Camping during the winter months presents a unique opportunity to experience nature free from summer tourists. Less crowds, cheaper rates, breathtaking scenery, hot chocolate — what’s not to love?
Before you hit the road though, make a solid game plan. Winter is not the time to take a trip unprepared. While it does require some extra work, winter camping is a truly rewarding adventure.
Here are five essential things you should know about winter RV camping:
Tip #1 — Your RV Needs To Be Winterized
It’s important that your plumbing is protected. Insulating foam tubes and heat tape are good ways to wrap pipes. Some modern RVs have water tanks that come with heaters, so check to see if your RV has one. If not, you may want to take precautions to ensure your tank isn’t damaged during freezing temperatures.
If you plan on winter adventuring, investing in an engine block heater is a great idea to ensure your engine doesn’t freeze. You will also want to check your RV batteries for any signs of corrosion or damage and make sure your engine has enough antifreeze in its system.
Also, check your RV’s furnace for damage, and make sure there is a clear path for air to flow properly. Cleaning the furnace with compressed air or a soft brush will remove dirt and debris and also ensure you are breathing cleaner air.
Tip #2 — Insulation Is Key
How is your insulation? It may be time for an upgrade if you plan on camping this winter. Insulation not only protects the internal workings of the vehicle itself, but it also helps to create a cozy living space.
Insulation around the base of the RV can keep wind, snow and rain, and winter critters from damaging the undercarriage and from sucking heat out of the RV. Adding rugs to the interior floor will add an extra layer of insulation as well. This not only helps to keep the warm air inside, but it keeps your feet toasty – warm feet make a difference!
Be sure to check the weather stripping around all the windows, skylights, and doors. What may seem like a small leak can actually cause you to lose a lot of warm air. Windows are a big culprit when it comes to heat loss. Adding curtains, or even shrink wrap will help keep valuable heat inside where it belongs.
Tip #3 — Pack Wisely And Prepare For Anything
If you are wondering, “what should I pack” and “what can I leave in my RV?” Good questions! Pack what you would for warmer months, plus extra.
Be sure to bring:
- An ice and snow scraper
- Back-up warm clothing
- Sunblock and lip balm
- Extra food and bottled water
- First aid kit
- Sealant and spray lubricant
- A winter emergency roadside kit
Having a winter roadside emergency kit packed somewhere accessible can be a real lifesaver. Be sure to include heat blankets, candles, and matches. If you are stranded in a remote area or in an avalanche, candles and a heat blanket go a long way in confined spaces. This backcountry skier has a great blog about winter emergency essentials.
There are numerous items you should pack in case anything bad occurs. Even if it seems like too much, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Tip #4 — Safe Driving Starts With Tires
Before you pull out of the driveway — check your tires! You want to take care of any issues before you hit the road.
If you plan on driving in snow, remember to pack your snow chains, or have snow tires put on your RV. If you are driving over a mountain pass, especially in a snowstorm, chains could be a requirement. Also, remember to use low-beam headlights in a snowstorm!
Tip #5 — Double Check Your Reservations And Destination
Some RV resorts and campgrounds are open all year, but many operate with limited services during the colder months. It’s a good idea to speak to someone at the facility to find out what services are available prior to making a reservation so you know what to expect.
Before you depart, check the weather and have an alternate travel route in mind in case there are road closures. It’s always wise to have a Plan B in the event of a travel snafu.
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Contact us to get a free quote and to learn more about winter RV camping or recreating in all seasons.