For most RV’ers, the suggestion of cold weather camping is met with a big old “NOPE!”. For those brave enough to tackle Old Man Winter in the rig, the rewards are endless. Smaller crowds, gorgeous scenery, an array of winter sports and activities plus lots of opportunities to snuggle up for extra warmth. It takes a bit of extra work to get ready but it’s worth it!
The key to comfort in the RV during the winter is insulation. Vent covers will prevent drafts from getting in, as will properly insulated windows. Skirting, whether permanently built or temporarily attached, will keep the underside of your rig warmer but be careful … it can also provide a nice warm home for critters that may make their way into the trailer. Some folks will dry camp over the winter, toting in their own water, to avoid the hassle of protecting their tanks and pipes. If you do choose to use your RV’s plumbing, you may want to consider heat tape or heated hoses to prevent freezing and cracking. Condensation can be a big problem during the winter so it is advised to run a dehumidifier or use moisture-wicking products to keep your air as dry as possible.
Most winter RV’ers tend to save on propane by using electric heat. Mini furnaces and ceramic heaters are perfect for heating spaces like bedrooms, kitchens, and the bathroom. If you don’t have an electric site and your RV’s propane furnace system is your only option, you will want to use the biggest tank possible to avoid frequent refills. Stay warm at night with an electric blanket as a base layer to beat any drafts or chills that may rise up from the floors. Make the most of Mother Nature and park in direct sunlight to take advantage of the heat. You may also want to consider a solar kit to help with your power needs.
Experts suggest having a 48 hour supply of food, water, and medication in case of emergency. This is also great advice for winter RV’ers. You will also want to be stocked up with lots of extra blankets and cold-weather clothing in case your heat system fails. Always park your rig on support boards to avoid sinkage in case of a thaw. Install a carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm and be sure to check the batteries frequently. Be sure that all heaters are kept free to any obstructions like blankets, curtains, and tablecloths.
Now that you’re comfortable, it’s time to enjoy! Get out snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or snowmobiling. Invite the boys up for a weekend of ice fishing or bring up the grandkids for an afternoon bonfire and s’mores. It’s a whole different world in the winter!