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RVing In The Winter: 10 Things You Need To Know



Just because summer has bid us farewell, that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to fun RVing excursions! There are plenty of reasons to hitch up and hit the road with your RV once the snow starts to fall. But don’t start packing up your thermos of hot cocoa and your mittens just yet! First, read over these 10 things you need to know for RVing in the winter. The more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have!

#1 - You Can Still Have Cold-Weather Fun


Young girl sledding


Although you won’t be spending sunny days strolling the beach or stopping for ice cream, you can still partake in a lot of fun activities throughout the winter. If you are a snowboarder, skier, or even a novice sledder, you can pack up your RV and hit the slopes. If you have kids, you can make a snowman or do some snow painting. Or if you’re retired and free to roam, just head south and skip the cold weather all together!

#2 - Winter RVing Has Its Benefits


Winter benefits: no mosquitos


You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone want to go camping in the cold?” but winter camping does offer some benefits that might appeal to you. The first being that you won’t have to spend your evenings swatting away blood-thirsty mosquitos or pesky flies. The other being that campgrounds, national parks, and other popular summer destinations tend to empty out once winter comes. This means you can enjoy picturesque places without the crowds or hordes of tourists!

#3 - Winterization is Essential


Regardless of whether you're using your RV this winter or not, make sure to winterize your RV accordingly.


Any water left in your RV once the temperature starts to drop has the potential to freeze and burst your tanks or lines. The resulting damage isn’t just a pain to repair, it’s costly too. Luckily, freeze damage can be avoided altogether by winterizing your rig. Even after your RV has been winterized, you can still take it out camping and use some of its components. To get step-by-step instructions on how to properly winterize, read here!

#4 - Trap In The Heat


Trap heat in your RV by using insulation blinds on your windows.


Warm air can escape out of your RV from a variety of different routes. Keep the heat inside by shoving hatch vent cushions into your ceiling vents. Because hot air rises, these products can make a dramatic difference. You can also wedge Reflectix® insulation between your window panes and window shades. Regular bubble wrap can also be used as a cheaper (but effective) method of insulating your windows. Installing thermal curtain will help trap heat in even further.

#5 - Keep The Cold Out


Seal any leaks you may find in your RV.


There are plenty of tricks to keep the cold air out of your RV in the winter. If you’re planning on staying in one spot for a while, consider attaching skirting around the bottom of your trailer. You can buy after-market products or you can modify tarps or plywood for a more cost-friendly alternative. You’ll also want to seal any leaks and reinforce seals with a rubber coating or silicon caulk. Use draft stoppers and shrink wrap on your entry doors to reduce cold air infiltration as well.

#6 - The Sun Is Still Powerful


The sun is still powerful in winter - be sure to apply sunscreen to protect your skin.


Snow can reflect 80-90% of the sun’s UV rays. So just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can forget about the importance of UV protection. You’ll still need to pack along and apply sunscreen, you’ll still want to have your sunglasses handy, and you’ll still need to stay hydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty.

#7 - Park Your RV Wisely


Park your RV wisely in the winter.


When you’re looking for a campsite, make sure you set yourself up so that you’re available to the sunshine. Position your RV so that it can absorb the powerful early morning rays, and try to park in spots that provide natural protection against wind gusts. If no wind breaks are available in your location, angle your RV so that the wind hits the rear, rather than the sides.

#8 - Pack For The Season


Pack appropriately for your winter RV travels.


Unless you’re planning on stopping by the hot springs or if your RV park has an indoor pool, you won’t be needing to bring along your bikini or swim trunks. You can leave those shorts and tanks at home too. Instead, pack along warm articles of clothing that can be layered. If you pack properly, you should stay warm inside and outside of your RV. Also don’t forget to bring your hats, mittens/gloves, boots, thick socks, and scarves too!

#9 - Drive Carefully & Cautiously


Drive carefully and cautiously in winter weather.


Driving an RV in the snow is not the same as driving a car. Because it will take you longer to stop, you should keep significantly more space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you plan to drive through treacherous conditions or snow storms, keep a pair of tire chains handy just in case, although the safest option is to pull over and wait till the storm passes. Try to keep your gas tank full just in case you do become stranded overnight.

#10 - Prepare For Moisture


Prepare for condensation on your windows and window sills.


Once your RV is well insulated, the disparity in temperature between the outside air and the inside air will cause a build up of condensation. It is important that you don’t ignore this moisture because it cultivates an environment where mold and mildew can thrive. While you could briefly crack open a window, the best way to deal with condensation is to simply wipe it off your affected surfaces with an absorbent towel.

Click here to get more tips and tricks on winter RVing! And if there’s anything that we missed, let us know by leaving a comment!

10 things you need to know about rving in the winter infographic

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