How to Keep Your RV Warm in the Winter
When many people think of RVing, they think of summer campgrounds or trips to the beach. While these types of vacations are certainly appealing, colder seasons and climates are full of unique adventures for the daring RV’er. There’s nothing quite like a snowy mountain view or cozy nights curled up inside your camper. Consider the winter activities of skiing, snowmobiling or hunting. Thanks to modern innovations and the experience of brave travelers before you, it’s possible to gear up and prepare your RV for a successful and cozy winter journey. Before you decide to park your unit for the winter season, check out this guide on how to keep your RV or camper warm in the winter.
Take Care of the Engine
First and foremost, you need your RV or tow vehicle’s engine to be in great shape before you head out for colder weather. You should stay on top of routine engine maintenance throughout the year, but it’s particularly important to take care of any potential problems before venturing into the cold. Take your vehicle in for an inspection and tune-up so you can tackle any issues before they become major problems. Pay special attention to your engine batteries as well. Look for signs of corrosion and make sure the battery is fully charging and making good connection. This will help prevent your batteries from freezing or dying partway through the trip.
Clean and Service Your Furnace
Your engine isn’t the only thing you should check before you leave. Make sure your furnace is clean and functional before you hit the road. You don’t want to arrive at your cold-weather destination and have to breathe in a lot of dusty air the first time you run the furnace. Even worse is arriving at your campground and realizing your furnace doesn’t work properly. Prevent this disaster by servicing your furnace annually. Additionally, you should make sure your propane tanks are full and any valves or wiring are undamaged. Take the time before you leave to vacuum your furnace vents and make sure everything is clear of dust and cobwebs that might gather over time.
Invest in Good Window Treatments
Windows and doors are two of the easiest ways for warm air to escape the interior of your RV. Help heat stay inside by insulating your windows. You can use foam insulation boards on the window to help trap heat inside. Heavy thermal curtains are another great way to secure your windows. Close the curtains at night to prevent heat from seeping through the glass, but open them during the day to let the sunlight pour in and help warm your RV’s interior. You should also inspect the seals and caulk around your windows and doors to make sure there are no cracks or other damage that would help warm air escape.
Protect Your Plumbing
If you want to enjoy running water throughout your entire trip, you need to take some precautions with your plumbing. Most of your RV’s drain pipes and water tanks are on the exterior of the vehicle, which means your furnace and other interior heating systems won’t help them when they’re exposed to the elements. Furthermore, frozen pipes can cause problems beyond a lack of running water. If water freezes in your pipes, it might lead to cracks or bursting, causing a lot of expensive damage. You can find RV heating pads for your gate valves, drain pipes, and RV holding tanks for sale at UltraHeat.com. Don’t overlook your unit’s fresh water draw tube, if exposed, it’s the first to freeze-up. This will help you protect your pipes and give you access to running water no matter where you travel.
Close Off the Room
One of the biggest tips for how to keep your RV or camper warm in the winter is to keep the interior insulated. While they might not seem like a big deal, the closet doors and cabinets inside your RV play a major role in trapping heat inside the vehicle. Your cabinets and doors act as an extra layer of insulation. Try to keep them closed as much as possible to preserve the heat in your interior. This same concept applies to your AC vents and other areas of your RV’s interior that have better access to the exterior. This helps keep warm air circulating within the room. However, keep in mind that you want to protect your pipes in the case of extremely cold weather. If you’re expecting freezing temperatures, keep your kitchen cabinets and any other areas near your plumbing open so warm air can easily reach your pipes.
Invest in Vent Covers
As we said above, your AC system and other vents present a good opportunity for warm air to seep out of your RV’s interior. Unfortunately, completely blocking or closing off your vents can lead to condensation or higher humidity levels. This moisture buildup can cause problems like mold within your RV. Vent covers offer a solution to both issues by helping insulate your RV’s interior while still encouraging proper ventilation. This will help keep your RV both cozy and dry all winter long.
Make Your Space Extra Cozy
Nothing says cozy winter getaway like a few personal touches for your RV’s interior. If you plan on spending time inside your RV during your trip, you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Add extra layers to the beds to help keep everyone warm throughout the night. This also lets you customize your RV beds so everyone feels right at home no matter where you go. This coziness isn’t limited to the bedroom, however. Throw a blanket on the back of the couch for someone to curl up with. You should also lay down a plush rug so no one has to walk on cold floors. Consider other accessories like electric blankets or heating pads for particularly cold days.
Pack for the Weather
Your RV can do a lot to keep you warm and comfortable during your winter excursions, but you have to do your part as well. Make sure you pack wisely for whatever climate you plan on visiting. Bring along plenty of layers and waterproof boots and clothing. You should also make sure you have the right RV supplies and accessories such as antifreeze, ice scrapers, and a space heater. When you make all the right preparations for a winter RV trip, you can travel with peace of mind no matter what kinds of climates you visit.