Camper residents testify: Living in a camper is one of the best experiences out there, one that adventurous people must try at least once in their lives. It is for the bold, courageous, and strong.
RV owners travel, too, and bask in the sun's warmth, especially during autumn, summer, and spring. However, not all seasons can befriend RV owners as winter tends to be tough on almost anyone, significantly when snow and wind are intensified.
This article details some tips to help campers for winter living – how to survive and make the most out of the experience. After all, it is always a good idea to have a little (or a lot) of preparation and protection.
1. Ensure that you have essential winter equipment.
Preparation is critical if one seeks out great RV experiences amid winter. Anyone can conquer inclement weather and extreme temperatures with proper research and advanced planning.
We recommend securing all essential winter equipment before the season comes—for example, purchase shovels as a preventive measure against getting stuck in snowdrifts.
Get a propane heater; it serves as a significant heat source and heats your RV’s inside. Depending on your needs, you might also want to buy three different heater types: Catalytic Space, Electric, and Portable.
For example, catalytic space heaters prove to be energy-efficient warmth sources, and it is safe, too, without an open flame and the risk of running carbon monoxide gas.
Small electric heaters do the trick for small spaces, though they run a potential fire risk. For campsites that lack access to electricity, portable space heaters provide fuel for RV residents just as long as there is adequate ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Besides the equipment mentioned above, you will also need a skirting set and proper floor insulation. Anticipate that skirting sets will protect your RV’s underside from too much cold and wind, minimizing the cold winter’s impact on your RV’s crucial components (such as pipes).
On the other hand, proper floor insulation helps and adds extra layers of protection, primarily if you utilize foam ones. Foam usage aids in creating interior barriers against damp ingress; consider buying thick, heavy rugs as temporary alternatives.
Additionally, procure tank heaters and plumbing heat tapes, too. Your plumbing heat tapes prevent your foam pipe insulation from freezing and work well; regular duct tape does not.
Use tank heaters for RVs without heated holding tanks. Having warm winter readily available is a lifesaver and a huge source of comfort in any winter.
Of course, inside the RV, campers need to eat. Having an instant pot and pressure cooker on hand helps fulfill this goal.
A pressure cooker reduces cooking time, lessens water vapor production, and minimizes fuel usage. You can also try amazing one-pot meal recipes.
On the other hand, an instant pot comes in handy also for creating delicious meals. However, keep in mind that this works better if you reside in a smaller RV.
For Added Safety
Waterproof lighters and matches won't hurt, especially during winters and emergencies. They are helpful for lighting fires for warmth in the middle of winter.
Nice-to-haves also include ventilation covers for your vents, heat cable rolls for your refrigerators, and traction mats to help you from slipping. Buy ice scrapers if you need to clean your windscreens and windows.
2. Consider investing in other items for full-time RV living. If you live in an RV full-time or are just planning to do so, you need two main items: a generator and a heater. An alternative power source and a portable one are a must, especially during winter, so the generator helps.
On the other hand, freshwater is essential for full-time RV living, so getting a heated hose is not bad. It also saves you the hassle of replenishing RV water every night and dealing with the danger of having frozen hoses in winter.
You should only invest in solar panels when you can afford them. Prepare for the cold winter weather by saving sunlight, using electric blankets or electric heaters; there is no need to rely heavily on propane use.
3. Avoid unnecessary traveling as much as possible.
Even when you can, avoid traveling at all costs in the middle of harsh winter conditions. When it snows, you need to wait a day or two before being on the go again.
Also, make sure that your tires have sufficient tread; they should also not be outdated. Otherwise, do not travel at all.
Having reserve propane (or alternatives to propane) won't hurt you before traveling in winter with your RV – whether to a national forest or a different destination. Lastly, to live as a camper in the winter, always err on caution’s side; pull off if you must, go slow when needed, and look for black ice.
4. Be clothed in proper winter apparel.
Winter jackets, warm clothes, and gloves are essential to survive winters in RVs. The layering of clothes is also a great idea.
Make sure that your base layers are breathable and drive off moisture. Middle layers can be fleece and wool material.
5. Seize each opportunity to try winter sports.
Finally, who says you need to be wrapped at home and live in self-imposed hibernation for those who live in RVs? Do not limit unique experiences to summertime.
For one, try skiing and snowboarding as you go on winter camping, but use your good judgment depending on the weather conditions. As long as you prepare and plan ahead of time, winter and RV living need not be dull, boring, and cold (literally and figuratively).
All in all, living as a camper in the winter is not impossible. It only needs thorough thinking and meticulous preparation, but you can do it.
We hope that the tips above will help you in the coming winter. Enjoy RV living