Winter RV camping gives you access to all the outdoor recreation and natural beauty you could want. You can take your Cruise America RV nearly anywhere — national and state parks, private RV campgrounds, even on cross-country road trips. But unlike tent camping, you never have to worry about setting up camp or packing a cooler — everything you need is contained in your RV rental.
This means there’s also no more worrying about the weather with Cruise America. RV camping lets you take a trip anytime you like, even in the winter! In fact, winter RV camping can be the most exciting, with beautiful rainstorms and snow flurries creating a picturesque landscape. With Cruise America, you can enjoy the cold weather — without getting stuck in it.
But how do you prepare for this snow-filled adventure? We’ve got you covered! Below we discuss living in an RV in the winter and provide a list of the biggest dos and don’ts when it comes to winter RV camping.
Can You Live in an RV in the Winter?
Yes, it is possible to live in an RV during the winter, but it comes with some challenges. The key is ensuring your RV is properly insulated and equipped for cold weather. This includes having a reliable heating system, such as a furnace or electric space heater, to keep the interior warm. You'll also need to take precautions to prevent the freezing of water pipes and tanks, which can be achieved through insulation and using heated hoses or heat tape.
Additionally, it's important to be prepared for inclement weather and have a plan for staying safe and comfortable during storms or sub-zero temperatures. With the right preparations and equipment, living in an RV during the winter can be an adventurous and cost-effective way to experience the season, but it requires careful planning and maintenance.
The Dos and Don’ts of Winter RV Camping
Check the weather. If you’re camping in below-freezing temperatures, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure that your trip runs smoothly. Keep an eye on the weather as your trip approaches to plan accordingly.
Find a sun-filled campsite. The more sun you can get on your RV, the less likely you’ll be spending your winter RV camping trip defrosting your entire vehicle. If possible, request a camping spot that receives plenty of sun.
Pack extra layers. When it comes to winter RV camping, there’s no such thing as overpacking. Bring more layers than you think you’ll need — you never know when a last-minute snowstorm may hit.
Check RV batteries. Make sure your batteries are fully charged and in good condition. The last thing you want is to be stuck in freezing temperatures with dead batteries.
Invest in antifreeze. Antifreeze is absolutely essential for a cold-weather camping trip. Make sure your RV is ready to go with antifreeze to keep your engine running as you hit the road.
Close cabinet doors. Any cabinets that contain plumbing should remain open. This allows for heat to circulate around the pipes and keep them from freezing. (We recommend packing a hairdryer just in case!)
Forget safety devices. If you’re planning to run space heaters, a carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries is essential.
Use regular wiper fluid. You’ll need wiper fluid to clear your windows of salt and snow. However, regular wiper fluid has a tendency to freeze to the window in icy conditions, so you’ll want to seek out a wiper fluid meant for these cold temperatures.
Leave snow/ice on exhaust pipes. Unclear exhaust pipes can cause major problems with your engine. Regularly check the exhaust pipes of your RV to avoid a dead engine in the middle of your fun-filled road trip.
Connect to full sewer hookups all the time. Your RV’s sewage pipes can, unfortunately, freeze and leave a major mess behind. You’ll want to alternate methods of clearing your sewer tank to avoid frozen sewage pipes.
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of winter RV camping, let’s take a look at some warm-weather winter RV camping options.
Warm-Weather Winter RV Camping Destinations
Want to avoid the cold altogether? With Cruise America RV rentals, you can discover the beauty of the American Southwest and Pacific coastline all year round. Arizona and Southern California offer warm climates and sunny winters, making them perfect RV camping destinations.
Arizona is a dream come true for winter RV campers. From the breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon and the stunning red rocks of Sedona to the world-renowned golf courses and resorts of Scottsdale and Phoenix, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Arizona. And with Cruise America, you can travel the entire state with ease.
For beautiful beaches, posh resorts, and incredible recreation options, Southern California RV camping is the way to go. From San Diego's famed Coronado Island and Hollywood's exciting entertainment on the coastline to the classic resort town of Palm Springs and the rugged beauty of the Mojave Desert further east, Southern California offers an RV experience more diverse than you could imagine. You can even attend world-famous cultural events like the Coachella Valley Music Festival!
Since these sunny states tend to run a bit warmer in the winter, you’ll have a little less to worry about when it comes to preparing your RV. You’ll still want to pack layers for the slightly colder nights, but you won’t need to stress over frozen pipes or space heaters quite so much.
However, with tourist season coming to a close, you may need to focus your time on finding parks that invite winter RV camping. A wide range of RV parks may choose to close as the winter months come in, expecting fewer crowds in the slightly colder months. Be sure to research the months that RV parks are open and accepting visitors in the off-season.
Stay Cozy in a Cruise America RV Rental
When you choose Cruise America for your RV rental, you won't have to worry about bad weather or uncomfortable sleeping conditions ruining your trip. Spend your winter RV camping trip in the comfort of your warm Cruise America rental instead!
With 128 nationwide locations, there's a Cruise America near you. Whether you're looking for a compact RV or a larger model, we have the right RV for you.
No matter what time of year or where your destination is, Cruise America makes RV camping easy and affordable. Call us toll-free at 800-671-8042 for more information or make your reservation now. Don’t miss out on all the fun that a winter RV camping adventure has to offer!