pixel
My account    Sign-in
pixel
pixel
Winter rvingWinter RVing!  Camping in sub-zero temperatures can be an exhilarating experience.. but it can also quickly become a challenging experience. Waking up to a fresh blanket of fluffy white snow shimmering in the winter sunlight is quite nice after a good night sleep. But waking up with frozen feet and no water can easily dampen anyone's spirit. Although some RV's include a specialized winter package to help keep the cold outside, most RV's don't have this luxury. If your RV doesn't, there is still much that can be done to make yourself more comfortable for the winter.

Below, we are providing a list of things that you can do to make your winter camping "warmer". RV manufacturers and other winter campers have provided us this information. If you happen to have additional winter RVing tips, we'd like to hear form you! Simply click here to email us the information and be sure to include your name, city and province if you want that shown with you tip.
pixel
Holding tanks
  • To prevent holding tanks from freezing, you can build an enclosure around the tanks and use fiberglass batting for insulation. Once built, install two 40-watts light bulbs inside the enclosure as heat from the light bulbs should prevent freezing. Note that if you build an enclosure, you should also consider making it large enough to include your dump valves to prevent further problems.
  • Another option is to buy heating panels for the tanks. These panels are electrically powered (120v or 12v) and attach to the tanks.
Insulation
  • The first thing that you should do is to fill openings and cracks in the floor especially around wires and plumbing pipes. To do so, use a product such as Polycel or Monofoam.
  • Install insulating foam tubes over inside plumbing pipes to prevent freezing.
  • Insulate your overhead bedroom roof vent(s) for the winter. To do so, fill the space (cavity) with foam insulation and keep the foam in place with a piece of ¼" veneer or cardboard.
  • Insulate light fixtures by pulling them off and stuffing the "holes" (behind each fixture) with insulation. Do the same for electrical outlets.
  • Install storm windows of some sort. You can use Plexiglas sheets cut to fit each window and held into place using plastic L-brackets. To seal to the window frame, use foam tape. Note that you can also use plastic storm windows that you heat shrink into place with a hair dryer.
  • RV doors are generally poorly insulated and a prime heat loss area. To correct this, install a blanket over the door opening at night. Such a blanket can be made of a nylon-quilted material similar to a sleeping bag. A sheet of eggshell foam (used in beds) also provides good insulation.
  • Finally, close your blinds and drapes at dusk to keep the heat inside.
Miscellaneous
  • Always have enough bed quilting and winter clothing around so that everyone can easily live through a furnace failure even if stranded by weather for several days.
  • Park your RV in the sun whenever possible. You'll be amazed at how much a good winter sun can heat up your RV.
  • Park your RV on support boards. These boards should be approximately 10-12 inches wide, 3-4 feet long and 1 inch thick. These boards will prevent your RV tires from "sinking" when the ground thaws. Remember to also place smaller boards under your jacks.
  • If electricity is not a problem, use electric blankets at night to save on propane. Also, using a 1 500-watt electric heater or 1500-watt ceramic mini heater will also save on propane and wear and tear of the furnace.
  • Make sure that the heat tape you buy can be crossed over itself, as this will provide the most efficient seal.
  • To cut the humidity level, use a small dehumidifier.
  • To help control humidity, leave Desiccant crystal moisture absorbers in several places. These crystals control mildew and can be purchased at RV dealerships or in most stores such as Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart or those with a household cleaning supplies department.
  • If you have a motorized RV, check your batteries for water level and periodically start your engine to keep everything in good running order.
  • To keep your RV battery charged, consider getting a solar panel system or an inverter.
  • Remember that during freezing temperatures, a battery hydrometer is much more precise than a voltmeter to determine the state of charge of a battery
Propane
  • Consider getting a 100 lbs propane tank to supplement your regular tanks.
  • Shield your outside propane regulator from freezing winds with either a piece of cardboard, a small tarp or at a minimum, plastic bags.
  • If electricity is not a problem, use electric blankets at night to save on propane. Also, using a 1 500-watt electric heater or 1500-watt ceramic mini heater will also save on propane.
Sewers
  • As mentioned above in "Holding tanks", you can build an enclosure around the tanks and your dump valves to prevent them from freezing. Use fiberglass batting for insulation and install two 40-watts light bulbs inside the enclosure as heat from the light bulbs should prevent freezing. You can also i nstall heat tape in the sewer hose area to prevent freezing. Make sure that the heat tape you buy can be crossed over itself, as this will provide the most efficient seal.
  • Sewer hoses ( coiled plastic hoses ) were not made for Canadian winters. Replace yours with a 3" car heater blower hose (made of rubber and found at any auto parts store) or with a 3" PVC solid sewer pipe . You can also insulate your pipe with strips of 15" wide fiberglass batting and cover it all with poly sheets taped in place.
  • If you keep your sewer hose connected at all times, be sure it is placed and supported at a steep angle so all residue runs down.
  • Always keep your "black water" valve closed and only dump when full. If left open the liquids will drain off leaving only the solids (they become very solid after a short period of time.
Skirting
  • Skirting involves building an enclosure to insulate the underside of your RV. This enclosure can be made with fabric, plastic, vinyl, wood (OSB) or even metal sheets. As an insulating agent, you can use 4'x8' sheets of Styrofoam cut to proper size so that they fit tightly between the RV underside and the ground. This will help keep you and your floor warmer and as a bonus, it can lessen the chance of your grey and black tanks from freezing.
  • Note that if you plan to build a "skirt" for your RV, it would be wise to inform the campground management before your purchase any material as they may have some reservations.
  • Finally, if you prefer to purchase a pre-fabricated skirt, check with your RV dealer.
Vents
  • To prevent excess moisture inside your RV during cold days, leave at least one roof vent slightly open (about ½"-1") at all times.
  • Insulate your overhead bedroom roof vent(s) for the winter. To do so, fill the space (cavity) with foam insulation and keep the foam in place with a piece of ¼" veneer or cardboard.
  • To prevent snow damage and to prevent rain/snow from getting into your roof vents, install covers (such as Maxx-Air covers) over the roof vents.
  • Instead of purchasing vent covers, you can build your own with wood (ex. waterproof OSB). Make the boxes 18"L X 18"W X 12"H and drill three (3) 1" holes on opposite sides of the boxes to allow for air circulation.
Water
  • If you plan on using your RV on weekends only, winterize your RV's water system (as described in our Winter RV checklist) and bring your drinking water with you every weekend.
  • If you want to use city water, you will have to insulate your water system. As a starter, install insulating foam tubes over inside plumbing pipes to prevent freezing. Then, insulate your water hose from the city water outlet to the RV with an electric heat strip covered with insulating foam tubes (used normally for hot water pipes) . Keep the heat strip (or wrapping tape/cord) plugged in at all times. For additional insulation, y ou can also wrap fiberglass batting around the whole thing and cover with poly sheets taped in place.
  • Always leave a water tap open slightly to prevent water from freezing in the pipes (keep an eye on your grey tank as it will fill more rapidly)
  • If your water hose or pipe freezes, you can use a hot air gun or a hairdryer to thaw it.
  • As a backup, keep a gallon or two of drinking water in your RV (plus a separate supply to flush the toilet) just in case..


pixel
Share this                        Share This More
Send a link     Site Map     About us     Website news     Disclaimer    Contact us
Copyright 2001 - 2014  "Camping-Canada.Com".  All rights reserved.
pixel