Travel Tips

Don’t Fear Camp­ing in the Cold

Snowbirds & RV Travelers - - Contents - By Cas­san­dra Red­ding

If you’re like me, you’d rather be warm 12 months of the year, so that means you’d rather be RVing in the sun or on the beach than RVing in the snow and cold. I’m try­ing to get over my dis­dain for the win­ter months, and think about the ben­e­fits of cold weather camp­ing, such as the beau­ti­ful win­ter scenery and ac­tiv­i­ties like ski­ing, skat­ing, and snow­mo­bil­ing. No won­der so many peo­ple use their RV year-round. A good idea to ease into cold-weather camp­ing is to take a few shorter trips to work out all the is­sues that come with the colder sea­son. (Longer trips may re­quire a bit more plan­ning and ma­te­rial, such as a pro­tec­tive skirt). READ ON FOR SOME TIPS ON PRO­TECT­ING YOUR­SELF AND YOUR MOTORHOME IN THE COLD.

1. First things first – the tem­per­a­ture will be be­low freez­ing. You should win­ter­ize your RV oth­er­wise, if there is wa­ter in your sys­tem, your plumb­ing or wa­ter heater could freeze. If you haven’t win­ter­ized, it doesn’t take much ef­fort to get it done, and it will save you from a mas­sive re­pair bill that could hap­pen if your lines freeze.

2. Don’t worry; you can you still use your RV bath­room af­ter win­ter­iz­ing your RV. Take some four-litre jugs with you to fill the toi­let and if your hold­ing tanks are not heated add some RV an­tifreeze to them. You can add the RV an­tifreeze through the toi­let for the black wa­ter hold­ing tank and down the shower drain for the gray wa­ter tank. You will also have to bring ex­tra wa­ter with you for drink­ing, cook­ing, wash­ing dishes and brush­ing your teeth.

3. Make sure you know the lo­ca­tion of all your RV’s plumb­ing. If your wa­ter sys­tem is be­low floor level, in ar­eas that aren’t heated, it could again, freeze and dam­age the wa­ter lines. If you do hook up to an ex­ter­nal wa­ter sup­ply, you might want to leave your faucet drip­ping slightly. The flow­ing wa­ter de­creases the chance of freez­ing. You could also use heat tape to cover any out­side wa­ter lines. If you know it is go­ing to be an ex­tremely frigid trip and you don’t want to risk your wa­ter sup­ply freez­ing, you could fill the fresh wa­ter hold­ing tank if it’s in a heated area. But, a bet­ter idea is would be to use the camp­ground’s fa­cil­i­ties. This saves your grey wa­ter from fill­ing up and you from wor­ry­ing about freez­ing lines.

4. Your RV’s heat­ing sys­tem should be enough to keep the in­te­rior warm. Re­mem­ber, that a forced air fur­nace, will not only con­sume propane but will also draw up to seven amps of elec­tric­ity while op­er­at­ing. You could con­sid­er­ably drain the bat­tery. Try to book a camp­ground that you know has an elec­tri­cal sup­ply (bat­ter­ies can also freeze in cold tem­per­a­tures.) If you have elec­tric­ity, then you can also sup­ple­ment your heat with a por­ta­ble ce­ramic heater. You won’t have to worry about fire or car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing. If you don’t have a hookup, you could use a gen­er­a­tor, just be con­fi­dent that the ex­haust sys­tem is work­ing cor­rectly and that you have a car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tor.

5. Pack ex­tra blan­kets (or an elec­tric blan­ket), your ther­mal wear and an emer­gency kit. If pos­si­ble, camp in a spot that faces the sun, and is pro­tected from the wind. You can also min­i­mize cold drafts by shut­ting your cur­tains and keep­ing the en­try door closed as much as pos­si­ble.

Af­ter you have pro­tected your RV from the cold, bun­dle up, get out out­side, and en­joy those win­ter ac­tiv­i­ties - you will feel bet­ter know­ing you can come back to a cozy and se­cure RV.

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