RV living offers a tremendous amount of flexibility. Some choose to use their vehicles for short trips during the weekend, hit the road for several weeks, or live in their RVs full-time. Regardless of your preference, it’s important to know how to maintain your RV in different seasons throughout the year. The bitter temperatures of winter present unique challenges for RV living, so this guide to keep your RV livable in the winter offers a wide range of helpful tips and tricks.
You can enjoy your RV all year long with proper forethought and planning. Being able to use your RV in winter opens so many new opportunities if you live in a particularly cold or snowy climate. It’s nice to know you can take advantage of your vehicle and use it to its fullest potential regardless of the weather. Let’s explore how to make the most of your RV during the coldest months of the year.
Keep Your Vehicle Stationary
Being able to pack up and travel to a new destination with ease is one of the best parts of owning an RV. Are you interested in exploring a new campground? No problem! Drive to your next location and set up camp. However, wicked winter weather can quickly throw a wrench in your plans.
It can be tricky and potentially dangerous to navigate in an RV when the roads are snowy and icy. Thus, you’ll want to keep your RV stationary during brutal weather to keep you and your passengers safe. Plus, you’ll most likely have access to hookups and can properly prepare and maintain the condition of your vehicle when you stay in one spot.
Once you know inclement weather is heading your way, it’s the perfect time to figure out where you’re going to park your RV during the storm. Having a predetermined game plan will ensure you can safely remain in your RV regardless of the weather situation.
Add an RV Skirt
Manufacturers design RVs to be as compact as possible, so many important parts are outside of the vehicle. Thus, protecting its exposed parts during winter is necessary. You prevent your vehicle’s exterior components, storage bays, and undercarriage from freezing in subzero temperatures by keeping them covered.
Using an RV skirt is a great way to protect your RV when you park it outside for an extended period. An RV skirt wraps around the base of your vehicle to keep snow out and maintain a comfortable temperature. Manufacturers make these skirts from a variety of hardy, insulated materials, including foam. A skirt made from a durable material can withstand the elements and ensure your RV stays safe.
You can place a heater under your RV skirt for additional warmth. Be sure the heater is suitable for outdoor use to prevent an electrical malfunction. With a properly fitting skirt, you can enjoy your RV’s amenities regardless of the weather.
Find Reliable Access to Propane
Knowing how to keep your RV warm during the winter is one of the most important considerations you must make. The easiest solution is to use your RV’s built-in heating system. Most RV heaters use propane and do a great job of heating your vehicle. As such, you must ensure you have easy access to propane before embarking on your winter journey.
During extremely cold weather, your furnace will run consistently. Thus, a propane furnace will burn through a lot of fuel throughout your trip. You’ll need on-site access to additional propane or the ability to easily refill your propane tank at another location. Since the roads may not be clear for several hours after a snowstorm, you must plan accordingly.
Consider purchasing a large external tank to use during the winter if you don’t want to refill your propane tank as often. Some campgrounds conveniently provide large tanks during the coldest months.
Once your RV has reached a comfortable internal temperature, you’ll want to avoid condensation at all costs. The excess moisture caused by condensation can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Remove excess moisture by using a dehumidifier to avoid wreaking havoc on your RV during the winter. Dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air and capture it in a holding tank. You must empty and clean the tank regularly for the dehumidifier to perform properly.
Consider using an electric dehumidifier as it has a higher capacity than a passive model if you park at a campground and have access to power. It does a better job of removing moisture from the air and keeping your RV clean and dry. For instance, a passive dehumidifier uses calcium chloride crystals to remove moisture from the air when you don’t have access to power. Keep in mind you’ll need to replace the crystals consistently to keep the machine in proper working order.
Use a Heated Water Hose
Preventing frozen pipes during the winter is essential. You’ll be unable to access water in your RV if your pipes freeze. Since most pipes run under these large vehicles, cold temperatures can easily cause the water to turn to ice.
Luckily, you can take steps to keep the water flowing all winter long. First, make sure you cover the water source if you’re using a hookup. You should also invest in a heated water hose. These two steps will decrease the likelihood of frozen pipes.
Inside your vehicle, be sure to leave your faucets dripping to prevent frost. Also, keep the cupboard doors under your sinks open to allow the RV’s heat to enter. You can always fill your freshwater tank and use it as your main water source if you don’t want to deal with a hose hookup during inclement weather.
Invest in Dual Pane Windows
A guide to keeping your RV livable in the winter wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the importance of dual pane windows. Consider installing dual pane windows if you live in a cold climate and plan to use your vehicle year-round. These windows are much better at keeping out the cold than a single pane. Be sure to think about this feature before making your final decision if you’re currently in the market for a new RV.
Window insulation film is a non-permanent way to insulate your windows in the absence of double-pane windows. You can keep the air temperature in your RV as comfortable as possible by placing the film over your windows.
At The Bug Wall, our Promaster rear door screen allows you to let in natural light without the chilly wind. You can easily add our curtains to your doors for added insulation during the coldest winter days. There’s no reason to lose out on precious RVing time due to inclement weather. You can enjoy the great outdoors regardless of the season with the right products and preparation. Contact us today to learn how we can help you winterize your vehicle!