Fall is coming, and most RVers are making plans to store their RV for the winter.
But don't pack it up just yet. What if you didn't have to stop RVing just because winter is coming?
The cold weather doesn't have to lock your nomadic heart up for the season.
With a few cold weather RV tips, you'll be able to keep traveling through those winter months.
Batten Down the Hatches On Your Cold Weather RV
When you're RVing in the summertime, little gaps in your windows and doors aren't going to be a huge deal.
But on a cold weather RV adventure, every bit of winter air that gets into your RV makes a difference. If your windows and doors are poorly sealed, it's going to be nearly impossible to stay warm.
Before the winter hits, make sure to check the seal on every opening--every window, door, hatch, and vent.
Reseal or replace any openings that aren't going to keep you warm.
Skirting Your RV
It's not enough to keep the interior of your RV warm. There are a number of exterior components that don't like freezing either.
While you're driving, the heat from your engine helps to keep these parts warm. But when you camp, you need to give them a little help.
Skirting your RV goes a long way to help insulation.
It protects the underside of your RV from freezing winds. It also keeps air from escaping out your floor, keeping the interior of your vehicle warm as well.
Heat, Heat, Heat!
If you're going to be RVing through the winter, it should be obvious that your vehicle's built-in heaters probably aren't going to be enough.
Add some extra heaters to keep the inside of your RV nice and cozy.
If your cold weather RV trips take you to sub-zero temperatures, you're probably going to want to add additional heaters underneath to keep your pipes from freezing.
If you have a composting toilet, keep in mind that it will need to stay above 50? to work properly. You might need a heater by the tank.
If you're staying in temperatures below 32?, you're also going to need an engine block heater.
Heated mattress pads are also a great way to stay warm on those chilly nights.
Maintenance is Key
Proper RV maintenance is always important. But in the winter, it becomes especially so.
Empty your holding tank regularly so it doesn't have a chance to freeze. You can also add antifreeze to your gray and black tanks to keep them free of ice.
As snow builds up on your roof, make sure you clean it before it gets too heavy. Large amounts of snow can cause your ceiling to dent or collapse, which will ruin the vacation for everyone.
Be Prepared For Everything
If you're taking your RV into uncharted (or at least unplowed) territory, you're going to need to be ready to deal with ice and snow.
Your RV is a heavy piece of equipment. With a little snow, even the slightest incline becomes a struggle. Outfit your vehicle with a set of winter tires, or keep some snow chains on hand to handle slick terrain.
For lots of snow, keep a shovel and a few bags of kitty litter nearby. No one likes a buried motorhome, and these tools can be indispensable for cold weather RV trips. De-icing salt will keep you running in cold conditions.
And of course, make sure you bring warm enough clothes. Being stranded in a freak snowstorm without a heavy coat is no one's idea of a good time.
Winterize Your Fuel
Believe it or not, diesel isn't immune to cold temperatures.
If it gets cold enough, your fuel will begin to gel. Diesel contains paraffin wax, and when the temperature reaches 32?, the wax solidifies. The lower the temperature, the more wax forms. This can clog fuel lines and render your RV useless.
And if you're planning any cold weather RV adventures, there's a good chance you're going to get below freezing.
You can keep diesel from gelling by using a number of additives. There are a number of diesel winterizers you can buy at your local auto parts store. Some truckers even add kerosene to their fuel.
As your RV is caught between the cold weather outside and the warmth of the cabin, you'll start to notice condensation--tiny water droplets forming on the inside of your windows or walls.
This is perfectly natural. But, condensation is not your friend.
The moisture from condensation can seep into your walls, causing mold.
To fight mold, keep a window cracked to keep moisture from building up. If it's particularly cold outside, a dehumidifier can also help.
If you've RVed across the country a few summers, you might know all the best campgrounds. So you might not give much extra thought to where you're going to stay on your cold weather RV excursion.
But many campgrounds do not function year-round. And there's nothing worse than pulling up to your favorite overnight spot only to find the gates closed.
Before you decide where you're going to stay the night, make sure to call ahead.
Give Your Hose an Upgrade
Nothing ruins a cold weather RV trip like a frozen hose. You lose access to your freshwater, which can throw a major wrench in your vacation plans.
Fight the freezing temperatures with a self-heating hose. These hoses plug right into your RV's 110V power, so it's easy to install and easier to use.
A heated hose makes sure that your water is always above freezing, so you can keep on trucking through even the coldest temperatures.
Plan Your Cold Weather RV Adventures
The wintertime is one of the best time to explore all the beautiful landscape that our country has to offer. There's nothing as beautiful as a mountain forest after a fresh snowfall.
And if you follow these tips, you'll be able to enjoy the Winter Wonderland from the comfort of your own RV.
But if your old freeze-prone hose is keeping you at home, give yourself an upgrade.
We can customize hoses to any size and fitting. Call us today to let us get you down that wintery road!