9 Top Winter Camping Tips for RVers

RV Lifestyle


Contrary to popular belief, RV camping in the winter is a wonderful opportunity to explore your adventurous side. While it may sound nice to spend your free time roaming around recreational areas in 75-degree weather, there is something so magical about snow-covered landscapes where bugs are non-existent, and crowds are minimal. 

If you have ever wanted to embark on a road trip adventure in the winter, you must be prepared! Extreme cold weather can be unforgiving for those with little to no preparation. This guide will cover some essential winter camping tips to help you gear up for your frigid adventure.

Top Nine Tips for RV Winter Camping

Just because temperatures are low doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what nature has to offer. With some motorhome upgrades, proper clothing, and emergency planning, you can turn your experience into a memorable adventure. Consider these nine winter camping tips for your road trip:

  1. Insulate your RV

Proper RV insulation can mean the difference between soothing overnights and teeth-chattering nightmares. The best insulation practices are ones that prevent the heat from escaping through your exterior wall and block cold winds from damaging your pipes. For starters, seal your windows and your doors. You should also consider investing in window films to insulate your windows.

Finally, consider using heavy drapes to block any cold drafts around your windows and retain warm air. 

  1. Take care of your pipes

Here is an interesting fact: Without preventive measures, RV pipes can freeze at 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This can cause them to crack or burst without warning. The easiest strategy is to keep your faucet dripping throughout the night. Just make sure you don’t overdo it by emptying your entire freshwater tank. Moving water is more resistant to extreme temperatures than sitting water.

You can also purchase RV heat tapes and wrap them around your hoses. Make sure to keep them plugged into a power source. 

  1. Stabilize your vehicle's jacks

Depending on where you park your RV, you risk having your jacks freeze and get stuck to the ground. You can avoid this hassle by placing blocks of wood beneath them. In worst-case scenarios, you can use ice melt to break down any snow that has accumulated on your jacks. 

  1. Check your furnace 

Your RV furnace relies on propane and electricity that power the circuits that turn on the heating system. Save yourself the hassles of unnecessary expenditures by inspecting your furnace system. Look for debris, clutter, or dirt. You can use a soft brush to remove any obstructions to ensure your furnace air circulates properly.

  1. Inspect your engine

Your engine is the most vital component of your vehicle. Damages and malfunctions will result in an abrupt end to your trip. Take care of your engine by inspecting your batteries while keeping them charged. Ensure you fill your engine’s antifreeze to the appropriate level. Finally, use at least 50 percent antifreeze if you are traveling in freezing conditions. 

  1. Pack plenty of winter clothes

There is no surprise here: appropriate layers are essential when RV camping in the winter. Jackets and sweatshirts won’t cut it, especially if you’re spending a winter vacation in the Midwest region. The options are abundant, so here are a few suggestions: breathable base layers, waterproof jackets, insulated clothes, puffy down coats, and synthetic materials. 


Avoid cotton or any clothing that fails to draw moisture away from your skin. Also, bring extra blankets once nighttime temperatures arrive.

  1. Know which campgrounds are open

Some campgrounds close in the winter. In some cases, conditions may be too dire for cold-weather camping. Always check which campgrounds are open to visitors in the winter to avoid last-minute cancellations. Also, keep in mind that some parks shut off their water sources during this season. 

  1. Check the weather

Checking the weather beforehand is one of the most essential winter camping tips. Traveling in the winter poses a significant threat for unprepared travelers. Statistics show that 17 percent of crashes happen during winter conditions. Avoid driving during a snowstorm, and give yourself extra time to slow down. Make sure your tires are made for winter driving. 

  1. Have a backup plan

In the world of outdoor recreation, a lot can go wrong. The weather becomes too extreme, someone gets injured, or your motorhome breaks down. Develop a backup plan in case of an emergency. A winter road trip can turn into a forgettable experience if you are not flexible. Be willing to change your destinations, stay inside during frigid conditions, and know when to call it a day. 

Embrace Winter Camping With Cruise America

With the right supplies, proper planning, and a positive mindset, RV camping in the winter can become a fulfilling adventure. Cruise America wants to turn your dream into a reality. Our RV rentals are equipped with state-of-the-art travel essentials, including a 4KW generator to meet your electric needs. Embrace the allure of a winter expedition! Contact us to explore your options.