How I stay warm in the camper van during winter

My journey started in September, in Scotland. I have only ever camped during the winter so I didn’t know any different until I came to Spain. It’s been quite a revelation having the van doors open and not sleeping in 7 layers.

As it grew colder in the Highlands I retreated south, then when the winter really hit I was already in Spain, so I’m not sure I am the most hardened ‘vanlifer’ to tell you about keeping warm in a van, but here is what I do!

1. Drink

In my defence I was in Scotland, it would have been rude not to have a dram of whiskey. A drop of that golden syrup certainly warmed me up, but I also drank a lot of hot drinks - tea, coffee and hot chocolate - partly because it’s comforting having a hot cuppa in your hands but mostly, because heating up the kettle on the stove gave off plenty of warmth.

2. Thermal Blinds

My thermal blinds for all 8 windows in the camper van are easily my Best Buy. I bought a set designed for a VWT25 from Campervan Culture for about £90. The blinds tick a lot of boxes;

  • The lining keeps the warmth in during the winter.

  • The reflective layer keeps you cool in the summer.

  • Easy to put up and take down, so much so I don’t have curtains on all the windows.

  • They are brilliant black out blinds, perfect for privacy and long lie-ins!

3. Layers

Lots of layers. Blankets. Jumpers. Socks. Hats. Don’t be embarrassed. Layer it up!

4. Thermals

I bought a cosy pair of thermal leggings and tops from Marks and Spencers. They worked a treat and made a big difference. I would wear the thermals as a base layer hiking too.

5. Hot Water Bottle

My friend accidentally left a hot water bottle at my house when she stayed for a weekend years ago. It wasted away in the under the kitchen sink cupboard until I bought the campervan. Now the water bottle is my best friend.

6. Dougie the dog

He is the next best thing to my hot water bottle!

7. Propex Heater

The campervan was already installed with a small Propex heater which runs off gas and the leisure battery. In Scotland the heater didn’t work so the above tips and tricks were all I had, until I found a portable gas heater like this one in Stornoway.

The first thing I did when I returned home was upgrade my leisure battery to run the heater off. I don’t like to have the heater on too long or sleep with it on, so I use it for short, sharp bursts when the temperature really dips.

I hope this helps! What are your tips for keeping warm?