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
@abc, I found this one https://www.dometic.com/en-gb/uk/lp/winter-awning
snow report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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.


Thanks, that helps. So the converted van will be restricted to the same speeds as the van it was based on*. Not that those limits seem to worry white van man, anyway. Plenty to think about in the thread - including the comment that present prices are inflated.

* But I note the comment from @swskier.
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?
@abc, In a way. We called the winter awning because it was quite different from our 'summer' awning, much smaller with a very sloped roof. We reinforced it with more & stronger support bars than normal too. Its design meant that snow generally slid off the roof very easily but its strength meant that it could withstand most snowfalls overnight, or during the day whilst we were out, and it could carry the small load that did stick until we could clear it.
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Basing it on a French van means things will go wrong mechanically and electrically (I have a French van)
Basing it on a Mercedes van means it will go very rusty
Transit is probably the best van for the job. Comfortable for long drives too.
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:
Glencoe itself has hookup but limited and also no free camping on the car park for the foreseeable due to inconsiderate use of facilities and literally no gratuity cash left in the boxes
That's a bit of a blow rolling eyes We have camped there free of charge (as previously invited by the Glencoe website) during the operation of the ski lifts - including on the last weekend of the season last March. Have to say, had not heard of any boxes to make a financial contribution Puzzled - but pleased to confirm that our overnight stays have supported the ski area with lift ticket purchases and spending in the cafe (when it was there...).
snow report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Hells Bells wrote:
@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.


Seems daft that you have to meet all the requirements. I was looking at a listing from a guy who said it was only classed as a van with windows because he hadn't put go faster stickers on the sides to meet that criteria. No VW conversions will effecticly qualify without the pop top being included.

I bet there are people who stick a sticker on both sides - take pics then peel them off to revert to partial stealth mode.
latest report
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
abc wrote:
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?


I rarely had wet clothes apart from when there is some sweat. However, this usually dries fairly fast from body heat. I never spent long times in laundrettes, and even when I was there they were empty most of the time. People put stuff in, and go away and leave it to run (or go round the supermarket and do shopping)
latest 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!
Quote:

I rarely had wet clothes apart from when there is some sweat. However, this usually dries fairly fast from body heat.

@Bigtipper, I'm not sure you've taken into account of the way skiing will be done under Covid restriction. You may or may not be able to go inside to let your "body heat" to work efficiently as cloth dryer.

Clothing that get wet, apart from snow on the jackets when it's actually snowing, are typically next-to-body garments, including helmet liners, gloves and boot liners.
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.
Quote:

Basing it on a French van means things will go wrong mechanically and electrically (I have a French van)

be interesting to see how French, Italian and American compare for reliability, given that the single most popular base for both van conversions and off the shelf models are all based on the Fiat Ducato, Citroen, Peugeot or Promaster, but they're all the same design van.

some certainly have reregistered van conversions since the new rules (in the last year or so), but my understanding was that before the change it just needed a bed (that can be made up from a seat), a table (that can be detachable), 2 windows in the habitation area, and a fixed installation 2 burner hob, but after the new rules it also needs to look like a motorhome to be registered as such when in "driving on the road" mode. but then DVLA also say that every vehicle must be registered as the correct type of vehicle, and a campervan/motorhome isn't a white van man panel van. so take yer pick and be prepared to negotiate with a jobsworth/computer.

plenty of youtube channels covering conversions, some of whom do re-register (even recently) and others who never mention it. and some probably make their choice based on insurance and take the hit on the 60mph speed limit.

one other factor if it's going to be a daily driver is using it as a van to take stuff to the tip. My parents one is very much a campervan and not a van, but they are only allowed 1 visit to the tip every 3 months or something, and only on specific pre-booked days because they only open height barriers once a fortnight, and have to prove they pay council tax in that council's area (which is a bummer when they split it in to a unitary authority, so now can't use the "local" tip).

the main reason I've not done anything yet is because what I need is a Tardis, and there's nothing out there at all that meets all of my specific needs (wants), neither as a base van, a VW T5/6/6.1, nor an off the shelf Adria or similar.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
abc wrote:
Quote:

I rarely had wet clothes apart from when there is some sweat. However, this usually dries fairly fast from body heat.

@Bigtipper, I'm not sure you've taken into account of the way skiing will be done under Covid restriction. You may or may not be able to go inside to let your "body heat" to work efficiently as cloth dryer.

Clothing that get wet, apart from snow on the jackets when it's actually snowing, are typically next-to-body garments, including helmet liners, gloves and boot liners.


Yes, but when you get in the van and heat it up then these clothes will dry fast.
latest report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
how do you get rid of the condensation?
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.
you need some kind of extraction hood fan on your roof which does not get covered in snow because it is on the side rather than on the roof, for your gas heater fume extraction.

If it spins in the wind like a cowl, it will create a suction effect which will remove the need to run any electricity to turn a fan.
snow conditions
 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
In Glencoe it may revert again in winter but they > 100 vans there of an evening and £15, yes fifteen quid in the honesty box. Vans using toilets and emptying toilets, using showers etc for free. So a small number basically taking the p1ss ruined it for the majority and rightly they have shut it down. Hopefully by winter it may revert but I’m not so sure.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

So a small number basically taking the p1ss ruined it for the majority

were they taking the p1ss to the wrong emptying point?
snow report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@pam w, they weren’t just taking the p1ss!
snow report
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Hells Bells wrote:
@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.


Seems daft that you have to meet all the requirements. I was looking at a listing from a guy who said it was only classed as a van with windows because he hadn't put go faster stickers on the sides to meet that criteria. No VW conversions will effecticly qualify without the pop top being included.

I bet there are people who stick a sticker on both sides - take pics then peel them off to revert to partial stealth mode.


We didn't need stickers either, although hubby does fancy some with mountains on.
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Hells Bells, Ours is fixed low roof, semi-stealth van. It has two rear side windows to comply with the rules, but they have limo tints so you can't see in much, and all the other built in stuff inside to comply with the rules. It got it's change to "Motor Caravan" like that. Giveaways now are solar panel on the roof, bike rack on the back, and Janet has put lots of stickers on the back window. She has also been looking at "Mountain" stickers for the sides!
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?
I'm told winterisation is vital. A frozen turd in the wrong place for the winter can have a catastrophic effect on your stay.

I actually have a chiller van in storage, which I hope to convert one day. It's designed to keep things inside at -18 degrees. So it should be just as effective in reverse.
They come up regularly at auction from Tesco's etc. Well maintained and oversupply on the market, so very good deals to be had.
snow conditions
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Quote:

kitchen across the back of the van anyone rendering rear doors useless anyone?

My daughter and SiL have a converted T5 as their only vehicle. They had a pop up roof professionally fitted but he has done the rest himself. The "kitchen" is in the back and bolts in and out. He has rigged up a tent style roof to go over the open back doors (he's very tall and can then stand up to cook). The van is used a lot for short trips - for example to the beach for windsurfing, and for bacon rolls and mugs of tea afterwards and the formula works well. It has to double as a regular load carrier, and for passengers, and for lots of stuff like windsurfer kit, so has to be multi-purpose. They have a bike carrier which goes on the back, will take 4 bikes AND make the back doors useable - there was only one to be found which did all that.
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
pam w wrote:
Quote:

kitchen across the back of the van anyone rendering rear doors useless anyone?

He has rigged up a tent style roof to go over the open back doors (he's very tall and can then stand up to cook).


Is it something similar to this?
https://www.kiravans.co.uk/collections/exterior-accessories/products/kiravans-barn-door-awning-vw-t5-t6-with-spoilers
snow conditions
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Quote:

they > 100 vans there of an evening and £15, yes fifteen quid in the honesty box. Vans using toilets and emptying toilets, using showers etc for free. So a small number basically taking the p1ss ruined it for the majority

Erm. I think your numbers show that actually the vast majority of users ruined it for the majority. From your numbers approx 97% of people didn't pay the going rate.
snow conditions
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
something like this would be a good base. Keep out the winter chills. and use it to sell iced water bottles to hikers in the summer...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2011-Mercedes-Benz-Sprinter-FRIDGE-FREEZER-CHILLER-Van-MAINS-STANDBY-18-Degrees/184450437994?hash=item2af21a536a:g:j3oAAOSwF5dfa1pO
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w wrote:
Quote:

kitchen across the back of the van anyone rendering rear doors useless anyone?

My daughter and SiL have a converted T5 as their only vehicle. They had a pop up roof professionally fitted but he has done the rest himself. The "kitchen" is in the back and bolts in and out. He has rigged up a tent style roof to go over the open back doors (he's very tall and can then stand up to cook). The van is used a lot for short trips - for example to the beach for windsurfing, and for bacon rolls and mugs of tea afterwards and the formula works well. It has to double as a regular load carrier, and for passengers, and for lots of stuff like windsurfer kit, so has to be multi-purpose. They have a bike carrier which goes on the back, will take 4 bikes AND make the back doors useable - there was only one to be found which did all that.


I'm not sure the ones I've seen pictures of have a swing out kitchen i.e. usable from inside or at 90 deg outside. At least they haven't mentioned it.
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.
orange wrote:
In Glencoe it may revert again in winter but they > 100 vans there of an evening and £15, yes fifteen quid in the honesty box. Vans using toilets and emptying toilets, using showers etc for free. So a small number basically taking the p1ss ruined it for the majority and rightly they have shut it down. Hopefully by winter it may revert but I’m not so sure.


The main carpark area below the Access Chair drive is a council carpark, so the council can forbid overnight parking. Under current Covid restrictions I don't think having people staying on site informally will be tolerated as campsites / glamping aren't allowed to operate at full capacity and too many people mixing when it's not permitted, actual operation of the ski area isn't really an issue, but after hours informal socialising would be. There is also the strain on the temporary toilet facilities. Though the counter argument, is it not better to have a number of vans somewhere semi managed, than random spots all over the place?

Some sort of managed non-hook up camper parking isn't lawfully allowed due to the camping site license for the campsite and the hobbit huts. However there are various opportunities nearby for genuinely self sufficient vans, not as convenient as the carpark obviously.

Another thing the regulations currently require 'attractions' where demand is likely to exceed capacity or lead to significant queuing, to not sell tickets on the premises and manage demand by pre online booking only.
latest report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@swskier, yes, their rear door tent thingy is very like that. The kitchen doesn't "swing out" - but it can easily be removed for when the Van is needed as a load carrier, which is much of the time, but does qualify it for being taxed as a camper.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
pam w wrote:
@swskier, yes, their rear door tent thingy is very like that. The kitchen doesn't "swing out" - but it can easily be removed for when the Van is needed as a load carrier, which is much of the time, but does qualify it for being taxed as a camper.


Though I'm thinking a swing out kitchen would be pretty cool if I could still sling skis under it from the rear door somehow.
latest 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.
Yes, it would be cool - would need very strong fixings, obvs.
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
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:

I'm thinking a swing out kitchen would be pretty cool if I could still sling skis under it from the rear door somehow.


If business had picked up more slowly post (original) lockdown, I did think of doing micro-campers as a stopgap. One of the proto-ideas was a swing out kitchen unit.
snow report
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I had a Type II VW van for a few years and on Boxing Day 1975 my girlfriend and I
decided to go skiing at a resort we had heard of called Aviemore.

The van was kitted out like US vans of the era (but on a European scale)
.. Wood panelling carpet and lots of cushions.
A Philips cassette deck and four crappy speakers pumping out 4watts RMS of Ummmaguma and Tubular Bells.
We had a paraffin heater and sleeping bags.

When we arrived at Aviemore there was no snow ... What? I could not believe it.
A ski resort with no snow.

We managed to park in a campsite that was full.
Full of people in tents shivering in the toilet block,
I remembered one of those freezing blokes saying, "You can always trust a guy who tucks his vest inside his knickers".

Anyway, next morning there was a foot of snow on all the tents.

Lets go skiing!!!!

Worst ski day ever, they opened the top 400 metres of a T-Bar, I cant remember how much the day pass was... but as there was a queue of about 200 people trying to get on it, had no idea of how to use it.
It was just bonkers.
The lift was stopping all the time as the punters were hanging on to the bar as they were still stubbornly
hanging on as it dragged them along the ground.

The only way I could get up the hill was to wait till the lift stopped and pull down a T-Bar with the loop
on the ski pole. (the only use I have ever found for those loops)

But the "Ski Patrol" stopped me from doing that in the end.
They did me a favour actually, because I was shredding the P-Tex off my brand new 1st pair of skis.
It was rock ally.

That night we stayed in the car park of the Cannons hotel, much better facilities for washing etc.
And free of course.

I digress ... I just wanted to brag about my old VDub passion wagon .. and my old girlfriend
who is still sitting beside me 45 years later Smile

Unfortunately the VW is not with me still .. we parted company at the Enfield Car Auctions in 1981
but that is another tale.
latest report
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
adithorp wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:

I'm thinking a swing out kitchen would be pretty cool if I could still sling skis under it from the rear door somehow.


If business had picked up more slowly post (original) lockdown, I did think of doing micro-campers as a stopgap. One of the proto-ideas was a swing out kitchen unit.


You can still do it if you want a willing guinea pig for your work - I won't even charge you much for the privilege wink
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
adithorp wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:

I'm thinking a swing out kitchen would be pretty cool if I could still sling skis under it from the rear door somehow.


If business had picked up more slowly post (original) lockdown, I did think of doing micro-campers as a stopgap. One of the proto-ideas was a swing out kitchen unit.


You can still do it if you want a willing guinea pig for your work - I won't even charge you much for the privilege wink


You supply the VW Caddy 4motion van and we could come to some arrangement (and you're correct, it won't involve me paying you Toofy Grin )
latest report
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@adithorp, Actually went and viewed a van yesterday that was closing on eBey - sorta convinced me that a hi Top Transit or Boxer or Traffic/Master etc (or a rebrand) is what I'd want for a space to actually be able to live on a skiing tour (summer being different when awnings etc can really be a living space) - bit different when you're in a frosty Austrian carpark by the valley liftstation.
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?
Quote:
a frosty Austrian carpark by the valley liftstation
IME the Austrians are more fussy than most about where you leave a vehicle and for what reason... hence stealth properties at a premium.

Any space large enough to squeeze in a smartcar will tend to have a sign declaring why U can't park in it and that 'carpark by the valley liftstation' will have signs declaring loudly that for reasons of safety / snow-clearing vehicles are not permitted overnight.
That said, so far, on my research trips, I've mostly got away with it in the BU5 4 DUB which isn't entirely stealth, although it's a lot less attention grabbing than many. Of course, high-tops don't even get under most of the height restriction barriers.

There are choices to be made Smile
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
admin wrote:
Quote:
a frosty Austrian carpark by the valley liftstation
IME the Austrians are more fussy than most about where you leave a vehicle and for what reason... hence stealth properties at a premium.

Any space large enough to squeeze in a smartcar will tend to have a sign declaring why U can't park in it and that 'carpark by the valley liftstation' will have signs declaring loudly that for reasons of safety / snow-clearing vehicles are not permitted overnight.
That said, so far, on my research trips, I've mostly got away with it in the BU5 4 DUB which isn't entirely stealth, although it's a lot less attention grabbing than many. Of course, high-tops don't even get under most of the height restriction barriers.

There are choices to be made Smile


Yah think? Or maybe just the volume of your wake up "music"?

Good point on height barriers - part of the reason I didn't make a rash bid on the van I viewed which would have been relatively stealth (ex minibus so all sorts of plausible reasons for it being around) despite the mileage and mechanicals/service history being VERY good for the age. Figure I'm going to take a while working out my use cases and therefore exactly what vehicle specs fit.


Side note - do you think putting plausible stickers on a minibus type vehicle saying something like London Ski Team or Institute Of Fabrication helps or hinders stealthness?
snow conditions
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
One place worth parking is the police station car park. This has two advantages, if you get any complaints the police may come and ask you what you are doing parking there and ask you to park in their car park. Also, you are less likely to get complaints if you park in the police car park. Generally, the police do not like dealing with this issue, and parking in their car park will at least make it easier for them to turn a blind eye as they will be the only ones who could complain. Laughing

In Austria there are specific rules regarding free camping, which are different from France. Also Italy can be funny about it too. I reckon these days, it will be a problem all over, even in Scotland where free camping is not illegal in some remote places (although when this is abused in national parks camping restriction areas are enforced during summer seasons)
ski holidays
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
"Stealth" vans are really anything but, the vast majority are pretty obvious to anyone taking a second look.
We've spent hundreds of nights in ski lift carparks in France, Switzerland and Italy in our 24ft big white box with lots of lovely windows and have never been moved on but I do avoid Austria.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Is anyone else in the process of a winterised van conversion? About to start on mine today. All design completed and material/equipment purchased. Hopefully ready to use during the forthcoming season
latest 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!
On the rocks wrote:
Is anyone else in the process of a winterised van conversion? About to start on mine today. All design completed and material/equipment purchased. Hopefully ready to use during the forthcoming season


https://sbmcc.co.uk/
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.
This week I received my first ever approving comment about a vehicle I was driving! At 73 I have driven a long succession of excessively ordinary cars. I borrowed my daughter and son in law's van to take my bike to a repair shop and the lad there, coming to lift it out for me, said "Sweet" about the T4. It's a very late T4 and according to my son in law is now worth at least as much as they paid for it, including the roof conversion etc. The bike shop lad said his T5 has given a fair bit of trouble.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Having done a ski ski camper van trip and survived -19c in Montana, my wife and I also considered this as a covid project....... But the one thing I keep wondering.....what's the point when you can't legally free-camp?

I did a fair bit of illegal overnight camping in the US and it's pretty easy, worse comes to worse you sleep at Walmart. Campsites can be quite pricey and imho defeats the purpose though, might as well just get an Airbnb?
latest report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy