Once upon a time not so long ago, touring holidays were reserved for the warmer months of the year. But now, as draught-proofing and insulation in motorhomes have both improved, more people are tempted to take off season holidays. Add to this the fact that many more campsites in the UK (and further afield) are open all year round, and that many of them have hardstanding pitches, electric hook-ups, heated shower and toilet blocks, plus free, hot running water, and it’s not hard to understand why heading out on tour in the chillier months of the year holds some appeal.

And that’s before you consider the pleasure of seeing the sights without the crowds and the queues you’ll get in the peak holiday season. Pitches are also often cheaper in the low season, so your pennies will go further (and who doesn’t like a bargain?), plus there is likely to be greater availability at some campsites. Some holidaymakers forget about the appeal of Christmas markets and other such seasonal delights that make touring outside the hottest months dreamy, magic and distinctive – but, of course, that’s the joy and freedom of motorcaravanning, you can take them in at your leisure.

However, if you’ve not previously taken your ‘van away in the winter, you might need to hit the shops and top up your motorhome accessories. A few prudent purchases are essential to keep you warm, comfortable and safe in your ‘van, even if temperatures plummet. And as nobody wants to be cold in bed, here we review the Vango AB5S08, a sleeping bag liner. 

For many motorcaravanners, sleeping bags are an essential part of their touring kit, being warm, snuggly and easy to store – but liners? Sleeping bag liners started off as backpacking products. The idea was that the inner protected the sleeping bag so that only it, rather than the bag itself, required frequent washing. As we are sure you know, given how challenging thick sleeping bags can be to dry, that’s quite a benefit on long trips away from proper facilities.

Increasingly, though, campers have realised that a decent liner also boosts an existing sleeping bag’s thermal properties. While they are thin, liners are ultimately an extra layer, which may be the difference between needing a dedicated winter sleeping bag or not. Vango’s AB5S08 is made from cotton, fits most envelope bags, and comes with a handy stuffsac, too. So maybe this is something to consider if you’re heading out on tour in the colder months of the year – and it’s only £14!