RV-ing in the cold weather is challenging, yet an utterly majestic experience. It is also the best time of the year for experiencing beauty, peace, and quiet – all at the same time. Every winter RV vacation should take quite a lot of careful planning because, without proper forethought, it won’t be as much fun.
In your wintery dizziness, you may feel as if you are locking yourself into a freezing meat locker and not an RV. Don’t worry, though – all is not lost. There are many pioneering cold weather RV-ers out there, and they would like to share all their tips on how to winterize a camper to live in.
How to Winterize a Camper to Live in
If You Keep Your RV Warm, She Will Return the Favor
Why won’t she? Your RV has feelings.
We’re only half-joking, though. Even though your RV may have come with extra insulation and thermal packages, these vehicles are still not prepared for those sub-zero temperatures. If you plan on going out into an extremely cold RV adventure, we would recommend that you put on an RV skirt before anything.
If you skirt your RV, you will have protected your RV’s plumbing system, battery bays, and so many other important components by keeping them warm. Without a skirt, snow will just continue to pack around the RV bays wherever you stop for the night.
Even the windows of your RV tend to lose quite a lot of heat, and it doesn’t matter how much the manufacturer promised that they would be. There are, however, some ways you can do little touchups to insulate them. You could go ahead and line your windows with heavy-duty thermal curtains, bubble insulation, or foam insulation boards.
There are also some propane space heaters in the market that have been specially designed to work with the furnace of your RV. Even if you do get yourself one of these, don’t forget to bring a huge blanket to sleep warm.
How Water Can Be Your Worst Enemy During Winter
If you haven’t already experienced one, you should know that a burst pipe is probably the worst thing that could happen to you during winters. This is why we believe that the important question is not how to winterize a camper. Instead, you should be asking yourself how you can plan on winterizing your plumbing. Here are some pointers that you could use if you didn’t have any clue what to do.
- There are many veteran RV-ers out there who prefer to drain those freshwater tanks and proceed with their adventure without any water. This would, therefore, mean that every water-related job would be done with bottled water like doing the dishes or brushing your teeth.
- Another great strategy would be to keep the bay that holds your tank above freezing temperatures. Some people have found that mini space heaters are great for this job and just stick one in the bay.
- Other RVers think that flushing anti-freeze down their drains and toilets works great and work perfectly with black/gray tanks.
- People who are willing to spend the extra buck just go out and buy water tank heaters. These are also a great option if you have enough energy to spare on your RV.
- If you are planning on using water hookups, then you should also consider using heat tape to insulate your pipes. This tape will also have to be used over any exposed piping or over connections that need to be insulated.
- You should never allow for your black tank to freeze over because dealing with this problem can get a little messier than you would care to imagine. If you choose PVC pipers instead of sewer hoses, then you may lessen your chances of dealing with frozen black tanks.
- Lastly, if you are planning on leaving your tank full, then you shouldn’t leave your home without adding an extra layer of insulation over the sewer pipe.
Haven’t found what you are looking for? Well, here is the complete list of expert tips on how to winterize a camper to live in efficiently. Scroll on down to find whatever it is you were looking for:
1. Insulating Your Windows and Floors
By purchasing thermal curtains and rugs, you will be allowing for heat to get trapped inside your rig while cold air and earth are directly under you. Thick rugs over the linoleum floor of your rig can add additional barriers to the floor so that the heat does not seep outside. What’s more? The rug will also immensely improve your experience of walking inside your RV. You can also choose to walk around barefoot.
When it comes to the windows of your RV, you should know that they are much like heat thieves. They will quickly deplete your entire supply of heat if you don’t cover and seal them correctly.
You can go ahead and cover your windows with foam insulation boards and bubble wrap if a DIY solution is your thing. Otherwise, you can choose to add extra warmth in your RV by adding those heavy thermal curtains that are great at insulating windows.
If you find that it is surprisingly sunny on the outside, you can remove the curtains and allow for the sunlight to add natural warmth inside your RV. Once the sun begins its descent, you should cover up your windows again.
2. Keep All the Water Out
Snuggling into one particular corner of your RV sounds great during winter camping sessions, right? Well, it won’t be as much fun when you have mold creeping up on your walls and cupboards. That being said, vents are among the most crucial consideration when getting yourself an RV. The tradeoff, however, is that vents also actively contribute to heat loss. If you are looking for the best kinds of campers to live in, we can explain the different categories for
you. Just follow this link.
Vents are a form of both – ventilation and heat loss. If you get yourself a vent cover, however, you will have saved yourself from all the heat loss. Adding a vent cover will stop humidity and condensation from occurring inside your RV while adding an extra layer of insulation. This, in turn, will result in the prevention of mold inside your home away from home.
Another brilliant way you can seize humidity inside your RV would be to go out and get yourself a dehumidifier. These gizmos are meant to lower the levels of humidity inside RVs and will aid you in keeping your home mold-free and dry. Other than this, these products are also very efficient for keeping the air inside these small spaces clean and fresh.
3. Get Yourself a Smaller Rig
Naturally, smaller spaces are easier and quicker to warm up without consuming too much energy. If you are considering to go camping more frequently during the winter season, then there is no better choice than a small RV.
A general rule of thumb can be that the smaller your RV is, the lesser electricity and propane it will consume to warm up your home on wheels. This way, you can utilize all the money you spend on propane somewhere else.
You should be looking for a larger size of RV only if you have a family of 5 or 6 people. That being said, body heat is an incredible blessing. Just snuggling up to each other can not only create warmth, but it can heighten the overall joy and excitement of your camping trip; besides this, it will bring your family closer together.
4. Choose to Sleep In Thermal Sleeping Bags
Yeah, we know sleeping bags are used in tents or anywhere under the stars. If, however, you choose to cuddle up inside a sleeping bag, then this will increase your body temperature so you can sleep more comfortably.
If you are thinking about getting yourself a thermal sleeping bag, then we would recommend that you choose sleeping bags that have lower temperature ratings than what you are expecting to encounter on your trip.
If, for example, you think the weather is going to be 30 degrees Fahrenheit, then you need to buy a bag that can tolerate something like 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you feel too warm in this bag, at least you will have the option to shed your layers of clothing to sleep comfortably.
There are some sleeping bags in the market that feature hoods that are made to trap heat around the bag or even just your head. We tend to lose a lot of our body heat from our heads. With the help of a hood, you can prevent this from happening.
All-in-all, if you are impressed by this option, all we would want you to do is be very careful in electing the product you plan on using out there.
5. Do You Feel Hungry?
Go ahead and bake your favorite meal. That’s neither here nor there, right? Well, cooking involves your stove, and this can turn up the internal heat of your RV naturally while you prepare those hot treats for yourself. As a result, you will be getting heated from the inside and the outside.
Even once you are done cooking these tasty treats, make sure that you leave the door of the stove open. By doing so, you will have allowed the residual heat from the stove stick around your RV for longer than would have been the case otherwise.
Another important thing to mention here is that ingesting food with high fat content can take much longer to digest. This means that your body will stay warmer on the inside because of all the metabolizing that is happening inside.
Another trick could just be to prepare a nice and steaming cup of hot chocolate for yourself. Go ahead and top it off with a nice stick of butter because the more fat you add into the recipe, the better.
6. Add an RV Skirt
No, we aren’t asking you to make your RV prettier. As we mentioned before, skirting your RV is a great technique of keeping your RV warm while also protecting its most essential components.
If you don’t know what an RV skirt is, then it is probably exactly like what you’re imagining. The skirt of your RV is used to protect everything under your RV. And keeps them from freezing over during your winter vacation.
If the vinyl skirting of your rig was used perfectly, then it may eventually snowball into reducing the internal heat loss of your RV too. While aiding your rig with the winterization process, you will also be able to protect the most important components under your RV from those strong winter blizzards.
An added benefit you are going to experience with skirts is that it stops the wind from rocking your rig. The next time you are parked in the middle of a blizzard, your home-on-wheels won’t feel like it is battling an earthquake.
7. Winterize Your Pipes
It goes without saying that you need to prepare your RV’s plumbing for those cold winter nights. Not only will you save a lot on repairs and maintenance, but this will also increase the overall useful life of your hoses and pipes.
During extreme temperatures, hoses, tanks, and pipes are abused brutally if you haven’t protected their elements thoroughly. If you have already forgotten or skipped the beginning of the article, you should scroll back up and read all the pointers on how to winterize a camper’s plumbing.
If you wish to read up some more on RV sewer hose storage ideas, then follow this link to find out everything you want to know. You can also visit our website to find a lot more resources for RVing like a true expert.