Why is it so difficult choosing a van for motorhome skiing and snowboarding?
After a few years of investigating this challenge first hand we’ve decided it comes down to one thing. We’re a bit niche and nobody in the motorhome industry really knows anything about our needs.
It’s been a while since we’ve taken a proper swipe at anyone about motorhomes but nothing that a little outing to the NEC last weekend couldn’t fix!
Whilst vloggers tripped and stumbled around the NEC paying absolutely no attention to those around them, we were getting animated about the motorhome skiing, boarding and winter sports ‘market’ and the state of the industry in general.
Our objective last week at the Motorhome and Caravan Show in Birmingham was to scout out the best motorhomes and van conversions on the new vehicle market – those that would be suitable for you if you’re looking to take a motorhome skiing trip.
Thankfully we had a raison d’etre because quite frankly, the show was utterly uninspiring, the presentation vapid in general, and the industry lacks any of the thrill and excitement that you will find at say a car show.
Bear in mind that motorhome users tend to be wandering weirdo types (that’s you) who travel relentlessly… there was not a whiff of the intrepid or adventurous about the place – there was however a genuine stench of – ‘you’ll likely pop your clogs soon so get those pennies spent before your kids get their mitts on it’.
The job in hand
Using a pretty strict set of criteria, we set about our search for the most excellent motorhomes for skiing and snowboarding holibobs.
What we’ve done here is break this blog into three letters which will be delivered you in the coming days (if you haven’t signed up and you want an email when we have a new blog out you can register in the box on the right).
Surprisingly, there are only 5 vehicles on our final list. That’s because it’s a stupid list. There’s too much choice to really make any sensible suggestions – what do we know anyway?! So we picked the ones we liked the best. We know from our Facebook group (do join) that there are some firm tried and tested favourites – these are just something a little different for you to have a nosey at.
*Please also bear in mind we think nothing of summer motorhoming when we look into motorhomes and vans – zero consideration.
47.5 bazillion layouts and nobody has worked out how to make a motorhome where there isn’t at least one very sharp edge to tw4t your head on daily.
After the prerequisite internal tanks and garage, everyone’s preferences are marginally different and here lies a monumental issue…are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin.
Dear Motorhome Manufacturers…
Stop reinventing the wheel every year
There is no need to make a whole range of ‘brand new’ layouts every year and perhaps if you didn’t, you could dedicate more time to refining and perfecting one that actually works. Not even Honda do that.
You are the experts and not us. We shouldn’t be permitted to ‘customise’ everything from a position of complete ignorance. We know naff-all about designing motorhomes so if we ask for a stand up jacuzzi next to the fridge and you think that’s a crap idea, don’t humour us – saying NO to a prospect isn’t poor customer service, in fact, it’s completely the opposite. Tell me no, explain why, I’ll be ok with that.
Don’t make motorhomes without garages
Motorhome people take stuff with them, they need a garage. It’s essential. If you can make one that’s at least 190cm that’ll mean pretty much every skier on the planet can buy your van.Number of vans discounted on account of limited garage length – 80%
Accept that ‘Grade Three Thermal Insulation’ is NOT A THING.
More on this another time but it’s codswallop and you know it. Do not try and dupe a motorhome skier with some nonsense pseudo-science about cold chambers. We are by no means any kind of experts or authority but some of the stuff we hear is embarrassing. Congrats to those manufacturers whose agents really know their stuff – Adria, Rapido, Euro Mobil, Frankia, there are more. Shame on the manufacturers who allow their event staff and dealers to promote the possibilities of motorhome skiing in wholly inappropriate vehicles. Demonstrating acute ignorance.
Why do you always accessorise show vehicles with jars of spaghetti?
Any motorhomer (and not just winter ones) keeps spaghetti laid down in a cupboard. We never take it out of its plastic, put it in a jar and stand it in the galley. Never. We don’t do that. What you should do in show vans is leave doors and draws open (for bumping into and swearing), hang damp clothing from bungees you’ve mod-ed into the roof area and have someone permanently asking if we can smell gas. Now that would make us feel right at home.
Ski and snowboard boots don’t slip on like flip flops. Leg-room please
You tell us we’re a small and ‘insignificant’ market (I’m sure this is true). They’ve said that about a few things over the years and it bit them in the ass so listen up… We need bending space.
The good news is, so do old people – the people you so impolitely describe as your ‘core market’.
Well, we’ve got news for you. The silver surfers are not immortal and the sooner someone in the motorhome industry works this out, the sooner we can stop farting around with anything over 3.5 tonnes (which should be niche) and we can start seeing more over-cab beds and high up sleeping areas.
We asked about this.
Why don’t we use more overhead stuff like in the olden days?”
Well, apparently motorhomers are getting older and that means they need big easy-access beds. Fine – understood – but if that’s the case, stop making handles that are impossible for anyone with arthritis to use and install large underslung LPG tanks with external fillers. Far easier than hauling awkward heavy gas bottles in and out of snug cubbies.
And a complimentary piece of demographic information for you…if you can manage to strap planks to your feet, tramp across a car park/ ice rink wearing 10kg shackles and haul yourself onto a rollercoaster with 4 other people, you can get into a over-cab bed… you might not want to… but you could. Motorhome skiers are youthful and have little regard for their biological age… growing older distastefully. They need room for toys.
Do any of you ever travel in motorhomes?
We know the answer to this – some. But not many. And yet, in an entire decade in the automotive industry I never once met someone who didn’t have an intimate first-hand knowledge of the cars they made, sold and promoted. It’s our first question on a motorhome stand:
Have you been in this? Driven it? Slept in it or anything like it? Made a coffee? No? Tried to make the bed, with actual sheets? Here’s one – have you tried to get to the toilet in the dark, after you’ve made the bed up? No? How do you clear a lock out?
So perhaps we were wrong – what do you know about motorhome layouts?
I’ll have a jacuzzi next to the fridge please.
Next: Part 2 – the big reveal… the 5 vans we decided were pretty well equipped for motorhome skiing and boarding.
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