Honestly, the whole idea of summer motorhoming fills both James and I with sheer horror.
This is definitely no reflection on those who love it, it’s just we’re not built to withstand warm weather. We did try it. It didn’t go so well.
Grumbling for sport
You see, James and I love whinging. It’s one of our most treasured pastimes and the thing we enjoy doing together more than almost anything else. We strongly suspect that if you removed the incessant complaining about everything, from our motorhome environment, the whole concept of living in a very confined space would completely fall apart for us. We’d end up channelling all that energy into killing one another.
The benefit of winter motorhoming is that there’s always something borderline disastrous on the horizon – or at the very least, the promise of it. Getting snowed in; everything freezing (again); running out of gas; nuking the leisure battery; breaking a leg slipping on a step; and that’s before you even get onto the slopes – where there’s a whole new world of crap awaiting you. Prats at ski lifts; prats on boards; prats on skis; prats in bars. And then there’s the weather – zero visibility; too hot (i.e. too many layers); too windy; sideways wind; gusty wind… you see my point.
Just imagine a world where there isn’t at least 4 hours motorhome admin to do each day (clearing snow, filling up water, digging out cables, clearing snow again)?
If you add to that 8 hours sleeping (that mountain air knocks you out doesn’t it?) and the hour it takes to brush your teeth and find clean pants, you’ve got 11 waking hours remaining. 2 hours feeding yourselves in a complicated system of pan-juggling and using wholly inappropriate utensils. 9 hours remaining. James can put in a solid 3 hours moaning stint and I can relay with another 5 and then there’s only 1 hour left for moderating our whinging for the purposes of being in public for shopping or the like.
That highly tuned routine just doesn’t work in a summer environment.
We tried summer motorhoming
At the end of April when we sensed that the complaining was drying up a bit, we headed downhill to Fontainebleau to do a spot of climbing. The aircon went on at about 1000m above sea level and when we opened the van door just south of Paris, we thought we’d teleported to Aruba. The heat was intolerable. A blistering 23C (Ha! you say – not so warm now is it?!). We slammed the doors and considered our options.
We could definitely complain about this for a while, but we’d be so hot, eventually, we’d completely run out of energy.
We decided that we should attempt to acclimatise.
Here are our top 5 actual reasons for shirking the idea of summer motorhoming
Reason #1 for not summer motorhoming – Dust.
The van had been near enough spotless for four and a half months. It’s extremely easy to keep a motorhome clean inside in winter because you don’t really get dirty skiing. Wet, yes. Dirty, not so much. A daily spruce and a weekly brush out and you’re done.
But this… this was new. Dust on your feet. Dust coming through the windows and the fly screens and eugh, just dust.
Reason #2 for not summer motorhoming – Being dirty.
With 6 layers and rarely any need to completely disrobe, dirty isn’t something you really get winter motorhoming. Smelly, yes. Dirty – good old fashioned grubby – no. Dirty means actual washing is required. Smelly means you can get away with a ‘Barnsley Shower’ (thanks for the education Diggs!). Being dusty and sweaty together (i.e. summer motorhoming) results in enforced bathing and we simply weren’t ready for this step after our winter road trip.
Reason #3 for not summer motorhoming – Catering
Catering seems an awful lot more complicated in the summer. You can’t simply lob your petit pois outside with the ice cream and a box of Sauve Blanc into your giant natural freezer box. No, you have to run an actual freezer, wait for wine to chill and probably eat a kilo of peas in a sitting as there’s no room to keep them in your ice box.
I will concede one benefit of summer motohoming is that I don’t expect many summer motorhomers have to dig their vegetables out of a 3 foot snow drift after a precipitous night.
Reason #4 for not summer motorhoming – Socialising
This is kept to a jaunty minimum in winter. You meet lovely people, chat away until the first person loses a digit and then everyone retires to the comfort of their motorhomes. This is rarely more than 7 minutes. This is perfect. Sufficient time to share a water related grumble and pass on critical information about piste conditions – but not so long as to actually find out their name. Winter motorhoming is for the anti-social or as we like to describe ourselves, introverts.
Summer motorhomers talk of parties and games and activities. This is not for us.
(We jest – we met awesome people on our motorhome ski adventure and we talked to some of them for 11 minutes and we know their names too).
Reason #5 for not summer motorhoming – Congestion
One of the most appealing things about winter motorhoming is that it’s a pain in the backside. Nothing is as easy as it should be. It’s certainly a lot less comfortable than staying in a chalet (regardless of what we and anyone else will tell you) and this is its virtues. Because it’s a bit of a faff, not many people can be bothered with it. This means quiet, congestion free aires. No queuing for water and to use services and no traffic jams. Bliss.
Compare this to the coast of the Algarve at this time of year – you can keep the litter and the bumper to bumper parking, over-priced ferry crossings and squawking small people.
You see – with all the cleaning and body cleansing and finding space in the freezer and chatting with neighbouring motorhomers and queuing in traffic, there’s no time for sitting about complaining and that simply won’t do.
Read more about our motorhome skiing adventure in the Alps: