5 Winter RV Camping Tips
Raise your hand if you cry a little when you take your RV to its indoor storage unit or when you pull the RV cover on. Matt and I always feel a little down when we tuck the RV away for winter, longingly want to pull it back out as soon as possible in the spring. However, we recently learned about winter RVing and had to give it a try. After giving RV camping in cold weather a try, we have become fans and have some RV advice for you when you decide to give it a try.
Here are five tips for winter RV living you need to know about how to RV in winter temperatures.
Pick Your Destination
It might seem like all campgrounds close as soon as Halloween has passed, but if you take some time to do some research, you will be able to find a campground nearby that remains open. Many state and national parks are open in the northern half of the US with limited services. Choose a destination close to home for your first trip, just in case you need to run home for something or if the weather takes a turn.
The site we chose for our first time RV camping in the winter had the electricity on, the fire ring, and the picnic table still at the site.
Pro-tip: Water service in the north will usually be turned off.
Find your Site
Once you find a campground that is open, you need to choose a site. This might sound like a simple thing, but when winter camping, it is essential.
Choose a site near the bathrooms. Since you will have winterized your camper for the cold weather, you will want your walk to the shower house as short as possible. (Ask me how I know). Another tip that you should know is that you will want to find a site that has FULL sunlight. If you want your RV to naturally warm up during a sunny winter day, being in a location that has good afternoon sun will help.
If you are staying at a privately owned campground, call the owner and ask them to get you in the perfect site for a winter stay, they are usually in the know.
Prep Your RV for Winter
Before freezing temperatures hit, you will want to winterize your RV for winter. Matt usually does this for our family, and I help with bringing the tools or RV antifreeze to him.
- Thoroughly flush and clean out your hot water tank and water heater
- Use the low point drains to empty the freshwater tank.
- Flush thoroughly and empty the waste tanks completely.
- Flush and completely drain the water lines for the toilet.
- Add RV antifreeze
Read the detailed guide on how to winterize your RV for winter here.
A few other winter tips are to have vent covers; these will help keep the cold out and the warm in.
Purchase heavy curtains to have over the windows, these act as simple insulators.
Have a backup heat source, like an electric heater, in case of an emergency.
Cold Weather Camping Essential Tips
We came up with a cold-weather list of essential things you have to know after our trip out camping. Even with a RV essentials list, you will find something that you will want to add to your own cold-weather camping must-haves after your first time out.
- Take an electric blanket! These are the best on a cold night curled up on your couch watching a movie or when you’re tucked into bed.
- Run the RV’s LP furnace at 45 degrees and use an electric heater as a supplement. We found this kept the RV warm and toasty on the frosty nights.
- Do not stay connected to the full hookup sewer 100% of the time in winter, otherwise, you could end up with a “poopsicle.” That would not be a fun way to end your cold-weather camping trip.