Mother nature has decorated the countryside with open arms. She has decorated it with wide-range mountains, beautiful lakes, and never-ending greenery. They remain alluring throughout the whole year. But come winter, mother nature covers most of her vast, beautiful land with a white coat of snow. Often it makes them even more eye-catching.
But the winter also makes traveling more unfavorable. It feels as if mother nature is baring her shiny, snow-frosted fangs at you, warning you to stay away. But that is not going to make a fellow adventurer stay away from the cold embrace.
If you’re in touch with the adventurous soul living inside you, you won’t let the icy cold weather stop you from enjoying an exotic camping trip. However, you should address some specific issues before just driving off to the mountains or forests with your RV in the bone-chilling cold season. You need to reinforce the insulation, take care of any possible water leaks or problems in your RV, get your thermal gear ready, check your physical fitness, and prepare to embrace the harsh wintery challenges.
So, without further ado, here are our top 13 tips for the exquisite camper who is wishing to spend the winter enjoying an icy cold camping trip. Here we go!
RV Care (How to Winterize Your Camper)
Insulate the Floors and Windows
According to the laws of thermodynamics, if you do not let the heat out, it will keep a camper warm in the winter. You can use this to our advantage and winterize your camper.
Most vacationers use RVs to travel as they are kind of like a house on wheels. These RVs usually sport a linoleum floor. You can help trap heat inside the vehicle by adding a beefy rug on the floor. This will put another line of defense between you and the cold ground. The thick carpet will also feel nice against your skin, allowing you to walk barefoot in your temporary home.
Some materials let heat pass through them while others not so much. Glass is one of them. And what are your RV windows made of? That is right, glass! When traveling in winter, the windows are your enemies. Unless you do something about it, the heat inside will escape outside. And that is a big no! First of all, you have to make sure the windows are sealed. Now you have to cover it. There are thermal curtains available in the market. You can use them to cover the windows, so the heat stays inside and keeps you warm.
If you did not bring thermal curtains, there is no need to panic. Or, you can use foam insulation boards or bubble wraps to cover the windows. While they will not provide you with extra warmth like the thermal curtains, they will do fine.
And when the sun finally decides to come outside of the heavy layers of cloud, uncover your windows. This will allow the sunlight to come inside. Adding some extra amount of natural warmth to the heat, you have already kept trapped. Make sure to cover the windows again when the sun goes down.
Do Not Let Water In
Imagine this, you are in your RV, enjoying a hot beverage from your camping coffee pot. You are all snuggled up and enjoying your vacation. Something catches your eye. What is it? Mold! Do you think you will be able to relax any further? Of course not! You have to stop whatever you were doing and start getting rid of it.
Prevention is better than cure. Molds cannot occur without any moisture. So, if you get rid of the humidity, you do not have to worry about molds any longer. You have to essentially winterize a camper to live in.
Your RV needs air circulation. And vents play a significant role in that. But they are also going to let the cold creep inside. So, it would be best if you had your ventilation while keeping the warmth inside. Vent covers will help you achieve the best of both worlds.
If you install vent covers over your vents, they will help you keep the heat trapped inside. They will also keep the air circulating in your RV while preventing moisture build-up. It will also keep the humidity level inside consistent. Vent covers are a must for your winter trip. They will keep out the water and cold outside while catering to your ventilation needs.
You can prevent humidity build-up by using a dehumidifier. You can buy them from any utility store. You can use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity to a low level. This will keep the moisture outside, preventing molds from growing. As the RV makes up a smaller place, the dehumidifier can help you keep the air fresh and clean
Clean the Pipes
While this tip does not necessarily help keep your RV warm, it will prevent you from accidentally freezing in the cold due to a lack of plumbing. Double-check all the pipes and plumbing inside your RV before you set off on your winter camping trip. You can also opt for an inexpensive professional plumbing consultation if necessary.
This nifty precaution will potentially save you from the despicable hazard of not having enough freshwater in the icy cold, snowy campsite. The existing goop or black waste inside your plumbing might end up freezing and end up clogging the drainpipes. You’ll be left with an unimaginably ugly situation if you have to clean that up by yourself during the camping trip.
A good idea is to use anti-freeze elements on your pipes after cleansing it all out. This helps ensure that everything stays somewhat insulated and free from the risk of getting jammed
Check the Insulation
No one likes taking a cold shower while camping in the freezing winter. That is why it is best always to ensure that the water tanks and pipes have insulation to keep RV pipes from freezing while camping.
Whether you have an extremely effective sanitation system or not, it is always a good idea to insulate a camper for winter use before setting off for the winter adventure. Even the most potent plumbing systems struggle against harsh snowy weather and can even crack or burst by freezing. Don’t forget to check the insulation in your RV’s plumbing and properly verify whether it is enough to withstand the snowy weather.
You can get the added benefit of ensuring warm water every time you shower if you just cover your water heater with a blanket.
Yes, a warm blanket!
An Overall Tune-Up is Always Good
You might be quite the handyman yourself on regular days and despise people who must run to the local mechanic just for a simple tune-up. But trust me, professional help is worth it here.
No matter how good you are with the engine, you may not be prepared for the impediments you might face in the harsh snowy conditions. Since you’ll possibly be at a standstill for the days of the trip and won’t necessarily drive around your RV, the battery won’t have enough juice to recharge itself with. This can turn out to be a huge problem. Getting a computerized health check-up for your car battery is also not a bad idea.
There are featured tune-up services offered by many garages and workshops that are designed to tune up your RV for a winter camping trip. You can choose any of the service packages and get a professional opinion on whether your vehicle is suited for the cold journey ahead or not.
Brighten up with Solar Panels
You might want to have a backup battery system that will come in handy even amid the densest fog. Trust me on this when I say a solar panel is your savior in this case. Yes, the sun’s magical power is that the UV light will still be able to pass through the fog and charge your solar panel.
A quality solar panel will heat-up your electric blanket and run your space heater to keep you warm in the campaign. So, choose your solar panel wisely, depending on how much usage is required. Pick one that can also recharge your mobile phone battery. You will find two types of them.
- Polycrystalline: They are less expensive, with 13-16% efficiency.
- Monocrystalline: They have 15-20% efficiency but will cost more. You can find them in flexible forms
How to Keep Your Camper Warm
Get A Smaller RV
A larger space takes more time and heat to warm up, where a smaller room will take less time and resources. So, it makes sense to get a smaller RV for winter camping. Because for a winter-camper, sacrificing size for the heat is the perfect deal.
A smaller sized RV needs not only less time to heat up but also fewer resources to operate. As the load it will be pulling is lighter, it will take less fuel to run while saving you money on gas. Its other functions, such as the heating system, will also consume less.
However, sacrificing size for resources may not be an option if you plan to take a group tour. You cannot opt for a smaller RV when you have five other companions with you. If you do, you might have to pile yourselves on top of each other. Granted, you did not go globetrotting for comfort, but that is insane.
If you are thinking of taking tours alone because of that one drawback, here is a benefit. If you travel as a group, you can save some money on heating because you can share body warmth. Huddling up together can help you keep each other warm. It also adds to the excitement of your camping. It will take you back to your childhood sleepover memories!
Turn Your Stove On
If you’re one of the people who always thought of taking up cooking as a hobby or wanted to master the art of coffee brewing, your camping trip could be the perfect scop for you. You’ll have enough time in your hands, and some added perks come with the warmth from the stove!
If you are a winter-camper, find any excuses to light a propane furnace in a camper and heat up your camping percolator. Your RV will be heated up, and you will also find yourself with some delicious treats after you make coffee in a camping percolator.
When you are done brewing, keep the stove-door open. You do not want to lose any heat. You can use the excess heat inside the stove to warm up your camper. One crucial thing to remember is that you have to attach a propane tank to a camping stove before indulging in this.
Food can keep your body warm as well. The longer it takes to digest, the longer your tummy will remain warm. Eating foods high in fat content will take your body more time to process them and keep you warm for longer
Winter campers sometimes use a trick. They drink a cup of hot chocolate with a stick of butter. They do it because all those fats will take more time to be digested. This will keep your core warm for a more extended period.
Dress Up Your RV
Yes, you heard it right! Get your groove on by putting on a skirt around your traveling buddy. Well, not literally, but you get the idea!
An RV skirt is essentially a wrapper of primarily vinyl materials that go around the bottom lining of the vehicle’s body. It keeps the engines underneath your RV from exposure to sub-zero temperatures and chilly winds outside. A vinyl skirting will help you minimize the amount of heat loss and keep your RV warmer on the inside.
You can easily attach RV skirts around your vehicle using zipper splicing or heavy-duty Velcro with vinyl cement. That way, the whole thing remains securely positioned while still detachable. You can remove it when you don’t seem to need it anymore during the warmer weather.
RV skirts are readily available in stores, but you can also order a custom skirt for your RV to ensure a better fit. The price usually ranges from around 100 USD to 400 USD.
Raid the Local Thrift shop
RVs do not offer a lot of space. That’s because they are built to provide you with only the necessities. If you think about it, winter clothes are often layered and take up much of the valuable storage space in your closet. It’s a waste of the facilities to be carrying around poofy winter jackets with you on your winter camping trip.
You’ll also have to make a decision regarding money. Are you going to splurge your funds on expensive winter clothes? Or are you going to save up what you can and spend more on food and other necessities?
Let’s look at it practically. You are probably going to wear these winter clothes for a couple of months at most. After that, they will only serve to eat up your closet space. So, does it make sense to spend a fortune after them? No, it does not. If you think you have no other option than buying 100$ jackets, you have good news waiting for you.
You can stop by the local thrift shops around the spot that your camp meets all your winter clothing needs. You will be surprised to find the same 100$ jacket second-hand at an unbelievably lower price, and that too, in a reasonably usable condition. By purchasing thrift store clothes, you can save a fortune! And when you don’t need them anymore, you can just recycle them as usual.
Use A Thermal Sleeping Bag
Thermal sleeping bags are a human-made wonder. Sleeping inside a thermal sleeping bag is like sleeping with a warm hug around you! So, of course, you should opt for the option to sleep inside a sleeping bag.
Even though thermal sleeping bags are meant to be used under the stars or when you are sleeping on the ground, you can use it inside your RV to protect yourself from the cold. Being inside that warm hug will provide you with more warmth than in your actual home. And if it works, it’s a way better option than having to insulate a pop-up camper.
Thermal sleeping bags come with a temperature rating. If you plan on buying a thermal sleeping bag, you should opt for a lower temperature rating than your estimated one. If you think that the weather will be 30 degrees Fahrenheit, you should choose a bag with a temperature rating of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, if you start feeling too warm, you can open the zipper on the bag to let some heat out, and the sleeping bag will remain at a comfortable temperature. You will also have the option to shed off a few layers if you are not willing to open the bag up.
If you are worried about keeping your head warm, some sleeping bags come with a hood. This hood will keep the heat trapped around your head. By putting on a hood, you can stop heat from escaping through your head.
Stay in Action
Do you want to find yourself out of shape when you return from camping? Look at it this way. You had a cup full of chocolate and a stick of butter on top of that. Are you going to let that massive amount of calories fatten you up? Of course not! You want to return in the same or better shape you came in. So, get your sweat on!
Exercising can help your body build up heat from the inside. This will keep you warm for a more extended period. And this is worth getting out of that enormous pile of clothing that you put on yourself. Something as simple as spending a minute on jumping jacks will benefit you tremendously. It will burn off those extra calories and increase your body heat inside.
Carry a bucket with you to the bathroom every time you shower during the trip. The first splash of water usually comes out icy cold due to being stored in the pipes for long instead of the water heater in the camper. Since freshwater is so precious during camping trips, you can just collect that bit of icy cold water in the bucket instead of showering in it. Afterward, just heat that icy water on the stove and use it for other tasks like washing your clothes or doing the dishes!
Winter is the perfect time to explore some of nature’s most unique and elegant beauties. But you need to be in a comfortable state to genuinely enjoy and appreciate it. Just a few things to keep in mind, and the ability to tolerate the low temperature is all you need for a perfect winter campaign. Keep a warm mind, and follow these tips. You are now ready to witness the irresistible, hidden charm of nature that only reveals in the winter.