Living in a camper in the winter is possible! It takes some preparation, a few adaptions, and guts, but living in a travel trailer during winter can be a fun way to explore the world. Here are a few of our best winter RV living tips. Happy camping!
Winter RV Living Do’s
Hold in the Heat
Invest in some space heaters. Place a couple around your camper to warm it up. Portable electric heaters are cost-efficient, safe, and they work well.
Pack more propane than you think you need. Your camper most likely has a furnace that runs on propane. Pack propane, then pack even more. You’ll go through it fast, and it’s better to be over-prepared than freezing. In extreme cold, your furnace will run all day and night, which uses quite a bit of propane.
Keep your RV compact. If your travel trailer expands then pull in your sides to minimize heat loss. You’ll be cozy and the camper will feel a lot smaller, but you’ll have less space to heat with your portable heaters or furnace. Pulling in your sides leaves less surface area exposed to the cold and keeps the heat in.
Keep Out the Cold
Throw a skirt on your RV. If you’re living in a camper in the winter and you haven’t invested in skirting for your RV, then it’s time to bite the bullet and do it. Skirting goes around the bottom of your RV and blocks cold drafts from getting underneath. With a skirt you’ll use significantly less propane and your energy costs will go way down.
Winterize your water lines. Cover your water lines and water tank with heat tape and insulation. If you don’t then they’ll freeze and leave you without fresh water, so make sure they are winterized and ready for the cold. You could also get freeze-resistant water lines and replace your old lines.
Insulate your windows and doors. Insulate your windows with heavy curtains or shrink film. They both do the same thing: keep the warm in and the cold out. You can get shrink film at a hardware store. It’s a plastic film that you shrink down to fit tightly against your window. Single-pane windows don’t quite provide enough protection from the cold, so adding a second layer with curtains or a wrap is essential.
A dehumidifier works wonders. Get the moisture out! Moisture is inevitable when you’re winter RV living, but it makes the air feel colder. Your windows and surfaces will gather cold condensation if you don’t get the moisture out. A dehumidifier is the easiest way to make sure you stay dry.
You might have to use vents and fans. Opening your vents and fans slightly will help the moisture escape. Try cracking your ceiling vent if the dehumidifier isn’t doing enough on its own.
Bring a heated blanket or a lot of quilts. Heated blankets are really effective and they’ll keep you toasty all night long. Sleeping in an insulated sleeping bag is also a good way to stay warm. Or just bring a pile of blankets and quilts and sleep under a stack!
Wear warm base clothing, then layer up. Basically dress for skiing, even if you aren’t going skiing. Good base layers and high-quality coats will keep you warm even if things get drafty inside your RV.
Winter RV Living Don’ts
Don’t use hay or straw.
Mice might sneak in. Hay is commonly used to keep the heat inside. It also brings in little critters like mice and insects. Steer clear from hay if you don’t want to share your RV with those little guys.
It’s messy, and there are cleaner ways to keep the heat in. Hay is also messy and tracks loose straw into your RV. A skirt is more expensive, but it’s also more effective and keeps your camper cleaner.
Don’t be afraid of the cold.
You’ll be fine! Just prepare and bring the right equipment. Try to embrace the weather, and don’t be too scared. It’ll be worth it once you’ve finished preparing.
Remember that living in a travel trailer during winter is an adventure. Have fun with it, and give us a call if you have questions about buying or servicing your RV. Leave a comment with your best winter RV living tips below!