Winter is Coming: How to Prepare Yourself and Your RV For the Cold Weather
Written by Teresa Harrington on November 06, 2017
As winter approaches, camping season also tends to wind down here in Ontario. However, you may still have time to get in another camping trip or two during the beautiful autumn months. By knowing how to stay warm as you camp during the cooler season and how to winterize your RV until spring, you'll be able to finish your camping season successfully.
Keeping Warm While Camping in the Cold
Temperatures in autumn can be hit-or-miss, so you'll want to be prepared for the potentially chilly weather. Following a few basic tips will help you and your loved ones stay warm and occupied.
Stick with Powered Campsites
You might be able to get away without the need for power/electricity during the warmer months of the camping season, but when temperatures begin to drop, it's better to play it safe. Always book a powered campsite when you're booking during the chilly months of autumn or beyond. This will ensure that you're able to power your RV's furnace, propane heater, or other source of warmth during your stay.
Load Up on the Blankets
It may seem obvious, but blankets are your best friend when you're camping in chilly temperatures. Specifically, a combination of down blankets (which provide some of the best insulation) and sheets provide ideal warmth and comfort. Of course, a sleeping bag rated for colder temperatures is also a great accessory to have, but blankets have more versatility.
Stay Close to a Busy Town
When you're camping during colder months, there may be less to do at your campgrounds. Pools will likely be closed (unless they're indoors), as it may be too cold for the kids to spend time at the camp's playground or other outdoor activities. This is where choosing to stay close to a busier town can really help make your trip more enjoyable. This allows you to easily head into town and find things to do, especially on those mornings where it's just too chilly to do much outside other than sit around a fire.
Winterizing Your RV
When the camping season finally comes to a close, it's time to prepare your RV for the frigid months ahead so as to avoid potentially expensive damage and repairs. While the winterization steps can vary from one RV to the next, there are a few steps that should generally be taken with any make and model.
Drain and Winterize Pipes
All your RV's plumbing pipes will need to be completely cleared out; otherwise, they could end up freezing and bursting when temperatures drop below freezing. Take time to drain all the water pipes inside your RV, followed by filling them with antifreeze. It's also not a bad idea to pour some antifreeze down the drain of any sinks in your RV.
Take Batteries Out
Leaving batteries inside your RV, including the large battery that provides power to your RV, is a recipe for disaster over the winter. Freezing temperatures will quickly drain the battery, especially when you have the RV parked in storage for an extended period of time. When you go to start up your RV in the spring, you'll likely be out of luck. Save yourself the hassle of needing to jump-start your RV or replace your battery by simply removing the battery as part of your winterization routine. From there, storing the battery in a warm and dry place will help to protect it until next camping season rolls around.
Seal Exterior or Park Indoors
Ideally, you'll park your RV in a covered or indoor space over the winter. Doing so will help to protect it from the many damaging elements. However, if you're not able to do this, you should at least take the time to apply a layer of quality wax or other protectant to the exterior of your RV. This will help to prevent cracks, rust, and other damage that can lead to leaks and other serious problems when the weather warms back up. Also, be sure to seal and/or repair any cracks or existing damage as part of your winterization routine; it will mean one less thing to worry about in the spring.
While you may not want to think about the end of camping season, the time is drawing near, so it's good to prepare. By keeping these tips in mind, you can enjoy a couple more successful camping trips and get your RV ready for winter!
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