RVING IN THE WINTER | TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE COLD IN YOUR RV | RV LIVING | PIPELINE LIFE

Today, I wanted to share with you the things we do to ensure an enjoyable winter RVing experience. We also talk negative temps for anyone who ends up somewhere like North Dakota or Idaho. All of these are what we would consider essentials for negative temps, but are helpful in any cold weather situations. Hope this comes in handy. Let us know if you have any questions.

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Austin and Kayla

  • Here are things I have noted over the years:
    1. Do not use petroleum based water hoses if you are going to heat them with tape (especially PVC.) They will release toxic chemicals into your water supply. Take the extra time to run a heated copper line.
    2. To help insulate around the base of your camper, pile up snow around it (watch out for water damage to the structure when it warms up.
    3. The area exposed to the cold should be minimized. Don't keep you slide outs out if possible. Hint: when buying a RV check how easy it is to get around inside with all the slide outs in.
    4. Propane has more usable efficient energy than electricity, but having open flames in your RV will help cause an excessive moisture problem. So use an electric cook stove and portable heater, and externally vented propane for the other appliances.
    5. Check the prevailing winds at you camp site, and set up some kind of wind protection on or near you RV. You don't want a 100% sealed RV, however.
    6. Less single pane window area is better than more. Double pain windows also make it quieter inside. Doubling the R value of a wall or window can't be bad.
    7. Wear warm clothes inside. Don't walk around barefoot and in short sleeve shirts.

  • I use a space heater, with low watts, whenever I'm there. However when I'm not there I turn my propane heater on because I just don't trust my cat….

  • Here's friendly advice from hardy Canadians spending their harsh winters in RV's at oil and gas sites throughout northern BC and Alberta.
    Use special bubble wrap with flat surfaces on both sides (and not the regular one made for packing with bubbles sticking out on one side) and attach it really tightly to the glass also covering windows' metal frames all the way to the wood trim. Keep it in place by running scotch tape all the way around it sealing it the best you can. There's also bubble wrap with one sticky side – which is absolutely ideal for that. If you don't allow any air between the wrap and the glass/metal frame, there will be very little condensation and frost (and that's exactly the reason why simply closing the shades doesn’t work). This material is also great in letting the sunlight in during the say (unlike astrofoil – another material popular among RV-ers) while providing good privacy at night (you can only see people's silhouettes inside even with blinds open), and it's fairly easy to peel off in spring (you might need to use a bit of rubbing alcohol to remove any adhesive residue from the glass). You can also attach pieces of bubble wrap to the vent and skylight openings to let the light in without loosing the heat. I recommend keeping them in place using self-adhesive velcro strips attached around the perimeter of both the opening and the bubble wrap cover – that way they're easy to remove when needed.
    To insulate the walls and roof use penoplen (look up that word or 'foamed polyethylene'). This is cheap and amazing material sold as flexible tiles ~1/4'' thick with one self-adhesive side and another having various 3D decorative patterns and colors (some really nice). You simply glue them onto your internal walls and ceiling like you would regular tiles, and they boost your rig's insulation immensely. They are also fairly easy to peel off and/or replace with a different design when the old one gets too old. I also highly recommend to use penoplen to insulate the walls inside all the cabinets (both top and bottom) to reduce heat loss and condensation there.
    To insulate the floor, you can use thick carpet or area rugs, but nothing beats 1''-thick interlocking closed-cell floor tiles sold in any hardware store.
    However, one of the biggest sources of heat loss (especially in the newer, better insulated 4-season RV's) are the slideout perimeter seals. Buy thick self-adhesive door seal strips (or cut 1"-wide strips from thick closed-cell foam mats sold in some hardware stores or on ebay) and glue them around the perimeter of the slideout behind the decorative trim where it meets the external slideout walls so that when the slide is fully out these foam strips will be somewhat compressed against the internal wall providing a good seal. Unfortunately, this cannot be done at the bottom of the slide, so you have to identify the main routes of draft penetration on some cold windy day and improvise the ways to block them.

  • Just another tip., Installing a wood stove , can cut your causts in half . That is if the wood stove can be bought at a reasonable price and if you have the room to install it safely . P's I have seen RV s with wood stove built in and it works well for them.

  • You need to insulate your RV more. Winter RV's is not good. That's why I prefer a tiny home since they are made out of wood, far warmer. RV's are not designed for permanent living unless you change them somewhat. You can do this by lining the entire thing in wood or some other insulation. Venting is important too.

  • I lived in a $2,500 piece-er I bought off Craigslist! I lived in N. Idaho for a winter!!! I used an electric heater for my bedroom and a small heater for the living room! My bedroom was 65* and my living room was 40*! Moisture was insane but not very terrible. I also used heated blankets.

  • When you say "negative temperatures" are you referring to temps below freezing (32° F) or below zero. Huge difference! 🙀 😳 🌬❄️ ☃🌨 Your advice is spot-on! How was Austin's visit with the Endocrinologist? Any new tips?

  • If you use a propane heater, it must be vented in some way. Always have a carbon monoxide sensor ( or two!) in place. Venting can be done by cracking a window. Propane heaters also give off a lot of moisture!

  • The problem with propane it is heavier then air.if gets a leak it puddle up somwhere and if gets a spark or somthing BOOM.it dose not disapate like nat.gas.

  • Greetings,

    I'm kinda new to full time RV living. I'm in Texas and we rarely see freezing temperatures much less sub zero here. My question is if using the RV Furnace, do you still have moisture issues? I thought they vented outside? I can understand something like a Mr. Buddy throwing off moisture inside the rig. The only time I turned on my RV furnace was recently and only for a day or two. So, I didn't experience any moisture issues at all. I do plan to cold camp in the future but not in sub zero!

  • I dig my propane heater. I always wonder why everyone hates on it lol a lot of people steer clear due to the moisture that is creates. Our current climate is SUPER dry so we don't need to worry about that.

  • A lot of our friends didn't like to use their propane for heating because of the moisture build up from propane. We always used a dehumidifier like you mentioned to cut down on the moisture and mold. Good job.

  • awesome video… we use electric heat and you are correct, monthly bill about $175 but our propane heater needs a new circuit something so just happy the electric works 😀 question: how much is propane a month on average if we get it fixed ? Thanks & stay warm, looks pretty there !