It’s that time of year again when the weather can be unpredictable in many 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 8 tips for full-time RVing in cold weather when the temperature dips below freezing!
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I may receive a small commission when you make a purchase using my links at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Prefer watching instead of reading? Check out our detailed YouTube video below!
Unhook and drain water hoses
When cold weather RVing, leaving your hoses hooked up to your water spigot can cause major 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 water hose. There are heated water hose options for temperature ratings of -20º or -40º, depending on what you need for your travel trailer.
You can also use heat tape on your water spigot to keep it from freezing at the source during winter camping.
Disconnect water filters and bring them indoors
Living full-time in an RV in winter can have its costs for sure. 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.
If you’re RVing in freezing weather, we’ve found that bringing your filters inside is the best way to protect them. Place them in a sink to prevent any water from 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 enters our rig.
Use code TUCKNAE25 for $25 off of any ClearSource water system!
>>> Read next: The 5 Main RV Essentials Every RVer Should Own <<<
Run a dehumidifier or use Damp Rid to keep indoor condensation at bay
When camping in cold weather, you may have noticed that with the temperature colder out than in, condensation tends to build on your RV windows. If not addressed, this 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.
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.
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.
Also, never leave your sewer hose connected or open. This can allow cold air passage up into your RV.
Open the cabinet doors under your sinks
Wondering how to keep RV pipes from freezing while camping in cold weather? 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 and keeps cold air from collecting under your sinks.
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.
Add skirting to your rig if you are stationary
If you are living fulltime in an RV in 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.
Even if you have an enclosed underbelly, RV skirting can help a ton with keeping your holding tanks from freezing and your heat from escaping when you’re RVing in the winter.
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!
RV skirting can make a huge difference in staying warm during winter RV living. Although there is an upfront cost, it will likely pay for itself in the long run as you won’t be paying for as much propane.
>>> Read next: How To DIY RV Skirting – Tips, Cost, & Lessons Learned <<<
Run your furnace and supplement heat with space heaters
We have spent winter travel trailer camping 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 living in an RV can understand how fast propane tanks can empty 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 heat source mistake we did on your camping trip. Run your furnace to regulate the temperature in your entire RV, not just where you’re trying to stay cozy haha!
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 for RVing in winter as well! They’re great for warming things up quickly and supplementing your propane usage.
We hope you’ve found these RV camping in winter tips helpful!
Is there anything you would add to this list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below what else you do to prepare for full-time RVing in cold weather!
6 thoughts on “8 Tips for RVing in Cold Weather”
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!!
Yay! So glad you found it helpful Laura! ♥️ Thanks for reading 😊
Great tips!! We usually chase the sunshine but definitely will be referencing if we ever find ourselves in some cold weather!
Enjoy the sunshine! ☺️
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!
Florida sounds like the perfect place to winter! Enjoy your time there! ☺️