Do’s & Don’ts of Cold Weather RVing
We came across this original article on GeneralRV.com with some great “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of winter RV travel.
Winter can be a fantastic time to travel by RV, because there are usually openings at just about any campsite you could want in the pacific northwest. So you can travel more spontaneously as well as being able to enjoy the gorgeous winter landscape the pacific northwest has to offer.
If you’re dreaming of winter wonderland escape in an RV, but don’t currently own one, we can help! Whether you are looking to rent or on the hunt to buy an RV or trailer of your own we can help, just give us a call.
We hope you enjoy these do’s and don’ts from Rick Kessler at GeneralRV.
So, for this post I scoured the Internet for some tips of what to do and what not to do, for cold weather RV camping.
- DO determine whether you’ll be camping when temperatures are below freezing. If so, the water in your RV’s lines could freeze and turn a wonderful trip into an expensive disaster. If you will encounter freezing temps, simply make sure your RV is winterized. You can still use the bathroom with jugs of water and antifreeze in the holding tanks. On that note, know where your water tanks and water lines are located on your RV. On many RVs the tanks and lines are in heated compartments. But some are not, and it’s important to know whether yours is susceptible to freezing.
- DON’T seek a campsite that isn’t exposed to the sun as much as possible. Let the heat of the sun’s rays warm your RV during the day and give your heater a bit of a break.
- DO make sure you are fully aware of how to use your RV’s forced air heater, as well as the amount of LP it will draw. If you’ll be using an electric-powered ceramic heater, ensure you are using it according to the manufacturer specifications and always have safety in mind. For example, make sure the area immediately in front of the heat source is free of combustible materials, such as bedding.
- DON’T store any water hoses with water in them. If you need to use it, it will probably be frozen. You can take it inside to thaw out if need be, or use a hair dryer.
- DO cover the windows with curtains, drapes or almost anything will help to hold some of the heat in.
- DON’T close cabinets or drawers where water lines are located. Leave them open to allow heat to circulate around plumbing.
- DO place cut-to-size foam in ceiling vents to keep heat from escaping.
- DON’T open the entry door any more than minimally possible.
- DON’T forget the electric blanket.
- DO consider skirting the exterior of your RV. It can be as simple as DIY insulated panels cut to fit, but the more you can prevent cold air from getting under your RV, the warmer it will be inside.
- DON’T forget to use wiper fluid specially formulated to withstand winter cold.
- DO use a diesel fuel supplement for diesel pusher motorhomes. It prevents diesel from gelling.
- DON’T cover any exhaust vents or the exhaust tailpipe with RV skirting, and clear snow accumulation from these areas.
- DO consider using a heated water hose when connecting to the campground water supply.
- DON’T be connected to the full hookup sewer 100% of the time, otherwise Jason says you could end up with a “poopsicle.”
- DO run the RV’s LP furnace at 45 degrees and use it to supplement an electric heater, which is the primary source.
- DO check to make sure weather-stripping around doors and windows isn’t torn or frayed.
- DO consider installing a holding tank heater.
- DO install plastic film over your windows, especially if their single pane. The kits are available at any hardware store and are simple to install.
There you have it. If you’re willing to camp in the winter, there’s not too much you need to do to make it comfortable.
If you haven’t purchased your motorhome yet and you know you will be using it in cold weather, see if the manufacturer offers an arctic package option. Some packages include higher R-factor insulation values, enclosed underbelly, heated holding tanks, dual pane windows and more. Owners of these RVs are the lucky ones because the peace, quiet and solitude of cold weather RVing simply can’t be beat.