Winter RVing can be fun if you use these tips

Winter RVing brings a special set of problems that require a special set of approaches to solve them. If you follow these tips, you can add another season to your RVing.

Particularly in very cold climates, winter RVing may mean the following problems and their matching solutions:

  1. The Cold and some possible solutions:
    • Insulate
    • Rug up
    • Dress warmly
    • Get into bed earlier
    • Use a heater powered by:
      • Mains or shore power,
      • Propane (LPG),
      • Diesel
      • Battery power

  2. Condensation and some possible solutions:
    • Insulate
    • Use a dehumidifier

  3. Frozen lines and tanks (fresh water, gray water, black water and fuel) and some possible solutions:
    • Insulate all tanks and lines
    • Install heaters in relevant tanks
    • Keep liquids moving in pipes to reduce the risk of freezing
    • Will you be able to get enough water into the RV to cover you while you are snowbound?
    • Will you be able to empty black water tanks and gray water tanks while you are snowbound?

  4. Snow buildup around the RV or on top of it and some possible solutions:
    • Ensure that you have a way to get out of your RV and use a snow shovel if needed
    • If you are expecting significant snow you might try encasing your RV in some sort of temporary portable garage or some sort of bubble wrap to provide insulation and keep the snow off, particularly around entrances and anywhere else it might be needed. Make sure you do not stop airflow and do not enclose the exhaust pipe for any heaters or motors
    • Make sure that you have enough supplies, including fuel, to support you if you become snowbound
    • Test that you can move the RV under extreme conditions, including retracting all jacks, stands, slide outs, awnings etc
    • If necessary, carry emergency communication equipment that will allow you to inform people of your location, your status and if needed make any emergency calls

  5. Power failure: If you will be depending on shore power or mains power, is there any possibility that it will fail? If so, do you have a generator that is reliable and can be operated in the cold for long enough to prevent a disaster?

  6. Coping: Are the people traveling with you: your spouse, your kids etc, ready and willing to take part in this adventure in winter RVing?

  7. Road safety and some possible approaches:
    • Tire chains and/or snow tires to ensure good grip
    • Four-wheel drive or traction control or a limited slip diff
    • Watch the weather to make sure that you are well informed and can avoid major problems or areas where you might be turned back by officials or by conditions
    • Driving skill can be enhanced through training courses, reading and experience
    • Suitable vehicle: Only take your vehicle into areas that suit it, on roads and surfaces that suit it and under conditions that allow you to maintain control
    • Match your skills to the conditions and make sure you get out of any potentially unsafe conditions before they become unsafe

If you are well prepared, winter RVing can be an adventure that can allow you to become a full-time RVer.

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