Many of us are seeing the signs of Spring confirming that Winter is on it’s way out for the year. Did you put the RV away for the Winter or Hit the Roads to avoid the cold weather?
Here are some tips for next Winter if you want to keep warm while enjoying the snow.
Typically, the people who spend a lot of time in their RV go south for the winter, and during the summer months they head out to any and everywhere else where cooler temperatures beckon. This plan is the norm, and generally speaking, it requires travelers to be on their toes when getting campground reservations, since practically everyone else with an RV on the road is doing the same thing. However there are some intrepid souls who enjoy thinking outside of the box, and who might actually enjoy RV travel in the winter! If you have never had enough snow to suit you and would like to spend a winter where the snow drifts form, or if you simply enjoy the cold and love the look of a winter landscape, Winter RVing might be right up your alley! Below are a few important winter RV tips that will make all the difference between your experience being a cozy and enjoyable success or a dire disaster. Remember the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared! This applies particularly to RV camping during the winter months. Below are the primary issues you should consider.
If you’re not a snowbird, and this will be your first winter spent in the cold, remember one thing: unprepared people can actually freeze to death in the cold! So be equipped to deal with the cold. The most essential thing you’ll want to have is warm bedding. Investing in sleeping bags that are rated for sub zero temperatures is an excellent idea. Not only can they be unzipped and used on your bed as a blanket but in a “worst case scenario” they can keep you from freezing. If you’re staying in a campground (recommended, they’re never full during the winter months) you’ll save money by using their electricity and electric quartz or oil filled “radiators” for warmth. Save your propane furnace in case the power goes out. A heated mattress pad will go a long way towards keeping you cozy at night. When choosing places to park your RV take into consideration hedges that might provide a wind break, and position yourself so that you get direct sunlight every day.
Ice storms and snow are common in many parts of the country during winter and people who live in such areas will all tell you to stock up on the things you need in case a storm blows in. Make a list of the things you absolutely, positively can’t do without: medicines, coffee, food, extra propane, candles, matches, etc.
Water lines often freeze during the winter and if the well at the campground where you’re staying is powered by electricity, its pump could stop working during power outages. It’s always a good idea to have a few gallons of drinking water stashed away for “just in case.”
Wrap all of your pipes with foam pipe insulation. Fill the empty space around your pipes with insulation. Wrap your water hose with foil, then electrical heat tape, and top that with foam insulation. Purchase a sewer hose rated for sub zero temperatures. Wrap this in heat tape and foam insulation as well. In extremely cold weather you might consider using insulated skirting to shield the underside of your RV from the cold and wind. A small dehumidifier will keep ice from forming on interior walls and condensation from forming beneath mattresses.
Don’t drive your RV on snowy or icy roads. Make sure that someone knows where you are at all times and arrange for a regular check in time each day so that they can sound the alarm should you not call in. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a message left on a machine will do.
You came to enjoy the snow, so enjoy the snow! Bring skis, snowshoes and something that can be used as a sled. For cozy winter nights inside, bring cards, games and movies for your RV TV. Don’t forget your camera or the hot chocolate!
Winter RVing can be magnificent. Many places you’ll have to yourself and nothing beats the coziness of being warm inside when it’s cold and snowy out. Take the recommended precautions and you can’t go wrong. Have fun!