8 Tips for RVing in Cold Weather

It’s that time of year again when the weather can be unpredictable in many of the states, especially at night. We are often asked by new cold-weather RVers what to do when the forecast is showing under 32º. Here are our 7 tips for full-time RVing in cold weather when the temperature dips below freezing!

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1. Unhook and drain water hoses

Leaving your hoses hooked up to your water spigot can definitely cause some problems. To keep your hoses from freezing, we recommend draining them and placing them in your RV storage area.

An alternative to this would be purchasing a heated hose like this one. There are options for temperature ratings of -20º or -40º, depending on what you need for your area.

2. Disconnect water filters and bring them indoors

This goes along with the first tip. We have made the mistake of leaving a water filter outside, only to discover that once frozen, they bust and have to be replaced. This goes for all water filters, regardless of the brand.

Exploring Outside The 303 travel trailer full time RV in cold weather
Photo courtesy of @exploringoutsidethe303

We’ve found that bringing your filters inside is the best way to protect them. Place them in a sink to prevent any water leaking out overnight.

We have chosen to use the ClearSource triple canister water filtration system to filter our water. We run all of our water through this system before it ever enters our rig.

3. Run a dehumidifier or use Damp Rid to keep indoor condensation at bay

You may have noticed that when the temperature is colder out than in, condensation tends to build on your RV windows and if not addressed, can even cause water damage.

We run this dehumidifier and it’s always shocking to see how much moisture it can collect in just a short time!

If you don’t want to purchase a dehumidifier, you can also use Damp Rid containers throughout your rig. They are designed to collect and trap the extra moisture in the air. You can find them at your local Walmart, or order them online here.

4. Turn on your heated tanks if you have them and fill your freshwater tanks

This will allow you to still have fresh water to use even when you’ve unhooked your water hoses.

Obviously, it’s not a good idea to fill your fresh water tank unless it has a heating element to keep the water from freezing and busting your tank.

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    5. Leave your faucets on drip

    Water is much less likely to freeze when it’s moving, so leaving your faucets open to drip when you’re RVing in cold weather can greatly decrease your chance of the water lines freezing up.

    We usually will leave the bathroom faucet and the kitchen faucet open to drip overnight.

    Red White and Bethune bus full time RV in cold weather
    Photo courtesy of @redwhiteandbethune

    6. Open the cabinet doors under your sinks

    This kind of goes along with leaving the faucets on drip. Leaving the cabinet doors under your sinks open helps keep the air regulated.

    Have you ever opened the cabinet door under your sink in the winter and felt the immediate difference in the air temperature under the sink in the cabinet? Leaving the door open helps keep the air temperature regulated.

    We’ve also found that doing this can prevent condensation from forming under your sink and potentially causing water damage. Once again, you may want to consider putting a Damp Rid container under your sinks.

    7. Add skirting to your rig if you are stationary

    If you are stationary over winter, you may want to consider adding skirting around your RV. We chose to use vinyl skirting on our rig and you can read about how we did it ourselves in this DIY RV Skirting post here.

    Adding skirting helped us regulate the temperature underneath our RV. We went the entire winter without our tanks and water lines freezing, even with sub-zero temperatures and tons of snow!

    Marvel posing with our RV skirting

    8. Run your furnace and supplement with space heaters if possible

    We actually spent last winter in Illinois where below-freezing temperatures are not uncommon to last over a week. We purchased two space heaters to try to save propane (full-time RVers understand how fast propane can disappear in cold temps!).

    Our mistake was that we didn’t run the furnace as well. Our space heaters kept us so toasty that we didn’t realize our water tanks had frozen up until we went to turn on a faucet!

    So don’t make the same mistake we did. Run your furnace to regulate the temperature in your entire RV, not just where you’re trying to stay cozy haha!

    Beacon In The Wind fifth wheel full time RV in cold weather
    Photo courtesy of @beacon.in.the.wind

    Most RVs like ours run heat throughout the entire RV, including the underbelly, which helps to keep your tanks, pipes, and water lines from freezing.

    That being said, we highly recommend investing in one or two good space heaters as well! They’re great for warming things up quickly and supplementing your propane usage.

    We’ve tried a few different brands, but our favorite are these Honeywell space heaters.

    We hope this post has been helpful for you!

    Is there anything you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below what else you do to prepare for full time RVing in cold weather!

    Stay warm!

    Much Love, Janae xoxo

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      6 thoughts on “8 Tips for RVing in Cold Weather”

      1. This wad JUST the blog post I needed yo read as winter is approaching!! I learned so many good tips I didn’t know before like running the furnace as well! Will be sharing with the hubs. Thanks Janae!!

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      2. I was so curious about RVing in the cold weather since this is our first year. We’re home basing in FL but hope to venture out next year and this will be super helpful, thank you!

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