FMCA Tech Tip: Cold-Weather Camping Tips

Not all RVers go into hibernation or head for warmer climates. Some embrace the winter weather and plan activities that involve RV trips. Sledding, skiing, winter hiking… All of these are more pleasant when you know that you have a warm RV waiting for you at the end of the day’s adventure. However, some special preparations and precautions need to be taken. Here a few tips for winter RV trips.

Water Tips 

Protecting the water system from freezing is of paramount importance. Most RVs aren’t designed for use in colder temperatures. Adding insulation or heat tape may be necessary. Another idea for short outings is to leave the RV water system winterized and then take along bottles of water for drinking and tooth brushing, and bring RV antifreeze for flushing the toilet.

Cozy and Warm 

To ensure that things stay toasty inside the RV, make sure the furnace is operating properly before you leave home. Fill the propane tanks before you depart, and keep a close watch on tank levels during your outing. If you have a camping spot with electricity, bring along a thermostatically controlled ceramic heater to provide supplemental heat.

If you’ll be using battery power to keep the furnace running, make sure the batteries are in good condition and stay fully charged. They will be less likely to freeze.

Let It Snow, But…

Follow these tips to help ensure a safe winter camping adventure:

  • Try to find a parking spot that is exposed to sunlight during the day and where some type of windbreak is available.
  • If it snows during your stay, make sure to keep the exhaust pipes for the generator or motorhome engine clear to allow gases to dissipate as they should.
  • Don’t allow too much snow to accumulate on the RV roof or allow it to cover vents, the satellite dish, etc.
  • Always test your carbon monoxide alarm before every outing. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, and the symptoms are similar to the flu.

More Resources 

If your heart is set on cold-weather camping, check out this article for in-depth tips.

FMCA RV Club brings you this monthly tip to Enhance Your RV Lifestyle. FMCA delivers RV know-how to its members. Join today and save $10 — a special offer for RV Trader readers. Learn more at

This information is for educational purposes. FMCA shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional. 
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