One of the benefits of owning an RV is being able to enjoy the great outdoors all year round in comfort. With campgrounds that offer access to snowshoe and cross country trails, as well as amenities like heated kitchens and fresh water, camping in the cold weather can be comfortable if you prepare properly. We cover the basics that will keep your RV in excellent condition while your toes stay warm inside.
One of the best ways to keep your RV warm is to purchase space heaters to help generate warmth. If you’re plugged into a power outlet, it’s a more economical option than a propane heater and will provide heat for much longer than the propane tank will last. Depending on the size of your RV, 1-2 small heaters with dependable fans for circulation can do the job.
Another important option to consider is whether you should invest in a skirt to wrap around the bottom of the vehicle and reduce drafts. Alternatively, if you feel like shoveling snow you can build snow up around the base of your RV to create an insulated wall.
In temperatures below freezing, the water hose is at risk of freezing. To prevent this, you can invest in a heated water hose and there are products like the PIRIT heated hose available at Bucars that have been tested to -41 C. Alternatively, you can fill the freshwater tank and unplug the hose, storing it until you need it again.
Insulating all the pipes is your first defense against freezing, and using heat pads on the tanks themselves will keep fluids moving.
Because of the unique interior of RV’s, condensation can be a threat to keeping your rig in top shape. Condensation will usually accumulate on the windshield and walls during the winter months. Although it might seen contrary to keeping the RV warm, condensation can create mold and cause your interior to deteriorate quickly, which is why it’s very important to keep a vent or window open.
Bring lots of layers to prepare for any kind of weather you may encounter on the road. Investing in a good merino wool base top and bottom set will be your best protection against cold. A down jacket that acts as both outerwear and an insulator as well as a water and windproof top layer are a fail-proof system for managing any situations you may encounter and enjoying your winter adventure in comfort.
Make sure you bring a set of warm boots with traction as well as socks that wick moisture while keeping you warm. A toque and gloves are also must haves, while snow pants are a good idea even if you don’t plan on doing any outdoor activities.
Many winter campsites in the Calgary area have fun things to do right at your doorstep. Think about bringing along or renting cross-country skis, downhill skis or snowboard equipment, snowshoes, and ice fishing gear. Headlamps can be handy for working around your RV but also allow you to get outside after dark.
In your downtime a deck of cards, a puzzle or board games can provide some active relaxation entertainment. If you’re inclined, you may want to bring the classic Après scene into your RV, which can be created with a selection of cheeses, fruits, jam, a French baguette, cured meats and your favourite beverage. Voila, a cozy, warm bistro in the middle of the great outdoors!