In this video, I go over some of the preparations and methods we use to deal with camping in below freezing weather. Being snowbirds, we aren’t hardcore cold weather RVers by any means, but once in a while, we encounter short term, chilly periods dipping into the low 20s Fahrenheit. ( -5 or below Celcius)
During this last week, we dealt with a frosty blast of unseasonably cold weather for Arizona. Two days saw several inches of snow and five nights of temps in the low 20’s.
Cold Weather RVing Tips Video
If the nights will be below freezing for an extended period aka “hard freeze warning” I will fill our RV fresh water tank. We will then use the internal water pump versus a city water hookup. I also drain and store the water and sewer hoses.
Our 2011 Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel trailer has a few features that help. The underbelly is enclosed along with the plumbing, waste and water tanks. The city water hookup is inside the basement storage in a special water closet area.
There is a dedicated heating duct that blows warm furnace air into the underbelly area. The basement storage gets radiant heat from foil ducting that runs through it to the bedroom. Because of the special ducting, I run the RV propane furnace all night usually keeping the thermostat set around 65F. This burns lots of LP gas, but I feel its better to spend a little more on gas than deal with cracked plumbing.
When the temperature is above freezing, we utilize a True North electric heater or when off grid a Mr. Heater Big Buddy portable propane radiant heater. My wife gets cold at night so uses an electric blanket when on shore power or fills up a hot water bottle when boondocking.
Couple other Tips:
- Clear off snow and ice from the slide outs before retracting.
- Check the roof for ice before traveling.
- Use vent cushions in the roof vents
- Empty or stow inside the rig any water filter cartridges
For advice on severe cold weather RV living, check out this post I wrote up with help from RVer friends who used to winter in Wyoming!