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Winter Fun

Great info. I was originally borrowing a friends roof topper, but decided it was to bulky. So have bought two rolls of silver foil insulation on Saturday. I am thinking of wrapping around the outside of the poptop for a bit of extra insulation. Never thought about using it to insulate the rear windows. I might do that.
Do you not have a diesel heater...?
Plan to use this for an hour at bedtime, then again an hour before waking up.
In addition to the foil on the rear windows, I used odd bits of air bubble packing stuffed behind the vans closed blinds, which I think worked really well as there was no condensation on the these windows at all.
Only used the diesel heater just the once as we arrived at campsite when it was closed (1:00am). The temp on arrival was -10c but it did keep us warm too. Setting 3 I think. Once on site the elec. heater worked fine and charges were a per day rate rather than unit use, so made sense to stick with the electric.
My Cali is 4 motion and I had 4 chains which were a pain as they not only take up space but are very heavy. The roads were clear so these additions were not needed but this year has seen poor snow conditions. At some points we reached an altitude of over 5000 ft in the van and the mountain pass was completely clear. However we do plan to drive the van up to Norway in winter so the 4 motion will be required at some point. I fitted the Nokian winter SUV tyres which were very good.
I would like to make a correction to my earlier post. I had a look in the Aquamotion leaflet we kept for the new swimming centre which has been built in Courchevel- its not as expensive as I thought. A weeks adult pass to use the swimming, sauna and other facilities is 65 euro which is quite good considering the facilities are superb and it is right in the middle of a 5star resort. This is the only practical way I can see for you to access wash facilities in this resort. Web site as follows - www.AQUAMOTION-COURCHEVEL.COM
Reference skis and boots. We hired ours and took them back to the shop each evening so they were dry when we collected them in the morning. We did notice lockers were available for ski and boot storage in the base lift station - something which I believe is quite common in resorts. The locker room was locked at 5pm but the shop were we hired our gear closed at 7pm and was very close to the slopes so that was the best option for us.
Hope that helps.
air is quite dry at altitude so if you're clothes do get wet they dry quickly (we left our ski outfits on the seat of the van overnight and they were dry in the morning). We hired ski boots and skis and returned them to shop each evening at the base of the slopes so they were dry when we collected them in the morning. Make sure you take a good stiff brush with you to brush the snow off your clothing before you go into the van.

I have 4 motion and fitted nokian SUV winter tyres. I also have two sets of chains which were a pain as they are heavy. Most of the time in the Alps you will not need the 4 motion as the roads are well maintained but I plan to drive up to northern Norway and it will be required then. Please remember that the Austrian taxi driver is probably very experienced at driving in snow/ice conditions. The roads in the Alps can be very steep, zig zag bends and little barrier protection, add to this snow and ice conditions and it can be very tricky for drivers who are not experienced in driving those conditions. Take a shovel with you just in case.

There was 3 of us travelling. The biggest mistake we made was taking too much stuff with us. We had three large storage bins full of clothes but we think we could have packed half as much. The heating in the van was a dream so you should not get cold.
Yes, we will be travelling light. Only need a pair of jeans to change into and a couple of Tshirts, jumper and jacket. Basically one small bag each carry on ski jacket and trousers.
Only need breakfast stuff in the morning which will fit into the coolbox, then some cereal and fruit in the draw. We will eat out at lunch and hit the bar evening time;)
Skis, no bags, as they fit in better without. One boot bag each, where I normally store my helmet, gloves and goggles.
Loads of snow falling this week, can't wait for next weeks trip:cool:
To help prevent freezing of the water supply pipes and tap have found that keeping the cupboard doors half open, especially at night, allows enough heat into that area to stop ice forming.
So I'm back from my ski trip and thought I would update how we got on.

3 guys in the Cali Beach (3seater bench) managed to wild camp every night, 4 in total, in Chamonix.
I removed the draws in cupboards 1&2 and the rear doors, to enable the skis to fit inside the van. Less chance of them being stolen.
Our boots fitted under the parcel shelf along with 3 bags for clothes. Bedding on top of the multi-flex board. Cereals and snacks in the side storage area and plates and cutlery in their usual place in draw 3 and side storage area.
We used an official aire stop the first night in Chamonix, but found it a bit noisy as it was on a main road in and out of the town.
The following 3 nights we found a nice car park a stones throw from the swimming baths and next to the river. It's was perfect and quiet and only 5 minutes walk into the centre of Chamonix.
We used the local swimming baths for showering and un-winding after a hard days skiing. Best of all, entry was free with our lift passes. Don't forget the budgie smugglers.

We ate out at lunch and grabbed something quick and easy in the evenings usual in the pub.
Our ski gear wasn't particularly wet and we tended to stick in the back on top of the skis. To be fair we had nice weather the whole trip so weren't really tested.

Two slept downstairs and myself in the roof. No toppers, no special insulation. We came back in the evening, stuck the diesel heater on for 30mins and got in our sleeping bags. Didn't need to use the heater again until the mornings to take the chill off.

Great trip, would definitely wild ski camp again:thumb

Our wild campsite ;) Van/9CFE1DFC-C337-44C5-B9E3-B761DBD09A6F_zpsa36srym3.jpg.html][/URL]

Volkswagen room with a view Van/BC3C8FDB-F9CE-46E8-A264-1725D88BB27D_zpsshmtnpc0.jpg.html][/URL]
Do you have an exakt location for the best place?

Hey Kave, it’s was this carpark (des tennis) on the map. I was in Chamonix last week. Things have changed. The carpark now has a height barrier, I think 2m. It’s introduced pay machines.
I camped in my van again in 2022, and used a side street. I also used another town centre carpark. Which was fine initially, but was woken every 15minutes with the early morning revellers.
If you head up towards Argentiere, there are more aire stop overs and quiet spots.