Winter can be a serene time for camping with your family in an RV to view the scenery that only cold weather can provide. However, it does take more time and resources to winterize your vehicle so that your trip remains comfortable.
Even if you choose not to camp when temperatures drop, your RV and its electrical components will still benefit from proper storage and protection against the elements. Thus, doing this can assure that your vehicle is stored safely and would be functional at the end of the season.
Guide to Prepare Your RV For Winter
Here are five tips and advice to prepare your RV for winter:
1. Insulate Your RV
The first step in winterizing your RV is through insulation. This is meant to keep cold weather out while maintaining the natural warmth inside for comfort. Furthermore, insulation is essential to protect your vehicle’s parts from freezing and causing damage that can be costly to repair. Thus, the main areas to focus your insulation on are the windows, doors, and floors as they’re most susceptible to leaking cold drafts into the RV.
You can prevent this by sealing any holes or cracks around the lining and perimeter of your camper with a waterproof sealant and weather stripping. Then, you can use window and floor covering using materials such as shrink wraps that trap heat inside as well as thick insulated carpeting, area rugs, and curtains. Alternatively, you can install thick foam tiles as an extra layer for insulated flooring. Any of your separate summer items such as boats can be sent to a unit for boat storage during the colder months.
2. Prepare Your Heating Source
If insulation methods alone won’t be enough to prepare your RV for winter, you should consider adding or preparing a direct heating source. This can be connecting your trailer to an electrical heating station if you’re camped by a site that has this option.
Otherwise, you can opt for an onboard portable heater such as propane space heaters or a furnace if your vehicle has one. If you’re going to use the furnace, you’ll need to have it inspected and cleaned at the start of winter to make sure it works when needed. Check whether the moisture created won’t damage your vehicle parts.
3. Prevent Your Plumbing From Freezing
As previously mentioned, it’s essential to prevent your vehicle’s water pipes and tanks from freezing that could impair them. One of the most effective ways to get this done is through RV skirting. This is when an insulated material is fitted onto the lower underbelly of your caper to act as a barrier from cold or freezing wind blowing underneath.
The most common materials include insulated or heavy-duty vinyl and foam boards as they’re the most affordable option to trap heat generated from the rig inside. For a more DIY approach, you can use heat strips and foam to tape the water and sewage pipes while pouring some RV antifreeze solution into the holding tank. To prevent water from freezing inside your pipes, open your faucets to let the water drip out occasionally and place a container beneath to prevent water waste.
4. Protect Your Engine
Your RV engine is particularly vulnerable to extreme conditions whether it’s cold or hot. For very cold weather, you need to keep your RV batteries charged throughout winter to avoid engine failure and breakdowns by routinely checking whether the charge is full.
Furthermore, you may want to place it inside a battery box or a block heater to warm it up before using it. For an extra layer of protection, you should consider using an engine antifreeze solution. This will protect the water inside the engine from freezing. The amount you need will depend on the vehicle engine you have, so be sure to check for instructions. As a general rule, make sure to examine your engine first for damaged parts before you embark on any winter camping.
5. Change Your RV Tires
RV tires will need extra protection because they come into direct contact with cold conditions on the ground that could potentially get your vehicle stuck. Thus, if you’re planning to travel through snowy and below-freezing conditions, make sure that your RV is fitted with winter tires or snow chains.
Then, when your vehicle is stationary, cover your tires with an insulated tire cover material to prevent ice buildup and frost from expanding and causing them to bulge and tear. Additionally, as a preventative measure, don’t park your RV on grass or loose dirt and natural debris as they can freeze onto your tires and stop them from turning. Another tip is to occasionally move the RV forward or backward even if it’s a few inches to combat freezing during a stop.
You can prepare your RV for winter using insulation and antifreeze methods that trap heat inside while keeping the cold air out. Insulation covers and liquid solutions can be applied to plumbing, electrical parts, or interior living space.
Doing this can prevent damage, breakdowns, and getting stuck caused by ice and snow while keeping you comfortable inside. Finally, winterproofing your RV can make sure that it stays working throughout the season and works without hassle when summer comes back.