Cold Weather RV Camping: Tips for Winter Adventures

In the cold winter months, most people like to store their RV‘s and save the camping for when the weather is nice. But you aren’t most people, willing to brave the snowstorms for the frozen taste of winter adventures. If you plan on going RV camping in the snow, here are a few tips to make sure you’re prepared.

Man dressed in winter clothes standing next to a camper van
A man dressed in winter clothes standing next to a camper van | David McNew/Getty Images

Pack extra warm clothing for cold weather RV camping

This one is kind of a given, but there are some pointers that’ll help you decide how much warm clothing you need, and what to prioritize. The main rule of thumb is to pack more than you need because you can always bundle up if you have extra clothes and blankets.

Speaking of which, you should think about clothing in terms of layers. You’ll want something light on the bottom layer, such as t-shirts. Then, throw heavier clothing on top of that for the middle layers, like hoodies. And lastly, have a waterproof top layer. After all, there’s nothing worse than having soggy, cold clothes.

You’ll also want to make sure you have good gloves, hats, and especially socks. Your feet are a key player in how warm or cold you are, it’s why wet socks are absolutely miserable. Protect your feet from getting cold during the day with warm socks and waterproof boots, and at night with nice warm slippers.

Bring extra fuel for your RV furnace and other snow supplies

RV trailer parked at snowy campground
RV trailer parked at snowy campground | Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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There are many different kinds of RV furnaces, but if yours is fueled by propane, bring extra propane. You’ll especially want to make sure your motorhome’s furnace is running in freezing temperatures to prevent the water pipes from bursting. If that’s not enough, grab a portable heater to keep running.

On top of that, you’ll want to make sure you have supplies to keep your RV running in snowy conditions. Consider buying tire chains, or even snow tires for your RV in the event you get caught in the snow. And if the RV ends up stuck, pack a snow shovel to dig your way out.

And in the worst-case scenario where your RV pipes freeze, pack a hairdryer. It’s not much, but the heat can help melt the frozen water accumulating in your pipes and will prevent water leaks as you’re RV camping.

How to prepare your RV for winter adventures

RV driving in the snow
RV driving in the snow | Universal Images Group via Getty Images

So now you’re packed, and have all the essentials for cold weather RV camping, so what about your RV? A good place to start is fortifying the insulation. If you know you’re going to be camping in the cold, and don’t mind not being able to close the windows, taping them and covering the cracks helps keep the heat in and the cold out. You can also add heavier drapes in front of the windows to seal in the air.

On top of that, consider modifying your RV to be able to handle the cold. Heat tape around the pipes is one way to ensure they’re more resistant to the cold. You can also add skirts to your RV to make sure no cold winds blow underneath the RV, where all the pipes and water tanks are.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure the RV itself is properly maintained. Check your antifreeze levels to ensure the system won’t seize, and if your engine has a heater block, get it warmed up before the engine is turned on. Typically, this takes four to five hours.

Kampgrounds of America is a great source for more information on staying warm on your winter RV adventures. But if you want to stay toasty while RV camping in the cold, keep all these tips in mind.

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