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The best hacks to stay warm in your campervan in winter.

Traveling in your campervan in winter can be the most magical thing! Exploring snowy landscapes, having some hot chocolate, visiting Christmas markets, and maybe even going skiing! But you do need some ways to stay warm in your campervan in winter.

In this post I will take you through the best hacks you will need in winter.

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how to stay warm in winter

Campervan winter hacks for you

Insulate your van

When converting your van, you shouldn’t skip the insulation part. Insulation will help keep most heat inside your van in winter, without it, the heat will escape.

There are all sorts of insulation to install in your van, like sheep’s wool, Armaflex, and foam. You need to do your research on which insulation will be best for you and how to install it.

vanlife insulation
We insulated our entire van with Armaflex. This is only our floor done.

Invest in a good heater

Another thing you should do when traveling in your winter campervan is get a good heater. Without a heater, you won’t be able to generate heat and stay warm at all. Then the insulation won’t have a purpose, because there won’t be much heat to keep inside.

Getting a heater will help you a lot to stay warm. There are different kinds of heaters to choose from, like diesel, electric, wood stoves, and more. Check out which heater is best for you.

Install a fan

What? A fan? Won’t that cool the air?

No, it won’t. You will need to ventilate the air in your van to help get rid of moisture.

Moisture and mold is a huge problem that often occurs in campervans. Some heaters will encourage this problem and add moisture to your van. And of course, you will be breathing, leading to condensation on the windows.

To keep your van from getting mold, you need to circulate the air inside your van. A fan will help this without blowing cold air inside.

The fan we installed:

Fill up holes and seal air gaps

Most vans will have holes or air gaps. I know when we bought Nova, there were over 30 holes in the floor and some in the doors and roof. We had to fill all these gaps because they were the biggest cause of the cold getting inside.

So I recommend searching your entire van for holes and gaps and filling them up with kit, foam, or any other filler.

And check your window and door rubbers, if they still seal well. Otherwise, replace them. It’s easy and it’ll keep you warm!

Cover your windows

Windows are also good for inviting the cold inside. But of course, we don’t want that to happen, so you need to cover your windows.

Something I recommend doing is insulating your curtains. You can do this by adding reflectix, cork, thin Armaflex, or any other thin sheet of insulation.

Then by closing your curtains, the cold will have no way of getting inside through the windows anymore!

campervan winter
Reflectix will keep the cold out.

Use some hot water bottles

Having a hot water bottle in bed with you will keep you as warm as toast! You just make one or several of these bottles and they will stay warm for up to 8 hours!

To make these bottles, you will need a rubber water bottle. Now boil some water and fill your bottle up to no more than 2/3 the capacity. Close the bottle tightly, and maybe wrap them in a thin cloth. You should check for leaks by shaking it around.

Now enjoy! Lay them next to you, at your hands, or lay them at your feet. That’ll keep you warm at night or during the day.

Warning: Don’t use this bottle in combination with an electric blanket. If your bottle spills and gets to the electricity, you won’t be just as warm as toast, but you will be toast. So do keep this in mind for your own safety.

Cover your floor

Most people have a wooden or vinyl floor in their van and those get cold. Like really cold. So besides wearing warm socks, floor coverings may help. Something like a rug or carpet will be a lot warmer than your bare floor and make sure your feet will stay warm.

So do cover your cold floor, it will make much difference!

how to keep a camper warm in the winter

Invest in some good blankets and bedding

I mean, it’s logical, right? You’d do so in your own house, so why not invest in some good bedding for your van?

Of course, there’ll be nights when even 4 thick blankets won’t keep you warm. Most vanlifers also prefer to keep a sleeping bag in their van for these situations.

Wear a beanie

It’s as simple as that. Just wear a beanie. Keeping your feet and head warm could make all the difference. And yes, it may sound weird, living and sleeping with your beanie on, but what does it matter? If it keeps you warm, go for it!

This merino wool beanie will keep you warm much better than other materials:

Wear lots of layers

Of course, this won’t come as a surprise. Wearing lots of layers will surely keep you warm in winter. I recommend buying some good thermos as a base layer and just wearing anything else on top of that.

Wearing layers is also quite practical. If you’re getting too hot you can just lose one or two layers instead of having to change your ‘’outfit’’.

staying warm in a campervan

Wear merino wool

Now that we’re still talking about clothes, here’s another one. Wear merino wool!

There are many reasons why you should wear merino wool. It provides good insulation, transports moisture, and has anti-static properties; it doesn’t itch, smell or crease much; it is lightweight and keeps its shape. And it does all this in a completely natural and sustainable way.

And merino wool isn’t something you can only wear in winter, it’s just as great in summer! Merino wool helps keep your body cool in hot temperatures. Yep, apparently wool can do that.

Well, if that’s not something you’d want, I don’t know what to do anymore.

You can find anything made of merino wool, like socks, t-shirts, long sleeves, hats, trousers, sweaters, and more!

Move south

What’s an easier way to stay warm in winter than avoiding winter?

I’m sure I’m not the first one telling you this; many vanlifers prefer this option.

Moving south, to a warmer climate may be the best thing about van life itself. Having the freedom to just do this.

campervan winter

I can imagine that winter van life – although it can be refreshing – is not ideal. Staying inside most of the time, working, cooking, and eating inside, it’s not just something. I’m guessing that for some people it’s everything they’ve ever wanted, but I only have a small van.

And for those with a small van, the easiest option is moving south. Because you simply don’t have room to store bulky sweaters, blankets, beanies, and all that. And on top of that, you don’t want to be spending most hours of the day inside your small living area.

So yeah, I hope I’ve made my point. Of course, you need to do what you want to do, you can always try, maybe winter van life is right for you.

Final thoughts on campervan winter travel

You should try out these hacks one by one and see which ones work best for you!

Have you ever been on a winter trip with your van? Let me know in the comments below!

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