OK, so we’re a very long way off knowing what we’re doing or being any kind of authority on the matter of motorhome ski life but we very definitely know more than we did 27 days ago.
A) Don’t try British sarcasm on the Gendarme; B) don’t try to dry your hair, roast a chicken and charge a drill all at the same time on a three day drained leisure battery; and the classic, C) never eat yellow snow.
Joking aside – we have learned some valuable lessons, most of them the hard way and all of them make life easier in one way or another.
Without boring you with the details – you’ll kind find a growing number of those in Motorhome Ski tips and gear as we continue on this ski adventure – the main thing we’ve discovered is that there are three distinct ways in which you can go winter motorhoming.
The easy way
The hard way
The stupid way
We have now tried all three and they all have their pluses and minuses.
The easy way to go motorhome ski
Without denigrating the robust nature of anyone who chooses to live in a motorhome and ski, staying in a campsite is the easy way… this is by far the most comfortable way to take a motorhome ski holiday.
If you’re restricted to a short break of anything up to two weeks and you’re planning on only staying in one or two resorts, this is possibly your best option. Practically speaking, you’ll have EHU (electric hook up), a toilet, showers, laundry and probably a kit drying room amongst other treats. You’ll negate the need (and cost) of a generator and a few other pricy necessities that you really should have if you’re planning to use aires or even wild camp. It’s also the sensible thing to do if you’re just learning to motorhome. Having the backup of all these facilities enables you to test the longevity of your onboard services and means you can go off grid if you wish, armed with an understanding of how long your power, water and gas will last.
On the downside, you often forgo the best views, as these sites are often at the bottom of the valley and you will usually have to get a bus (albeit free) to the lifts.
The hard way to motorhome ski
The hard way isn’t actually all that hard once you’ve got your act together and have a good idea of what you’re doing. Staying in aires is by far our favoured way to motorhome ski. We love the designated ‘camping car’ areas that sometimes have a few facilities – by this we mean a tap, waste disposal (of the WC kind) and a chance to juice your leisure battery for anywhere between a 15 minute squirt to 24 hour hook up.
In our, so far limited experience, these places have far superior locations to the campsites and if you’re bright eyed enough and chat to the locals, you can usually find some facilities close by that make up for the ‘lack-of’ at the aire. We’ve rarely been more than a few hundred yards from at least one ski lift and sometimes just a few feet. Where some of the guide books list these sites as ‘noisy’, it’s the kind of noise we like – a clockwork wake up alarm when the first lifts start up and a reminder of just how lucky we are.
The stupid way to motorhome ski
The stupid way is highly ill advised. And the reality is it’s only stupid if you don’t fully understand your motorhome. Wild camping is awesome. Don’t get us wrong. However, you have to know the law, choose your sites carefully (especially in winter when avalanche, rockslide and mudslide can have a fairly epic effect on the landscape) and be prepared with regards food, water and critically fuel/ power of some description.
You are not Ray Mears. You are not even Bear Grylls.
This first few weeks has taught us a considerable amount about all of the above – failure to appreciate some of these things will result in anything from mild discomfort to death. Leave the wild camping to the kings of the road. You’ll know who they are the second you park up. Bow to their superior knowledge and experience. Listen to every single word they say. Buy them a beer because sure as apples is apples, something they tell you will save you a butt tonne of trouble “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life”.
If you’re interested in seeing how motorhome skiing looks and you’re a vlog addict, you can catch our adventures on our YouTube Channel Winterized – we’re totally new to this so be kind and if you like what we’re doing and want to see more of the nonsense as it unravels, please like the videos (thumbs up!), subscribe and if you really like them, press the notification bell so you get a ping when we upload.
Many thanks to everyone for all their support on this escapade so far, its been really appreciated!