Although most folks only camp during the spring, summer, and fall months, some people camp year-round! For the dedicated RVers that are planning to do some winter camping, we’ve rounded up a list of the best winter RV camping tips for Alberta.
Although these tips will help you stay warm and have fun camping in Alberta’s winter RV parks, it’s important to note that no RV is completely immune to freezing especially in extremely cold conditions! It’s possible for things to freeze, and you should always use caution when winter camping.
Check Your RV’s Insulation!
This is absolutely crucial for cold weather RV camping. By having an adequate amount of RV insulation, you can protect many parts of your RV from freezing and ensure that it stays warm on the inside for the colder months!
By insulating the underbody and around the base of your RV, you can protect your RV from harsh cold and winter winds. Cold weather conditions can often freeze the pipes on your RV and cause damage. Here are some things for you to check or pick up before heading out on a winter camping trip:
- Ensure your windows and doors are sealing properly.
- Use reflective foil to insulate your windows.
- Use heavy drapes to block cold drafts.
- Insulate your floors with foam boarding or purchase heavy carpets or rugs to block cold air from coming up.
- Consider getting RV skirting for where you park your RV. This will prevent cold winds from freezing piping and cold air from entering the interior of your RV.
Check your Engine and RV Batteries
Although you should be doing basic checks on your RV’s engine and batteries regularly, it is particularly important to ensure everything is in good working order in the wintertime. Engines have a harder time starting and can even freeze! Your batteries, much like your car’s in the wintertime, will have a harder time supplying the needed power to perform certain activities in the wintertime as well.
The first thing you need to do is check your battery terminals to see if they are corroded or there is any damage to the cables or battery itself. If they look good, ensure your battery is fully charged. Batteries that aren’t completely charged can freeze or die in the wintertime. If one or more of your RV batteries need to be replaced, visit the parts experts at Bucars RV for a replacement!
To ensure your RV’s engine is ready for the cold weather, check your coolant levels, and test the concentration of antifreeze in your coolant. Antifreeze testers are inexpensive and are important to have before winter RV operation. Ensure that there is an adequate amount of antifreeze in your coolant. If there is a low concentration compared to the amount of water in your cooling system, it could freeze up!
Finally, make sure you locate your block heater cord. Being able to plug in your RV’s block heater will keep the engine warm and help it start in cold weather. If you do not plug your RV in during the colder months, it may not start when you go to head out or head back home.
Protect Your RV’s Plumbing
When it comes to winter RV camping, freezing pipes can be a common occurrence and create quite a challenge! However, there are some things you can do in order to prevent your RV plumbing from freezing up in the colder temperatures. Here are some tips to protect your RV’s plumbing:
- Only dump your tanks when they are full to prevent the likelihood of them freezing up.
- Fill your internal freshwater tank instead of using hoses to connect to external freshwater sources. By doing this, you can store your freshwater hose in a place where it won’t freeze!
- Add antifreeze to your holding tanks to prevent your valves from freezing.
- Open up your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. By doing this, it will help keep some of the plumbing in your RV warm with the heat from inside your living area!
- Use heating tape and foam insulation on pipes and hoses to keep them warm. By wrapping heating tape around areas that are prone to freezing, you can keep things from freezing up.
- Get a space heater! Space heaters are a great way to protect un-heated piping and hoses from freezing up. Please be sure to keep them a safe distance away from your RV’s components and follow the best practices when using one.
Things to Pack for a Winter RV Camping Trip
If you’ve checked over your RV and ensured that everything is ready for your winter camping adventure, you need to make sure that you will have everything you need for winter camping in one of Alberta’s winter RV parks. Here is a list of things we always pack for winter camping trips!
- Warm sleeping bags. It can get very cold at night when winter camping, ensure you have a sleeping bag rated for -20 or colder for everyone that is winter camping!
- Snow boots. Snow boots are essential for winter camping! If you have to go out and do anything to your RV in the snow, you’ll be glad you have them.
- A headlamp or lantern. Wintertime means shorter days and less sunlight. To prevent getting lost in the cold at night, have a headlight or lantern so you can find your way around the campsite and back to your RV!
- Waterproof ski gloves. Again, if you are leaving your RV to do something in the snow, these are essential. They will keep your hands warm and dry for any of the winter activities you partake in.
- Multiple layers of clothing to wear. It’s important to make sure you’ll be warm out in the cold weather. We suggest bringing multiple base layers (merino wool is awesome for this). Pack some warm mid layers and a warm winter jacket as well.
- A warm toque and socks. A lot of your body heat can escape from your head and feet if they are not covered and kept warm! Having a good toque and socks are essential for staying cozy in colder temperatures.
Come Talk to the Cold Weather RV Camping Experts at Bucars RV!
That’s a wrap! We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of winter RVing tips. If you’re looking for an awesome RV for your winter camping adventures, the cold weather RV camping experts at Bucars RV can help you find the best winter RV for you and your family. Whether you’re looking for a travel trailer, fifth-wheel trailer, a motorhome, or even just some winter RV camping tips, we have you covered. Our expert RV sales staff can help you find the perfect new or used RV to suit your needs.
If you’re not in the market for a new RV, but you’re trying to get your current RV ready for winter camping, the experts in our parts department can give you any winter camping tips you need! They’ll point you in the right direction of the parts and accessories for your cold-weather RV camping needs.
Don’t get left out in the cold. Pay a trip to Bucars RV dealership just north of Calgary for all of your winter RV camping needs today. Our team has a ton of winter camping experience for any winter RVing tips you need and all the parts and accessories you need to help you make winter camping memories with your family that will last a lifetime.