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Picture this: You pull up to a pristine campsite covered in fresh white snow. The air is crisp, the surrounding area is peaceful and quiet, the landscape is stunning, and best of all – there’s not a bug in sight! While this may sound like the trip of your winter wonderland dreams, winter camping trips can quickly go awry if you’re not prepared.
In this blog post, we’re sharing our top 5 winter camping tips to help you enjoy a relaxing offseason winter RV camping trip without any unwanted hiccups.
Tip #1: Protect Your RV From Winter’s Wrath
Let’s face it: cold winter weather is not your RV’s best friend. Freezing temperatures can lead to some pricey RV damage if you’re not prepared. But don’t fret! There are plenty of precautions you can take to protect your RV, prevent freeze-ups, and keep warm during your winter camping trip. Below is an extensive list of winter camping tips to help you safeguard your RV this winter camping season.
Protecting Your Plumbing
- Add antifreeze to your holding tanks to prevent freezing
- Keep your cabinets open to allow your internal plumbing to stay warm.
- Allow your faucets to drip water to keep your water flowing.
- Apply heat tape to your hoses and around valves and connections to prevent freeze-ups.
- Use skirting around your RV to insulate your RV and prevent water lines from freezing.
- Fill and use your fresh water tank rather than external hookups to prevent your water hose from freezing.
- Avoid filling your water tanks all the way in case your water freezes and expands.
- Remove your exterior shower head and drain the hose to prevent damage.
- Use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt any ice buildup in your hose connections, pumps, dump valves, etc.
- Dump your tanks only once they are full to reduce risk of freezing.
Protecting Your Engine
- Fill your engine with at least 50% antifreeze when camping in freezing temperatures
- Use an engine block heater in extreme cold weather temperatures
- Make sure your batteries are fully charged before leaving for your trip to reduce the likelihood that your batteries will freeze.
Protecting the Rest of Your RV
- Use an insulated AC cover to protect your AC unit
- Install RV vent covers to keep air vents open without allowing snow or rain to get inside your RV.
- Adjust your tire pressure based on the winter specification in your owner’s manual.
- Use a dehumidifier to prevent damage that may be caused by space heaters.
Tip #2: Keep Warm!
Just because you’re camping in the winter doesn’t mean you have to be cold! With a few modifications, you can stay toasty warm in your RV, even in the chilliest of temperatures. One of the easiest ways to ensure that you’ll keep warm this winter camping season is to install insulation in your RV. Insulation helps to block out the cold and keep your RV warm so you can enjoy your winter RV camping trip while also protecting your RV components from damage. Use the following tips to ensure you stay as warm and toasty as possible this winter camping season.
- Insulate your windows with foam insulation boards, bubble insulation or solar blankets.
- Replace any seals or caulking around your RV windows that are missing or weak.
- Line your windows with thermal curtains for extra warmth.
- Replace any cracked or damaged weather stripping around your doors.
- Switch to your RV’s furnace rather than using your heat pump.
- Ensure that you have a large supply of propane for your furnace.
- Invest in electric or propane space heaters to supplement your furnace.
- Use foam board flooring or heavy rugs to insulate your RV floor.
- Have your furnace inspected before your winter camping trip to ensure it is in proper working order.
- Clean your furnace with compressed air to remove dirt and debris that may obstruct air flow.
Tip #3: Be Prepared for the Worst with Emergency Items
When it comes to winter camping, it’s always better safe than sorry! Having the right supplies on hand could be a lifesaver if you encounter any unexpected bumps in the road. Before heading out for your winter camping trip, make sure you have the following emergency items on hand… just in case!
- Lots of extra blankets and warm clothing
- Extra propane tanks for your furnace
- A blow dryer or heat gun
- Tire chains
- Sleeping bags rated for cold weather temperatures
- Waterproof gloves
- Extra food
- Extra drinking water stored in a heated space
- Extra cash
- A snow shovel
- A head lamp and lantern
- An emergency GPS system
- Weather band radio
Tip #4: Make Sure You Know Before You Go
Even though unexpected events may occur, the best way to be prepared for your winter camping trip is to figure out what you’re up against! Here are two of the most important things to “know before you go”:
Before you start prepping for your winter camping adventure, it’s best to check the forecast in your camping destination. In some cases, a severe winter storm may be a good indication that you should reschedule your trip altogether. This is especially true if the road conditions are dangerous and the visibility is poor.
However, there are many cases when the forecast will just help you decide the best way to prepare for your winter camping vacation. If the weather is extra cold, you know you’ll have to be extra prepared to keep you (and your RV) warm. If the weather is extra snowy, you’ll be sure not to forget your shovel!
Whether or Not the Campground is Open!
Unfortunately for winter camping lovers, not all campgrounds are open all year round. The last thing you want is to prep your RV, pack all your emergency supplies, and arrive at your campground just to have to turn around and head back home! If you’re heading off to a first come first serve campground, it’s always a good idea to double check.
Check out our blog post on the best winter RV destinations for some inspiration for your next winter camping trip.
Bucars RV is Here to Help You Make the Most of Your Winter Camping Adventure!
Winter camping is truly a unique experience that offers you a chance to relax in the beautiful winter outdoors, as long as you’re prepared! If you need some extra help getting ready for your winter camping adventure, the experts at Bucars RV are always happy to help.
Whether you need help choosing the perfect RV for winter camping, or winterizing your RV, our team can set you up for the winter camping experience of a lifetime! Visit us at our showroom or contact us today!