Winter has currently shown its face in Colorado this year. With the arrival of “OctSNOWber” we believed it would be a could time to share some of our strategies and tricks for living in a van throughout the winter months. We invest most of the winter braving the cold and chasing snow in the Canadian Rockies. Even though this can be an particularly rewarding practical experience, it needs some critical preparation and organizing to make certain we keep secure out there.
Obtaining a superior set of tires and chains is not an choice, it is crucial.
A single of the most prevalent inquiries we get about our van is whether or not we have 4 wheel drive or not. We do not, and even if we did, a superior set of winter rated tires would nevertheless leading this list. You hear it all of the time, 4 wheel drive will not support you one particular bit when you will need to quit in a hurry. Having said that, a superior set of tires will. We run Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires. Even though these are technically not a committed snow tires, they are totally winter rated and especially developed for deep snow. We chose these mainly because we can run them year round without the need of the will need for a second set of tires especially for the winter months. We also cary a set of tire chains as an additional insurance coverage policy. There are a lot of other solutions out there and you will will need to discover some thing that operates most effective for you. We went to bed one particular evening outdoors of Significant Sky, Montana and woke up to quite a few feet of unexpected snow. Fortunately, our good set of tires was in a position to get up back to the plowed pavement. Do not wanna get stuck, and miss out on fresh tracks? Invest in superior tires.
Obtaining some easy recovery gear can get you out of a jam
Even though superior tires will hold you secure, it is superior to carry some easy and economical recovery gear in case you get stuck. We advise carrying a light duty shovel to dig your self out. A easy tow strap is also a superior concept. It will not support you when you are alone, but in our practical experience, you are under no circumstances as well far from a superior ol’ boy with a beefed-up pickup just waiting to pull somebody out. This can also save you from an costly tow in a pinch. We also carry a compact 12volt air compressor to hold our tires effectively inflated to guarantee a superior grip on snow and ice. There are some people today out there who will say that airing your tires down in the deep stuff can support, nevertheless, we’ve under no circumstances attempted this so we’ll let you do your personal analysis. Lastly, a bag of kitty litter can be a superior choice for acquiring some additional traction if you get stuck.
Acquiring a location to sleep is significantly tougher in the winter
We identified this out the tough way. It may possibly appear clear to some, but when traveling in unfamiliar areas, we identified it to be A lot tougher to discover a secure location to sleep (legally). In the summer season, it is easy. Discover a Forest Service road and drive down it till you discover a location to park. In Winter, this is a terrible concept. Most campgrounds are closed and a lot of forest service roads are closed or at the really least, impassible. Our tips is to program ahead and attempt to discover a location to park ahead of the sun goes down. We had a couple of scares final year when driving into the unknown. Appear into places exactly where snowmobiling and backcountry skiing are prevalent. We identified that these trailheads and parking places have a tendency to be plowed, or at least packed down sufficient to make a secure location to sleep. In the winter we appear for a lot more heavily made use of places.
A heater is not needed, but it aids
There are a lot of heating solutions out there. Some are a lot more costly than other people. For the lengthy haul, a superior gasoline or diesel heater is our preferred choice. These forced air furnace style heaters are the most costly, but also the safest to in an enclosed space. We use a Webasto, but there are a lot of knock-off heaters on the marketplace as effectively. These forced air furnaces run off of your standard fuel tank, are super-effective and have an external exhaust so you do not have to be concerned about harmful fumes in the van. This heating choice is really dry and will not introduce additional moisture in your van.
Numerous #vanlifers out there use propane (tiny buddy style) heaters. These are by far the most very affordable choice, nevertheless, there are quite a few drawbacks. Propane heat introduces a lot of moisture and fumes into your automobile. For this explanation, correct ventilation and a carbon monoxide detector are vital. These can also be a fire hazard.
If you want to challenging it out, you could also invest in a superior 4-season sleeping bag and lots of blankets.
Keep in mind, if you do not vent your automobile, you will wake up moist and that can be particularly unpleasant in the winter.
Regardless of your heater, liquids will freeze
This contains your water tank, water lines, and faucet. Unless you invest your complete time in your van with your heater operating this WILL take place. Maintaining your water tanks complete will support them from freezing speedily. Anytime we know we will not be in the van for a couple of hours we take additional care to drain our water lines and make certain there is not any stress in our water pump or faucet. This season we are exploring some solutions like 12volt water tank and line heaters that are developed for RVs. Our concern right here is that something with a heating element will drain your auxiliary batteries significantly quicker. Only time will inform if this is a superior repair or not.
Do it. Reside the #vanlife in the winter and do not let people today inform you that you cannot. Just program for negative climate, be ready, and ski all of the powder days that your mates want they could.
There is one particular way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our amazing sponsors that make this tour take place: Sea to Summit, Mountain Home, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Significant Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. For a lot more information on our sponsors, verify out the post, “Live Outdoors and Play is Back!”