Can You Live in a Campervan in the Winter?

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Last Updated on December 31, 2020

Campervans are great, they are perfect for road trips, and an excellent option if you want to go traveling but still keep an element of ‘home’ with you.

Without a doubt, the most popular time of year for Campervan trips is the Summer, it’s the time of year when you really want to be at one with nature, and everything just seems better when the sun is shining.

Can you live in a Campervan in the Winter

But that doesn’t mean that you have to store your campervan away in the winter. In fact, a trip out in your campervan during the Winter can be magical.

Despite campervans not being that well insulated, they can make a cozy home for winter trips where you spend days wrapped up in warm, fluffy clothes with hot cocoa in your hand. 

A trip away in the winter is one thing but is it really possible to live in a Campervan during the winter? Today we’re looking at whether or not you can live in an RV during the winter months and how you can make your campervan warmer during the colder months.  

How do Campervans stay warm in the winter?

As all campervan owners will be aware, they are not the best insulated and can get cold in the Summer months, let alone during the winter.

So the key to keeping your Campervan warm during the winter months lies in the preparation. The key to spending winter in your Campervan is to keep it warm.

The type of RV that you own will impact its ability to stay warm during the cold winter months. Some campervans are advertised as 4 seasons and come with thermal insulation packages for use during the cold winter months.

However, in some States, the winter months are so cold that not even this thermal insulation is enough to keep the campervan warm during the winter months. 

Once you are parked up in the spot that you will be staying in, the best way to conserve heat in your campervan is through the use of skirting.

Skirting consists of pieces of fabric that connect around the base of the RV, protecting the important battery and plumbing of the camper which is most at risk of freezing up during the winter.

If you do not use skirting, it is common for campervan batteries to die, and for the pipes of your RVs plumbing system to split and burst with the cold.

If either your plumbing or the battery goes, the RV will become uninhabitable which is why keeping your campervan warm and protected from the cold weather is so essential. 

Can you live in a Campervan in the Winter?

If you want to live in your campervan during the winter months, this is definitely something that you can do.

However, campervans have a reputation for being cold, even in the summer months, so you will have to do some preparations to keep your living space warm.

We’ve already talked about the essentials that you need to keep the essential operating parts of your campervan warm from the cold outdoors.

So we will now move onto the different things you need to do to be able to live comfortably in your campervan during the Winter. 

A lot of manufacturers will claim that their campervans are designed to retain heat and that they will provide more than enough insulation to keep the inside of the RV warm.

Can You Live in a Campervan in the Winter?

However, in most cases, this is not true and you will need to take extra steps to ensure that your campervan is insulated.

Campervans leak heat in a variety of different places throughout their build, a lot of heat is lost through the doors, and even more, is leaked through the windows of your camper.

To tackle the issues of the windows, there are a variety of manufacturers that make curtains that come with thermal abilities and prevent cold air from getting in, and warm air from getting out.

It can help to reseal your windows and doors also, to ensure that there are no draughts getting in. If you are planning on living in your campervan for a long period, you might decide to line the inside of the camper with foam insulation to conserve even more heat. 

During the winter months, you will also want to take full advantage of your campervan’s HVAC system and also its furnace. You should use the HVAC system to increase the temperature inside of the camper when the temperature outside of the vehicle exceeds 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, when the temperature falls below this you should switch to the camper’s furnace as the temperatures are too cold for the HVAC system to operate effectively.

The furnace will be more effective in heating up the campervan quickly and making it a safe and warm environment for you to live in. 

Tips for living in a Campervan in the Winter

So now that we’ve covered just how important it is to keep the campervan warm if you want to live in it during the winter months, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks for making living in your campervan during winter more comfortable. 

We’ve already talked about this, but we must highlight how important insulation is.

Insulation is your friend during both the winter and summer months, so you want to ensure that your campervan is thoroughly insulated to regulate the temperature inside.

It is also important that you keep water out of the campervan. It is easy for condensation to appear during the winter months as you enter the warm interior of the camper from the ice cold weather outside.

As you breathe, and just generally live, within the RV condensation will appear inside and this water can cause mold to develop in your camper.

The vents are important in keeping this out, but they also let cold air in so we recommend buying air vent covers to provide insulation while also letting water out.

You should invest in thermal sleeping bags and ensure you take plenty of layers with you to provide you with extra heat. All of this combined with the RV skirt to keep the mechanics protected will make your campervan a safe and comfortable place to live in during the winter. 

Summary 

In short, yes you can live in a campervan during the winter.

However, you will need to take a variety of precautions to ensure that both you and your campervan stay warm as the temperatures plummet. 

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