Although RVing is typically considered a summertime activity, winter RVing is less fun and many Rivers, including myself, enjoy it to the fullest. Actually, in my experience is that campsites and other picnic areas are less crowded in winter and with the cold weather and snowfall, they are equally enjoyable as they are in summer. You just have to follow certain tips and be sorted for winter RVing.
1. Winterize Your RV
While on a winter trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, my wife, and our two children, thoroughly enjoyed the snow tubing, snowshoeing, gondola rides, and snowmobiling. However, as we’d forgotten to insulate our RV, we faced freezing cold winds at night.
The last thing you want to happen while on a winter RV trip is your RV failing in the middle of the road or not serving you as a proper shelter. But this can happen only if you don’t prepare your RV for the cold weather. Here are ways to winterize your RV.
Insulate Your RV: Your RV should be warm enough in the winter and insulation is the best way to do this. Insulation will also protect the RV’s various parts against winter damage.
Check the seals around the RV windows and replace those that are weak or missing. Applying a plastic film over the windows is also a good way to prevent freezing. Insulated RV window coverings can further insulate the cabin. Also, seal doors with new weather stripping to keep moisture or cold air from leaking (which we’d forgotten).
You can also sell your RV’s floor with foam board flooring. If you don’t want to purchase it, you can even use heavy carpets or rugs.
Install RV Skirting: Next time when we drove towards Dakota Ridge RV Park, Colorado, for our next winter RV trip, we not only insulated our windows, doors, and floor of our RV, but we also installed RV skirting around the base of our RV that blocked cold winds and prevented them from freezing water tanks, damaging the RV’s other components and chilling the interior. We, especially our kids, got a good night’s sleep to freshen up for the next day’s fun like the stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado’s amazing wilderness, and Denver’s urban beauty.
2. What Essentials do You Need?
While wandering through the snow, you need to carry some essentials that will help you make your trek fun. I have a list of such essentials ready and I refer to it every time while planning a winter RV trip.
Various Layers: If you’re like me, you’d want to play a lot in the snow! You may even want to give skiing or snowboarding a try if you’re at Sugarloaf, Maine, or Wintergreen, Virginia. You may work up a sweat and still want to keep your core dry and warm. Hence, pack a few base layers made from moisture-wicking materials.
Then you’ll need various mid layers made of breathable and insulating materials such as wool and fleece.
And your outer layer should be waterproof to protect you from freezing rain and snow. Our son and I wear jackets, whereas my wife and daughter wear solid overcoats, knee-length and above-knee-length coats, poncho cape coat wrap, and many other types to suit the women’s desire for fashion diversity.
Other Warm Clothes and Accessories: I used not to wear a hat in the winter and when I started wearing one, I realized the mistake I had made for a long. A warm hat can protect you a lot from heat loss. Another important accessory to keep you comfortable is socks. So also, waterproof gloves, snow boots, and a warm sleeping bag are important.
If you’re planning to get into winter sports, you must have goggles to protect you from the sun’s reflection on the snow.
Headlamp and Lantern: I always carry a headlamp and a lantern on my winter RVing trips and other campers (who don’t carry them) compliment me. The sun tends to set earlier in winter and lanterns and lamps are useful when hiking or doing any activity far from your RV. They are useful even when you’re near your RV and enjoy dinner outside your vehicle. At least I feel that they create a magical ambiance with the snow-covered wilderness around – just as enchanting as a candle-light dinner!
Extra Propane Tanks/Fuel: I use my RV furnace to heat my trailer and so I always carry extra propane tanks to avoid running out. If you are using a portable heater, bring extra fuel.
Blow Dryer: You can protect the RV’s tanks, pipes, and hoses by adding RV antifreeze and insulating pipes with heat tape or foam pipe insulation. But if you can’t do that, carry a blow dryer and it’ll be a great help for defrosting your RV components. My daughter always carries one to dry her hair and so, we don’t have to worry.
3. Let Your Oven also Work as a Heater
Eating a hot meal is delicious, but it also makes you heated to combat the cold. But after you make your food in the oven, leave its door open and your rig will get extra heat!
4. Be Flexible
My family and I are always prepared for changes in the plan. & we find that more fun than sticking to the planned activities. When we were on the aforementioned Jackson Hole trip when we hadn’t insulated our RV and freezing air was making its way in, we straightaway booked a cabin instead of spending the night in the RV and it was fun!
We have even spent nights in a tent in cold weather, something that wasn’t in our plan, as our children wished to face some cold and snow while winter RVing.
Having to change your plans at the last minute has a unique thrill in it and winter RVing may make you do that several times. So be flexible and enjoy!
I hope you’re now eager to plan a winter RV trip after reading these tips. Do let me know your experiences. Happy winter RVing!