10 Beginner Tips for Winter RV Camping

RV Lifestyle


There’s a certain charm to camping in winter that can’t be found in any other season. 

Fields of glistening white and snow-lined trees are a wonder to behold. The incredible sense of solitude and solace that comes with the quiet, low crowd season deepens the connection you feel with nature. Gathering around a warm, roaring fire heals the soul in a way that you can’t experience in any other season. 

In this article on winter RV camping tips, you’ll have the knowledge you need to make your winter getaway an unforgettable one. 


Winter RV Camping Tips to Know

There’s no reason to shy away from a winter adventure. But before you do, check out these 10 winter RV camping tips to make your journey one to remember! 

  1. Prepare for Colder Weather Than You Expect


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Check the weather forecasts carefully before you head out when RV camping in winter. Then, plan for weather 10 degrees colder than that. Winter weather can be wild and unpredictable. The last thing you’d want is to be stuck in gear, not warm enough to enjoy yourself. 

One great point about winter RV camping is the ease of taking extra clothes with you anywhere you go. So, take advantage! Pack an extra bag of breathable base layers, insulating sweaters, and storm gear for camping in winter conditions.

Remember to dress in extra layers to stay comfy in winter weather. The base layer wicks sweat off of your body. The second insulates and retains warmth. And the third, outer layer blocks the wind or precipitation. 

  1. Pack Emergency Gear

When it comes to winter RV camping tips, “be prepared,” is the tried and true master of them all. Especially in cold weather, it’s paramount to have everything you’ll need and all that you (hopefully) won’t. Before your winter camping trip, run down this list of essential items in an emergency you’d rather have than not.

  • Flashlight

  • A few gallons of water

  • Snow shovel

  • Hand warmers

  • Area map, or GPS device

  • First aid kit

  • Non-perishable food items

  • Portable USB charger

  • Water-proof storm gear

  • Firestarter

  • Spare dry socks

  • Goggles or face protection

  • Extra pair of boots (alternate shoes each day to let the wet pair dry)

  • Duct tape

  1. Keep Your RV Warm


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Your RV is going to be your home base during your trip. Here are a few ways to make that winter RV camping home a toasty, warm one!

Pack winter accessories. Your RV's heating system is nifty, but without a connection, the heater can only run for two hours before shutting off and draining the RV battery. Instead, pack a warm water bladder and microwavable heating pad or socks that can go a long way in keeping you warm on chilly nights.

Park in the sunshine. While most people prefer the privacy and atmosphere a shaded spot offers, RV camping in winter should come with a new strategy. Pick a lot with the least shade possible to keep your RV naturally heated in the daytime. 

Bubble wrap the windows. Loss of heat through cracks and air gaps is your enemy! Grab a big, cheap roll of bubble wrap and some painter’s tape for an easy way to keep out winter winds.

Put down cheap throw rugs. Do a deep dive into your closet or local Goodwill for this winter RV camping trip. Putting down rugs is an excellent form of insulation. It also is a treat for your feet compared to vinyl flooring in winter.

  1. Use the RV Furnace 

Running the furnace serves two purposes! The first is to keep the space warm enough to be comfortable in. The second is that it stops water pipes and other important internal components from freezing. 

As you get ready for bed, put on some warm clothes and set the furnace to a low temperature. This saves on propane costs and keeps the volume of notoriously loud heating systems to a minimum. Before you actually go to sleep, make sure you turn your RV furnace off. The furnace blower is set up to turn off after running for two to three hours. After this, it will shut off, and the battery will need to be recharged, so don’t forget to connect to an electric hookup! 

  1. Cook Inside and Eat Up

An outdoor grill or BBQ might be what you had in mind for your trip, but cooking inside has two big advantages. First, cooking outside for an extended period isn’t as fun as you’d imagine in frigid temperatures. That doesn’t mean you can’t make some incredible meals by cooking outside in the winter! Second, the heat from your RV stovetop will warm the inside of your RV. If you’re feeling too cold to cook outdoors, cooking in your RV is a great way to stay warm and make a great meal. 

Make sure to cook more often or eat more than usual. Our bodies burn more calories in winter when trying to keep warm. It’s okay to take in about 3000 calories per day, or even more, depending on your activity level. So enjoy yourself and eat up during your winter RV camping trip!

  1. Insulate Your RV

Proper insulation is crucial for maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your RV during winter. Add additional insulation to doors, windows, and vents to minimize heat loss. You can use thermal curtains or reflective window coverings to help retain heat.

  1. Protect Your Water System

Cold temperatures can cause your RV's water pipes and tanks to freeze. To prevent this, use heated water hoses and consider adding insulation or heat tape to vulnerable areas. Always keep your fresh water tank full, and use an RV-safe antifreeze in your black and gray tanks to prevent freezing.

  1. Monitor Propane Levels

Winter camping often requires more propane for heating and cooking. Keep an eye on your propane levels and carry extra tanks if needed. It's also a good idea to invest in a propane tank gauge to accurately measure how much propane you have left.

  1. Ventilation is Key

While it's essential to keep your RV warm, it's equally important to maintain proper ventilation to avoid moisture buildup and condensation. Crack open a window or use vent fans to allow for fresh air circulation without letting too much cold air in. Consider using moisture-absorbing products inside your RV to control humidity.

  1. Plan for Shorter Days

Winter days are shorter, so plan your activities accordingly. Make sure you have sufficient lighting inside and outside your RV for safety and convenience. LED lights are energy-efficient and produce less heat, making them ideal for winter camping.


Stay Cozy When Winter Camping in an RV!


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Following our winter RV camping tips above, you should find no problems staying cozy during your trip. And if you don’t have the wheels yet, no worries! Cruise America’s got you covered.

Cruise America’s line of winter-ready RVs is perfect for any party size or budget. With a built-in gas cooking stove, AC and furnace, you’ll have everything you need for a cozy, comfortable home on the road. 

Rent an RV with Cruise America and bundle up for the journey ahead!