Cold Weather Camping

Cold Weather Camping

Winter is coming. This phrase might be ominous if you are a full-time RVer or a just a camping enthusiast living in a cold location. But cooler temperatures don’t have to mean you need to head as far south as possible or the end of your camping season. It just means you might need to do things a little differently! Camping in cooler temperatures allows you to enjoy the beauty of winter. It allows you to enjoy activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or ice fishing. It allows you to enjoy some peace and quiet since most other campers flee for warmer temperatures. If you are braving the cold this winter, here are a few tips to keep you and your RV warm and cozy.


One of the biggest concerns with cold weather RV camping is frozen water. If you are hooked up to a water source while temperatures go below freezing, there is a good chance the water at the source and in your hose will freeze if precautions aren't taken. Wrap heat tape around your freshwater hose to keep water flowing into your rig all winter long. Our Automatic Electric Heat Cable Kits can be applied to the hose itself, valves, and connections to help fight against freeze.

Even if you are camped in a spot with hookups, you may want to consider filling up your fresh water tank and unhooking from the spigot. This way, there is no need to worry about a frozen hose, and you can take other precautions to keep that freshwater holding tank warm.

Worrying about frozen water doesn’t end once the freshwater reaches your RV. Frozen interior pipes can be a huge pain to deal with and costly to repair. Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets open so your internal heating source can assist in keeping those pipes warm. Another way to keep interior pipes flowing freely is by allowing your sinks to drip lightly.

Holding Tanks

Frozen black and gray tanks are another thing that needs to be thought about when camping in below-freezing temperatures. No one wants to deal with full holding tanks that aren’t able to dump because the liquid inside is frozen! Using a small amount of antifreeze in holding tanks can help combat the frost. With dumping tanks, only do it when it’s absolutely necessary. By dumping tanks less often, you reduce exposure to freezing temperatures and keep values and connection areas protected.

An RV skirt is key for cold winter RV camping for several reasons. One of those reasons is, it helps keep freezing air from reaching your holding tanks underneath your rig. If you are going to be parked in one location for an extended period of time, using foam boards with our without an RV skirt is a great way to keep the underbelly of your camper unfrozen. Foam boards can also be used on slides to keep the draft out.


Once you’ve figured out how to keep your RV warm and functioning all winter long, it’s time to prepare for keeping YOU warm and functioning all winter long. There are many ways to keep the inside your tiny home on wheels warm and snug. If you are hooked up to electricity, electric heaters are a must. You can put one in each room to keep the whole RV comfortable. An electric fireplace not only makes for an attractive centerpiece in your living room but also makes for a great heat source! Electric heat will save you from emptying your pockets on propane this upcoming winter. But, if you must run a propane furnace, ensure your furnace is in good working order before winter hits.

No one wants cold feet, and RV floors don’t have an easy time staying warm during freezing temperatures. As mentioned before, an RV skirt is a must for camping in the winter. It will keep cold air from blowing under your camper and help keep floors warmer. If you want to get more serious about keeping the cold from seeping in through your floors, use foam boards to insulate. If insulating your floors is too much of an undertaking, rugs, and carpet over flooring is another excellent way to keep in the heat.

Another area of your RV that lets in a ton of cold air is the windows. Before winter hits, make sure your windows (and doors) are properly sealed. Recaulk any leaky areas. Using window coverings such as film or foil is another great way to keep heat in and cold air out. Foil not only keeps the cold out but reflects heat back in! For a more decorative look, heavy curtains can be used to help keep things toasty. Window treatments made out of thick fabric will the draft out and heat in on chilly nights.

Winter RV camping doesn’t need to be scary or seem impossible. It is possible to keep you and your RV warm this winter, so you’re able to enjoy all winter has to offer. Have you camped in cold weather? Comment below with your best tips for keeping warm and cozy!

Jessica Baker is currently RVing full-time with her husband, two kids, and three cats. Find out more about her travels and RV life on Instagram and

Oct 17th 2019 Jessica Baker

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