Winter RV recreation will require more effort and is only for the most enthusiastic of campers. While RV travel in the summertime is definitely easier, there is a benefit to camping in the winter. In the winter there are less campers out, which means more quiet and solitude, making for the perfect time to simply get away and completely unwind (as long as you are well prepared).
Here are some things you should do to prepare for a winter RV trip:
- You will need another heat source in addition to the RV furnace. Relying on the forced air system in the RV will eat through your propane very quickly.
- Protect your water and sewer lines; this is mandatory if you use the kitchen and bathroom inside the RV. Some RVers like to keep the faucets on just slightly because it is less likely for moving water to freeze.
- Minimizing hot water usage conserves fuel.
- Keeping your various tanks full makes it harder for them to freeze. You can also keep pipes in walls warmer by opening cabinet doors, therefore exposing them to heat.
- Dehumidifiers help keep the moisture levels down inside the RV. This is a great tool if you are finding sheets of ice on the walls or ceilings.
- You can also keep interior moisture at bay by opening a roof vent just half of an inch.
- Electric blankets are great for keeping you warm and snug.
- Snuggle up with loved ones; shared body heat is one of the best ways to keep warm.
- Keep curtains closed as much as possible to help trap heat inside.
- Check the weather strip around the exterior doors.
- RV skirts and/or an insulating foam board cut to fit between the RV frame and the ground will help to insulate tanks and water lines as well as the floor.
- Empty black and gray water tanks, then add a quart of special pink RV antifreeze to protect dump valves from freezing.
- Wrap the sewer hose in heat tape to prevent ice dams inside.
- Place blocks of wood beneath stabilizing jacks to keep them from freezing to concrete.
- Check any awnings or slide outs for ice and snow before retracting.
- Make sure to have an emergency preparedness kit with you to be ready for the worst just in case. Some good items to have include: tire chains, weather band radio, extra blankets, extra warm clothes, sleeping bags for sub zero temps, 5 gallons of drinking water stored in a heated space, white gas camp stove, gas-power generator, extra propane, blow dryer for defrosting pipes or tanks, GPS system, extra food, and emergency cash.
In addition to these great tips, you will also want to be familiar with your destination. Call ahead to make sure the camping spot is open. Also check the route you are taking and make sure the roads you will be traveling are still safe to navigate.