While the majority of R.V. enthusiasts hit the road to explore the highways and byways of America during the warmer months, a select few dare to venture out in the wintertime. The reasons for doing so are as diverse as the R.V. community itself—cheaper campground rates, reduced road traffic, and the allure of breathtaking snow-covered landscapes. Yet, taking your R.V. into remote and cold areas presents unique challenges, including sub-zero temperatures, snow, ice, and potential equipment failures. In this guide, we’ll provide essential tips on how to prepare your R.V. for a winter adventure, ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey.
Before embarking on your winter R.V. journey, meticulous planning is essential. It goes beyond merely packing winter clothes and hot cocoa. Begin by examining the weather forecast for your destination and the roads you’ll traverse. Being caught in a severe winter storm on a remote interstate is the last thing you want. Plan your trip itinerary, gather survival gear, and prepare your R.V. for the cold.
Replace Your Batteries
Winter weather can take a toll on the batteries that power your R.V, affecting not only your motor but also the quality of life devices on board. Many seasoned R.V. owners carry a spare battery to ensure power availability, especially in remote and freezing conditions. The last thing you want is a battery failure when camping in a frigid, isolated area.
Unless you’re touring the Amazon rainforest, you’re bound to encounter snow and ice on your winter R.V. adventure. Invest in DOT-approved snow chains and take the time to familiarize yourself with the installation process before hitting the road. Struggling with installation on a snow-covered mountain road during a storm is far from ideal. Keep in mind that different states have varying requirements for snow chains, so be prepared.
Freezing Temperatures and Your R.V.
Just as your water can freeze in sub-zero temperatures, the engine fluids in your R.V. are vulnerable. Antifreeze windshield wiper and diesel fluid can prevent significant issues. You may need to use your wipers while traveling in winter, and frozen diesel fuel can impede engine starting and performance. In more extreme cold environments, consider using an aftermarket engine block heater. Ensure you have a generator capable of providing the required power. It’s advisable to run the block heater for at least three hours before starting the engine, though some R.V. owners opt to let it run overnight in extremely cold climates.
Keep the Cold Out
To safeguard your R.V. against the cold, weatherproof your windows and insulate your pipes. Similar to a house, R.V. pipes can quickly freeze, leading to damage and quality-of-life issues. Visit a home improvement store to find affordable pipe insulation and heat tape, which can be used to protect your pipes and seal your windows effectively.
Preparation is key when embarking on a winter R.V. adventure. By taking these essential steps, you can ensure a memorable and trouble-free trip even in the coldest of conditions.