Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
👁 durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Converting a van to a camper to ski (and avoid covid)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@kieranm, Glencoe Mountain Resort have electric hook up points as do Glenshee in the small car park beside Ski Patrol/Ticket Office. You'll also be able to park up for the night in Nevis Range car park, although no hook ups available there. Glen Nevis campsite is usually closed between mid November to mid March. Braemar campsite is another option for Glenshee, open all year round.
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
You can usually park up for free in the Glencoe and Glenshee car parks (certain areas) during the ski season. We are many months away from that yet though.
snow conditions
 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?
Hells Bells wrote:
@swskier, we travelled to Newark from Durham for ours. Looked all over up here first.


The one i've found is halfway between Durham and Darlington. A long old train up from Bristol, but looking at the van it looks really decent hopefully...

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/van-details/202009033281978?maximum-mileage=50000&advertising-location=at_vans&onesearchad=New&onesearchad=Nearly%20New&onesearchad=Used&make=VOLKSWAGEN&sort=supplied-price-asc&radius=1500&model=TRANSPORTER&postcode=bs217tq&page=2&modal=photos

Anyone experienced have any thoughts on that?

The alternative Ford is this...

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/van-details/202009093497424?maximum-mileage=40000&advertising-location=at_vans&make=FORD&onesearchad=New&onesearchad=Nearly%20New&onesearchad=Used&sort=supplied-price-asc&radius=1500&model=TRANSIT%20CUSTOM&postcode=bs217tq&page=6&modal=photos
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
The Ford has the A/C, cruise control etc you really want, can't tell on the VW, but it looks like a bottom of the range vehicle - no front fogs etc. I know it makes them harder to find but I would search for higher spec vans that are not white - they do exist just less common. A better colour and higher spec makes them much more desirable once converted.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@RobinS, ‘startline’ are the low end, then ‘trendline’ mid end & ‘highline’ top end.
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
VW above has air con, but can't tell if it has cruise control from pictures.

Appears quite genuine with MOT mileage checking out against advertised figure. Registered in may 2016 first, so a little over 4 years old.

Worth if you get one to change gearbox oil at 75,000 miles for longevity as they are usually "filled for life" whatever that means (usually/ effectively out of warranty from a consumer point of view) but worth the preventative cost at probably under £100.
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Also worth asking about cam belt service, if it's been done or not (they've changed the service interval sporadically over the years) and reference it against VW advice.
To check specification, you'd need the engine code from the V5C document (will usually be a 3 letter code something like "BZP" ) that they should be able to confirm for you, then you can get informed view. They can cost up towards £700 to have done at competent garage, so you need to know for your overall cost to factor in to budget.
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
RobinS wrote:
The Ford has the A/C, cruise control etc you really want, can't tell on the VW, but it looks like a bottom of the range vehicle - no front fogs etc. I know it makes them harder to find but I would search for higher spec vans that are not white - they do exist just less common. A better colour and higher spec makes them much more desirable once converted.


VW has A/C, but I don't think cruise control, which while nice wouldn't stop me buying it.

I actually quite like a white colour, previous car was white, so not too worried about that, although take the point re specs etc.
latest report
 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.
@ski3, thanks for the advice. Cam belt was one of the things i'd thought about. A family friend is a mechanic so i'll use him to do it if needs be, at least then I know i'll be paying for parts at trade price, and a reasonable labour rate.
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
The VW you linked to does appear to have cruise control.
U can see in pic 35, on the stalk.

Personally I've found cruise control a massive bonus but even if the van you end up with doesn't have it, it's not hugely expensive to have added. This lot install factory options aftermarket: https://www.hazzydayz.com/vw-transporter-t51-cruise-control---2010-2015-1953-p.asp

Adding A/C though, is a whole other level of hassle and expense so that's a good thing to have on the original spec list.
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
An ex-BT van will at least mean you can be sure the van has not been loaded with lots of cement and asbestos and used for toxic material carriage prior to disposal. It will also mean that it will have been serviced adequately.

It's doors seems to have a nice tight fit to keep the wind out. The spinning cowl on the roof could be useful for your gas fume extractor!

The spare wheel is usually under the vehicle at the back in a cage, but there may not be one there.

If you have small kids the shelving could act as bunk beds?

However, the price reflects this and so if you like the price it might suit.
snow report
 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.
It may also be worth checking what deal you can get on a brand new van at the moment. It was certainly the case a month or two ago that second hand transporters were attracting quite high valuations as lots of people want one to convert, and perhaps because of the number plate change and dealers keen to get some sales the price of a new van wasn't all that much more.
ski holidays
 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
Dumb question, how do you shower in a van?
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@abc, ours has a shower above the toilet which are both in a little wet room, along with a sink. There is a water heater and a pump. It drains into the grey water waste tank. It is really effective, much better than I thought it would be. Though you have to be aware of water usage if you are wild camping for a while (our fresh water tank holds 70l).
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
A 6'3" friend of mine converted a Renault Master for an 18mth round the world trip - mid 90s I think. He chose the Renault I think as it had higher ceilings so he could stand up, not stoop.
snow conditions
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@swskier,
have you looked at Merthyr auctions?
https://www.auctioneers.co.uk/auction-sale/vans-for-sale.php
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@abc, a bucket of warm water and a face cloth. It is known in hospitals as a "bed bath". You dip the cloth in water, wring it out and wipe your body clean.

This stops the van getting a load of condensation and damp in winter environments.
latest report
 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?
We had no intention of buying a new van but found an absolute bargain, on line, from Vanzone in Wales. A brand new, Citroen Relay (albeit pre-registered in Feb 2020) with 190 miles on the clock; and about 40% off list price. And delivered to our door for free (in August). Very Happy

We asked a local Citroen dealer (who we had used for a test drive) if they could match the price, as we wanted to do business with them, but they said they would lose money on the deal if they price matched. Shocked

I'd recommended giving Vanzone a try. (I have no connection with the company, other than as a very satisfied customer).
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Mr.Egg wrote:
@swskier,
have you looked at Merthyr auctions?
https://www.auctioneers.co.uk/auction-sale/vans-for-sale.php


Have come across them a few months back when I was looking in to it, but not looked recently. Thanks for the reminder though
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bigtipper wrote:
This stops the van getting a load of condensation and damp in winter environments.

What about all the snow your ski and boots bring in?

And is the heat sufficient to dry off the wet clothes (jacket and sweat soaked base layers)? Unlike other years, the bar won't be available as your drying room...
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@dode, I see.

So water tanks are added as part of the conversions then?

Is it still cheaper than getting a second hand motorhome/caravan? (sorry for being clueless. I don't know where the line is between a campervan vs a motorized caravan)
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
abc wrote:
@dode, I see.

So water tanks are added as part of the conversions then?

Is it still cheaper than getting a second hand motorhome/caravan? (sorry for being clueless. I don't know where the line is between a campervan vs a motorized caravan)


Campervans are commercial vans converted or factory built to function as campers like the classic VWs. Motorhomes are your classic US RV -coachbuilt as campers usually with a specific tub and over cab. They are a lot bulkier and harder to manouvre on Euro roads and into tiny Euro parking spaces whereas a campervan can broadly go anywhere a builder/tradesman does.

A Euro caravan is in your parlance a trailer. Pick up toppers don't really exist in Yurp except as imports/expedition vehicles.

The economics are sort of screwy - while a bit of shopping around can generally land you a new or nearly new van for around £20k including VAT and you can pay £5k upwards for someone to do a camper conversion or do your own, you are often looking at £30k+ for a few year old pre-converted van. And if you want to get into a factory VW California they apparently start around £60k which seems insane to me relative to the cost of a T6. But I guess that is cult appeal for you.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We're still planning on getting a van and doing a very basic modification to make it into a winter couple of nights basic sleeper - just insulate, panel, ventilate, leisure batteries, solar, hook up & diesel heater. Maybe roof box for extra & wet storage, tarp or awning & porta potty.
Looking at the micro camper end, something that can be an everyday small van /replacement car, so Peugeot Expert, Fort Connect, Bellingo, NV200, etc - all L2 lwb. Possibly Transit Custom, Citroen Dispatch, Vivaro etc, but likely too big for everyday driving & parking.
But van and camper prices (never mind the blinking VAT!) have gone stupid around here since lockdown - so been advised to wait as late into the tear as we can, hoping that prices will fall again. Certainly very few for sale compared to when we started looking a few months ago. Hope that something will turn up in due course, preferably fairly soon though, as I'd like to get started.
Looks like a long camper van queue up to Come & Shee, then rolling eyes

In the meantime, Mr G has had quite a few jobs welding all kinds of underneath rusty bits on Transits of late...
snow report
 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.
Grizzler wrote:

But van and camper prices (never mind the blinking VAT!) have gone stupid around here since lockdown - so been advised to wait as late into the tear as we can, hoping that prices will fall again.


Must admit unless I find something ready done with the spec I want for an irresistable price I might just sit tight for a year or two and rely on the fact that once people can again fly off to Marbs or Miami on a whim their might be quite a few looking to shift their expensive driveway ornaments.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I’ve just bought a new Ducato L3h2 to convert into a year round camper which will include skiing, out current VW T5 is too cramped with all the gear we have for sea kayaking and climbing etc.
For the Ducato we’ve added cruise control and rear view camera. I will keep and insulate the bulkhead giving the cab aircon a fighting chance in summer and keeping the abode warm. Side door access to side bed/couch and kitchen, wet room between wheel arches. Rear insulated ply bulkhead separating storage area / heated drying room from rear doors. 50mm lagging through out dg windows, Underslung lpg tank, Combi water/ducted air heater. Internal water tank, underslung grey water tank (open valve and bucket during cold weather) . Hopefully I’ll get it finished in time for some skiing this season
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Grizzler wrote:

But van and camper prices (never mind the blinking VAT!) have gone stupid around here since lockdown - so been advised to wait as late into the tear as we can, hoping that prices will fall again.


Must admit unless I find something ready done with the spec I want for an irresistable price I might just sit tight for a year or two and rely on the fact that once people can again fly off to Marbs or Miami on a whim their might be quite a few looking to shift their expensive driveway ornaments.


in a year two, good chance those being snapped up now, will be getting sold, so buyers market snowHead
snow conditions
 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.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
abc wrote:
@dode, I see.

So water tanks are added as part of the conversions then?

Is it still cheaper than getting a second hand motorhome/caravan? (sorry for being clueless. I don't know where the line is between a campervan vs a motorized caravan)


Campervans are commercial vans converted or factory built to function as campers like the classic VWs. Motorhomes are your classic US RV -coachbuilt as campers usually with a specific tub and over cab. They are a lot bulkier and harder to manouvre on Euro roads and into tiny Euro parking spaces whereas a campervan can broadly go anywhere a builder/tradesman does.

A Euro caravan is in your parlance a trailer. Pick up toppers don't really exist in Yurp except as imports/expedition vehicles.

The economics are sort of screwy - while a bit of shopping around can generally land you a new or nearly new van for around £20k including VAT and you can pay £5k upwards for someone to do a camper conversion or do your own, you are often looking at £30k+ for a few year old pre-converted van. And if you want to get into a factory VW California they apparently start around £60k which seems insane to me relative to the cost of a T6. But I guess that is cult appeal for you.


Agree, the cost seems to go absolutely nuts for essentially a van with fitted furniture.

The subject here from OP I believe is more like a USA "Day van" example of which we've seen camping on summer trips. One this year a 1972 Chevy (so tax and inspection free) and fully loaded in crush turquoise velour interior no less, pretty effective with side barn doors and roll out bed etc.

Depends upon how you cost it as it's a petrol V8 but at less than £5000 (chatting with owner) low capital outlay, very low depreciation, the aggregated cost of ownership is much better than an initial cursory view would indicate.

For ski storage etc, the European buses that once ran a vertical ski box on the rear seem to offer a good solution to coping with wet gear while on a trip, if something like that were available.
latest report
 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
Admittedly in a caravan not a campervan, one of our major challenges (pre modern site facilities which maybe won`t be open this winter?) was having enough drying capacity for 2 lots of wet adult clothing and 3 lots of boys wet clothing, plus boots. In shifts we could manage it in the shower room with the gas heating on, if we had electric hook up we found it easier to rig up a drying tent in the winter awning and use a small electric fan heater. You can actually buy these purposely built I believe now. Having the small winter awning was a game changer as it provided an area for removing wet outer clothing and minimising the moisture taken into the caravan. Keeping that inside warm and dry becomes such a priority Laughing
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I am thinking about converting a van. How does insurance work out for a self-conversion? I guess that in the event of a write off the labour you put into it has no insurable value - is that so? Does the insurance company do an inspection to satisfy itself that the conversion has been done to a satisfactory standard, and does not violate the Department for Transport guidance on conversion?
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
There are specialist insurers for conversions for both professional and self-conversions. Each one has different criteria. Like any insurance you find one that suits your circumstances. No inspection needed, we just sent photos of ours. Some require a gas safety certificate, if you have a gas appliance installed, others don't. What is no longer possible though is re-registration of the van with DVLA as a motor caravan, I think the most you can expect now is a van with windows or possibly MPV.
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
abc wrote:
Bigtipper wrote:
This stops the van getting a load of condensation and damp in winter environments.

What about all the snow your ski and boots bring in?

And is the heat sufficient to dry off the wet clothes (jacket and sweat soaked base layers)? Unlike other years, the bar won't be available as your drying room...


Clean your boots and skis and dry them, should be something you do anyway. Get a brush, it gets most of the snow off.

If you have wet clothes put them in the tumble dryer in the laundrette. Most ski resorts have a laundrette as most apartments are so small that fitting a washing machine is not good for the environment. In Switzerland they have environmental (possibly noise pollution) rules which require flats to share a basement laundrette! (or something like this, so that they do not have their own washing machine)

(incidently I think having washing machines upstairs is really dumb. I used to have one, but when it breaks down and you have to fix it because a plumber cannot be found, it will make a mess on the ceiling downstairs. Put washing machines in the garage, next to a drain)

Failing that, put the wet clothes on hangers in the front of the van. Turn the engine on and the heating blowers up and wait a few minutes while the whole van heats up and drys clothes.

Large supermarkets near ski resorts have laundrettes with enormous tumble dryers. Super U in Bourg St Maurice for example used to have one.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 23-09-20 8:25; edited 1 time in total
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@achilles, when you try to get a MOT on the vehicle you may get a refusal to do one. In which case (in mine for example), I was required to contact Vosa (the government department has changed its name now) and get them to come out to look at the van. The reason they gave for the refusal was that they could not get in the passenger door!



Of course, you could just go to another garage.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 23-09-20 8:21; edited 2 times in total
snow report
 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?
Hells Bells wrote:
There are specialist insurers for conversions for both professional and self-conversions. Each one has different criteria. Like any insurance you find one that suits your circumstances. No inspection needed, we just sent photos of ours. Some require a gas safety certificate, if you have a gas appliance installed, others don't. What is no longer possible though is re-registration of the van with DVLA as a motor caravan, I think the most you can expect now is a van with windows or possibly MPV.


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/converting-a-vehicle-into-a-motor-caravan/converting-a-vehicle-into-a-motor-caravan

I think you just have to meet the set criteria by DVLA.
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@swskier, my own van did in 2018, but many who have converted recently have not been so lucky. Most do not install high top roofs, but have pop=tops which aren't considered sufficient.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Hells Bells, ah yes, didn't read that line.
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I am a fan of camper vans - we had a fairly ancient Toyota with a Spacemaker roof when we lived in Scotland. But for the Alps in winter, I'd go for a small studio apartment - even the pokiest of French rabbit hutches would be palatial compared to a camper. And surely anything with a pop up roof would be impossible?
snow report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@pam w, in winter it most certainly would, although there are good insulation covers for them for both in and out.
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Bigtipper wrote:

If you have wet clothes put them in the tumble dryer in the laundrette.

Large supermarkets near ski resorts have laundrettes with enormous tumble dryers. Super U in Bourg St Maurice for example used to have one.

It's not an "if" for wet clothing. You WILL have wet clothes.

I thought the whole point of having a camper van is to avoid public indoor space? Having to spend time in a laundrettes daily seems to defeat that purpose.

If the van isn't sufficiently self-contained, why bother? Wouldn't it be safer to just disinfect an apartment on arrival once and for all?


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 23-09-20 13:49; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays
 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.
Quote:


If the van isn't sufficiently self-contained, why bother? Wouldn't it be safer to just disinfect an apartment on arrival once and for all?

Absolutely, which is why we won't ever be freezing ourselves to death in a campervan in winter. Our apartment is cleaned to French regulations for Covid, laundry is all washed at high temps to kill the virus, and it is dry and warm.
snow conditions
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
CaravanSkier wrote:
Admittedly in a caravan not a campervan, one of our major challenges (pre modern site facilities which maybe won`t be open this winter?) was having enough drying capacity for 2 lots of wet adult clothing and 3 lots of boys wet clothing, plus boots. In shifts we could manage it in the shower room with the gas heating on, if we had electric hook up we found it easier to rig up a drying tent in the winter awning and use a small electric fan heater. You can actually buy these purposely built I believe now. Having the small winter awning was a game changer as it provided an area for removing wet outer clothing and minimising the moisture taken into the caravan. Keeping that inside warm and dry becomes such a priority Laughing

What's a winter awning? (What's different from a summer one?)
ski holidays



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy