Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RVelectricity – Just Ask Mike (J.A.M.): How to keep warm in a cold RV

By Mike Sokol

Welcome to my J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session, a weekly column where I answer your basic electrical questions. If you’re a newbie who’s never plugged in a shore power cord (or ask – what’s a shore power cord?), or wonder why your daughter’s hair dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this column is for you. Send your questions to Mike Sokol at mike (at) noshockzone.org with the subject line – JAM.

How to keep snug as a bug in a rug … in your RV

Dear Readers,

I’ve been seeing a lot of questions about how to stay warm in an RV during these cold winter months, especially while boondocking. While I don’t have any simple solutions for keeping your RV furnace running all night from battery power, I have been recently experimenting with various self-warming fabrics that can help keep not only you warm in a chilly RV, but also keep your pet warm and snugly as well.

My cat, Domino, likes to keep warm

Yes, he’s a very spoiled cat (like many of your pets are), but he’s also a high-energy Tuxedo – so he never gets above 9 lbs., no matter how much he eats. Without extra body fat, Domino doesn’t like the cold at all. So this winter we added two warming items for him, both of which he really loves.

The Marshmallow Bed

cat bed
Domino in a Marshmallow Bed

This bed has a super-fuzzy outer ring with a heat reflecting floor. Without any supplemental power at all, it really warms your pet up. And Domino likes snuggling down to keep out of sight. I guess he’s going to demand residuals since he’s now a cat model…

Yes, there’s a dog version of this marshmallow bed too. I can’t speak to how well that will stand up for the canines out there, but our three cats have not been able to wear this marshmallow bed out in several months of hard napping. Get one for your favorite furry family member from Amazon HERE.

Heat-reflective pad helps him to stay warm

My wife picked this one up at our local Lidl grocery store last week, and added it to Domino’s kitty cave (shown above) as an incentive.

Before we added the extra kitty-powered heating pad he refused to use the kitty cave, which I suspect was due to it not being warm enough for him. But once we added this heat-reflective pad inside of the cave, it was love at first purr. He sleeps in it every night now to keep warm. Find a similar one on Amazon HERE.

What about me???

Okay, us humans have some pretty great self-warming choices as well. Since I always have cold feet (the physical kind, definitely not stage fright), last month I treated myself to a pair of Heat Holders Slipper Socks with grippy bottoms. These things are GREAT at keeping my feet warm!

I wear these Heat Holders socks over top of my regular socks at night, and they not only keep my feet toasty warm, they also keep me from slipping on the floor when I’m up. I highly recommend them for anyone with chilly feet. They also make non-grippy versions for use in your boots, and I bought a pair of those as well. Hey, it gets cold in Maryland, so I don’t want to hear any snickering from the Floridians here…

Of course, if you have a high-end coach with a warm water heated floor you may not need these Heat Holders socks, but these are great for everyone else. You can get a pair of these with or without the gripper bottom HERE.

Is it a blanket? Is it a throw? It’s certainly BIG!

A few weeks ago I wrote about using an electric blanket in an RV, and there was no simple solution to keeping warm on battery power alone. So I did a little research and found that Heat Holders not only make great thermal socks, they also make other self-heating products like gloves and hats and blankets.

I chose to try out one of the oversized throw/ blankets from Heat Holders, and I can report that it’s great as a lap throw over your legs while watching television, or added on top of your other bed covers to help keep in the heat. This one I’m modeling is antique silver, but they come in a variety of colors to match your decor or mood, which is something my wife the artist worries about, but I will admit that color coordination is not my thing. (I see a red door and I want it painted black…)

Until I come up with an atomic-powered electric kitty blanket or human blanket, these self-warming products from Heat Holders and others are a great solution to adding additional warmth to a chilly RV. Get yourself one of these oversized blanket/throws HERE. And you can find out more about all of the other Heat Holders products HERE.

OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.

Let’s keep warm out there….

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
Join Mike’s popular and informative Facebook group.
And you don’t want to miss Mike’s webcasts on his YouTube channel.

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Donna Gibson (@guest_114915)
2 years ago

My husband and I rescued a feral cat. She sleeps in the garage at night, to keep her warm we purchased this self warming bed. https://www.amazon.com/Self-Warming-Corduroy-Several-Shapes-Assorted/dp/B00DJRCQBW

Estep (@guest_114445)
2 years ago

Thanks Mike. Problem is with the socks. When I sleep I hate socks on my feet and always kick them off. Thanks also for the Stones humor. I am old enough to get it.

Mike Sokol (@guest_114785)
2 years ago
Reply to  Estep

I am a child of the ‘60s…

Gordy B (@guest_114316)
2 years ago

Sam’s Club has a blanket for $15.00 that is so warm you can instantly feel the heat coming back at you when you put it over your shoulders.

Marc Stauffer (@guest_114284)
2 years ago

Have you ever looked at the Cozee rechargable battery electric blanket? We purchased one and love it for our cold winter camping and evenings in front of the TV in the house. Keeps you nice and warm and recharges fairly quickly. Fairly pricy but in our opinion worth it. Works great outside for stargazing as well.

Skip (@guest_114366)
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Sokol

I have a Milwaukee battery heated jacket with three settings and hand warmers. Awesome.

Mark Strovink (@guest_114282)
2 years ago

My pet human (I’m safe saying that since my wife doesn’t read the comments) got the Cozee battery powered heated wind proof blanket so she could survive outdoor dining.
She LOVES that Cozee.

Maura Howerton (@guest_114238)
2 years ago

Down blankets are my favorite. I’m from MN and needed a new one on my bed at home so the old one moved to the RV!

john (@guest_114834)
2 years ago
Reply to  Maura Howerton

I had an Eddie Bauer down filled sleeping bag. The warmest made. Also Mn. This was in the early 70s.

Debra Rohm (@guest_114209)
2 years ago

Great Article Mike! Do you know if there is anything in the pet heat reflective pad that could harm a pet if it gets chewed? I have a 3 month old puppy, Thank you!!!

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