Scotland in winter is a mesmerising sight and there are few better ways to enjoy the seasonal landscape than by hiring a VW camper van so that you can travel at your own pace.
However, Scottish weather in winter can be challenging, so adopting a different driving style and making sure you are always fully prepared are essential to protect your safety and ensure your trip to the country doesn’t end in motoring disaster.
Check before you travel
Before setting off for your destination, plan your route carefully, taking note of any roads that are prone to being affected by poor weather. It would be sensible to have an alternative route prepared, especially if your planned journey will take you away from the major A-roads onto minor routes.
Check up to date travel information for your journey in case of road closures, delays or accidents. Live traffic is readily available, not just on travel information websites, but on Google maps which displays patches of slow traffic that should warn you of a problem ahead.
Adopt a different driving style
Driving in wintry weather requires a different approach to travelling in dry and sunny conditions, especially considering Scotland’s rugged landscape, steep inclines and narrow, winding roads. Exercising caution is always a must; always allow extra time to complete your journey, if only to discourage you from rushing to reach your destination.
When you’re driving your VW camper van in Scotland during winter, make sure you follow these important tips for safe driving:
In wet and icy conditions, stopping distances will be at least twice than on dry roads. Maintain a greater distance between your camper van and the vehicle in front and apply the brakes gently to avoid skidding or aquaplaning.
If roads are icy or snow-covered, drive in a high gear at a slow speed. Accelerate and brake gently.
In windy weather, high-sided vehicles are prone to being blown off-course. Exercise caution in gusty conditions, especially in exposed areas, and slow down.
Fog in Scotland can be unpredictable, with dense patches appearing suddenly. Turn fog lights on to improve your visibility to other drivers, avoid driving too close to the vehicle in front and cut your speed so that you aren’t surprised by a sudden bend in the road or a stationary vehicle ahead.
If conditions are particularly treacherous, avoid driving if possible. In the worst weather, the motoring organisations and Police Scotland will advise against travel, so heed their advice.
Above all, drive sensibly in your VW camper van in Scotland and you’ll be guaranteed a memorable winter experience for all the right reasons!