Mobile Living Made Easy Australia Issue 2 - Page 15

FEATURE — PREPPING FOR WINTER BEATING THE COLD Naturally, a winter trip calls for waterproof boots, warm clothes, and a sleeping bag rated to the appropriate temperature, but don’t stop there: you want to be truly comfortable, right? We love our wind-up family camper but, in winter, we have to be creative to keep warm. This includes using rugs at night to save our feet from the icy floor, and sealing off unnecessary draughts. Note: every RV in Australia has a vent at the lowest point to allow gas to escape should there be a leak. This vent cannot be blocked. Now, by their very nature, wind-up campers aren’t well insulated. But modern caravans and motorhomes are. In fact, many even have double-glazed windows and a reverse-cycle air- conditioner. But to really beat the winter chill, an air heater is the ultimate RV accessory. RV air heaters are available as gas or diesel-fired units, but I reckon the diesel units are the way to go. Be sure to use Alpine diesel where temperature demands. Another tip: If your van’s heater doesn’t have a remote control, see if the switch can be placed within arm’s reach of your pillow, so you can warm up the van before getting out of bed. Re a d y a c c e ss to h o t w a te r w i l l m a ke a b i g difference, too. Trust me. Also, it might pay to have this switch also located within arm’s reach of bed, in case you’d prefer to turn the water heater off overnight to save energy. How to stay toasty outside of the van as you drink your morning coffee? A warm jacket and beanie are essential. But nothing keeps the cold wind off your face quite like a set of annexe walls – and don’t forget to include a canvas skirt that will prevent icy draughts entering from underneath the van. Finally, ask yourself: where are your winter travels taking you? Will you need snow chains? Is there sufficient tread for wet, potentially icy roads? So don’t let your van sleep the winter away. It might be cold and wet outside, but adventure waits for no one. Mobile living made easy. — 15 ­