RVing in the Winter: A How-To Guide

The average RVer spends 4 - 5 weeks on the road each year; however, most will hang up their keys when the weather turns cold, or head south in search of warmer climates.  

RV full-timers—a growing group of hardy men and women who’ve traded in a traditional home for a home on wheels—are well-versed in the ups and downs of spending 365 days a year in close, tight quarters. These folks are accustomed to waking up in icy winter wonderlands, and love having a front-row seat to the changing seasons.

Whether you’re heading into your first winter as a full-timer or are thinking of taking your RV out of hibernation for a snowy adventure, we’ve put together a to-do list (with the help of some RV pros) to help you stay safe and warm all winter long.  

 

Winterizing your RV

Sub-zero temperatures typically mean ice, snow, and biting winds. RVers must take proper precautions to keep their traveling homes in good working order through harsh winter conditions.

 

How to winter-proof the outside of your RV

Jason and Nikki of Gone With The Wynns are expert winter RVers; after six years traveling around North America, the couple know how to prep your RV for cold climates. Top tips include:

  • Covering windows, doors, and stairwells. Some RVs are built to cold-weather standards and come equipped with high R-value insulation and dual-pane windows. If you’re traveling in a fairweather coach, consider upgrading your windows and insulation. Can’t justify the spend? Heavy fabrics, bubble insulation, and plastic film are cost-effective alternatives, on top of best practices like checking weather stripping and re-caulking windows.
  • Skirting your RV. An RV skirt’s primary function is to prevent heat loss and cold penetration, but it also offers added undercarriage protection—particularly when you plan to spend an extended period of time in freezing temperatures. The New Lighter Life family spent a year and a half aboard their RV, and came up with five DIY RV skirt solutions.

The folks at RV Doctor share another important pointer when RVing in the winter: be aware of the conditions around your coach, too. Whenever possible, keep snow off your roof (and away from vents, satellites, and exhaust pipes) to prevent it from seeping into your RV and causing damage or system malfunctions.

 

How to winter-proof the inside of your RV  

RVers don’t have the luxury of a long, hot shower or bath after a day spent in the snow. Here are a few ways to winterize your RV’s interior:

  • Protect your RV’s water supply. Check to ensure your RV’s plumbing lines are run through heated sections of your RV; this will prevent freezing and maintain a steady water flow. A water purification system is a more sustainable, eco-friendly solution to hauling pallets of plastic water bottles on board.

  • Invest in compact heating solutions. Rather than run your RV’s in-unit propane furnace and drive up electricity costs, consider a space heater instead. Heated mattress pads are another great way to stay warm when temperatures dip overnight.

  • Make room for emergency items. A good rule of thumb for winter RVers is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Even though storage is in short supply, dedicate a space to emergency essentials like tire chains, solar charging panels, and extra blankets, clothing, and food.

 

Last-minute gift ideas for RVers

Of course, with winter comes the holiday season. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d share a few of our favourite RV gift guides to help you find the perfect gift for the full-timer in your life

  • This year RV Geeks hosted a 12 Days of RV Christmas giveaway. Learn more about the duo’s favourite RV products (we’re thrilled our Eco Water Purifier made the list) and access exclusive holiday discount codes.

  • Wheeling It put together an RV gift guide for every occasion, capturing everything from safety to entertaining and adventuring.

  • Stefany (better known as The Fit RV) shared her shopping suggestions over on The Scenic Route blog. Coffee drinkers will love the portable, powerless k-cup coffee brewer, a great way to keep caffeinated when off the grid.

 

From all of us at Acuva, we wish you a safe, warm, and adventure-filled winter!