Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy RVing. It’s not just a way to travel in warm climates or during the summer months, but some of the logistics may be a bit different.
So, what should you know if you want to go in the winter months or visit cold destinations and rent an RV in Minneapolis, Caribou, Yellowstone, or any other desirable locale in the U.S. that tends to get frigid for at least part of the year?
The following are some logistical tips for enjoying the RV lifestyle, even when it’s cold out.
Insulate Your RV
If you’re traveling to a cold destination, most of your activities will probably involve being out in the elements. For example, you may be skiing or snowshoeing.
That’s great, but when you get back to your RV you want it to be nice and toasty, so you need to properly insulate it because it loses heat through the underbelly and windows in particular.
A few things to consider include adding window film, foam board insulation at the underbelly, and also heavy drapes. The window coverings you have inside the RV can go a long way to keeping it much warmer.
Be Careful with Heaters
Of course, you’re going to want plenty of heat in the RV, but it’s careful to be mindful of heaters. Electric heaters can be a good option, particularly if you have a free electric hookup. With electric heaters, the risk of fumes doesn’t exist, but there is still the risk of fire.
You may prefer a propane radiant heater if you don’t have electric power or want another source of heat, but they do need ventilation, and you should also make sure you have a CO detector on the RV that’s working properly.
Some people recommend not using a propane heater at all because if you don’t have proper ventilation, it can be dangerous or deadly.
You might want to speak with a professional before using any kind of additional heater and see what their recommendation is, based on your specific set-up.
A lot of people prefer LED bulbs and lighting right now because it’s energy efficient, but if you’re going somewhere cold, you might want to use old-fashioned incandescent bulbs in the RV.
They pull double duty with not only lighting but also putting off heat. In fact, the majority of the wattage put off by these bulbs is as heat.
Below Freezing Temperatures
There is a distinction between regular cold weather and frigid below-freezing cold weather. If you’re going somewhere with below-freezing temperatures, you will likely need to winterize the RV fully.
One aspect of this involves winterizing your plumbing lines. You can still use the bathroom in the RV even when you’ve done this by bringing gallons of water with you that can be used in the toilet. You can also put RV antifreeze in through the toilet, and down the shower or tub drain.
If you’re traveling in a winterized RV, you’ll also want extra water for things like cooking, drinking and doing quick wash-ups.
Finally, if you’re going somewhere cold, try to choose a site where you’re going to get a lot of sun exposure, or at least as much as possible. You’ll also want to have some level of a windbreak at the site you choose.