How to stay warm in your RV when the temperatures are freezing?
Do you love to take your camper out when it gets colder? It is such a different feeling to go camping during winter than in summer when everybody is on the road. More space is available on a lot of campgrounds, and you just feel lucky you can still go camping while your buddies start winterizing their RVs.
You love to be out in the cold but you still want to feel warm and cozy when you are back in the RV.
We have an older Travel Trailer and as soon as the furnace is on it is loud and the blowing air irritates our dog. Therefore we have been searching for many other ways of keeping the camper warm.
And here we go Winter Camping – How to stay warm in your RV (15 best tips)
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If you want to stay warm in your RV during winter you need to have some precautions in place. The easiest is to cover your windows and doors with heavy fabric or insulation. Also, keep a small heater and a thermal sleeping bag or heated blanket handy. Check all of your seals around the windows before you hit the road.
Cover your windows
When it gets really cold outside, you want to have your windows and your doors sealed. The windows and doors are only one pane and therefore a lot of heat and cold gets in through the windows.
The easiest and cheapest thing you can do is to add plastic film on your windows inside. You only cover your window with the plastic film, then cut it out the size you want it, and then use your blow dryer to keep it on the windows. Very easy to do and it makes definitely a difference.
And you can still look outside.
Of course you can also use windshield reflectors. Just cut them to size and clamp them inside your window. You might want to use some small hooks around the windows to keep them put or use a little duct tape that helps too.
It is definitely not a bad thing to check at least once a year if all of the window seals are still in good condition. In case they look pretty cracked, redo them. It is not very expensive but will save you from water and cold coming in. I just redid mine using Dicor.
Also if you have curtain rods on your windows, exchange your summer curtains for a heavier and warmer fabric. Here are some blackout curtains with insulation that really helps. Covering doors and windows will prevent the cold from coming in and will keep it warm and cozy inside.
Cover all of your skylights and vents. Either find a pillow somewhere in your house which you don’t need anymore and you can use or get an insulated one. They really help reducing heat or cold air coming inside:
Add a warm rug
If you have a wooden floor or vinyl planks in your rig it gets cold inside through the floor. The easiest way to warm up the floor is by adding a runner or a cozy rug.
I just bought a brand new rug from ruggable and I lOVE it. It consists of 2 different layers and the top layer is washable. Just take the top layer off (the surface layer is like a velcro fabric) and wash it in the washing machine. Yes, pretty cool feature and so helpful with pets and kids.
Get an additional heater
These little electric heaters are easy to store and easy to operate. Just turn it on and it warms the whole place up pretty fast. I just don’t let it run over night, but you can. Some of them also turn off themselves when the set temperature is reached.
If you want to have a heater running all night, get a bigger space heater that is safe to run during the night. It just uses more storage space.
Below are some choices for additional heaters. I don’t like to have my furnace run in my camper all the time. First, it is loud, and second, it blows all the heat towards the dog’s bed. And Apache hates it.
This is why I use a small additional electric heater that I can turn on and off and move around real quick. And it warms up my space really fast.
I just don’t let it run for very long, it is enough for us to have it run in the morning while I make coffee and breakfast to get the place warmed up.
Wear warm clothes
Wearing warm and comfortable clothes helps a lot. I wear warm socks, fleece pants, and a fleece jacket when I am inside the rig. And it is so cozy and snuggly on the couch drinking hot tea or coffee.
Use a lot of blankets
How about a heated blanket? And this one looks so good and fits perfect to a farmhouse style.
I love to snuggle inside a plush blanket. So many different options are available which fit your interior and there is nothing softer to cuddle under out there.
Another great idea is to use a sleeping bag during cold winters. Get one with a hood and it can’t get warmer. You probably don’t want to get up in the morning anymore because it is so cozy inside your sleeping bag.
There are all kinds of sleeping bags available. I don’t like the mummy ones because I need to move around at night. I love this one, because it is big enough to stretch and turn from one side to the other.
Keep moisture out of your Camper
Covering up your vents and windows will prevent condensation and humidity buildup in your RV. Another way to prevent humidity is to get a dehumidifier to keep the inside dry and mold-free. I keep damp rid in my cabinets summer and winter and that helps already a lot. Also, leave your cabinet doors open to prevent condensation.
Another tip is to use an absorber towel inside your windows to absorb all the moisture that runs down your windows to keep them dry.
But don’t forget to open up the door or a window to let fresh air in for a couple of minutes every day. It helps to keep the moisture out of the camper.
Cook and bake inside your Camper
Of course, cooking and baking warms the inside up. When it is really cold outside, cook some comfort food, like soups and stews. If you have an oven, bake a cake. Use the energy for cooking and warming up the Camper.
Make yourself a nice pot of tea or whatever you feel like and warm up your soul also. Here are some recipes you can make in the oven or at the campfire.
Go for a walk or a nice hike
Go outside, go jogging, walking, hiking. There is no bad weather, only bad clothes. So pack good and warm clothes, comfortable hiking boots or shoes and go for a nice hike or walk. I promise this will make you feel good and warm and you will also burn some extra calories off from all the comfort food you just ate.
Always wear layers of clothes, so you can take something off when you get too warm.
How to stay warm in your RV – what you can do on the outside to stay warm on the inside:
Add a wind skirt around your RV
If you stay at a spot for longer, it makes sense to keep the underbelly of your rig warm.
You can do this by getting a wind skirt for your RV. Yes sounds funny but that is what it is called. You can attach it by using velcro or a zipper.
You can get it custom made for the size of your rig from your manufacturer or check it out at RV Windskirt.
- It helps keep the under part of your RV from freezing in cold conditions
- Keeps the wind and debris from blowing under your RV
- It will protect and reduce the wind rocking during strong winds
- It will keep the floors inside your RV warm.
Another alternative instead of buying a wind skirt is to get plenty of hay bales and put them underneath your RV. This will also help to keep your floors warm and insulated and is a cheaper way of doing so.
Heated water hose
If you are hooked to water and it gets freezing you should definitely consider using a heated water hose to prevent the water inside your hose from freezing.
Leave your freshwater tank empty because the water can freeze inside the tank. You don’t want to put any anti-freeze inside your freshwater tank.
Insulate your pipes if you are in pretty cold temperatures.
Add a little antifreeze into your grey and black water tank to prevent the content of the tanks from freezing (this could really get pretty messy).
Heated water tank
If you stay longer in colder areas and you need your fresh water tank, this is what you can do: this is a pretty easy and cheap solution to protect the water tank from freezing: Tank-heater pads.
- Heater Pads are designed and engineered to protect RV holding tanks, pipes and steps from freezing.
- Simply turn “ON” the power switch when the outside temperature is near to freezing. Built-in Thermostat is Set to Turn Itself on at 45°F( + – 5 degrees) and Turn Itself off at 68°F( + – 5 degrees). Turn “OFF” the switch when the outside temperature remains above freezing, fluids have been vacated, or Summer is coming, or RV is not in use.
- Pad size L 18” x W 12” works efficiently up to 50 gallon holding tanks, such as Fresh Water Tanks, Grey Water Tanks and Black Water Tanks. Please stick 2-3 pads to your tank if larger than 50 gallon.
- Just wire this pad to 12 Volt DC power supply and RV power switch.
If you need a refresher ‘How to winterize your RV‘ check this post and watch the video.
Want to know how to make your RV cozy with textiles? Read this and you are prepared.
Summary of Winter Camping – how to stay warm in your RV (15 best tips)
It is definitley fun to go camping with the whole family when it is cold. Winter vacation is just so different than taking the RV out in summer.
Just be prepared. Make some little adjustments and get one or the other of these very helpful gadgets and you will be cozy and happy in your RV.
See you on the road,
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