first ski trip

Questions and information regarding things that will improve your motorhome or save you money.

first ski trip

Unread postby jonny6168 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 16:18

I read alot of really good information on here before we went on our first Ski trip over Xmas and new year total of nearly 3 weeks we visited four ski resots in total and really enjoyed the trip and it made it more fun being able to take the dog.

So we decided to give some feed back and some pointers we picked up from you lot.

We decided to take our time and not pay the tolls ans as we had been to switerland earlier in the year we drove through belgium and down past Metz stoppoing at pont Mousson aire and then to Les Rousses. Xmas at Le Grand Bornand campsite and the on to Samoens for new year.

We have been caravaners for lots of years and decided to purchase a rapido motorhome in November

I spent a lot of time winterising the van even though the fresh water tanks are on board and all the water pipes are clipped next to the heater ducting. we left water and heating on low and never had any pipes freeze up whole trip. even when temp outside didn't rise above minus 5c some days, though others aound us were.

First thing i did was to use sandwiched silver back insulating roll from tyvek Type they use in roofs to cover the rear wheel arches which were bare pastic under the fixed bed and under shelf in wardrobe, also modified the shelf to stop the heating duct being mishaped. Also put some on top of the battery box in cab as alot of air comes in from there.

The Gas locker was also uninsulated totally and was under front seating. I insulated this with Celotex R and then wrapped the 2 No. 11kg bottles in the Tyvek to stop ice forming on them .

Our waste water tank is under the van and is double skinned with heating ducted into it. I did decide to cover the outside of the tank with Celotex R 25mm board which I stuck and then used Duck tape around edges and then made wooden craddle up to further support as we drove. This worked brillantly temp got down to -12c and we still had luke warm water when i emptied the waste tank next day. I did take buckets but only used them to drain off water when tank getting full, saved moving motorhome on site.

We were lucky as the blown air heating also was ducted into the toilet cassette area which I was a bit concerned with as outdoor shower point there aswell on back wall. I did cut a piece of celotex to fit into locker for extra insulation around this area.

We also have a full height eternal ski locker which has heating ducted into it perfect for some wet gear. used guttering holders to ensure skis didnt move.

I think my motto was on winerisation was if it feels cold in this country it will freeze over there.

We invested in a second hand German insulated winter screen cover and full cab apron which made a hell of a differance to temparture of the cab area, it is so much better than the previous one we had. We had another couple in for drinks also with ducato cab they just had a screen on, but they could not use the capitains chairs as to many drafts and felt cold in theirs.

We ended up only using the combi heating system in the van and often turned it down to 900watts over night as it was getting to hot in van. we did have on board a extra Fan and oil fired radiator incase we got cold but didn't use all trip. Made the mistake of taking 13.5 tog duvet and ended up sleep naked on top of it. Keep the Van at about 13c over night we found comfy.

Things we learnt during our trip were the overhead lockers get alot of condensation and clothes we stored in there were getting damp even when we kept doors open. We swapped the clothes into the kitchen cupboards which is located above boiler. this was also brillant cupboard for drying gloves hats etc.

One thing I will do before our next trip is to insulate the internal step of the van which is plactic and has vents in it. It was that cold the mat was frozen in the mornings and ice had formed on the step moulding.

Other things we learnt on site and watching others were:-
Snow chains yes we had to use them and watched many trying to put them on or socks once the got stuck. First rule is to make sure the chains are not tangled in any way and feed them behind wheel slowly so not to tangle, then classic mistake is the feed the chains over the the tyre overloop top and then push the chain through the loop at the bottom thus you tangle the chains up. I mastered the art and could get them on in under 2 mintues when needed when we came to a stop on a impassible road after heavy snowand a cars behind me.

we had to preform a six point turn in road and using snow chains this broke one set to pieces. and lost some bits. but I repaired them with rope I carried with me.

I carried water carriers with us so we didnt have to move off the pitch to fill the water tank but next time I will be carrying a watering can to help fill.

We did have on a couple of occasions 30cm of snow fall over night so make sure you take steps with you and broom and snow shovel. I watched others who did not clear roofs of suffer later as it turned to rain and then froze over night. They could not open doors vents had blocked and sat dishes could not be retracted.

Do not park under trees full of snow as if thawing will keep you awake its like someone throwing snowballs at van. As the French van next to us found out if it turns to rain the snow gets heavy and trees come down. Yep on top of their van.

We would spend more time on Aires next time and we loved the Aire at Les Rousses which was right next to the Cable Car and skied back to the door. Its right on the Swiss boarder and and you can get a pass to cover both countries. This was best area we skied all trip ( for us only wanting to tackle blues and reds) At one stage we were only ones on the whole lift and had pistes to our selves, it cost us 23 euros each for a days skiing. Think it only opend at weekends early in session. Would of loved to spent longer there but had booked Le Grand Bornand for xmas eve.

Other items we will put on board next trip will be solar panels got them but not fitted as yet. buy a second leisure battery and wire in, and may invest in generator so we can spend more time away from sites.

We carried with us and I did use were the following
Brush and broom Brush off skis and boots before putting away
Grit Salt
Snow Chains
Heavey duty zip ties
strong thin rope for repairs to snow chains
tool kit
do not use your plastic ramps saw somep eople leaving them behind as stuck in ice. take some blocks of wood and a length about 450mm long wide enough for wheels. you can then hammer these out of ice or leave behind
deicer to use to get sat dish to retract if iced up
wd40 as we found door got stiff
rubber drive on grass mats outside door and used also to get traction to move off site
extra hangers or rail over shower for drying jackets etc.
Tom tom truck sat nav and downloaded all the camping aires to it

We only booked day passes and often only did 4 hour passes as we took the dog for long walks in the morning before leaving her. we used the automated card machines so didnt queue everytime we wanted a ski pass. This also helped save wasting money on day which were a white out, to windy and even one day to heavy rain.
they also offer a insurance for about 3 euros a day to cover getting you off the mountian incase of injury. this means you dont have to part with any money that you have to claim back at a later date. This was something we didnt even know about only having skied on package tours before.

In summary we loved the trip and cant wait to do it again maybe in March, The distances for us have to be considered as we live in Cornwall so get to Dover is something for us before we start. Having said that we were in Calais about to board train at 8.20 and 6 and half hours later we were home feet up in front of fire and had covered 360 driving miles.

we hope this may make a few people decide to take the step and have just as much fun as we did on our trip.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 14:00

Re: first ski trip

Unread postby darach2 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 20:46

Good info
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 20:22

Re: first ski trip

Unread postby Markandlisa » Sat Jan 27, 2018 23:51

Excellent info regarding warming the Motorhome thank you - one question did you stay in les rousses village or the Aire on the road couple of km south ?? We are planning a trip to Les Menuires in the 3 valleys and this could be a good overnight stop and ski using the toll free ‘eastern route’ - were you able to pre book any Aires or campsites right near a ski lift as we have various ages and abilities and We’re looking for the certainty of getting a place and ease of coming and going to lifts - any thoughts welcome :)
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 23:15

Re: first ski trip

Unread postby TMarg » Wed May 16, 2018 17:34

I was planning to visit a well known ski resort with my friends, so all of us were enthusiastic about getting some good tips about skiing from experts, and we did it easily by reading the posts at
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 17:31

Re: first ski trip

Unread postby Peteabix » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:34

jonny6168 wrote:I read alot of really good information on here before we went on our first Ski trip over Xmas and new year total of nearly 3 weeks we visited four ski resots in total and really enjoyed the trip and it made it more fun being able to take the dog.

So we decided to give some feed back and some pointers we picked up from you lot.
we hope this may make a few people decide to take the step and have just as much fun as we did on our trip.

Hi Jonny
Excellent post with some invaluable detailed advise. Thank you.
We will be doing our first motor home ski trip this winter so will be acting on it.
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:15

Return to Tips, Modifications & Improvements

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest