How to Keep Warm on Your NZ Winter Roadtrip

How to Keep Warm on Your NZ Winter Roadtrip

May 31, 2019

When you are planning a winter roadtrip in New Zealand, especially if you are going to be relying on mobile accommodation, aka one of our motor homes or camper vans, you need to take the weather into account.

All of Affordable's vehicles are well insulated, but when the frost is on the ground and especially if you are parked near any of our mountain ranges to make the most of the skiing or snowboarding season, you will very likely need some extra sources of heat/warmth.

1. Layer Up

The first recommendation is always to layer up, and start with a base layer of clothing that is made of nature's warmest fibre - merino. If you don't already have a great set of thermals or merino baselayers, you can buy them here in NZ from well known brands like Kathmandu or IceBreaker, or lesser known but great quality brands like TrueFleece which is locally made.

The benefit of a good base layer is that it keeps you warm all day, dries quickly and can be worn at night as well as during the day. On top you might want to wear one or two more layers of suitable winter clothing, and of course a good jacket helps.

New Zealand weather can change a fair bit during the day, so taking the layered approach means you can take off or put back on as the temperature changes.

Some good quality woolly socks are also a great option - for keeping you warm in bed, and of course also when you are out in the snow.

2. Heater Up

All our vehicles are supplied in the winter months with oil filled heaters that you can plug into the van to keep you warm. We recommend using only this type of heater as it is safe and doesn't give off any fumes.

We strongly recommend not using any type of gas heater in your campervan as they give off dangerous fumes, especially in unventilated small spaces - we don't want this holiday to be your last!

If you are are unsure about heating, get in touch or ask when you make your booking - we are happy to help.

3. Hot Water Bottles

If you are still feeling a bit chilly before hopping into bed for the night, you might want to fill a hot water bottle to warm the bed and yourself. We recommend picking up a good quality one (cheapest is not best) and filling it with hot tap water.

hot water bottle

Never pour boiling water into a hot water bottle as it can result in a leak and burns from the water. 

4. Down Sleeping Bags

A good quality down sleeping bag is a great investment for your holiday. They are light weight, easy to pack and keep you super toasty warm on even the coldest nights.

Once again, a store like Kathmandu, MacPac or Further Faster is a good option to pick up one of these if you don't want to bring one with you.

5. Add Blankets

If you are still concerned you might not be warm enough, ask us at the office about providing some blankets. We do have these available on request and are happy to supply them, but usually find they are not actually needed when people are doing the other things recommended above. 


6. Defrost Your Windscreen

Overnight frosts are very common during the winter months, especially in the South Island, so when you wake up and your windows are covered in the white stuff, make sure you get the windscreen and side windows nice and clear before you start driving for the day.

Turning on the engine and running it for a little with the heater turned to windscreen helps, but while you are doing that, some manual ice scraping also works a treat.

We suggest swinging by somewhere like Super Cheap autos and picking up a functional little ice scraper like this one - you'll be glad you did!

ice scraper

7. Make Yourself a Cuppa!

Never underestimate the warming power of a good brew. Having some cup a soups, coffee, hot chocolate or teas on hand for when you need to warm up in a hurry is a great idea and of course you can boil your water or heat a pot using the equipment provided in your vehicle. Great way to warm you all over - any time of day.

hot drink in winter