Vanlife is all the rage right now, and for good reason. As being able to take some of life’s creature comforts on the road is a great way to enhance outdoor adventure.

With adventure-ready vehicles becoming more popular, outdoor enthusiasts are looking for ways that they can live the vanlife all year round.

Off to the mountains we go. Photo: Pixabay

With some quick retro fitting and the right gear you can easily take your van from the beach to the peaks, assuring you’ll be ready to go when the surf or snow is pumping.


A quality insulation job can be the difference between misery and comfort when the temperatures get sub zero. Photo: Creative Commons

If you have a Sprinter or cargo van you can really insulate the majority of your vehicle. For anyone who wants to make a life out of living in cold places insulation will be a big step forward in making that dream a more pleasant reality.

Many people view insulation to be the most important part to the “winterization” process. Being able to retain heat inside of your vehicle is important for creating a comfortable environment.

While insulating isn’t technically that difficult it will take a decent amount of time and monetary investment, but it will be well worth it when nighttime temps dip below zero degrees Fahrenheit. There are a number of websites and videos that will help you determine what materials you need and how long the process should take.

If you have a minivan or SUV simply buying and cutting out foam insulation pads that you can place in the interior window wells will work wonderfully.

Invest in Solar

Solar is the wave of the future. Photo: BioLight

Whether you want to use your adventure mobile as a mobile office or just want to escape the city for a wintery weekend, lighting and power for you digital devices is key when the dark days of winter come rolling in.

There are a number of great options for both adding solar panels to your van or buying mobile solar panels that can help keep camera batteries charged and add a little light to your cold winter nights.

Goal Zero offers a wide array of both portable and permanent panel options and BioLight offers an off-grid lighting and power solution at an affordable $150.

Upgrade To Snow Tires

Snow tires are a lifesaver. Photo: Filip Mroz/Unsplash

As soon as you leave the relative safety of the beach and head towards a snow-filled mountain pass, something as easy as a tire upgrade can make a world of difference.

While upgrading your tires can be a substantial financial investment, the piece of mind that comes with knowing that you have tires equipped for adverse conditions is priceless. Winter or snow tires are designed with bigger gaps in the transition to increase performance and traction on snow and ice.

In some areas you can even buy tires with studded tread or may be required to have chains for your tires. It will be essential to switch back to all season tires once the winter is over.

Rain Guards

Cracking your windows while you sleep will help reduce condensation and allow for proper oxygen circulation. Photo: WeatherTech

Condensation can be a real problem in the winter and it is likely you will need to open your windows to allow for airflow during the night.

An often overlooked but very simple upgrade is a pair of rain guards to help snow from getting inside your car when you have to crack your windows for circulation.

With these steps and essential pieces of gear, winter car camping will be a safer and more comfortable activity.

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