Top 10 Ways to Make Your RV Winter Ready
We hear it all of the time – “yes, I would love to vacation in an RV but isn’t it expensive, especially in winter?”
The answer is both yes and no. Initial costs of an RV can get pretty pricey. This can be true if you want one of the newer, high end models. The kings of the road with full bathrooms and decent sized kitchenettes.
Buying an RV is definitely an investment. But even a used or older model is worth it to make winter friendly when planning to camp out during the season.
There’s a ton of information out there. So we narrowed it down for you! Here are the top 10 ways to make your RV winter ready:
- The first and easiest solution is buying an all season RV right from the start. But even all season RV homes are rarely equipped for temperatures dropping below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you plan on parking it at a campsite, you will want to stay hooked up for the duration of your vacation there. You want to know the amp hookup for your RV and how much power the campsite provides. For winter, you will want 50 amps. You can get away with 30 amps but if your RV is a 50 amp hookup you will need a converter in most instances. You’ll be kicking yourself if you’re warm and cozy but don’t have enough power hooked up to use your RV microwave.
- A backup portable generator is recommended and can be necessary for cold, remote locations. In average temperatures, you can get away with no generator or hookup. But don’t risk it in winter! Some travelers even opt for gas powered stoves and gas powered generators for RV winter travel. Propane CAN freeze! FYI: generators can be stinky and noisy. Be sure to check the carbon monoxide levels too. Many switch off automatically once the levels get too high.
- Insulation is next on the list in making your RV winter ready. It’s simple and affordable to do so. Check the caulking on your windows. If it’s worn, remove it with a utility knife. Then reapply a silicone based caulking along their edges. Next, make a velcro insulation cover for every window. If you like gazing out your windows at the pretty snowfall, opt for transparent covers. The beauty of this technique is the velcro. Making the covers easily removable. For further insulation, place covers over the vents.
- RV skirts are another way to insulate. You can buy one or make one yourself. Some new RV models come with them already. They wrap around the bottom of the RV to protect from wind and insulate from the ground up. They are better for those who plan to park it for a couple of days or more.
- The gear you choose is essential to keeping you toasty too! A heavy duty, insulated sleeping bag at night and lots of warm layers will keep you from feeling that winter chill.
- In super snow covered areas, bring a bag of kitty litter with you just in case you get stuck. And grab extra emergency essentials, such as firestarter logs, matches, lighters and additional blankets. Bring a shovel and a blow dryer too – if you run into any trouble!
- If you have a RV model with plumbing, we recommend flushing out your tank before your winter voyage and after your return. Tanks CAN freeze. Very low temperatures can turn the tank liquid into gel. Adding a small amount of antifreeze along with taping up your hoses and pipes can prevent breakage. Even turning on a faucet with a slow drip will keep the water flowing. This can help prevent freezing too. Wait until your tank is completely full before draining. Septic safe, dissolving toilet paper is a smart ideaFridges can be a real pain in cold temps as well. Unplug or remove it altogether. A portable cooler placed outdoors will work just fine.
Some experienced winter RV travelers suggest not even using your bathroom if you plan to vacation in excessively cold temps. But not to worry! Many campgrounds have bathrooms you can use. Also, while it might not be the most glamorous porcelain throne – the world can be your toilet with the proper disposal!
- A full tank of gas, new tires with unworn treads and engine maintenance seem like a no brainer. But you would be astounded at how many RVers don’t remember to check these basics beforehand. Be sure your RV is in excellent condition before venturing into icy cold locations.
- Lastly, the wisest way to prepare your RV for winter travel is doing your homework beforehand! Check weather, ensure campsites are open, watch out for black ice on the road, read RV travel blogs (like this one!) And make sure you have plenty of extra food, water and other basic necessities.
Now that you know how to stay safe and comfy in your winter ready RV, you’re going to discover the flurry fun and icy adventures coming your way this holiday season on the road!