Winter Van Trip

Despite misty, cold weather forecasts, Jolien and me had planned to go on a little week-long roadtrip in my van for her end-of-the-year time off. After my return from Africa I had been busy with a work trip (not for Edelweiss this time) to Stockholm and London. It had left me with very little time to prepare the van for this roadtrip. The van project is still ongoing and I never really seem to have enough time for it, which meant Jolien was helping me out with re-glueing a leaking roof-vent the day before our departure.

The trip was also intended a bit as a test of things, to see how we’d get along for 5 days in the van, how the van would do in cold winter weather, and so forth. We only had a vague plan that we were going to head for Germany and the Vosges mountains, avoiding staying on campings, visiting some abandoned locations and trying to spend time in nature.

We dropped by quite a few abandoned places, so much even that Jolien’s great appetite for this kind of visits was reduced slightly (understandable when visiting them 4 out of 5 days). Not all were of equal quality but some will merit their own post in the future again.

Camping in the van was generally a success. Despite the below freezing temperatures at night, we were never cold in the van, thanks to the amazing “Eberspacher” Diesel heater that was already installed in the van by the previous owners. It seems to use not even a liter of diesel for keeping us warm an entire night. On the other hand, I will have to do a better job at finishing up my insulation, as condensation droplets were forming everywhere where the outside metal shell was exposed.

Halfway along, we looked at the map again and decided to just leave out the Vosges mountains. We’d have to rush to France, and we noticed we preferred to just take it easy. Visiting some 2-3 towns, abandoned spots or forest in a day, while also covering some distance gets tight when there’s not so much daylight. We got as far as near Koblenz, and then decided to return back through Bitburg, to Luxembourg, then Arlon in Belgium and home past Charleroi.

In Luxembourg we probably had the dreariest day, but on one occasion it made for some great photo’s in foggy conditions atop a hill.

I’ve never really taken photo’s like this, because honestly I’m not too inclined to go outside when the weather is like this, but it was such a great experience to be out there for once.

Near Arlon, we decided to head back to one of our favorite spots from back in August, when we went to Traction Sud. We ended up taking a photo in almost the same place again. Very different, and even more beautiful in winter I think. We’re going to go back there again for sure.

We spent some more time exploring the surrounding forests there, as we’d been a bit lazier last august. That day the weather was really on our side, with the kind of hazy, bright light you only get in winter. We spent hours taking pictures there!


All in all, the trip was really fun, I realize I already miss it looking over the pictures now. What was also fun is that Jolien took pictures too, and this whole blogpost is a combination of both our pictures, while she did the edits on all the photo’s!

With the trip over, I’ve got a list of things to attend to on the van for our next, bigger trip. I’ll have to juggle all of that with upcoming work trips, so there’s no time for slacking in the new year!

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