DO I NEED WINTER TYRES?
The answer to the question ‘do I need winter tyres?’ is yes, you do need winter tyres and if you opt out then you’re a bit of a wally.
WINTER MOTORHOMING FOR NON-SKIERS
Skiing or snowboarding isn’t for everyone but there are loads of other ways to enjoy the mountains in winter.
UPDATE FROM LES MONTAGNES
The Winterized 2018/19 motorhome ski season.
DISCOVER BACKCOUNTRY SKIING
Back in the day, we used to call it off-piste now it’s called backcountry.
WHY CHOOSING A VAN FOR MOTORHOME SKIING IS DIFFICULT
We’re a bit niche and nobody in the motorhome industry really knows anything about our needs.
WINTERIZED – THE SECOND SEASON
It’s probably no surprise to anyone who has dipped in and out of our adventures over the last year to discover we’re off again.
WINTER CAMPING IN FRANCE
Winter camping in France – our not-review reviews of aires and campsites across the Alps.
FALL-LINE SKIING SUBSCRIPTION OFFER
Two seasons for the price of one. Fall-Line subscription offer for the Winterized Tribe.
CHOOSING A MOTORHOME FOR SKIING: YOUR OPTIONS
Not all vans are created equal.
ARE LPG REFILLABLE BOTTLES WORTH IT?
If you’re hoofing it to the Alps in your motorhome, you should consider LPG refillables – here’s why.
MOTORHOME SKIING IN CHAMONIX
Can you take your motorhome skiing in Chamonix? Yes is the answer and there are lots of options open to you from campsites with facilities to aires with none.
YOU COULDN’T PAY US TO GO SUMMER MOTORHOMING
The idea of summer motorhoming fills both James and I with horror.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MOTORHOME SKI?
This is the long awaited ‘how much cash did you splash?’ blog. An average of €45/each/day… so how did we do that when a week in Les Arcs will cost you €1000?
HOW WE SPENT A SEASON TOURING THE ALPS
Reading Time: 4 minutesIt 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.
CLOSED: WIN! AUTOGLYM CARAVAN AND MOTORHOME CLEANER
Reading Time: 4 minutesWD40, Cable ties and Caravan and Motorhome cleaner – The three things that will get you through any crisis
WHICH IS BEST FOR MOTORHOME SKIING – AIRES OR CAMPSITES?
Aires of campsites? Which is for you? A few things about both to help you decide.
TBW: WHY YOU DON’T NEED A SNOW SHOVEL
Reading Time: 3 minutesWe spent hours researching snow shovels before making what was not an insignificant purchase in the lead up to our motorhome ski adventure in the Alps – and you might be surprised to learn, it wasn’t a snow shovel because… you don’t need a snow shovel.
One last run then?
Reading Time: 4 minutesWe’ve got a policy. Nobody ever says “one last run then?”. Never, ever, ever. It’s probably fatal, we’ve never risked it to find out.
Winter wonderland to dirty hole – the truth lurks under the snow
Reading Time: 3 minutesI am vindicated. I knew 200 powder free nitrile surgical gloves would come in handy but I didn’t expect it to be on our penultimate day skiing in a winter wonderland.
5 useful things you didn’t know you needed for your motorhome ski adventure
Reading Time: 4 minutesWe covered motorhome ski essential kit in our blog titled ‘Our Zero BS Motorhome Ski Check List’ which caused consternation with some in the motorhome community. Why? Because we think there are a number of things that people call ‘essential kit’ that’s total nonsense. Our feelings haven’t changed on the topic of glue guns and inflatable mattresses and if you want to read about some of the other daft things people think you should take, check it out here. As a follow up from that blog, and inspired by someone more organised than we are (Wandering Bird – follow her), there are a few things that we have on our motorhome ski road trip that might not immediately spring to mind and you may find useful. Some of them we came across purely by accident, some of them were strategic purchases – all of them are invaluable to us – here they are and we’ve included a few options that were in our short list. Draining Mat This was a gift and honestly, the thought of not having it, or one like it, brings us out in a sweat. You do not have enough surface area in your […]
HOW WE BECAME RED BULL ATHLETES (BY ACCIDENT)
Reading Time: 3 minutesI’m a 39, wine drinking, female. I do not feature as part of a demographic in any of Red Bull’s marketing meetings. James, a slightly unhinged 35 year old male however features heavily on their spider diagrams of targets. They needn’t waste their budget – he’s in. When I was sat in a meeting in Les Deux Alpes a few months ago whilst James turned his hand to skiing with his BFF Reuben and I was informed about an annual ‘thing’ that Red Bull stage in various resorts, nothing registered. And I mean nothing. That information went in the brain file labelled ‘stuff for the kids and plonkers to get involved in’. For a start, it involved bibs. I’m not a bib sort of gal. Sporting some fresh Helly Hansen swag that I’m testing for work (crap job but someone’s got to give it a proper run in!)… I felt no need to cover my mint jacket (complete with life pocket) with some sort of park-rat style basketball shirt. No thanks. It also involves a disclaimer (disguised as a registration form – you can’t trick me Red Bull know this game intimately), some sort of timing tag […]
What we do and #vanlife tips for working and not working on the road
Reading Time: 4 minutesWe’ve had a few people raise eyebrows when we say we left our jobs and hit the road. There are of course a bunch of people who plan long in advance of taking off on life affirming adventures – we do not fall into this category.
A message to everyone at the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome show
Reading Time: 2 minutesTuesday 20th February 2018: Alagna, Italy Just Do It. Do not leave the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome show without a plan as to how you’re going to get yourself a home on wheels. You’re visiting for a reason. Some of you are visiting because you have a dream, some of you are already living it and are inspiring other people to do so. Some of you are meeting old friends and some of you are meeting people you know from their YouTube channels! Everyone’s ideas of what they want to do with their motorhome life differs greatly – from weekend warriors exploring their local regions to others, like us, with a very specific goal in mind – giving ourselves the freedom to pursue our favourite activities. In our case, chasing the best snow around the Alps all winter long. Granted, our story is a little extreme and I know that the idea of giving up houses, packing everything into storage and running away from home isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t elements of what we’re doing that aren’t exactly the same as everyone else with a motorhome. The range of options […]
EVERYTHING IN A MOTORHOME IS A COMPROMISE
We’re not daft enough to think we can live a road vehicle, be it for a weekend or indefinitely, and not understand there are going to be some trade-offs to make.
Why ski-in-ski-out is so last season
Reading Time: 3 minutesThere are alternative ski-life options to ‘ski-in-ski-out’ and they come with a host of perks. From going home leaner and fitter to benefitting from cheap ski accommodation and finding secret resorts… this is why we think ski-in-ski-out is so last season.
Welcome to the vlog!
Reading Time: 1 minuteWhilst I’ve been blogging, James has been putting up YouTube videos of our motorhome ski adventure for the last few months so welcome to the vlog! If you fancy a giggle, watch the back catalogue – particularly ‘the one where: James learns to snowboard’ but in the meantime, here’s a look at Châtel part deux. Vlogging is not easy and whilst I’ve spent the vast majority of time running out of shot (I’m better at it now than I was in the beginning), James has really taken to it. As someone who had never picked up a vlogging camera until the day we went to collect our motorhome from Elddis, he’s doing really well and getting a lot out of it… rage, frustration, Tourettes and arm ache mostly. If you enjoy them, please like, subscribe and press the notification bell in YouTube – it helps his ego and makes the pain of editing slightly less torturous! There’s loads more to come so stay tuned!
The ‘new normal’ on our motorhome ski adventure
Reading Time: 3 minutesWe can’t work out if it feels like a long time since we left the UK or just yesterday. Whichever it is, we now have an entirely new normal.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL BY FERRY
Why you should travel by ferry
Essential Motorhome Ski Kit: Karcher Window Vac
Reading Time: 2 minutesI can’t remember being this excited about anything since the first Dyson handheld thingy that completely revolutionised dog and stair ownership. The Karcher window vac is awesome. We accidentally brought a Karcher window vac with us – it was very much on the ‘nice to have’ list but got bumped when we panic bought the whole of PC World in the last days before we left on our Winterized adventure. More concerned about out tech needs whilst on our radical sabbatical and my ability to ‘digital nomad’, than the practicalities of living in a motorhome as sub-zero temperatures, getting hold of this domestic gadget somewhat appeased us and convinced us we were fully prepared for life on the road. The less said about that, the better. Gadget Envy Forget the brand spanking new Elddis motorhome (one like this) we’re cruising about in. Our Karcher has been the envy of all our fellow winter travellers. Much to our surprise, we have no need for it at all in the cab of our van. We’ve got a pimp screen cover (kindly lent to us by Van Comfort who saved us from buying the wrong tool for the job when we initially approached […]
3 WAYS TO MOTORHOME SKI – TIPS AND TRICKS
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.
Whatever they tell you, #vanlife requires a sense of humour…
Reading Time: 2 minutesIt’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.
East Bound ‘n’ Down – Winterized journey to the Alps
Reading Time: 2 minutesDay 6 and we’re having a cheat week in an amazing AirBnB near Geneva for Christmas… pre-planned so family could come out to join us but it’s the first time we’ve come up for air since we left home in Oxfordshire last Sunday.
Winterized gets snowed in
Reading Time: 4 minutesYou couldn’t write it. We got snowed in at Elddis. Yup. The day we were collecting our van; the day before we were due to have our winter tyres fitted; the day before the day that we were due to do a dummy overnighter. It snowed. Hard. The journey north Elddis is a truly British manufacturer and upholds some of the manufacturing traditions that are rare in modern robot-run warehouses. Friends and family open days and Friday early shutdown, Elddis is the stronghold of a small former mining town in the North East of England. And the nicest thing of all is that having only visited a few times, we really feel like family. Despite having spent five and a half years in Newcastle as a student, 15 years of southern life means that a trip up north is still ridiculously exciting for me and Thursday was no exception. If a road trip past Watford Gap and collecting the motorhome wasn’t enough, as we hit the M18 it started SNOWING…. So here’s where we start to uncover the motivation behind this winterized motorhome ski trip… IT’S SNOWING… if you understand the way in which that statement should […]
What the…..how much loo roll?
Reading Time: 2 minutesAnyone who has been following our blog will know by now that we are ridiculously lucky. From being loaned our motorhome to getting a whole heap of equipment lent or gifted to us, we are very aware of how fortunate we are.
Finding an alternative ski holiday
Reading Time: 3 minutesIf you search ‘alternative ski holiday’, you’re going to find lists of less common ski and snow sports destinations – little know off-grid Norwegian towns, remote Italian mountain villages and the fast growing resorts of Western Europe. And yes, that’s one alternative to the traditional European Alpine ski holiday but if you’re looking for something really different for your 2018 week in the snow, the are lots of options to consider.
Luxury travel – what does it mean?
Reading Time: 2 minutesIf you stick ‘luxury travel’ into google, you’ll find names like Cox and Kings, Abercrombie and Kent and Elegant Resorts filling the first pages with 5 star hotels and first class flights. Click through to ‘images’ and you’ll find two dominant colours and pictures that are almost as toe curling as the touched up front covers of glossy fashion magazines.
Guaranteed snow every ski holiday
Reading Time: 2 minutesFeeling disgruntled about the snow-lotto you play when booking your precious week in the mountains? Fancy spending some time touring the alps? Perfectly happy with negotiating a few switch-backs and stomach-lurching cliff edge roads for guaranteed snow?
Reading Time: 2 minutesThis trip can’t really get much better. Our road trip proper now starts with a bonafide boat trip. Not only are we moving to the mountains this December but we’re doing it in some style.
Meeting The Grey Gappers
Reading Time: 2 minutesI’ve spent nearly every birthday for the last 11 years at the NEC in Birmingham and I’ve learned a few survival tricks in that time. Show-shoes – flat and squidgy. Caffeine – consume well in excess of your RDA – a dangerous amount is optimum.
Winter motorhoming – we thought we invented that
Reading Time: 2 minutesHonestly, we genuinely thought we’d come across a secret way to travel which was only known to a very small handful of nomads and hippies. We thought we invented winter motorhoming (evidence here).
“IF IT’S GOT TYRES OR TESTICLES, IT’S GOING TO GIVE YOU TROUBLE”
Winter tyres are essential for motorhome skiing trips regardless of the law.
#AdventureMiles and value exchange
Reading Time: 2 minutesTo put you in the picture, we’re giving up our jobs (or at least James is – I perhaps naively think that I can ‘digital nomad’, vin chaud in one hand, laptop in the other, smoothly gliding through a snowy pine forest with planks stuck to my feet), and we’re heading off on the adventure of a lifetime.
Winterized and Fall-Line Skiing
Reading Time: 2 minutesTurning our trip from a ‘jolly’ into a radical sabbatical was never the plan, not really. It wasn’t until we had buried ourselves in the internet for two days without coming up for air that we realised we had an opportunity to put something together that might offer value to other people looking to road trip around the Alps in winter.
#vanlife is mostly an endless discussion about excretion
Reading Time: 2 minutes Declaration: We do solemnly promise, that from this day forward (unless something truly hilarious happens (which will undoubtedly only be funny for one of us) there will no further potty chat… winterized #vanlife vows.
38 TEASPOONS, 5 QUICHE DISHES AND THE £10K SKIP
Reading Time: 3 minutesJust over a year ago [in May 2016], I was mindlessly watching British weekend staple viewing Sunday Brunch, and they were interviewing the author James Wallman who was plugging his book, Stuffocation: Living More with Less. By the end of the day, I’d ploughed through a good chunk of it and had one of those life changing moments.
The JFDI Road Trip
Reading Time: 1 minuteDear Absolutely Nobody (let’s see if anyone is interested in our road trip) It’s sort of ‘Day One’ … at least an important day… the day pen goes to paper for the first time.
Vars aire is a Ski-in ski-out overlooking the town of Vars Les Claux. Is a fabulous facility and can accomodate XX motorhomes or campers vans.
Serre Chevalier is actually a series of ‘ski stations’ that sit under the the backdrop of the Haute-Alpes in southern France. There is loads to do here and we were in town for the annual visit from the Andros Trophy which was an awesome night and worth planning around if you’re a petrol head. It’s well serviced for #motorhomeski enthusiasts. There are a bunch of different places you can park up and Le Bez is great if your looking for something a bit more sophisticated than a car park, but like us, you prefer to stick to the aires. Le Bez is a private aire in La Salles Les Alpes – the main station of Serre Chevalier. The journey to Serre Chevalier, Le Bez Aire Ok, so the trick is not to read guides that are written for summer touring on this one! You’ll end up going up a one-way street and you might end up reversing downhill in sketchy conditions. Here’s how you get to the aire at Le Bez in winter: You’ll drive about a kilometre into the Village and you’ll start to see what looks like commerce on your right. At the first main roundabout, turn right […]
05240 La Salle-les-Alpes
Serre Chevalier (Le Bez) – Aire
Puy Saint Vincent aire – fabulous position in a small French ski station.
Puy Saint Vincent
Puy Saint Vincent Aire
What a find! The Praz de Lys aire is massive – split over two levels and with epic views. Downstairs you’ll get a face full of trees and peaks and upstairs wall-to-wall mountain views – both equally appealing!
praz de lys
Praz de Lys Aire
Mongenèvre is not only one of the biggest aires in the Alps , it’s also one of the best in our opinion – direct access to a huge ski area, solid, reliable electric hook up (EHU) and it’s a border town which always results in a mixed up culture that’s pretty unique.
Positioned at Les Orres 1550, the Les Orres aire gives you access to one of the loveliest ski areas in the Hautes Alps. The main ski stations are at 1650 and 1800 so this aire is a little out of the main hubbub but don’t let that put you off, it’s a very lovely walk along a fir-lined forest path or a few minutes on the free ski-bus. The journey to Les Orres Aire Just 10.5 hours from Calais with tolls (14.5 hours the scenic/cheaper route), Les Orres is a straight forward drive if you go direct but is very well positioned for a multi-stop trip with Vars and Risoul amongst others in the area. With everything you need to stock up in the town of Gap, (or Briançon if you’re coming from Serre Chevalier or Mongenèvre), you can power down through France without the added weight of LPG and groceries. As with many of the resorts close by, it’s a short drive up hill from the N94 and nothing to worry about it when it comes the switchbacks. Approach to to Les Orres The fabulous things about some of these more southerly resorts and ski stations is that they […]
les orres 1550
Les Orres Aire
This is a lovely aire but be warned, it gets crazy busy in high season and these pictures are a bit deceptive because we were there in mid-December 2017.
310 Route des Pesses, 74260 Les Gets
Les Gets Aire
Everything you need to know about the camping car aire at Les 2 Alpes.
les deux alpes
Les 2 Alpes Aire
Châtel is ace. Fab aire in the northern Alps and access to one of the biggest and best ski areas in Europe.(Inspected January 2018)
Châtel Aire – CLOSED
Alpe d’Huez has one of the best motorhome ski aires in France – almost completely flat, with uninterrupted views of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and is almost ski to the door.