HOW WE SPENT A SEASON TOURING THE ALPS

HOW WE SPENT A SEASON TOURING THE ALPS

It appears that some of you crazies are looking into embarking on your own Winterized Project – which is good because that’s why we started blogging in the first place – to collect information and illustrate how to, and more importantly, how not to undertake a motorhome ski trip.

Whilst we spend the summer updating the website with the more useful bits of information we collected (e.g. aires and campsites), we thought some of you might like an idea of why we did this in the first place.

Aside from the personal reasons for chucking in our jobs and running away to the mountains, there were some practical reasons for building a website that we hope will evolve into a comprehensive resource for motorhome skiers and snow sports enthusiasts.

Why we made the website and what you’ll expect to find there

  • winterized projectWe couldn’t find any up to date, credible information. It was a simple as that. There is a website dedicated to the cause (www.motorhomeski.com) but it’s a long time out of date – you might however find some useful bits in the forum (which we certainly did)
  • The guide books on aires and campsites that we have reviewed also proved to be very dated and in most cases, not applicable (or reviewed) in the winter when conditions, access and facilities can be critically different
  • The apps were similar – excellent for ideas, not so dependable for accurate, current information

 

We love peer review

We do. Don’t get us wrong. The information that we’ve found in various Facebook Groups and through forums has been invaluable. Thank heavens for some of the experienced old guard who spend their winters on the road! However, we often found that it lacks the in depth consideration that you might have found in an old fashioned Lonely Planet guide for example, and is skewed and informed by preference or other personal reasons. We have tried (where possible) just to present the info as it is – everybody likes something different right?

Why not wing it?

Because winging it in winter is for the super-pros and fools like us – and we wouldn’t do it that way again. You don’t get a medal of honour for p!55 poor preparation – you get kudos for the amount of time you spend on the slopes and that takes some planning. Knowing where you’re going and what you’re likely to find when you get there means more first lifts and more aprés.

We had nearly 6 months to plod about and mess things up, get snowed in and end up powerless and gasless somewhere in Austria! It’s not as fun and character building as you might imagine!

Our commitment

There isn’t a review of an aire or campsite on the Winterized website that James and I haven’t used in 2017/18.

We have built a large database of contacts that are helping us to ensure that the information about the aires and campsites on the site is correct. Not at time of publishing, but now… if you are planning your 2018/19 trip. See Châtel Aire as an example.

Our Winterized motorhome ski adventure in a nutshell

If you want to plough through the full back-catalogue you can find them here but in the meantime, here’s a condensed version.

1) 38 teaspoons, 5 quiche dishes and the £10K skip

I remember the day vividly. I say on the kitchen floor in total disbelief. How the heck had I managed to acquire 5 quiche dishes. So I decided to run away to the hills.

2) #vanlife is mostly an endless discussion about excretion

‘Blue job’?! Ha…sorting out the loo was one of the least nasty maintenance jobs on the road so I chucked my hand up for that at every given opportunity

3) East Bound ‘n’ Down – Winterized journey to the Alps

10 things we had learn by Christmas.

4) The ‘new normal’ on our motorhome ski adventure

Argh yes… this somewhat embarrassing post highlights how whingy we were and how we opted out of the social convention of washing.

NB: normal service resumed – now just complaining. Washing is back on the daily routine but now relegated to the ‘chore’ list.

5) You’re not an ice road trucker and you do need winter tyres

Clue is in the title. We’ve seen more debate on this topic than Brexit in the last year and it’s completely dumbfounding. You do need winter tyres and if you don’t take the plunge you risk putting yourself and others at risk. The topic is closed.

tyre specs translated

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

There’s an Alpine aire conduct equivalent of getting up at 5am to put your towels on the best deck chairs – true story

7) Everything in a motorhome is a compromise

It is. You sort of need to get to grips with that before you leave otherwise you’ll have a bit of a shock half way through your first shower.

8) Our Zero BS Motorhome Ski Check List

This has been our most popular blog bar none. Partly we suspect because it rattled some cages and hence attracted more attention that it probably deserved. However we have been vocal about the lists that we found on the internet about what you need to motorhome ski. Personally, we found some of them to be bonkers with items that not only may you not have room for but also that serve no legitimate purpose. Well intentioned advice, no doubt – but overall we felt that some of the articles suggested would result in no ‘home’ in your motor and make your motorhome ski trip unfeasibly expensive.

motorhome ski check list

9) Winter wonderland to dirty hole

If you only read one of these posts, please make it this one. It’s so important that people don’t trash the places we all love travelling and if you see what people are capable of, you might end up as evangelical about aire etiquette as we are.

10) Which are best for motorhome skiing – aires or campsites?

This is a biggy – especially if you’re completely new to motorhome skiing. Even if you’re not, you may have always opted for one version of motorhome skiing and this post might highlight other ways which you may have discounted in the past.

If you want to know more

If you want to know more, you can sign up here on the home page (‘join our cult‘) and you will get a notification to your email inbox when we post a blog. Every now and then we’ll point you in the direction of new aire and campsite details and you’re always welcome to message us via social media or email if you think we can help in any way.

If you’re a Facebook user, feel free to join our winterized motorhome ski adventure group – lots of clever snowmads on there.