Cartwright Chronicles, Features

Why you really should use your leisure vehicle in winter

A motorhome parked up in the snow

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.

As we approach the very coldest part of the year – January and February, it’s important to show your caravan or motorhome some love. In the past, it was received wisdom to carefully drain all the systems and mothball leisure vehicles for the winter, but there is a better way.

Using your van is the most effective way to ensure everything remains in good working order. That can mean short visits or even trips away, but usage is much better than storage and can prevent problems when you want to use it later on in the year.

Hang out in your leisure vehicle

Spending some time in your van, bringing it up to temperature and breathing life into it is vital to prevent issues such as damp or rubber perishing. Hang out in your vehicle, watching a film to reconnect with it and see if there are any areas requiring attention.

It’s a bit like checking in with an elderly relative throughout the winter months. You don’t have to stay for long, but you should go regularly and make sure they are safe, warm and not complaining about anything. 

For the more intrepid…

There are many advantages to going away in your caravan or motorhome at this time of the year. Here are some of my favourites:


Many year-round holiday parks offer discounts for stays during the winter months, so you can find your pitch costs a lot less than in the height of the season. Add to this the fact that car parks at many tourist hotspots and even some attractions aren’t charging right now and you can bag yourself a bargain.


You’re not likely to be competing with other holidaymakers to get the best pitch or last entry ticket in January or February. You can have your pick of where you want to go and what you want to do. A popular Cornish beach or an iconic walk in the Highlands is much more appealing when it’s not full of other people.


A caravan with its light on and the inhabitants all cosy inside is very romantic. Think drinking hot chocolate and enjoying spectacular scenery from the warmth and safety of your leisure vehicle during the colder months of the year. My wife says I’m not romantic, but this is my idea of romance!

Try before you buy

The summer months are a busy time in the world of caravanning and it’s a good idea to know what you’re doing in advance. Take your vehicle or a destination for a test run before committing to your long summer vacation to see if it’ll work for you and your family. That way everything will go more smoothly when July rolls around.


Photo credit: Unsplash/atarin michaeli