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Winter camping accessories

SimonB

SimonB

Staff member
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1,371
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
After spending couple of nights in our Ocean in mountains few weeks ago I am definitely ordering pop top screen from rainbowthermalscreens.
I researched a bit which pop top cover to order and came to conclusion that these guys although pricey but are of good quality and more importantly easy to install.
If anyone could recommend an alternative would love to hear from you.
I have been very satisfied with my Cali-Wrap that I bought about 1½ years ago from the Club Shop.
I've used it a lot in Snowdonia and both my wife and I are very pleased with it.
We went for the version that has the window at the front which doesn't open and then a smaller opening window each side for ventilation. These line up with the side windows in the Bellows and are opened from the outside, they are held in place with strong Velcro when closed. Quite a large range of colours when we bought ours. Very easy to put on, even on your own. https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/shop/p...ornia-roof-insulation-covers/roof-cali-topper
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California4x4

California4x4

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Messages
832
Location
Scotland
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150 4Motion
I have been very satisfied with my Cali-Wrap that I bought about 1½ years ago from the Club Shop.
I've used it a lot in Snowdonia and both my wife and I are very pleased with it.
We went for the version that has the window at the front which doesn't open and then a smaller opening window each side for ventilation. These line up with the side windows in the Bellows and are opened from the outside, they are held in place with strong Velcro when closed. Quite a large range of colours when we bought ours. Very easy to put on, even on your own. https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/shop/p...ornia-roof-insulation-covers/roof-cali-topper
View attachment 69674
I have this one: https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/shop/product/roofless-cali-topper-vw-california
I went for the roofless version as I have solar on the roof and often carry a roof box. It also has the benefit of covering the roof mechanism and stopping snow and other debris like leaves and branches from getting into the roof mechanism.
In calm and cold conditions it works well - it keeps things less cold and keeps the snow out of the roof. In windy conditions, it is not so good. It rattles a lot and I’m convinced renders the thermal properties fairly useless as the gaps allow cold air to continually replace any warm air between the canvas and the cover. On one occasion, when it got very windy, I opened the inner zip inside the pop top and the wind and wispy snow was coming straight in. In its defence, the gusts were strong enough to shake the va, so I got up, stripped it off and lowered the roof.

It can be put up on your own, but it feels like a bit of a faff.

If it’s too windy to put up on your own, it’s probably not going to be a restful sleep up there anyway.

I like the fact that it keeps the majority of snow out of the roof mechanism.

It folds small enough to hide away in one of the chairs at the back.

If I was getting another one, I would be tempted to get a simple one that wraps close to the tent, inside the roof mechanism, that can be quickly deployed and packed away. If the internal thermal lining is a good fit, I’d be tempted with that also.

Their windscreen external cover is excellent though.

In summary, it gets a lukewarm recommendation, others might not be any better.

There are lots of threads on internal and external insulation options on this forum but they frequently seem to be people justifying what they chose to spend their money on rather than balanced reviews of products.

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The Pox

The Pox

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Messages
49
Location
Chorley
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Before I invested in Cali I used to camp all year round in various tents depending on the season. The colder the season the smaller the tent. I found the best two things you can buy to be comfortable at night in winter are first of all a good quality five season sleeping bag and if that is not enough, remember it is what you sleep ON keeps you warm. So I would recommend a thermal mattress the type used for mountaineering. I would buy all of these before investing in thermal wraps and screens. Think about this: mountaineers don't try to wrap up their tents with thermal insulation. They use the two things mentioned above.
 
sapto

sapto

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2,927
Location
Central Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 SE 130
What are the must have accessories fro your winter in snow camping with your Cali?

Please share links of the products :)
 
Billylou

Billylou

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Messages
280
Location
Surrey
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199
We purchased 2 Voited blankets. They're well designed as they can clip together to make a single sleeping bag, clip 2 together to make a double sleeping bag and fold in on themselves to make a pillow. They come in various designs and colour ways. There are indoor and outdoor versions and generate plenty of heat. Recommended

 
SimonB

SimonB

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1,371
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
davidgmo

davidgmo

GO'nwiTheFLO
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Messages
27
Location
Leicestershire UK
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
I have just bought a 1 metre long MYLEK 1/1.5kw silent convector skirting board heater which has a nice digital temp display and timer cut-off and low, medium and high settings. And it has a remote control too.

It will actually fit under the bed on the cabinet side but may make the bed too warm so I will either position it ontop of the fridge/cooker or between the seats. Alternatively maybe with the top up align it along the front of the front seats when turned round so that it also heats directly up through the pop up hatch? At least for travelling it will store under the bed alongside the cabinets easily.

Have tried it in the house and it keeps a room toasty warm and cycles on and off to maintain temp

Interestingly I found Amazon was £20 more than the price I found here:

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Julesa

Julesa

Messages
36
Location
Midlands
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I agree

asking me to measure my standard pop top is a deal breaker for me
Apparently the pop tops are made elsewhere so there are variations. I would recommend waiting for a VW show where Rainbow are exhibiting & they measure the van for you
 
H

Highlands

VIP Member
Messages
22
Location
Highlands
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
If you are on a campsite and have an EHU then a small electric heater is a good idea https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/shop/product/kampa-diddy-ceramic-fan-750w-1500w-heater-me0524 Why use your diesel on the van heater, use one of these instead. You are paying for the electricity you might as well use it.
Use the van heater to get the whole van hot enough and then use the electric one to keep it at a comfortable temperature afterwards.
Just picked this oil heater up from Home Bargains. Cheap as chips at £14.99

 
C

Craig Morrison

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
37
Location
Aberdeenshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
it's funny to read that no1 has recommended the heater snorkel for the top bed
Is there an actual one you can buy that doesn’t cost the same as an Ocean? Iv made one myself using tumble dryer vent hose but not the best
 
Sunstoner

Sunstoner

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Messages
252
Location
Nottinghamshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
Apparently the pop tops are made elsewhere so there are variations. I would recommend waiting for a VW show where Rainbow are exhibiting & they measure the van for you
I drove down to their base in Milton Keynes to have them measure up just to be sure.

As above, poptops arent standard size.

Whilst there the owner had said that poptops can be out by upto 6cm hence why measurements are needed for the snug fitting poptop cover.
 
66tim99

66tim99

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Messages
274
Location
London
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Baldrick

Baldrick

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
36
Location
Sevenoaks
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Brandrup Isotop poptop internal insulation. A bit of a nightmare to fit mind, but keeps it warmer in winter, cooler in the summer. We don't regret the purchase despite the the eye watering price tag.
There's about 5 different versions btw
 
Baldrick

Baldrick

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
36
Location
Sevenoaks
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Is there an actual one you can buy that doesn’t cost the same as an Ocean? Iv made one myself using tumble dryer vent hose but not the best
£7 mini hose from Amazon. Fitted using a recommendation from somewhere else on the forum - small enough to keep in the ‘Van, easy to fit, just bend the bottom round until it’s snug

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QNZZRP7/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_p6PUFb87Q5AF6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


Thread and pictures here

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sapto

sapto

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Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
2,927
Location
Central Switzerland
Vehicle
T5 SE 130
What are the must have accessories fro your winter in snow camping with your Cali?

Please share links of the products :)
And now please give us some hints where you're going [mention]ddgp [/mention] ? Sound like you're going to do some adventures and I for sure look forward to see some pics
 
LCD

LCD

Messages
11
Location
Bavaria
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I agree

asking me to measure my standard pop top is a deal breaker for me
I measured mine last weekend (ok that was an honest attempt at least). It's
very awkward, especially the roof length as it needs to be low enough for you to reach. I am too wondering how specifying the exact model is not enough
 
Sunstoner

Sunstoner

VIP Member
Messages
252
Location
Nottinghamshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
I measured mine last weekend (ok that was an honest attempt at least). It's
very awkward, especially the roof length as it needs to be low enough for you to reach. I am too wondering how specifying the exact model is not enough
The measurements are needed because the poptops on Cali's are not the same size. They have different measurements. They vary very slightly but enough so that measurements are needed. As odd as that is to get ones head around.
 
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H

Highlands

VIP Member
Messages
22
Location
Highlands
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Decided not to bother with that faff and ordered a Pucer screen at less than half the price :thumb
 

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