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The weather outside is frightful, but in side your van it’s delightful! As the summer comes to an end, and your roof top AC is being used a little less it’s time to start putting some thought into your fall and winter.

The Necessities

Heaters

The first, and most obvious product that will keep you comfortable is a heater for your rig! There are a couple different ways to go about heating your van. We recommend either Espar S2 D2L diesel heater or B4 gas heater, depending on what type of van you have. Theses heaters are tiny, but mighty in the heat they put out. They typically install underneath the passenger seat out of the way with the control panel mounted wherever is most convenient for you! The good news is we have both options in stock and an in depth tutorial video if you plan on doing the install yourself for the diesel version.

Insulated Window Covers

Windows are the single fastest way to lose your heat or cool air. Windshields, big side windows and even the little rear windows ruin all of your efforts to keep things comfortable. We use RippleWear (for Sprinter) and Down by the River (for Transit and Promaster) window covers that have added thinsulate that will help maintain a comfortable temperature, increase energy efficiency, and give some added privacy when spending the night in your van. 

For these to be most effective, we suggest investing in a full set which includes windshield, front driver and passenger windows, and sliding door and crew cab windows. If you happen to have additional windows such as barn doors or rear quarters, options for those are also available!

Recovery Gear

Van safety is always a top priority, but especially when you’re out and about in the freezing temperatures. You might be thinking to yourself “I don’t use my van for off-roading, 4×4 adventures, I don’t have a real need for recovery gear.” In some instances that’s true, if you plan on being a road warrior and the most “off-roading” your van sees is a short trek to a campsite, that’s perfectly fine! But, if you plan at all to be traveling through snow, mud, or dirt, you should think twice about your needs. Snow tires, tire chains, recovery boards, and winches suddenly become a lot more important when you get caught on icy roads or an unforeseen snow bank. 

The good news is we can help you out when it comes to recovery boards and winches. Maxtrax and GoTreads are our preferred options and we typically suggest two pairs for optimal safety during recovery. We keep in stock mounting pins that will make it easy to store the boards on your various cargo carriers and roof rack mounting brackets if you would prefer to keep your recovery boards on your roof rack! 

Having a winch will be important when it comes to digging yourself out of the snow or mud. Our suggestions for built out rigs are the WARN VR Evo 12-S and the WARN ZEON Platinum 12-S. Both have up to 12000 lbs pulling capacity and include spydura synthetic rope, which is stronger, safer, and easier to use than steel lines. The main differences between the two are that the ZEON Platinum has a faster pull speed and wireless controller opposed to the EVO which is slightly slower and requires a wired remote. In addition to your winch, adding recovery shackles, snatch block, and flatlink to your set up will help you be as safe and effective as possible with your potential recovery. The snatch block can give you added pull strength and can help you change pulling direction without causing damage or strain to your line. The Factor55 Flatlink will give you added safety to your winch line and extensions by preventing the line from escaping during slack cycles which can cause fraying or even breakage. Some of this may seem like overkill, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when dealing with snow and ice!

Ready to Roll?

It’s almost time to trade in summer beach trips for cool mountain air, so make sure you and your van are ready to take it on. If you need help finding or installing some of these essentials let us know, we can get you hooked up with the products you need. Contact us or visit Van Parts Warehouse to get your van ready!

Start designing your custom camper van or bathroom van today.

Our team is available to help you choose the best solution for your next van build project. Schedule a call with one of our builders.