Tis the season and most of us are shedding our summer plans to put the RV in storage, but for you winter campers, we have a few warm tips below to help you through the chilly temperatures.


  • Know your weather report before you plan your adventure.

  • Downloading a weather app for your smart phone is a good idea. The weather channel app is a great tool. It offers accurate weather forecasts that also accounts for humidity and wind chill.


  • Find a campsite with the most sun exposure. The more sun, the more warmth.

  • Park so that your biggest window faces the sun. Make sure your refrigerator vent is also facing the sun (This will help regulate the temperature of your refrigerator in the cold).


  • Know which direction the wind is blowing.

  • Point your RV so the wind blows on the back or front of the RV and never the sides or slides. More wind exposure means colder temperatures and the possibility of aggravating your slides and seals. The less wind exposure the better.

  • Use trees or the landscape to shield you from the wind (Keeping in mind to maximize sun exposure).

Winter Drive


  • Know what you RV insulation rating is and how it will hold up to the temperature you will be staying in.

  • Know if your RV is an “all season” coach, understand what that means and what other insulation you may need for it.

  • Does your RV have an enclosed underbelly? Is it heated? If you’re going into freezing temperatures, make sure all of your Plumbing is either contained and heated or covered and insulated to withstand the cold.

  • Use Reflectix inside on the windows and vents or buy vent covers. This will help with not allowing the heat to escape from the vents.

  • Use heavy weight Thermal curtains over your windows.

  • Rugs can help insulate your floors.

  • An exterior RV skirt can add extra protection in the cold.

  • Ask your service shop for more ideas on how to insulate your particular RV.

Reflextix Insulation


  • Make sure the RV exterior and interior is sealed. Any cracks should be cleaned up and resealed with Silicone (Windows and moldings) or Dicor (Self-leveling) for your roof. You want to check your exterior roof, windows, caps and moldings for cracking or gaps. On the interior, look for gaps in the seams of your ceiling or walls, around the doors and windows. This well help keep the cold air out.

  • Have your batteries checked for fluid levels and charge. The cold weather takes more cranking amps from your battery, so makes sure your batteries are in top condition.

  • Inspect all your weather stripping around the entry doors and compartment doors. Make sure it’s in good condition and that it seals when the doors are closed to keep cold air out.


  • If you run the heat off your furnace, it will either use up propane or electricity. You want to carefully decide how you will be heating your RV during the cold season and make a plan. You will need a good battery if you will not hooking up to shore-power.

  • A space heater is almost a necessity in the cold. One that has been well reviewed is the Broan Nutone 6201 Big Heat Heater. This will give out a good amount of heat. It heats up quickly, has tip over and overheat protection shut-off. This little heater is built with a rugged construction to make it last. In addition, it has a handle on top to easily move it to where you need the heat and a 6ft long cord.

  • You may also want to use a small space heater in the bay that holds your water tanks to keep your tanks heated (remember this will take more electricity from your battery if you are not hooked up to shore-power).

  • In confined spaces with heat, we tend to run into a little problem called condensation. Bring a dehumidifier with you to help when it gets stuffy. If you don’t want to use the extra electricity, the alternative are dehumidifier pellets (Purchased in your local RV parts store).

  • A Hygrometer for measuring humidity in your RV is really useful in determining if and when you need to use a dehumidifier.

Broan Nutone 6201 Big Heat Heater

Using water

  • Most people will winterize their RV and then bring bottled water to use for brushing teeth, showering or doing dishes. They also bring RV antifreeze to pour down the black tank as it fills.

  • On the occasion that you are able and want to utilize water hook-ups (Warning! This means ALL of your plumbing is insulated and protected from the elements that will withstand the temperatures you are staying in. Check with your local service shop to make sure your RV is capable. Most RV’s even with an “All Season” package are not equipped to handle below freezing temperatures.)

  • Heat tape/cable for pipes can add extra protection in the cold.

  • Buy tank heaters if you don’t already have them. This will help insulate and keep your tanks warm.

  • Pour Antifreeze into your Black tank to keep it from freezing as it fills up.

  • When emptying your black tank in freezing temperatures, it may be wise to use a PVC pipe rather than your regular sewer hose because it is less likely to freeze.

Tank Heater

No one can offer a guarantee against the cold temperatures, but we hope we have given you a few tools that are useful. Stay warm!


Robert Norman
Author: Robert Norman
Robert Norman works for Valley RV Supercenter in Kent, WA and has been in the RV business since 2013. Robert shares his experiences with the public writing about RV tech tips, how to's, destinations and culture. You can see more of Robert's articles at NWRVenture.com.

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