that inside temperatures of 20’C can be maintained even if the outside is a chilly -15’C. Older ‘vans without this classification needn’t be excluded from winter fun as our 1967 Bailey Maestro has proved warm and toasty with a 2kw heater even when the mercury drops below freezing.
Being warm inside doesn’t mean we’ll be warm outside, but with a dollop of lateral thinking, the cooler months are the perfect time to do things a little differently. Regardless of the time of year, underground tunnels and caverns maintain a constant temperature and, in this environment, you’re blissfully unaware of whatever tantrums the weather decides to throw. Admittedly, such trips were born from my ‘if we’ve bought it, we’ll keep using it’ mentality, but trips to Wookey Hole Caves and Cornish tin mines will remain with us forever.
The hardcore among us won’t let the weather stand in the way and emptier beaches with larger waves prove popular with surfers who possess winter-grade wet suits. There are a surprising number of campsites close to surfing hot-spots and of the four Caravan and Motorhome Club sites I visited in late October/Early November, every single one had external shower facilities dedicated to wet suits, surf boards, etc. Some may close over winter but it’s easy to find which sites choose to stay open all year. What’s more, a caravan makes the perfect surfing companion thanks to front windows which surf boards slide through with ease and a centre walkway that’s the perfect width for transportation.
No wintry activity list would be complete without crisp, bracing walks along the seafront and if you like to holiday with your four-legged friend, dog restrictions are lifted at this time of year across a wide range of beaches. Pubs and cafes, once filled to the rafters with sunburnt, peak season tourists, often switch marketing gears at the lower end of the season and welcome the family pooch with a water bowl and free biscuits. Suitably worn-out from the day’s activities, steaming mugs of hot chocolate in the caravan or motorhome are mandatory to complete the picture postcard image.
Leisure vehicles are incredibly adaptable and allow you to follow your pursuits or passions regardless of location or time of year. A fortnight in Whitby during the school summer holidays is as easy as a weekend in Somerset during December or January, with the only limiting factor being our imaginations. Think laterally and let us know where the journey takes you.
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on keeping safe and warm this winter from the Camping and Caravanning Club.