Cartwright Chronicles, Features

Benefits of enjoying a skiing trip with your leisure vehicle

A leisure vehicle parked up against a backdrop of snowy mountains

Dan Cartwright has over 12 years of experience in the caravan and motorhome industry. He is a judge for a number of prestigious leisure vehicle awards and regularly heads off in his motorhome with his family. Every week, Dan shares his insights with the community. Here’s what he has to say this week.

If, like me, you’ve been bitten by the skiing or snowboarding bug, you’ll know how prohibitively expensive it can be. By the time you’ve added up the cost of flights, accommodation, transfers, luggage charges and food, it can make London or New York look like value for money.

One way to get around most of these costs, as well as improve flexibility for yourself and your family, is to take your leisure vehicle on your next winter sports adventure. Motorhomes can be great, but I like to use a caravan, which can be left on site while you drive to the ski lift in your towcar.

Swap flights for the ferry

While a two-hour flight to the Alps seems like a convenient option, it rarely is. Firstly, you need to be at the airport two hours prior to departure, so you’ve already doubled the time and your flight is likely to be at 4am. That means organising a costly transfer and arriving at the resort hours before you can check in.

My preferred option is to head to Dover after work on a Friday and get the ferry across to France. Make use of the wonderful French roadside services in your leisure vehicle for a good night’s sleep and arrive at your campsite refreshed and ready to explore before a full day on the mountain the next day.

Choose the bigger resorts

Many winter sports enthusiasts avoid the larger resorts in a bid to save money. But when you’re travelling with your leisure vehicle, the only major outlay is the lift pass, so you can still head to Val d’Isere or Les Trois Vallees without seeing the costs mount up.

That means you’re more likely to have reliable snow conditions and a greater choice of runs than the cheaper alternatives. If the weather isn’t on your side, you’ll also have more flexibility in a leisure vehicle to pack up and move on.

Campsite facilities

Campsites near the big resorts are well equipped for hosting caravanners and motorhomers wishing to enjoy winter sports. That means they have drying rooms for all your wet kit just like the big ski hotels, cutting down the need to accommodate bulky ski jackets in your rig.

Many also have regular buses to the base of the ski lifts, so you can hop on one of these if you are travelling in a motorhome that you want to leave parked up. A caravan and towcar set up offers you more flexibility, but motorhomes have their benefits too.

Top tips for a leisure vehicle ski trip

While there are many benefits of taking your leisure vehicle on your annual winter sports trip, it’s also important to be prepared. I recommend the following:

  • Make sure you have a good gas or electricity set up, as your water system may dump its contents if the base level drops below five degrees C.
  • Fit both your caravan or motorhome and towcar with snow tyres to navigate those mountain roads.
  • Pack a snow shovel to help get you out of any tricky situations, just in case.
  • Always stop to fill up on fuel, food, wine and any other essentials before you reach the resort, as prices in the vicinity of ski hotspots are always inflated.


Photo credit: Unsplash/Patrick Mueller