If you camp in an RV, you know how important it is to keep your camper warm in the winter. Some people think that just because you have a heater in your RV, you don’t need to worry about insulation. However, this could not be further from the truth!
Here is a complete guide on how to keep a camper warm in the wintertime (from a fellow full-time RVer).
Proper insulation is key to keeping your camper warm in the winter, but there are also several other things you can do to make sure your camper is cozy all season long.
Here are the 16 most important things to do to ensure you keep nice and warm in your camper during winter.
How Cold Is Too Cold For A Camper?
First, you need to know how cold is too cold for a camper. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including what type of RV you have, what kind of heater you have, and how well your RV is insulated.
If you have a pop-up camper or a travel trailer, you should be prepared for temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a fifth wheel or motorhome, you can usually camp in colder temperatures, as long as you have a good heater.
No matter what type of RV you have, it is always a good idea to insulate your camper before winter camping. This will help to keep the heat in and the cold out.
16 Ways To Keep A Camper Warm In The Winter
There are plenty of ways to stay warm in your camper all winter long, but it’s not easy. Be prepared to put in the work to keep your RV comfortable all season.
1. Start With Proper Insulation
Make sure you have the insulation your RV needs. Most people immediately think about the underbelly, but this also includes the walls and the ceiling of your camper.
If you’re not sure if your RV is properly insulated, you can always ask a professional to take a look or add more insulation yourself.
To add more insulation yourself, start by selecting the right material. For the underbelly, choose a foil-faced bubble wrap or foam board. For the walls and ceiling, use fiberglass insulation or spray foam insulation.
2. Seal Up Any Gaps Around Doors And Windows
Gaps and cracks around doors and windows can let in a lot of cold air, so it’s important to seal them up before winter arrives.
You can use weatherstripping or caulk to fill any gaps and prevent cold air from coming inside your camper.
Check every door and window in your RV, both on the inside and the outside, to make sure there are no gaps. If you find any, seal them up right away.
3. Install Window Insulation Film
Window insulation film is an easy and inexpensive way to insulate your RV windows for winter. This film helps to keep the heat in and the cold out, so it’s perfect for use in an RV.
To install window insulation film, start by cleaning the window surface with soap and water. Then, cut the film to size and apply it to the window with double-sided tape or spray adhesive.
You may also want to opt for window shrink wrap or upgrade your windows to insulated glass for even more insulation.
4. Hang Heavy Curtains Over The Windows
Hanging heavy curtains over the windows can also help to insulate your RV for winter. Choose curtains that are made from a thick, heavyweight fabric to get the best results.
To hang curtains, start by measuring the width and height of each window in your RV. Then, cut the fabric to size and use curtain clips or rings to attach it to the window.
5. Use A Space Heater
A space heater can help to take the chill out of your RV on cold winter days. When using a space heater, be sure to practice safety first and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
To use a space heater safely, start by placing it on a level surface. Then, plug it into an outlet and turn it on. Be sure to keep an eye on the space heater at all times and turn it off when you leave the room.
If you’re using a space heater to keep your RV warm, placing a ceramic tile in front of it can help to increase the efficiency. The tile will absorb the heat from the space heater and radiate it back into the room, helping to keep the RV warm.
To use this method, start by finding a ceramic tile that is large enough to cover the front of the space heater. Then, place the tile in front of the space heater and turn it on.
6. Wear Warm Clothes
This might seem like a no-brainer, but wearing warm clothes is one of the best ways to stay warm in your RV this winter.
Be sure to dress in layers, so you can easily remove clothing if you start to get too warm.
7. Bring Along Plenty Of Blankets And Comforters
Having plenty of blankets and comforters on hand is always a good idea when winter camping. These can be used to keep yourself warm or to insulate your RV.
If you’re using blankets to insulate your RV, start by draping them over the windows. You can also hang them over doors or use them to cover gaps around doors and windows.
Make sure you have plenty of blankets handy on the couches and beds, too. This will ensure that when temperatures drop at night, you’ll still be warm. You may also want to consider using an electric blanket on your bed.
8. Make Sure Your Furnace Is In Good Working Order
If you have a furnace in your RV, make sure it’s in good working order before winter arrives. This includes getting it serviced and making sure the filter is clean.
You should also familiarize yourself with how to operate the furnace before winter arrives. That way, you’ll be prepared to use it when the temperatures start to drop and you’ll know how to troubleshoot any issues that come up.
9. Consider Upgrading To A More Efficient Furnace
If you’re not happy with your RV’s existing furnace, consider upgrading to a more efficient model. There are many high-efficiency furnaces on the market that can help to keep your RV warm all winter long.
When shopping for a new furnace, be sure to compare the efficiency rating to find the most efficient model. You should also consider the size of the furnace and whether it will be able to heat your RV adequately.
10. Install RV Skirting
RV skirting is an easy and effective way to insulate your RV for winter. Skirting helps to keep the cold air from coming under your RV, so it’s perfect for use in winter.
To install RV skirting, start by measuring the circumference of your RV. Then, cut the skirting to size and attach it to the RV with screws or adhesive.
Be sure to leave enough skirting hanging down so that you can still access the underbelly of your RV for maintenance.
There are companies that build custom skirts to keep your RV insulated, but this can get expensive fast. To save money, you can purchase generic skirting and cut it to fit. You can also use a weatherproof tarp or straw bales.
11. Choose A Smaller RV
If you’re not happy with how well your RV is insulated, consider choosing a smaller model. Smaller RVs are typically better insulated than larger models, so they tend to be warmer in the winter.
In addition, smaller RVs are easier to heat since there’s less space to heat up. If you’re looking for a more efficient way to heat your RV, choosing a smaller model may be the best option.
12. Park Your RV In A Garage or Carport
If you have a garage or carport, consider parking your RV in it during the winter. This will help to keep your RV warm since it will be out of the elements.
In addition, parking your RV in a garage or carport will protect it from snow and ice. This can help to prevent damage to your RV and make it easier to clean off in the spring.
13. Prepare Your Pipes And Tanks
If you plan on using your RV’s plumbing in the winter, you’ll need to take some steps to prepare your pipes and tanks. Otherwise, your plumbing could freeze and burst.
To prepare your pipes and tanks, start by draining all the water out of them. Then, add RV antifreeze to the pipes and tanks. This will help to keep them from freezing and bursting in the winter.
You can also purchase heated water hoses to prevent your water intake from freezing. Wrap your pipes and sewer hoses with heat tape and then insulated them further by wrapping them with a weatherproof tarp or some other type of insulation.
Related: Is RV antifreeze toxic for animals?
14. Invest In Solar Panels
Solar panels always work as long as they can see the sun. The sun shines even in the winter, so this can be a great investment in a more energy efficient RV.
You won’t have to worry so much about running out of propane. If you’ve been an RVer for any amount of time, you know how terrible it is to run out of propane in the middle of a frigid winter night.
Even if you run out of propane, your RV will continue to stay warm by switching to electricity from your solar panels. Then you can replace your propane tank after you wake up.
15. Use Rugs
One of the coldest parts of your RV is the floor. Rugs can help to insulate your RV and make it feel warmer. Be sure to choose rugs that are made from natural fibers like wool or cotton.
These materials will help to keep your feet warm and prevent them from getting cold. In addition, they will add some extra insulation to your RV.
Simply place rugs throughout your RV on the floor to keep your RV and your toes even warmer.
16. Install A Heat Pump
If you have a large RV, you may want to consider installing a heat pump. A heat pump helps to circulate the air in your RV and can make a big difference in how warm your RV feels.
Heat pumps are typically more expensive than other heating options, but they’re worth the investment if you have a large RV.
Can You Live Full-Time In An RV In The Winter?
I live full-time in my RV with my family and have for several years. I also know many other people who do the same thing. It is possible to live full-time in your RV in the winter, but it’s not for everyone.
If you’re thinking about living in your RV full-time in the winter, there are a few things to consider, like how much work it can be to prepare and make it through, especially when it gets well below freezing.
You need to be prepared for the increased work that comes with living in an RV in the winter. You have to make sure your pipes are protected from freezing, adding extra insulation, and use space heaters or a heat pump to circulate the air.
You also need to be prepared for the colder temperatures. This means having enough blankets and warm clothing to keep you comfortable. You may even want to consider investing in a wood-burning stove if you don’t have one already.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure you have a good RV insurance policy in case of any weather-related damages.
Related: 11 great parking options for full-time RV’ers.
How Much Does It Cost To Heat A Camper In The Winter?
The cost of heating a camper in the winter will depend on the size of your RV, the type of heat you’re using, and how cold it is outside.
On average, it costs about $30 per day to heat an RV with propane. If you’re using electric heat, it will cost about $2 per hour. Solar panels can help to offset some of the costs, but they’ll still add up.
Just to give you a better idea of how much it costs, we have a 45-foot fifth wheel and two 30-pound propane tanks.
During the winter months, we went through one tank of propane about every 24 hours. At the current cost of propane, it was about $20 to fill up one of these tanks.
Sometimes you go through propane faster and sometimes you go through it slower, depending on the temperature outside, the wind, and how warm you like to keep it inside.
If you feel your heating bill is high, then this article covers common reasons why.
How Do You Keep a Pop-Up Camper Warm In The Winter?
If you have a pop-up camper, you may be wondering how to keep it warm in the winter. Pop-up campers aren’t as well insulated as many other RVs, so it can be quite difficult. The key is to add insulation and use space heaters or a heat pump to circulate the air.
You can insulate your pop-up camper by adding weatherstripping around the doors and windows. You can also add insulation to the walls and ceiling. You can also use electric blankets to keep yourself warm at night.
Just be sure not to use any open flames inside your pop-up camper, as this could be a fire hazard.
Should I Cover My Camper In The Winter?
It’s a good idea to cover your camper in the winter to protect it from the elements. A tarp or RV cover will help to keep your RV clean and dry and will also help to prevent any weather-related damage.
You should also consider disconnecting your water lines and putting them in storage during the winter months. This will help to prevent any freezing or bursting. Of course, you can only store your camper this way if you’re not living in it.
Can RV Pipes Freeze In One Night?
Take it from someone who’s been there – RV pipes can freeze in one night if the temperatures are low enough. This is why it’s so important to protect your pipes during the winter months.
You can do this by adding insulation, using space heaters or a heat pump, and disconnecting your water lines when you’re not using them.
Of course, even if you take all of these precautions, there’s still a chance that your pipes could freeze. This is why it’s so important to have a good RV insurance policy in place in case of any weather-related damage.
Another thing I would suggest is to leave your faucets dripping if the temperature is going to get below 25 degrees, either overnight or during the day.
This will minimize the risk of your pipes freezes, but it won’t eliminate the issue altogether if it’s going to be too cold.
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