Have you ever spent an extended amount of time in your camper during the winter months? If not, what’s stopping you? Is it the freezing temperatures or fear of frostbite? Are you wondering how to keep a camper warm in the winter? No worries. Here are some tips and tricks.
The views you’ll get camping during winter is nothing short of picturesque. However, it comes with a major caveat: frigid temperatures. Apart from your health, your camper’s condition can also be affected by the harsh winter elements.
You could get sick, your plumbing could burst, and mold could grow in your walls. All those scenarios would definitely put a damper on any camping trip, making it expensive instead of enjoyable. This is why many people hesitate camping during winter.
Fret not. Going on a winter wonderland adventure is not impossible. It just requires meticulous planning and execution. There are several things you can do to keep your RV, and subsequently yourself, warm and dry in spite of the cold temperatures.
Check your Camper
The first thing you should do is take a look at your camper’s specs and ratings. This will give you an idea of how well it’s insulation can weather the cold. Some campers are 4 season-equipped. However, most are only rated 3-season.
When you check out your camper’s insulation, you should look for the R-value. Basically, it’s an insulation material’s thermal resistance. The higher the value, the better. If you’re taking out your camper and think you don’t have insulation, consult an expert to see if you can do any renovations.
If you’re camping somewhere that doesn’t have teeth-chattering temperature, you may not notice the draft coming from your windows and doors. However, during winter, where temperatures can range from 0-10 degrees Fahrenheit in the northern states, the cold breeze coming from them will be quite noticeable.
Windows and Doors
Since you want to keep your camper warm in the winter, it’s best to get rid of air leaks. Make sure to conduct interior and exterior checks. Inspect your windows and doors from the outside before doing the same on the inside.
This way, you’ll clearly see the condition of rubber seals and gaskets. They should be in tip top condition, meaning they shouldn’t be loose or eroding. If you notice an imperfect fit, it’s time to repair or replace them. Inside your RV, try to locate any more air leaks. To fix this, you can use spray foam insulation, painter’s tape, or silicone sealants.
Vents and Storage Compartments
As someone who owns or rents a camper, if there’s something you should have remembered from science class, it’s that hot air rises. So in the case of your camper, warm air will rise to the vent of your RV and escape. What you can do, is invest in a draft shield.
Vent insulators may also be used to keep heat from escaping. Sealing your vent with fitted but removable insulators is a good practice. This allows you to get rid of humid air from time to time and replace it with fresh dry air.
Storage compartments also have gaps you need to seal. Otherwise, cold air can still enter your camper. You can seal them the same way you sealed your doors and windows.
This is a mistake many beginner winter campers make. They neglect to put insulation on their pipes and they end up with a damaged plumbing system. It would be best to drain everything, however if that’s not possible, then insulation is your best solution.
Below freezing temperatures can damage your plumbing. Pipes, especially those exposed outside of the RV, can freeze up and burst. If you’re relying on
Cover your Windows and Floors
After sealing air leaks, cover your windows. You can use curtains, blankets, sleeping bags, and even a towel. Any of them will help hold in the heat. If you want to be more thorough, you can go ahead and purchase Reflectix for your windows.
Buy a carpet for your floor. There’s no wake-up call as effective as cold floors giving you a jolt in the morning. Carpets add warmth to the inside of your campers, especially if you have wooden or laminated floors.
Consider RV Skirting
Ever heard of RV skirting? Essentially, RV skirting puts a barrier between nature’s elements and the underside of your RV. This is an essential step in preventing heat loss. The area under your RV will be kept warm, and this will carry over to your floors. Another benefit from RV skirting is that you may consume less propane for heating.
Of course, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Make sure you don’t leave any gaping hole in your skirting. If you leave some gaps, rodents may be attracted to the warmth and darkness. You may use expanding foam to do this. If that isn’t enough, set up some traps.
Buy a Heater
If you will not be spending time at a campsite with full hookups, you’ll can purchase portable heaters. If your camper already has a furnace, that’s ok. Having more than one heat source is a sure way to keep a camper warm in the winter. It will also let you save on the electricity you consume.
When temperatures become bearable, you can use the portable heaters to give the furnace a break. Plus, you never know when you’ll need more heat. A gas catalytic heater is a good choice because they can function even when you don’t have power. Just make sure you get one that is a match for your camper’s size.
Camping in winter can be a unique and memorable experience. It has quite a different feel from camping in the summer. Fun activities such as hiking, sledding, and snowboarding abound. Compound all that with the magnificent view of snow-covered landscapes and you’ll have an unforgettable camping trip.
However, you need to take precautions. In addition to keeping yourself warm and dry, you also have to think about the condition of your camper vis-à-vis the cold. Don’t let the season stop you from going out and enjoying what nature has to offer. Employ these strategies on how to keep a camper warm in the winter in order to maximize your experience. Go forth and keep your camper insulated!