Although summer is the more popular travel time in most places, especially if you plan on taking your RV, this does not mean winters are not worth exploring.
Because of the lack of knowledge on winterizing your RV while traveling in winters, people prefer not to take it out entirely during cold weather.
But you can still take your RV out for a spin on snowy roads and to check out frozen lakes or live in it even in cold winters.
Ways to keep a camper warm in the winter
You do not want to miss out on the beauty of nature during winters because you are less prepared for the weather.
There are several recreational activities in winters- skiing, snowshoeing, or plain old sightseeing of the snow-covered mountains and plains.
But there is a slight problem with keeping a camper warm in the winters. No matter how luxurious, no RV is impervious to the extreme cold conditions.
Apart from people’s comfort, some sensitive parts of the RV are also in danger in the cold weather. Here are some of how you can keep a camper warm in winters.
1. Skirting the RV
The pipes of your RV can burst due to freezing weather, just like the pipes at your home. It is because the water inside the pipes converts to ice and expands during the process.
Apart from this, the cold temperature has adverse effects on the battery of the RV. Some of the RVs come with thermal packaging that includes extra insulation.
But if you travel in sub-zero temperatures, this packaging is not enough.
For these conditions, putting your RV in a skirt is a good choice. It will keep the battery, plumbing, and other temperature-sensitive equipment of the RV safe from freezing.
2. Insulate the doors and windows
RV doors and windows are the most susceptible to losing heat. You can adequately insulate the windows using foam insulation boards, bubble insulation, solar blankets, etc.
If this still isn’t enough, you can line your windows with heavy-weight thermal curtains. Another great way to insulate the doors and windows in a camper is to apply an RV sealant layer or caulk.
Check these areas thoroughly to avoid any stripping of the thermal insulation. If there is some damage, replace it before you go out on the road.
3. Protect the internal machinery
Some of the most vulnerable parts of an RV in the cold weather (almost like the passengers!) are the batteries, pipes, and plumbing.
Apart from skirting, these might need some extra protection to prevent the pipes from bursting. You can wrap your pipes with heat tape, and better yet, invest in a heated RV water hose.
It prevents the water in the pipes from freezing. If not a new hose, protect your existing one by using insulation tape.
Just make sure you do not use the same existing summer water hose in sub-freezing temperatures. It increases the risk of water freezing and bursting of pipes leading to significant damage.
4. Insulate the vents
Uncovered vents can lose all your heat despite all the other efforts you take to protect them. It would help if you covered all the vents of your camper using vent covers.
Externally you can cover them using a standard roof vent cover. It reduces the amount of cold air (or snow) that might get in your camper and keep it warmer for a long time.
From the inside, you can insulate the vent by using an insulating foam vent cover. You can quickly take it out in case you want to use the vent.
Most standard-sized vents have easy insulation by these covers that fit perfectly. If your vent is not a standard-sized one, you can always make your cover by choosing an insulation material of your choice and cutting it to fit the vent of your vehicle.
Protecting and insulating your vent can result in the problem of increased humidity inside the camper. This problem is more if you have parked your RV in a cold, snow-filled area.
Excessive humidity might result in damaging the RV body in the long run. To combat the increased humidity, you can use a dehumidifier.
These devices are available in various sizes, so choose a small and portable one as space is of utmost importance inside a camper. A dehumidifier will reduce the moisture on the windows reducing the risk of mold and mildew.
5. Use heaters inside your camper
Heaters prove to be a godsend when you have to spend your days and nights in subfreezing temperatures even after insulating the RV.
They help to maintain comfortable temperatures inside the vehicle even when there is biting cold outside.
When buying a heater for the RV, safety is of utmost importance. Knocking over the heater might result in the burning of your belongings, and also, it can be dangerous to you.
It might end up in fire. So, place it somewhere someone won’t accidentally knock it over. Also, there are some heaters available that have a failsafe mechanism.
Some heaters turn themselves off if someone knocks it over or if the oxygen level gets too low. Electric heaters are generally safer than propane ones.
6. Use winter accessories
Who does not like being a couch potato while wearing hoodies and fuzzy socks, sipping from a hot cup of cocoa in hand.
You have to protect yourself from the cold as much as you have to protect your RV. Some of the must-haves in your camper if you plan on vacationing in winters are:
- Blankets: Having the right blanket can save you a lot of sleepless nights. It would help if you bought a plush microfiber blanket for the best results. It is because too heavy blankets can be a bit suffocating, and these will provide the room to breathe. You can also look into buying an electric blanket if you are looking for some extra heat.
- Warm clothes: Do not forget to pack warm, comfortable hoodies, thermal leggings, heavy pajamas, and warm sweaters. These will prove to be of prime importance if you plan to step outside to enjoy the view or even when you prefer staying inside cozying up on the bed. Remember to take your fuzzy and warm socks to protect your feet from freezing up.
- Rugs: You should cover the floor of your RV with thick carpets to provide an extra layer of insulation. It helps keep the feet warm and, ultimately, your body warm. If the rug is too big for your camper, you can easily cut it down accordingly.
How cold is too cold for an RV?
Answer: You can stay in the RV in the winter season till the water is not freezing after providing all the insulation.
But keeping the water aside, sometimes the cold is too much, and you might end up getting frostbite if you stay in it for too long.
The National Weather Service warns that frostbite can occur within 5 minutes of exposure at temperatures of 0ºF to-19ºF.
So, if the snow-covered mountains, the frozen lakes, and the beautiful view is coming at a personal health cost, it is not worth it. The type of cold that causes frostbite and health problems is too cold.
Can you sleep in a camper in winter?
Answer: Yes, you can sleep in a camper in winters if you accessorize correctly. Winters can be a pain for your sleeping schedule, especially inside an RV.
But if you use proper bedding, it can be made comfortable. You can use a couple of blankets if one is not enough to keep you warm.
Apart from these, you can also wear warm clothes while sleeping. Nowadays, there are safe electric blankets available that are safe as well. Some of them have the feature of turning off automatically after being used for ten hours.
Winters can be a great time to explore nature in peace without too much crowd. Besides, some things are just not fun enough to look at in the spring without snow being all over.
To witness the trees powdered with snow and the skate on the lakes is a privilege provided only in the winter season.
You can enjoy the winter wonderland in the comfort of your RV if you take care of the points mentioned above.
Following these will prevent any mishap that might happen in winters and give you all the peace to stare at those snowy caps longingly.
- 1 Ways to keep a camper warm in the winter