Van Travel: Cold Van Plans

Cold weather brings some of the very best activities: snow shoeing, skiing, fat tire biking, drinking hot toddies, and cuddling up at camp. With temperatures dropping both in and out of the van, we’ve spent some time making sure that things are staying warm when the weather turns cold. In addition to some basic insulation, we got creative and now find ourselves excited to come back to the van after a day out in the snow. Here are some of our favorite additions:

  • A down comforter. We got an incredibly warm goose down comforter from Feathered Friends, a local Seattle store. Being experts on fighting the chill, they have several different bedding options– based on our mountain travels, we ended up with the “Cascade 700 Bavarian Arctic” comforter and never looked back.
  • A small space heater. We don’t use it all the time, but when you’re up and about in the van it’s nice to have a little heat source. After doing a little trial-and-error research and testing, this one turned out to be our favorite. It runs off of propane, burns clean, and is simple to use.

    Note: if you’re using a space heater in wetter environments, we highly recommend having a ceiling vent to release condensation. These folks are pretty great. If a ceiling vent is not in your future, opening a couple windows a crack will work just fine. 

  • A 12 volt electric blanket. If you have a power source (ie. house battery) collecting energy for use when your adventuremobile is parked, this is particularly useful. This blanket has a 12 volt plug, making it car friendly. Our van has both USB and 12 volt connections that pull from the house battery, so on particularly cold nights I use this blanket. 
  • A USB re-chargeable lantern. We’ve had this lantern ever since getting our van, and it’s a really great staple item of ours. The aesthetic of this lantern has an analog feel while still being incredibly modern with its USB charging capabilities, and the light it emits is incredibly warm-feeling. Perfect for a night of reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying a campy dinner!
  • A windshield cover. I especially recommend this for folks who are going above the snow line, as a window cover helps to keep condensation in the van at bay in colder temperatures. This one in particular worked well for us when we took a trip to Bend, Oregon and the lows at night were in the 2-3-degree Fahrenheit range– yikes! We were happy to have the extra covered space inside the van and less moisture to manage each morning.

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