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Motorhome

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, has anyone on here done the Motorhome ski holiday, think of purchasing one for this purpose. Would appreciate some info and advice from someone who has done it. Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@jayski, welcome to snowHeads, I will move this to 'The Piste' as you may get more of a response there.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hi @jayski, Yes, several times, its a great way to enjoy the Alps.. The site http://www.motorhomeski.com has useful info. Snow tyres are expensive but I was lucky and managed to buy four from a retired motorhomer. You need to read up on keeping the motorhome de-frosted, but its all straight-forward stuff. IMO, best sites are Corvara and Samoens and Les Gets but I haven't seen many of the others. Some of the car parks are also affordable, eg. Avoriaz and Val Thorens. Enjoy.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks for the info, do you go in mid winter ie jan and feb, If so can you keep the motorhome at a comfortable temp through the night? I keep hearing mixed tales. I’m aware the type of van can make a difference.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
By holiday, do you mean a week or 2 or months?
Don’t know about a short holiday but did a season in a motorhome years ago - great fun, but would plan it better if doing it again.
I wouldn’t personally do it just for a week or 2 unless I already had a suitable motorhome as it doesn’t strike me as particularly cost-effective. Just my view tho.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
jayski wrote:
Thanks for the info, do you go in mid winter ie jan and feb, If so can you keep the motorhome at a comfortable temp through the night? I keep hearing mixed tales. I’m aware the type of van can make a difference.


Depends on how modern the van is. Our last one was a 2005 Autotrail. Never skied from it but we did spends a lot of cold nights in it. Double glazing, thermal blinds and a good heating system were all standard so it was always toasty. The one before that was a 1996 Bessacar. It had double glazing but no thermal blinds. I fitted aftermarket ones but they weren't as good and the heating wasn't so good. Roof insulation wasn't as thick either so you certainly needed an extra duvet when it got cold outside.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I can't help with the motor home prescise stuff but we took our caravan to ski from for many years. We did one year wake up to find some Dutch folk camped in a tent next to us Shocked I rather think that was in Samoens! It's perfectly possible to keep warm enough you just need the right kit both in terms of vehicle and extras


In terms of value for money the main downside now is the cost of fuel. Plus site fees seem to have increased substantially but that may be a function of the exchange rate.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I have used a motorhome for short ski trips in the USA. Toured North America for a couple of years in a class A. It had the water and waste tanks in compartment that received some heat from the furnace. If we had mains electricity we could use small electrical heaters but would run the furnace morning and night. We also had a built in generator. A full tank of propane would last a week at most if we had to run off the generator and furnace.

We were never cold.

We did not have winter tires. But if conditions were bad we would just park up and settle down for the night. Time was not our master.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
We did it Easter 2016. We have friends who leave their motorhome near Geneva (take it out at New Year, collect it at Easter) and then get cheap flight for weeks / weekends as and when throughout season. They've stayed a few different places in France and Switzerland, depending on the snow.

We went to Tignes Les Brevieres, free car park at foot of slope. You have to be self sufficient but there is water on village road, a chemical disposal point. We found it really warm didn't have to sleep with heating or anything, just make sure you get a winterised motorhome.

The benefit for us was travelling at school holiday peak time, channel crossings, tolls, fuel etc don't go up in price just because kids are off school. We'd take it again if I don't manage to secure a half term deal, I typically pay under £2k for half term (exc passes etc) if it were any more we'd take motorhome.

You also have benefit of going where the good conditions are, within reason, providing somewhere suitable to stay.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
jayski wrote:
Thanks for the info, do you go in mid winter ie jan and feb, If so can you keep the motorhome at a comfortable temp through the night? I keep hearing mixed tales. I’m aware the type of van can make a difference.


Mine is a German model with a diesel heater. The heater has many reliability issues but it was ideal for skiing. You can fill up with diesel at the start of the week and run the heater on a low setting all day. I only used a 1/4 tank for the week. The only other essential items were a reflective windscreen cover and snow chains. Fortunately I've not yet needed to use the chains. Biggest problem was drying out ski gear. It can get very humid while everything dries out!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We go to the Alps in ours during January and February each year. I think you should work on using it for at least 2 or 3 two week trips to make the investment in research, preparations and money worthwhile. If you try to wing it with the wrong design of motorhome and little in the way of extra kit you could well come unstuck unless you stick to low level campsites like the one at Samoens.

The real rewards with using a motorhome are in overnighting at places like Passo Falzarego and getting the first lift up for the Hidden Valley or in driving 200+ miles to get the best snow. It is also great for stopping off at those tiny, I'm reluctant to call them, resorts where a €20 will get you on empty slopes for a day or two.

Besides the aforementioned Motorhomeski, also have a search for skiing threads on Motorhomefun and on Motorhomefacts. Plenty of info out there.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
jellylegs wrote:


Mine is a German model with a diesel heater. The heater has many reliability issues but it was ideal for skiing. You can fill up with diesel at the start of the week and run the heater on a low setting all day.



Eberspacher heater or other? We never had a glitch with the Eberspacher. It did heating, water and charged the leisure battery with a tiny sip of diesel. You can cook for months on a tank of gas so it meant there was no faffing with leccy connectors or gas regulators.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Thornyhill wrote:
jellylegs wrote:


Mine is a German model with a diesel heater. The heater has many reliability issues but it was ideal for skiing. You can fill up with diesel at the start of the week and run the heater on a low setting all day.



Eberspacher heater or other? We never had a glitch with the Eberspacher. It did heating, water and charged the leisure battery with a tiny sip of diesel. You can cook for months on a tank of gas so it meant there was no faffing with leccy connectors or gas regulators.


No, it's a Webasto. Rather unreliable one too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've now done three consecutive seasons from end Jan to mid April in Chamonix and about to do my fourth Very Happy. First van was a fairly old Autosleeper, Luton style, not very good insulation and underslung water tank. Still okay but wasn't ideal. Current van is a Swift Belair A class van. Much better insulated with two inches of insulation in floor ceiling and sides. Both are/were fine but here are a few issues to consider:

- Gas bottles are different on the continent needing different regulator etc. They are also bigger and won't fit in some UK built vans. I have converted my current van to the Gaslow system (professionally done) which allows me to fill up in any fuel station selling LPG. Much less hassle and much cheaper.

- I don't run the heater at night but use a really good thick duvet (and fleece hat when really cold). Just get up and put heater on in the morning and go back to bed for twenty minutes. ALWAYS check to see if there's been a significant dump overnight first and clear the heater flue if necessary. If you do plan on running the heater at night absolutely make sure you have smoke and CO alarms fitted. Young couple in Chamonix (Grand Montets car park) died from carbon monoxide poisoning last year.

- Always keep some water in a container inside the van especially if you have underslung water tank. My new (2000!!!!) van has it's water tank inside but pipes still can freeze. However freezing can still be a problem on the drains especially if they have a smell trap (effectively a u bend). I take some mega low temp screenwash with me (-74 degrees neat) and poor a little down each drain on cold nights. Also I don't close the drain tap but keep a bucket out to collect the drain water. Works just fine.

- be fastidious about taking boots off before getting in and keep a small brush by the door for dusting off your boots/shoes before bringing them in.

- if you have an electric step for getting in and out never ever leave it down or you may never get it back up.

- Try and give it ten minutes or so with open door and windows each day to air out. I do this and have never had and bad condensation issues (except on the windscreen - take a small squeegee for clearing the inside).

- probably well worth fitting winter tyres.

- for comfort it can be worth picking a resort that has good access from a relatively low altitude. I go to Chamonix each year and the town is only at 1000m meaning that it doesn't get quite as viciously cold as say somewhere like Val Thorens.

Have fun!
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