How to Keep a Camper Warm in the Winter

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Last Updated on December 31, 2020

Though many choose to take their RV vacations during the warmer months of the year, some of us just can’t get enough.

Likewise, others don’t have a choice and living in their camper through the chilliest season is the only viable option.

Regardless of your reasoning, there are several simple winter warmer hacks you can utilize to make sure your trip is as toasty and comfortable as possible, even when temperatures are below freezing, so you don’t have to be.

Next time you’re hitting the road in December, think back to this list of tips and tricks to make sure you take every possible opportunity for maximizing heat retention and remember to pack everything you need.

Good luck!

How to Keep a Camper Warm in the Winter

Preparation is Key!

First things first, you want to ensure your RV is ready to take on those adverse weather conditions. By sealing any gaps in the exterior and even beneath the behemoth itself with caulk, you’ll plug up any gaps for icy wind breaches.

Head out to your local DIY store and pick up some foam insulation boards, which can be cut down to the correct size and carefully tucked in between the RV frame and the ground, to even further insulate you and all those delicate components.

You might also want to invest in what’s known as an RV skirt, which wraps around the entire camper to keep all of your pipes nice and warm. This will prevent freezing, which is just as common on the road as it is at home, if not more so!

Got a fresh water hose? We’d highly recommend investing in a heated option, or one created especially to withstand freezing temperatures, as this will ensure you can get to your H2O whenever you need it, without wasting any time defrosting.

Windows – Cover Them Up

The bigger and better the windows on your RV, the more likely you’ll find it harder to bear when that freezing weather comes around. Start simple with some thick curtains if you’re on a budget, as these will help trap heat inside with little effort.

To upgrade this method even further, many happy campers swear by Reflectix or a similar window insulation, designed to reflect 97 percent of radiant heat and provide a significant increase in the natural temperature of your camper.

You’ll be able to uncover your windows on sunnier days, embracing the natural warmth and light of the sun whilst you’ve got it, and enjoying those beautiful views. Simply cover back up again when you’re off to bed to feel the benefit.

Pack Plenty Of Propane, Or…

If you have an RV-friendly heater that’s powered by gas, you’re going to burn through it a lot quicker than you normally would, especially if your camper is on the larger side. Be sure to stock up on more than the normal number of tanks.

You could also invest in a space heater powered by electricity if you have on-site hookup or your own generator, but again, be aware these are finite resources that you’ll have to pay to run. It’s worth it to be warm, if your budget stretches!

Another slightly more extreme option is to invest in some solar panels for your RV, as these will be able to harness that sweet sweet sun power even on the coldest, greyest days – that way, an electric heater becomes way cheaper to run.

Blankets, Blankets, Blankets

Your grandparents will tell you of a day where home-heating didn’t exist, and even behind the comfort of brick walls, blankets by the bucketload were needed to keep the whole family. An electric model is a contemporary upgrade to this old solution.

Wrapping yourself up in a burrito of warmth, as well as layering up your pajamas and even wearing a robe and fluffy socks to bed will help keep all of your extremities warm and permanently affixed to your body.

Those who are averse to nightwear however might find solace in taking their camping sleeping bag to bed with them, as these are designed for sleeping in colder climates or exposed to the elements and will successfully retain your body heat.

Can you live in a Campervan in the Winter

Food and Water are Your Friends

Any survivalist or wilderness expert will tell you that one very easy way to stay warm is to make sure you have a full belly and you’re properly hydrated, as your body will naturally raise your body temperature to keep you warm.

Understood medically as thermogenesis, as food is metabolized (processed by the body) it also produces heat – this can be increased by eating foods that will take a longer time to fully digest. Proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats are your best bet.

Try a mug of hot tea or cocoa before you hit the hay, saving coffee for the morning and afternoon. Although it won’t help keep you warm internally, it’ll certainly increase those cozy vibes, and you’ll at least get to wrap your hands around a hot mug!

Physical Exercise… Yes, You Heard Us

You might be tempted to stay inside the camper all day, cozy and playing board games or watching movies, sipping on hot chocolate with marshmallows. We absolutely wouldn’t blame you… but you won’t stay very warm.

Wrap up in plenty of layers and go for an ethereal winter hike – make sure to wear your toughest boots! Plenty of fresh air and exercise is a great way to increase your body’s temperature by pumping blood faster and harder.

Likewise, when you return to the RV after a big ol’ hike, you’ll really feel a difference between the temperature outside and that of the safe sanctity of your camper, which will feel at least ten degrees hotter than it did when you left, at least for a while.

To Conclude…

As long as you’re ready to rock and roll before you head out, having followed our advice, you should find that it stays pretty warm aboard the RV, even if you’re stuck in a snowstorm.

Pretty much any way your mom would attempt to keep the family warm at home without breaking the bank, like wearing two sweaters, covering the bottoms of your doors with blankets, and going to bed with hot water bottles, will always help.



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