The first snowflakes are falling, and it is time once again to tackle the exhausting task of winterizing your RV. As you pull out the RV antifreeze, do you wonder what it would be like to camp in a snow-covered park? If you're ready to take on this amazing challenge that isn't for the faint of heart, it's time to start preparing for this once in a lifetime adventure. Here are a few tips to help you survive your first cold weather RVing experience:
Preparing Your RV For The Trip
The key to surviving your inaugural winter camping trip is to prepare both yourself and your RV for the cold weather ahead. Don't suffer a single chilly night or even worse, frozen pipes, by following these simple tips:
Start With Weatherproofing: Just like your stationary house, weatherproofing is all about identifying and eliminating places where cold air is getting into your RV. For example, placing a new bead of caulk around windows and covering the windows on the interior with plastic are two inexpensive ways to keep your RV warm.
Prepare Your Plumbing: The potential of your pipes freezing is the biggest danger you'll face, which is why it is vital to beef up your plumbing. Start by replacing any broken or older pipes. Next, wrap all the pipes with heat tape, which is available at your local hardware store.
Staying Warm: Finally, all of the winterizing won't help if you can't stay warm. Contact a professional to service the furnace, but if you don't think the unit will provide enough heat, consider other sources. For example, a radiant heater is a great option. Look for a propane model, which will work if you find yourself without electricity.
Once the RV is ready for adventure, the last step you need to take is to prepare an emergency kit. Reserve America recommends including cold weather sleeping bags, extra blankets, extra drinking water, extra propane tanks and a GPS unit to help ensure you don't get lost and most importantly, stay warm and safe on your travels.
At The Campground
Your RV is stocked, winterized and you're ready to spend your first chilly evening at the campground. The experience will be unique, but you'll need a few pointers to ensure you won't regret taking on this challenge.
Here are a few simple tips that will help you transform from a winter camping novice, to a bona fide cold weather RV champion:
Find the Ideal Spot: Look for a campsite that is close to the facilities, but is also exposed to sunlight throughout the day. A site that is also near other campers is helpful, especially if you run out of toilet paper in the middle of the night!
Protecting Your Plumbing: Keep a constant eye on your plumbing throughout the day and night, and utilize the same tricks as you would at home to prevent freezing. Keep the cupboard doors open at night, place a heater near the sinks and use a hairdryer to thaw the pipes at the first sign of freezing.
Staying Safe While Exploring: Finally, while you're exploring, make sure to pay attention to the temperatures, and your proximity to the RV. If you're on foot, don't wander more than a couple of miles and always head back immediately at the first sign of a storm.
Camping during the winter is a uniquely fun and rewarding experience. The key to keeping your RV functioning properly and your family safe and warm is to take the extra time and effort to make sure that everything and everyone is prepared for the long, cold days and nights ahead!
If you want to go camping in the winter but your RV is old and poorly insulated, consider purchasing a new RV from trailer dealers near you.