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Overwintering? in the dark? shed some light.


snowie

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Back from Croatia and already looking to get back in the van.

 

Spain, Portugal, Sicily, Morroco or Greece. I like the idea; but in practice I'm not sure I could cope with the short days over a thousand miles away any better than I do at home.

 

I'm probably looking at 6-8 weeks away, on a proper site, somewhere where sightseeing is still possible, and also would plan to hire a car for trips.

 

When you do the sums it adds up to quite a lot of money, so is the benefit in vitamin D worth it?

 

What's your experience?

 

alan b

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Guest pelmetman

We have only been back a week and have already booked the chunnel B-)..............Hope to be able to do Jan & Feb in Spain this time, depending on work as I'm not yet a full time member of the idle classes :D

 

The weather can be variable, and the nights are chilly..............but that's more than compensated by the shorts and T shirt day time weather :-D

 

The main cost's are the campsite and the ferry and fuel..........food is generally cheaper............but those costs are balanced by only spending money on keeping the house frost free, as opposed to warm..........Electric use will be down to a couple of low energy bulbs on a timer :D

 

In short the vitamin D is worth it, and best of all it breaks up the very long UK winter B-)

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Funnily enough, this is something that I'm still contemplating. I've just been booking our holiday ferries/tunnel for next year and it is going to be a LONG time before the first 'foreign' holiday (May) and the thought of being in the UK at home (odd weekends away excepted) isn't great.

 

What is it really like to go abroad in Jan/Feb ... how short are the days compared with here, and, realistically, how cold does it get. It's a lot of dosh to spend on getting to somewhere warmer than here especially since we can't just 'mothball' our cottage so will have to have the heating on a bit higher than the frost setting ...

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Mel B - 2012-10-18 1:41 PM

 

Funnily enough, this is something that I'm still contemplating.

What is it really like to go abroad in Jan/Feb ... how short are the days compared with here, and, realistically,......... It's a lot of dosh to spend on getting to somewhere warmer than here................ ...

 

Hi Mel,

We've been thinking about it since we made the decision to have a van, but when we decided to have a van converted to our own design, we didn't include long term use in comparatively cool conditions.

 

We have a PVC, which, like any PVC, is not massively spacious, so we would be pretty restricted if the weather was bad.

 

An aspect of camping at around 38 degrees latitude in winter, is the shortness of the days, which in conjunction with a smallish van and maybe poor weather, would be our worst nightmare. Less space than a prison cell!

( My gut feeling is that a couple, over-wintering in a 7-8 m coachbuilt would have enough space, a 6m PVC would be pushing it)

 

We don't do wild camping, we like to have some space, so campsite with a decent pitch and good facilities would be needed, but it's a long way, to Spain and or Portugal and a lot of diesel.

 

Set against energy bill savings at home, (approx £250 ) this would still cost approx €1100, so it needs to be a "holiday", which I don't see at the moment.

If we lived in Austria, or Southern France it might look more attractive.

 

To be somewhere where it's low season, things are closed, and there aren't many people around isn't very appealling, after all it's supposed to be a holiday.

 

Fundamentally, I think I'd like to "overwinter" somewhere where it's Spring or Autumn! which rules Europe out.

 

regards

alan b

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Guest pelmetman

Hi Mel

 

Lets face it Mel you live round our neck of the woods and its blinking freezing here in the winter. I know where we'd rather be. Go on give it a try!!

 

SUE

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Guest pelmetman
snowie - 2012-10-18 2:03 PM

We have a PVC, which, like any PVC, is not massively spacious, so we would be pretty restricted if the weather was bad.

 

An aspect of camping at around 38 degrees latitude in winter, is the shortness of the days, which in conjunction with a smallish van and maybe poor weather, would be our worst nightmare. Less space than a prison cell!

 

 

 

Can't say we noticed the days being shorter :-S...................don't forget Spain is still an hour ahead of the UK ;-)

 

As for van size I suspect at 17' our coachbuilt is shorter than your pvc, but a awning can easily double your space, and if you plan on staying on a site they usually have a bar or restaurant, at Calpe this January they had entertainment once a week where we witnessed the Nomad show :D ................

 

The pic was taken this January in Calpe, naturally no one can guarantee good weather, but I suspect you won't find weather like this in the UK in January B-)

web.jpg.a33959b853787beee67d28a95d871ebd.jpg

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pelmetman - 2012-10-18 5:54

 

 

Can't say we noticed the days being shorter :-S...................don't forget Spain is still an hour ahead of the UK ;-)

As for van size I suspect at 17' our coachbuilt is shorter than your pvc, but a awning can easily double your space, and if you plan on staying on a site they usually have a bar or restaurant, at Calpe this January they had entertainment once a week where we witnessed the Nomad show :D ................

 

The pic was taken this January in Calpe, naturally no one can guarantee good weather, but I suspect you won't find weather like this in the UK in January B-)

 

Hi Sue?

 

The photo looks very nice, and Lincoln in January is not going to compete.

 

I know; the day still has 24 hours, but more of them are dark. I'm looking out of the window now, at 6:30pm, and it's been dark for about half an hour, but I'll find plenty to do here for about 4-5 hours before I get my head down.

 

I suppose that if I planned for the days to be full, of walking, sightseeing etc I'd have no trouble going to bed a bit earlier than I do usually. More planning, hire a car for a few days and choose an area with plenty to do in January.

 

You're right, a campsite with a bar and some entertainment must make a big difference.

 

And I think an awning would be a good idea. Can we get it sorted before Xmas? We'll see,

 

There you are, I'm almost convinced! ( there's a limit to how many books or Airfix kits I can take with me. My wife's a sudoku addict and has no problems reading into the night)

 

Thanks for the encouragement,

 

take care

alan b

 

 

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Hi snowie

 

Books - get a Kindle (The 'keyboard' one gives you limited internet access abroad), I haven't got one but those that have them say they are great - even tight wad Dave has one! :D

 

I'm a puzzle book addict (Logic puzzles are my 'thing') and unfortunately you can't get these for Kindles *-) so I'm stuck with the real thing unless I can find a computer based version to download beforehand.

 

As for an awning ... what van have you got? I might just have exactly what you need!!! :-D

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Mel B - 2012-10-19 12:50 PM

 

Hi snowie

 

Books - get a Kindle - even tight wad Dave has one! :D

 

 

As for an awning ... what van have you got? I might just have exactly what you need!!! :-D

 

Hi Mel;

 

I'll keep looking for the mix of biographies, thrillers and travelogues, get my watercolours out and see how we go!

Puzzles; I know I'll regret it but I can't be bothered; I know I should be exercising the grey matter, but.........

 

Awning; well the van's a one-off based on the LWB Ducato, with a 3.5M Fiamma awning. Looking at the Riversway Leisure/Salon or Luxe type, 2.6M should be able to open the sliding door, and not drag it off the side of the van.the side of the van. Still looking really, want something that will be good for winter weekends in uk and longer trips to the sun,

 

cheers

alan b

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snowie - 2012-10-20 10:49 AM

 

Awning; well the van's a one-off based on the LWB Ducato, with a 3.5M Fiamma awning. Looking at the Riversway Leisure/Salon or Luxe type, 2.6M should be able to open the sliding door, and not drag it off the side of the van.the side of the van. Still looking really, want something that will be good for winter weekends in uk and longer trips to the sun,

Ah, I see, you're looking for a 'fixed' type of awning rather than a drive-away type. Be aware that some of these lightweight type ones won't stand up to a lot of wind (as witnessed on the Stratford show ground in June!). If you are definitely after this type, I'd suggest the ones with the lower part of the poles exposed and attached by clips (rather than the ones with the 'full' pole tunnels), and with the additional storm straps, such as the Luxe version.

 

I'd also suggest seeing if you can get a second hand one as it will be a lot cheaper and if you then decide it isn't the right one for your needs, you won't have lost anything in the process as you should get your money back.

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