Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cold Weather Camping

Cold weather doesn't frighten you.  You're not afraid of a little bit (or even a lot) of snow.  The challenge that winter brings to camping thrills you.  You'll use your camper all year long, without going south to warmer weather, and nothing is going to stop you!  We like your style.  Of course, if you want to avoid becoming an iced RV'er, it is important to take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe and having fun.

One thing to consider when RVing during the winter is where you'll be doing it.  Will the temperatures remain above freezing for the duration of your trip?  Or will they drop below freezing?  If the destination you're choosing runs the risk of freezing and sub-freezing temperatures, you'll want to make sure you are prepared.  Keep your holding tanks, pipes and lines from freezing by using heaters specifically designed for them.  Our online parts store sells a few of these items (search for: "pipe heaters" and/or "holding tank heaters"). 

Another thing to keep in mind is the cost of keeping your RV heated using your propane stores or a generator versus paying for a full hook-up at a campground.  The difference in cost between these two options is minimal at best so, unless you're looking for a real Survivor-esque adventure, why not choose a campground?  The extra amenities you'll have access to, such as TV and WiFi, would make any slightly higher cost well worth the investment.  Always call ahead to make sure the campground you choose is open before heading there!  

If you will be going to an area known for heavier snowfall and icy conditions, or a mountainous area with steeper inclines, make sure to have chains for your RV tires (just like you would for a truck or car).  Some places even require chains during winter camping, so have them on hand just in case. 

We've had campers recommend heated mattress pads and heated blankets (low amp draw).  Some have also suggested space heaters and using sleeping bags made for cold weather as blankets.  Thermal shirts and pants, extra socks and extra blankets will help keep you warm as well.  Advice to follow can vary depending upon where you're actually going, so research the area you're going to before heading out.  You'll give yourself a much better idea of what items are must-haves and what items are completely unnecessary.

With the right amount of preparedness, camping during the winter can be just as much fun as camping during warmer times of the year, so don't let a little bit of cold weather keep you indoors!