Who says RVing fun is limited to warm weather? RV living in the winter has a lot to offer too, and RV technology makes living in your RV during the winter months even cozier than ever. So instead of trekking south for warmer weather this winter, think about staying put and enjoying the cool temps (or, depending on your location, snow) in quieter campgrounds and RV parks than you'd find in the warmer seasons of the year. This primer on prepping your RV for winter living can help.
RV Water System Prep
One of the most important steps for getting your RV ready for winter living is to prepare your water system for the cold days ahead. Once the mercury starts to plummet, water inside your freshwater hose and pipes can freeze — and in a worst-case scenario, burst. Frozen pipes can also result in an increase in your system's water pressure, which may end up necessitating expensive repair work down the road.
Heat tape can be a godsend for keeping hoses and pipes from freezing; apply it around connections and valves since these are the most likely to freeze. Keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to circulate and allow faucets to drip slightly to help keep water moving in your pipes. The use of an internal tank for fresh water gives you the freedom to disconnect your freshwater hose for the season.
Most RVs lack the level of insulation necessary for keeping the cold winds of Old Man Winter at bay, so upgrading your insulation makes sense for winter RVing. Insulate around the RV's base and underbelly to help keep your warm air in and cold air out. Also, consider investing in foam board flooring to help keep your floors warmer, since cold air naturally sinks, making your floors chillier underfoot.
Inside the RV, seal your doors and windows, and look for areas where caulking or weatherstripping is weak or missing. Choose heavy curtains to keep cold air out and put heavy rugs on your RV's floors. Once you get to your destination, RV skirting can help keep things warm and snug inside. Keep in mind that insulation also helps keep your RV cool in the summer, making it an excellent investment in future comfort on your RV adventures.
Before the onset of winter weather, check out your RV's furnace and have it assessed by a professional if necessary. Clean and vacuum the vents of your RV's furnace system, and clean around the furnace using a compressed air canister. Replace the filter to help get your furnace ready.
Augment your RV's furnace with RV-approved additional heat sources such as portable electric space heaters. Remember, you'll need access to reliable power for your space heater, and if you rely on it a lot, consider a dehumidifier to help keep moisture in check. There are also portable propane heaters or catalytic heaters available. Whichever option you choose, be sure to heed all manufacturer's warnings and instructions regarding safe use.
Sprayable antifreeze sprayed on sliding components is invariably a good idea for winter RVing. Be sure to plan on removing ice and snow regularly as needed. If RVing in an area where snow and ice are particularly heavy and dense, you might consider slide-out supports.
These tips can help you prepare your RV for winter living and all the snowy adventures that await. With some legwork and preparation, you and your RV will be ready to face whatever Mother Nature throws at you this winter.