Sunday Musings: Snow Vanlife. Brrr!
It snowed last night.
This overwhelmed me with childish glee, those first flakes of winter are so magical aren’t they?
The snow falls and you remember the fun, the beauty, the romance of a white winter.
But the grown-up you crushes the glee by reminding you of the cold, the frozen toes, the trudging through sludge, the bulky layers of clothes that make rushing to the loo an absolute a challenge and a half.
Now imagine living in a Transit van over the freezing, snowy winter months.
Year two feels less fun, you can remember the discomforts of the previous winter, you buy a gas heater to take the edge off the frozen mornings. The ice on the inside of the windows doesn’t make you feel like a pioneer anymore, it makes you feel like a gluten for punishment.
Year three? You put the Transit into storage and take the train to South East Asia, where you sit out the winter months in flip flops and factor 30.
In our second Transit winter we met Tony and Carol – wildlife photographers extraordinaire –who also live nomadically in a van: a big warm motorhome.
Their van became a cosy refuge for us in snowbound evenings, until we had to trudge out to our frozen Transit for bed!
For a number of reasons a fourth winter in the Transit never happened, not least because I just couldn’t face it.
Maybe I’m too old for it now, I want comfort, I want to enjoy the beauty and fun of the winter without dreading the reality of it.
As I wrote in this post about our new demountable camper home, the main reason we went for the camper we did was because of its central heating system and insulation.
A Swedish camper designed for a Swedish winter, yes please!
So, it snowed last night.
I’d been sitting in the camper editing photos, BBC Radio 2 was keeping me company, the Alde heating system thermostat was set to 20º C and a could hear it clicking on and off every now and again as it maintained the ambient temperature.
The window blinds were up making me completely oblivious to the outside world.
I’m not camped up on some wild Scottish moor, or up a mountain, no, we’re parked up on a friend’s drive. The house is however on the top of a hill, on the coast, open to the elements and when we are parked here the camper gets the full thrust of the north wind when she blows!
At 10 pm I popped out of the camper to have a wash before bed (I love my van, but a proper house bathroom is a luxury I’m happy to take advantage of when I can!).
I opened the camper door to the magical world beyond: fine snowflakes were falling in the yellow streetlight. A rush of cold air: it hit the back of my throat sending a shiver through me, yet my heart glowed: snow!
I snuggled in bed, in my summer jimjams listening to the faint haze of snow falling on the camper roof just above me.
BBC Radio 2 was still playing, Sounds of the 80s – which was helpfully confirming that if I was old enough to remember these tracks then I was definitely too old to be freezing my arse off in an unheated Transit van.
I was no longer that gluten for punishment, I am comfortably accepting that I am a grown up who deserves to be warm.
I turned to thermostat down once I got into bed, down to the low setting. This not only kept the ambient temperature comfortable but also prevents the pipes in the camper freezing overnight.
I have a cheap little thermometer hanging on the curtains by the bed (it was a keyring that came with Chad the 80’s car we drove around Australia!) and when I woke this morning it read 14ºC.
Unsurprisingly, reassuringly, there was no ice on the inside of the camper windows!
Pin it for later:
Try these posts:
Sunday Musings: Birthdays Away Celebrating at home or abroad?
Sunday Musings: Speaking French Realising all that High School French was worth it!
Sunday Musings: That Time I Saw The Northern Lights in Yorkshire Yes, really! And I have photos to prove it!
Our New Tiny Demountable Camper Home Introducing our Truck camper before we moved into it.
Saying Goodbye to Our Nomadic Home After four years Juan the Transit goes to the scrapheap in the sky.
Homes With Wheels: My Life In Campervans From vintage VWs to the present day.
Have you campervanned in the snow? Great fun or chilled to the bone?