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Beginner’s Guide to Winter RV Camping: Winterizing Your RV

If you’re a fan of RV camping, there’s no reason to stop just because winter arrives. In fact, many people enjoy winter RV camping even more than summer camping! 

From winterizing your RV to preparing the necessary Caravan Camping Accessories, there are a few things you need to know to prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip, so read on for our beginner’s guide to winter RV camping!

What is winter RV camping?

While not everyone enjoys camping in the winter, plenty of people love RVing in the snow! Winter RV camping means taking your RV out on the road (or off-road) during the winter months.

This can be anything from a weekend trip to a longer vacation, but either way, you’ll need to be prepared for colder weather and potentially icy conditions.

What do I need to know before winter RV camping?

To be fully prepared for winter RV camping, there are a few things you need to know in advance. Here are some preparation tips to help you get ready for your trip:

Choose the right RV

Not all RVs are the same; some are better equipped for winter camping than others. If you’re planning on doing a lot of winter RV camping, it’s worth investing in an RV specifically designed for cold weather camping.

For example, fifth wheels and toy haulers are often better insulated than other RVs, making them more comfortable in colder temperatures. Some things to look for in an RV:

  • Heated holding tanks: These will help prevent your water lines from freezing.
  • Double-paned windows: For extra insulation.
  • Good ventilation: You’ll want to crack a window or two to avoid condensation buildup.

Pack appropriately

Of course, you’ll need to pack differently for a winter RV trip than you would for a summer trip. In addition to your usual camping gear, make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes, blankets, and towels.

You might also want to pack some snow gear, like boots and a shovel, in case you encounter any icy conditions.

Prepare your RV

Before heading out on your winter RV camping trip, give your RV a thorough inspection. Check the roof and windows for any damage that could let in cold air or moisture.

It would help if you also winterize your RV to protect it from the cold weather. We’ll get into more of this later.

Plan your route carefully

Sometimes, winter weather can make driving conditions more challenging than usual. If you’re planning on RVing in the snow, be sure to map out your route in advance and consider any potential road closures or delays.

Check the weather forecast before leaving to know what to expect and plan your trip accordingly.

How do you winterize your RV?

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The key with RV camping in winter is to make sure your RV is properly winterized. This means taking extra steps to protect your RV from the cold weather and prevent any damage that freezing temperatures could cause. Here are a few things you can do to winterize your RV:

Drain the water lines

The first step is to drain all the water lines in your RV, including the fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water tank.

You can do this by opening all the faucets and drains in your RV until they’re empty. Once empty, close all the valves to prevent any new water from entering the lines.

Draining the water lines will help prevent them from freezing and bursting in the cold weather.

Add RV antifreeze

Once the water lines are empty, you’ll need to add RV antifreeze to them. This will help prevent the lines from freezing and bursting in cold weather.

To do this, open all the faucets and drains again and let the antifreeze flow through until it comes out of all the faucets.

Once you’ve added RV antifreeze to the lines, close all the valves and faucets to prevent new water from entering. Only use the RV antifreeze during winter to flush the toilet and do dishes.

Disconnect the water heater

Next, you’ll need to disconnect the water heater and drain it completely. You can do this by opening the pressure relief valve and then opening all the faucets until they’re empty.

The water heater can be a source of freezing and bursting, so it’s important to disconnect and drain it completely before winter RV camping.

Insulate your RV pipes

Another way to help prevent your RV pipes from freezing is to insulate them. RV pipes are typically located in the underbelly of the RV, so they can be difficult to access.

If you can insulate your RV pipes, it’s a good idea to do so. This will help keep them from freezing and bursting in cold weather.

There are a few different ways you can insulate your RV pipes:

  • Use pipe insulation: You can find this at most hardware stores. Cut the insulation to size and then wrap it around the pipes.
  • Use a space heater: Place a space heater near the area where the RV pipes are located. This will help keep the area warm and prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • Use RV skirting: RV skirting is a material that goes around the bottom of your RV. This will help keep the underbelly of your RV warm and prevent the pipes from freezing.

Prepare your RV battery

The cold weather can also be tough on your RV battery. To help extend the life of your battery, it’s a good idea to disconnect it and bring it inside your RV to keep it warm.

You can also invest in a battery blanket, a special blanket that goes around your RV battery to help keep it warm.

If you have an extra RV battery, it’s also a good idea to bring it along on your trip and a battery charger. This way, if your main battery dies, you can use the extra one and then charge it up when you have power again.

Stock up on supplies

When RV camping in winter, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies before leaving. This way, if you get stuck in the snow or have to wait out a winter storm, you have everything you need. Here are a few supplies you should stock up on before winter RV camping:

  • Extra blankets and pillows: These will come in handy if your RV gets cold or you have to spend a night outside of it.
  • Non-perishable food: canned goods, dry cereal, granola bars, etc.
  • Water: It’s always a good idea to have extra water on hand, especially in the winter.
  • First-aid kit: Your first-aid kit should have essentials like band-aids, gauze, and antiseptic wipes. But you should also stock it with cold-weather items like lip balm and hand warmers.
  • Firewood: If you’re going to be camping in winter, firewood is a must. You’ll need it for warmth and to cook food.
  • Snow shovel: A snow shovel is essential if you’re going to be RV camping in winter. You’ll need it to clear a path to your RV or to dig yourself out if you get stuck.

Check out RV online for Towing Mirrors and other caravan and camping accessories before you head out on a winter camping trip! 

Final Thoughts

Don’t let the cold weather scare you away from RV camping! With a little preparation, winter RV camping can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Remember to follow these tips to stay safe and warm on your trip. Happy winter RV camping!

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