Story by Alex Embry |

November 12, 2019 |


One of the best parts about owning a Wayfarer Van is that your Summer adventures can be easily extended into the Winter thanks to the fabulous insulation work the van includes in it’s out-the-door setup. Combine this with some smart and cozy winter best practices, and you’ll be golden for any camping adventure all season long.  

So here are some of my top tips for staying warm this Winter in your custom converted Wayfarer Van:


1. Add Some Extra Insulation to Your Wayfarer Bed

One of the first things we added to our Wayfarer Van was a nice thick cushion for the bed so we could have an extra-comfortable night’s sleep. A side perk to this extra cushion on our bed platform is that it also provides extra insulation for our bodies during the night when we are sleeping, which helps us to stay cozier in the colder weather.

We bought the Linespa 3 Inch Gel Swirl Memory Foam in “full” size, and it fits the bed perfectly! Plus we don’t have any issues lifting up the bed when we want to sit up at night and read. This extra insulation is hands down one of the best add-ons we’ve purchased for the van.

2. Prep Your Bed With Extra Blankets for Sleeping

In addition to your cushion insulation on your bed, we also recommend having a variety of extra blankets to make it extra cozy when you sleep at night. We vary the layering depending on how cold it gets.

Our current blanket set up looks like this:

I’m serious about the L.L.Bean blanket though. Big shout out to mom on that one.

Opt for a Queen Size if you’re sharing your Wayfarer Bed with your partner. It’s likely to get stolen if you don’t. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience.


3. Think Layering When Hanging Out in the Van

Just like you want to have a smart layering system for hiking or backpacking, you want to prepare your clothing system the same way in the van because even though it’s well insulated, you’ll just be much warmer when hanging out in the evenings!

Michael and my fashionable evening layering get-up includes a pair of fleece pants, fuzzy socks, flannel long-sleeve shirts, a good down jacket, and a snug beanie.

And if you’re still cold, add in some wool base layers!

I actually have a plethora of “down” jackets in my winter van clothing arsenal. In the photo above, you’ll see I’m rocking the ultimate of all my down jackets (for particularly cold mornings), my Montbell Permafrost Down Park, which is also my mountaineering jacket, ha!

Maybe I’m a little dramatic, but you’ll have to cut me some slack because I’m originally from Texas, and my body still doesn’t understand Winter.

4. Get a Buddy Heater!

Sometimes layering can only go so far in your custom conversion van, especially when it dips down to extra cold temps in the winter. This is when a propane heater like the Buddy Heater can come in handy.

One word of advice though, make sure to take extra precautions when running your propane heater in the van. You’ll want to make sure you keep your van well-ventilated (a MaxFan or some cracked windows) while you’re running the heater, and only run the buddy heater when you are awake. We suggest primarily using them in the evening when hanging out or in the mornings as your trying to get heated up after a cold night.

We also recommend having a carbon monoxide detector installed in the van, just to be safe.


5. Get a Rug for Your Van Floor

I love the look of the flooring in the Wayfarer Vans installs, but one way we like to make it extra cozy in our van is by adding a few rugs to the ground so that when we are cooking and hanging out in the van at night, our feet stay much warmer!

It’s like extra insulation for your feet. Add some fuzzy socks for your feet to the equation and you’ll be golden!

6. Sleep in a Bit Later!

Throw the “early bird gets the worm” mentality out the door during the Winter, and give yourself the gift of sleeping in until the sun warms the van up a bit more!

Before traveling full-time in our van, I used to be an early bird myself, but I’ve found it very hard to roll out of bed in the mornings when it’s too early because it’s just so darn cold sometimes!

So I decided to create a new morning routine for myself in the Winter: I sleep in, stay in my cozy bed longer, and roll out of bed when the sun starts shining.

Best decision I ever made!


7. Head to the Coast for Some Warmer Weather!

And finally my Wayfarian friends, when it’s just too miserably cold where you live, consider packing your Wayfarer Van up and taking a trip to the coast for some warmer sea-side weather.

Regardless of where you are this winter, there’s no reason you can’t keep churning and burning out the adventure weekends in your van. All you’ve got to do is prepare a bit more, layer up, and when all else fails drink a lot of hot coffee!

Until next time!