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Winter Fun

Calidevon

Calidevon

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Messages
20
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Hi Folks,
just wanted to report in about my recent trip to the mountains and sing the praises of the wonderful Cali and fantastic France. I set off in my van on 21st Jan and drove down to Courchevel Le Praz. Crossing from Portsmouth to Le Havre on the overnighter. 10 hour comfortable drive down to the Alps. Upon arrival it was raining and little sign of snow. I found a great big car park with a height restriction barrier which I cleared ok with my bike off the rack. Parked for free right next to a red ski run leading into the village. 5 minute walk from the centre. My son is working there as a ski instructor so used his facilities for showers etc. The van was a perfect home from home.
As you can see from the photos the snow came in abundance and at one point the night temperature dropped to -20. However, with the heater set on number 2 and the thermal screen fitted I was cozy as could be.
I spent ten days in those conditions and after digging the old girl out I travelled around to visit friends in other nearby resorts. The Cali performed really well in the conditions and I only fitted snow chains for one of the journeys. Having completed the skiing part of the adventure I drove down to Barcelona to meet up with my wife but sadly I got sick and had to cut the rest of the trip short and return home.
So really all I wanted to say is that if any of you are thinking about heading to the mountains then I can thoroughly recommend it. I found all the facilities to hand. Launderette and local shops, bars and restaurants. The parking was free and such a quiet spot. Happy to answer any questions if any of you are in need of info, just don't want this thread to ramble on. Happy camping folks.

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H

Hotel California

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10,617
Location
Europe
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Cali now sold
Very brave , guess you did not put the roof up , and as you say having a place to shower is a must.
You just sleep in it , incognito ...
Hope you had a snowshovel with....?
 
ibis64

ibis64

VIP Member
Messages
109
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Shows how good the Cali is even in winter, certainly beats my 5 inches of snow in Scotland a couple of weeks ago
10528-561945ea4aaef06d154000859c3f948d.jpg
 
Aidy P

Aidy P

Don't play that 'What If?' game, you'll never win!
VIP Member
Messages
871
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I'm doing a four day dash to the Alps at the start of April in my new van with a mate and our 2 daughters. Can't wait! I've been researching carvaneige sites this this weekend. Plan is to get 2 days end of season skiing with them (fingers crossed).
 
Calidevon

Calidevon

VIP Member
Messages
20
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Shows how good the Cali is even in winter, certainly beats my 5 inches of snow in Scotland a couple of weeks ago
10528-561945ea4aaef06d154000859c3f948d.jpg
Still a brave crew. Well done.
 
Calidevon

Calidevon

VIP Member
Messages
20
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
I'm doing a four day dash to the Alps at the start of April in my new van with a mate and our 2 daughters. Can't wait! I've been researching carvaneige sites this this weekend. Plan is to get 2 days end of season skiing with them (fingers crossed).
Good luck. Stay safe
 
Calidevon

Calidevon

VIP Member
Messages
20
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Very brave , guess you did not put the roof up , and as you say having a place to shower is a must.
You just sleep in it , incognito ...
Hope you had a snowshovel with....?
I did put the roof up a couple of times with the topper on. Snow shovel a must.
 
Calidevon

Calidevon

VIP Member
Messages
20
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
I'm doing a four day dash to the Alps at the start of April in my new van with a mate and our 2 daughters. Can't wait! I've been researching carvaneige sites this this weekend. Plan is to get 2 days end of season skiing with them (fingers crossed).
Good luck. You'll have a blast.
 
CaliAdventure

CaliAdventure

VIP Member
Messages
82
Location
North Hampshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Great post :thumb - one of the reasons we bought our Cali is to go down to the Alps for snowboarding holidays...we're considering going to the Tyrol for Xmas as the rest of this season is out for us I'm afraid.

Can't wait!
 
Peter V

Peter V

Messages
128
Location
bredene Belgium
Vehicle
T6 Coast 150
Hello Calidevon
do you own a 4-motion?
Just wondering with all that snow..
cheers
Peter
 
sidepod

sidepod

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4,366
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T4 PopTop
Awesome. Long time since I've been to Courch.
Good work. :thumb
 
Calidevon

Calidevon

VIP Member
Messages
20
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Hello Calidevon
do you own a 4-motion?
Just wondering with all that snow..
cheers
Peter
Hi,
Not a 4-motion. However, the van handled really well. I only put chains on once for the drive down from Les Arc 2000 because it was deep snow.
 
Nigel lloyd

Nigel lloyd

VIP Member
Messages
7
Location
Cardiff
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I stayed in this car park Feb 2017. It's a great location for skiing but there are no free washing facilities here that I could find. You could use the showers in the local aqua centre but be prepared to spend a lot of money to gain entry. If you want to use the facilities of local hotels, again it will work out to be a very expensive shower.
We used a bucket and sponge (just make sure the blinds are fully deployed) very basic but effective. There is something really motivating living like that in the Alps in what is a 5* resort. It really depends on just how much you value the skiing bit - the three valleys system has to be the best skiing area in the world with over 600km of runs.
If anyone has found some wash facilities in the area that don't cost a fortune to access- please let me know.
 
Calidevon

Calidevon

VIP Member
Messages
20
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Totally agree. As for wash facilities i would suggest you speak to some of the local student ski instructors of which there are plenty. Many of them have small apartments hired out. I'm sure for a few euros they would be happy to let you use the showers on a daily basis. It's a great community spirit down in Le Praz.
 
Nigel lloyd

Nigel lloyd

VIP Member
Messages
7
Location
Cardiff
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Thanks for the advice. There is something of the frontier spirit doing it the way we did but I'm not sure my wife would do it again. Perhaps we'll take a bigger bucket next time
 
Trebor

Trebor

No looking back .
VIP Member
Messages
510
Location
Bournemouth
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
We had a week in Meribel in Cali 3 weeks ago . Snow wasn't great a bit warm but van performed very well . We had a tiny oil heater ( 400 watt) on all the time but didn't need anything else at night . Did return to Bournemouth in one go 750 miles through tunnel . Van didn't miss a beat . IMG_3079.JPG
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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VIP Member
Messages
4,113
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Great post.
I am off to Chamonix in two weeks. 3 of us camping in the Cali for a cheap ski trip.
How did you find, drying your ski gear...? Any tips, that's perhaps my only concern.
We will be having roof up. Two downstairs and one in the roof.

With regards to 4 motion. I was in Austria two weeks ago and getting a lift in a taxi T5. I asked if it was 4 motion. He said no, 2wd.
Only needed to fit chains once in four years. Said most are 2wd, with 4wd you would need chains for every drive wheel. So its actually better to have only 2wd.
He said, most important thing is good quality winter tyres.
 

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