The Campers Hub

Winter RVing Tips: Keep You and Your Rig Warm!

Don't let the cold stop you from exploring places where it snows during the winter months! Follow these tips to help you and your rig enjoy adventuring through the snow!

Tip # 1: Keep Your Water Flowing 

  • Invest in a heated hose – If you plan to be connected to water in locations where the temperature remains at or below freezing, then you will want to use a heated hose to keep that water from freezing! 
  • Utilize your fresh water tank – If you are planning on just passing through an area and don’t necessarily need to be hooked up to water, or the locations you are going don’t have water hookups turned on in the winter, make sure your fresh water tank is full! Most fresh water tanks are located in places that will stay above freezing in your rig, but if you are worried about your tank you can always place a heating pad on it to be sure it stays nice and thawed.
  •  Don’t be afraid to use your propane – A lot of people generally like to preserve their propane, but using your furnace in cold locations can help keep your pipes from freezing. The last thing you want is for water to freeze in your pipes and cause damage and potentially costly repairs. 
  • Heat tape can also be used around pipes that may be more exposed to the elements and prone to freezing. 
  • If your water tank is in a “basement” compartment of your rig, consider running a 60-watt  incandescent light bulb. This will be strong enough to keep the space warm so you won’t have to run your propane heater as much. 
  • Add just a little bit of antifreeze into your black and grey tanks to keep the contents from freezing together….trust us, the last thing you want is a frozen black tank! 
  • It is really never a good idea to leave your sewer valves open, but it is even more of a bad idea in the winter months. Try to practice strategic dumping – let your tanks get fairly full, then dump them. This will help keep fluids from freezing in your sewer hose. 
Camping in a snowstorm near Bryce Canyon National Park February 2021

Tip #2: Keeping The RV Warm

  • Don’t be afraid to use your furnace. We understand that you may want to preserve your propane, but setting it even to a low temperature will help keep your walls and pipes warm, helping to prevent them from freezing!
  • Utilize a space heater – If you still want to preserve your propane as much as you can, using an electric space heater is a great way to supplement your RV’s heating system. 
  • Insulation can do wonders when trying to keep the heat in! Investing in some thick drapes for your windows (we used blackout curtains in ours) can make a huge difference in keeping the cold out and the heat in. Using thicker rugs can also help insulate, not to mention make it more cozy in general! Lastly, investing in roof vent insulators can really help keep the cold drafts out and lock the warm air in. 
  • If you’re planning on staying in a cold weather location for a longer period of time you may want to consider skirting your RV. This will keep the cold winds out and help keep the exposed pipes under the RV insulated. 
  • Dehumidifier – If you’re planning to stay in cold weather locations for longer than a week, it would be a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier. Condensation can build up quickly inside of the RV during winter camping, this can lead to mold growth which you certainly don’t want! A dehumidifier will help keep the moisture at bay while you’re keeping the RV nice and toasty!
  • Heated Blankets – One of our favorite winter items in the RV is a heated blanket! Use it to cuddle up on the couch with, or place it on your bed to get it nice and warm before you settle in for the night! 
Moochdocking at a friends place in Fort Collins, CO November 2019

Tip #3: Keeping Yourself Warm

  • Layers are your friend – Laying clothes in the winter is key to staying warm! It is better to pack too many layers than not enough. 
  • Hand/Toe warmers – These come in handy in multiple situations during the winter. Not only are they great to use when hiking, but if something does happen to the RV during your journey and you need to be outside to fix the issue, you will be thankful to have hand and toe warmers on hand! 
  • Proper footwear – Even if you aren’t planning on hiking through the snow, it is best to invest in some good winter shoes. As an RVer it is best to be prepared for all kinds of unpredictable situations, but it is even more important to be prepared in situations where you could be in below-freezing temperatures. 

Tip #4: Plan Ahead 

  • Check the weather before and during your travel plans – the weather can change fast during the winter months and the last thing you want is to be unexpectedly stuck in a winter storm. Always check the forecast before you leave and adjust plans if needed. 
  • Know the state laws and regulations – During the winter months many states have snow travel laws that require chains or snow tires (depending on the vehicle size) when traveling certain roads. Make sure to check these laws before you go so you are prepared and have all the proper equipment. 
  • Research hikes, campgrounds, and roads before heading out to make sure where you want to go and stay are open and available for use in the winter. 

We loved adventuring through the winter months in our RV, but being prepared made all the difference! If you’re planning to explore during the winter months and head toward places where it snows and the temperatures remain at or below freezing, hopefully, you find these tips helpful. Don’t let those cold temperatures steer you away from exploring in the snow, grab your winter coat, lace up your boots, and hit the road!


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