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post-title Whatever they tell you, #vanlife requires a sense of humour…

Whatever they tell you, #vanlife requires a sense of humour…

Whatever they tell you, #vanlife requires a sense of humour…

Whatever they tell you, #vanlife requires a sense of humour…

It’s actually pretty tricky to write an explanation to that from perhaps the most idyllic bar/ restaurant in all the Alps (Le Hors Piste, Chatel)! We’re dry, have mains power, speedy wifi and people bringing us amazing food and drink.

Because it doesn’t matter if you’re in the pimpest motorhome on the planet, winter touring in a motorhome requires a sense of humour!

First it’s important to say that we are fully loaded. Brand new motorhome (Elddis), hardcore heating system (Whale), winter pack, refillable gas bottles (Safefill courtesy of The Grey Gappers), robust modern generator (Honda courtesy of our mate Trev). And despite all this, it’s not for the feint hearted… for a lot of very unexpected reasons. Outside cooking is nowhere near as fun as you would expect; 100 litres of water doesn’t go very far; power is more precious than you ever knew before and empting your toilet (Thetford) is not at all gross – it’s actually probably the easiest and most sanitary thing about motorhome living!

Week 2: More things we’ve learned on our motorhome ski adventure

  • Less is less. The fewer things you have that can go wrong, the fewer things go wrong. KISS is the philosophy to have when you’re in a motorhome touring in sub zero temperatures day in day out
  • As soon as you simplify your life, it seems that it becomes impossible to make even the most straight forward of decisions. “which socks do you want?” I don’t know. *meltdown*
  • There’s an Alpine aire conduct equivalent of getting up at 5am to put your towels on the best deck chairs. It’s called the EHU (‘electric hook up’) and the British way of diplomacy and co-operation doesn’t work if you want to use EHU. It requires sneakiness
  • Resource scarcity is a thing. Monitoring your consumption is a very grounding activity. From batteries to water, kitchen roll to toothpaste, you scrutinize your use of everything
  • Resorts have so much more going on than a package holiday maker knows about. Go to the tourist office – France knows how to do tourist offices. They’re amazing
  • If you live or travel in a motorhome at sub zero, you need a Karcher window vac
  • If you’re making your bed each night, do it before you go to the pub
  • France is very serious about its public holidays. You cannot buy a discounted sofa or a telly on New Year’s Day. You can’t even buy a beer
  • Truckers are royalty. They get facilities that make the posh service stations in the UK (you know, the ones with the farm shops) look like grotty transport caf’s and the best thing you can do is pretend to be a trucker
  • All the Aires is not ‘all the aires’. It’s some of the aires. And the aires that are in All the Aires are not all open in the winter – use apps like Park4Night and Motorhome Parkings too for cross reference

So there you have it. End of week two and we’ve made it. Three aires down and not given into the lure of a fully equipped campsite yet!

Comments (8)

  1. Hi. Guys, enjoying your blog. Looks like quite an adventure and a steep learning curve.
    What do you think of the van? We’ve had a couple of weekends away in temperatures just below zero. The heater coped well but we did find the van a bit draughty from all the floor vents, especially the slots at the raised floor.
    Jack

    1. Hi Jack,

      Thanks! It’s a cliff not a curve!

      The heating is fab – we’ve got a Whale Duo System which is more than enough – we could do with an additional leisure battery and solar panels as we’re spending as much time in aires as possible but easily managed when we’ve prepared properly.

      Drafts are a thing of the past if you arm yourself with duct tape and a bit of foam! We’ve actually got some footage of all the places you can seal up but…. be mindful – they’re gas vents really so it’s at your own risk. Most vans are designed around warmer climates but all in all – holding up well!

      When’s your next trip?

      Hannah and James

      1. Yes, we used duct tape too, as a temporary measure of course.
        We’ll probably wait till the weather settles a bit before going away again. Might head south to the Lake District and do some exploring there.
        Jack

  2. I really like your comment about truckers are Royalty! It’s made me feel so much better after all I’ve never been associated with royalty before, yes it’s true that most of the services on the toll roads are very well set up for us “truckers” but the truck stops in France and Germany are very good although in the uk we do have some good ones too unfortunately just not enough, becareful if you are stopping near the ports as there are issues with security and believe it or not camper van garages are a great hiding place for would be crossers , I’ve never had much trouble myself but I know a few that have
    I’ve stopped doing work in Europe now but I do miss it very much , it’s a wonderful place to be
    Great vlogs and like the website
    Thanks from Prince Trucker

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