While a lot of people think that an RV or a motorhome is something to be used in the summer months, taking your RV out during the winter to see the wonderful winter scenery can be just as rewarding if you prepare properly. Because temperatures can get so cold during the winter, especially if you are traveling in areas like Canada, making sure that you winterize your RV and have necessary winter RV parts and accessories is important to prevent any damage and keep you warm. Here are a few tips to help you get your wheels on the road during winter in your RV or motorhome:
Create An Enclosure Around Your Holding Tank And Sewage Tank
The obvious issue with RVing in winter is the fact that temperatures can get so cold that it can freeze the water in your vehicle. This can be especially problematic for your holding tank and sewage parts. To make sure your holding tank doesn’t freeze, it’s recommended that you build an enclosure around it to keep it insulated and warm.
Building an enclosure is as simple as creating a frame around your tanks and using standard fiberglass batting as an insulator to keep the cold from getting in. By using 2 40-watt light bulbs inside the enclosure you can provide a heat source that keeps everything inside the insulation warm without using too much power.
Keep Everything Insulated And Replace Hoses If Necessary
In addition to keeping your holding tank from freezing, you also have to make sure that your RV or motorhome pipes don’t freeze up. In the sub-zero winter temperatures, water will freeze and quickly expand which can result in your pipes bursting. To prevent this, having foam insulator tubing are essential RV parts and accessories to keep with you. Make sure you are using proper RV leveling techniques as well to prevent nay water from standing in your pipes. If necessary, keep a tap dripping during the coldest nights as the small amount of movement can keep the water freezing within the pipes.
Have Quality RV Leveling Pads
In addition to having all of your pipes and tanks insulated so no water is able to freeze, you need to make sure you can properly level your RV. As mentioned, RV leveling can keep water from standing in pipes but it can also prevent other problems as well. If you park your RV at night when the air isn’t too cold, your hydraulic jack could freeze in the ground if it sinks in overnight.
Using a high quality RV leveling pads or a jackpad will prevent you from sinking into the ground. If you use professional grade jackpads designed to work with jacks on big equipment like a crane outrigger, you also eliminate the risk of your RV leveling pads cracking in the cold or sticking to jacks as you try to remove them before departing.
Have Backup Heating Sources Available
Obviously having a quality furnace available to keep your RV warm during the cold winter nights is preferred, but having backups is extremely important in case something goes wrong. If you are in areas where temperatures can get below zero, having space heaters that can draw power from your RV’s electrical supply can keep everyone warm.
In addition to spare emergency heaters, make sure you stock plenty of extra blankets. Electric blankets can be plugged in before sleeping to keep the bed warm, and extra blankets will keep everyone insulated through the night, even if the furnace stops working. Make sure you have enough blankets for all of your guests when you are packing up.
A Few More Tips
The biggest priority for winterizing your RV is to have all sources of water well insulated to prevent freezing. This includes your water tanks, sewage system, and all of the pipes. In addition to that, there are a few more things you can do to make sure you are ready for RVing in winter:
RV antifreeze can be added to potable water as long as it is the type designed to be human friendly. Having it on hand in case things get very, very cold can keep your potable water from freezing up.
Insulating under your RV is a great way to keep pipes warm because the heat from your RV’s floor will be trapped under the motorhome. Cutting out Styrofoam blocks that are the same height as your RV’s floor to the ground will create a great barrier from the cold.
Make sure that your RV has proper tires. The right wheels will give you traction even if the ground is frozen and prevent you from getting stuck.
Avoid wooden RV leveling pads. If your pads are made of wood, even the smallest amount of moisture can freeze in the wood making them expand and much more likely to crack and cause splinters.