Winter Camping

Guide to Staying in a Motorhome in the Winter

Winter motorhome adventures can be magical, offering serene landscapes and quieter campgrounds. However, staying warm and safe requires some preparation and knowledge. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you enjoy a cozy and comfortable winter motorhome experience.

1. Preparing Your Motorhome

  • Insulation: Ensure your motorhome is well-insulated. Use thermal curtains, insulated window covers, and draft stoppers to minimize heat loss.
  • Skirting: Add skirting around the base of your motorhome to reduce cold air flowing underneath, which helps keep the interior warmer.
  • Sealing: Check for and seal any gaps or leaks in windows, doors, and vents to prevent cold drafts.

2. Heating Systems

  • Furnace: Make sure your propane furnace is in good working order. Have it inspected and cleaned before your trip.
  • Electric Heaters: Use portable electric heaters as an additional heat source. Ceramic and oil-filled heaters are safe and efficient options.
  • Heated Blankets: Invest in electric or battery-operated heated blankets for extra warmth during cold nights.

3. Water Systems

  • Tank Heaters: Install tank heaters to keep your fresh, grey, and black water tanks from freezing. Heated hoses are also useful for preventing water lines from freezing.
  • Antifreeze: Add RV antifreeze to your holding tanks to prevent freezing. Use non-toxic antifreeze designed for RVs.
  • Water Conservation: Conserve water to minimize the risk of pipes freezing. Use antifreeze in the plumbing system if you plan to stay in extremely cold areas.

4. Power Supply

  • Battery Maintenance: Ensure your batteries are fully charged and in good condition. Cold weather can reduce battery efficiency, so consider a battery heater or insulating the battery compartment.
  • Generator: Have a reliable generator for backup power. Make sure it’s properly maintained and has enough fuel.
  • Solar Panels: Solar panels can help maintain battery levels, but their efficiency is reduced in winter due to shorter days and lower sunlight.

5. Propane Supply

  • Extra Propane: Carry extra propane tanks as heaters and stoves will consume more fuel in cold weather.
  • Regular Checks: Regularly check propane levels and refill as needed to avoid running out in remote areas.

6. Winter Driving Tips

  • Tire Chains: Carry tire chains and know how to install them. They are essential for driving in snowy or icy conditions.
  • Winter Tires: Consider using winter tires for better traction and safety.
  • Road Conditions: Check weather and road conditions regularly and plan your route accordingly. Avoid traveling during severe weather.

7. Staying Warm Inside

  • Layering: Dress in layers to stay warm. Thermal underwear, sweaters, and wool socks can make a big difference.
  • Rugs and Mats: Use rugs and mats on the floor to provide additional insulation and keep your feet warm.
  • Warm Bedding: Use flannel sheets, heavy blankets, and sleeping bags rated for low temperatures.

8. Cooking and Ventilation

  • Cook for Warmth: Cooking inside can help warm up the motorhome. Be sure to ventilate properly to avoid moisture buildup.
  • Moisture Control: Use dehumidifiers or moisture absorbers to control condensation, which can lead to mold and mildew.

9. Emergency Preparedness

  • First Aid Kit: Have a comprehensive first aid kit, including supplies for treating cold-related injuries like frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Emergency Supplies: Keep an emergency kit with items like extra blankets, non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, and a multi-tool.
  • Communication: Ensure you have a way to communicate in case of emergencies, such as a fully charged phone, radio, or satellite device.

10. Choosing the Right Campsite

  • Winter-Friendly Campsites: Look for campsites that remain open in winter and offer amenities like heated restrooms and access to potable water.
  • Sheltered Spots: Choose a spot that is sheltered from the wind, ideally with natural barriers like trees or hills.

Winter camping in a motorhome can be a delightful experience with the right preparation. By insulating your motorhome, ensuring your heating systems are efficient, and staying prepared for cold weather conditions, you can enjoy the beauty of winter landscapes while staying warm and comfortable. Happy winter travels!