Cold Weather RVing: Preparing Your RV For Winter
Just because it’s snowing outside doesn’t mean you have to give up your RV lifestyle! In fact, winter RV living can be just as much fun.
The scenery is beautiful during this time, and RV parks are generally less busy. And the best part of all- there are no bugs!
There are also tons of fun activities to do that you can’t do in the summer, like snowmobiling, winter hiking, and ice fishing.
Winter RV living is very different from summer RV living, and there are some precautions and procedures you need to take before you head out on your trip.
In Part 2 of our Winter RV series, we’re giving you the best pointers for winter RVing.
Make sure you read Part 1 here!
The last thing you want is to run into problems that could have easily been avoided. Follow this guide to make sure that you’ve got everything covered.
Winter RV Living
For many people, RVing is not just a seasonal activity- it’s a year round way of life. But you can’t just keep driving your vehicle through the winter without preparing it for the change in weather.
Remember, weather is unpredictable. No one can guarantee that nothing is going to happen to you while you’re RVing in the winter. But if you take the right precautions, you’ll be safer and better off.
There is a variety of types of damage that could happen if you don’t properly prepare your RV for winter. It can be way too costly to try to fix that damage, so it’s essential that you follow the right steps.
Winterizing Your RV Water System
You’ll have to start winterizing your RV now if you want to use it in the winter.
The most important part of winterizing your RV is preparing the water system. You’ll have to make sure your water system is protected once the freezing temperatures hit.
Cold weather can cause your pipes or water tank to freeze.
Run RV antifreeze through the water systems and tanks. Make sure it’s an antifreeze specifically designed for RV use, because these ones are non-toxic and won’t spread dangerous chemicals through your system.
Understand the specifics of winterizing your RV water system before you start the process. You should know how big your tank is, as that determines how much antifreeze to use. It should also be emptied before the process.
When your RV is winterized, you’ll need to bring along other sources of water for brushing teeth, cooking, or using the toilet.
You’ll also need to make sure you add more antifreeze the more waste water is added to your tanks in order to keep it properly diluted. It’s also important not to let your tanks fill completely if you don’t have a tank heater. If they do, they could freeze, which can cause expensive amounts of damage.
Insulating an RV for the Cold
Make sure all of the window seals are caulked properly. Check any places that could lead to the outside for maintenance, like door hinges.
Another thing you can do for good insulation is to check home improvement stores for the foam insulation boards. Put them between the bottom of your RV and the ground, all around the vehicle. This will help block out the cold air, keeping your tanks and plumbing insulated.
If you can’t find the foam blocks, you can invest in an RV skirt for the same purpose.
For longer RV trips over extended periods of time, consider investing in a holding tank heater or pipe heaters. You can also purchase heat or insulation tape to wrap around your sewer hose to prevent it from freezing, which could cause it to split.
Heating Your RV in Winter
The insulation process will help give you a head start on keeping the inside of your RV warm.
For some larger vehicles, you can purchase an insulated curtain to separate the inside of the RV from the front cockpit. Since you won’t be using the cockpit unless you’re driving the vehicle somewhere, you can spare this space.
Hanging curtains over the windows and doors is also an effective way to keep heat in. Avoid opening the main door as often as possible.
If your vehicle has a skylight or a roof vent, consider sealing it up as well. These spots are vulnerable for water or snow to leak through.
When the weather gets really cold, you can also use a small space heater. Keep it set on low to avoid wasting electricity or overheating the inside.
For larger RVs that have internal heating systems, such as a furnace, make sure you test everything before you head out on your trip. The last thing you want is to reach your destination only to find out something has malfunctioned.
General Tips for RV Camping in the Winter
Try to book a campsite that has a bit more protection from the wind. If you do have to endure the wind, make sure your RV is positioned so the front is facing the wind, not the side.
You should also try to make sure your rig is in the sunlight for as much of the day as possible, without too much wind exposure.
Keep your awning clear of snow and ice. The more these elements collect on top, the harder it is to get your awning from rolling back up properly.
Lastly, make sure you have a “survival kit” of some kind. It should include items you would need in case of an emergency, like getting stranded or losing your power. These are items like emergency blankets, flashlights, extra food, a weather radio, tire chains, and
Everyone should also have a first aid kit in the RV at all times, regardless of the length of the camping trip or the season.
Winter RV Trips are Easy With Book Your Site
Now that your RV is all ready for the winter, you can start planning your trip!
Book Your Site takes all the work out of finding an RV park or campground, so all you have to do is decide where in North America you’d like to go. Book through our database and you can also get coupons or deals on featured parks every month.
Download the app today or go online to start browsing thousands of RV parks and campgrounds, all at your fingertips.