Top 5 Must Haves for Winter Van Life

Van life seems awesome, but if you’re not prepared it can be more like a trap than an escape. Make sure you have the right gear for every season! These are my top 5 must haves for staying comfortable for cheap in the winter.


  1. Mr. Buddy heater

Having a small heater is a must for those nights when it gets below -10C. It’s tip and CO2 sensitive turn off so safe for indoors (with caution). We only turn on just before bed for 5-10 mins to get the chill out of the air and then in the morning again.


  1. Down duvet

By far my favorite! It’s extra warm, so that we can sleep a whole night in comfort. Plus, it’s just so cozy, way better than a sleeping bag. Make sure you get real down and not just feathers though for warmth.


  1. USB powered fan with timer

Fans are great for summer, but also great in the winter to circulate the warm air that gets trapped at the front of the van. We also use it to circulate warm air above the stove while we cook. Having the timer is awesome, so that you don’t forget it on to waste the battery. USB powered so we can charge it as we drive.


  1. Propane tank & stove top

Being able to melt water and cook food is a must if you want to do van life cheap, so having our 5lb propane tank and propane stove is key in our van no matter what time of year, especially for morning coffee!

Pro Tip: Leave water in your kettle the night before so if your main water source freezes, you don’t have to warm up your van first to make coffee.


  1. Battery charging pack

Goal zero is known for van life battery packs, but with those high price tags we opted for a Canadian tire battery pack. It holds way more charge and can also be used to boost our van if we (my husband) leaves the lights on for too long. We charge it while we drive and can charge all our batteries as we need in our van. Future plan would be to put in a permanent battery set up off the alternator.


Van life is an adventure no matter what but at least it can be made more comfortable with a few tricks. Basically, as long as I’m warm and have coffee, I’m set with my 5 favorites in our van at all times!

What are your must haves for winter van life? Let me know in the comments below!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published