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Keep warm while winter RVing with these 17 cold weather tips

Brrr! Have you noticed that certain areas of your RV feel cooler than others while winter RVing? I honestly hadn’t noticed until our grandkids slept over on a particularly cold night. They kept waking up because they were cold. I got up each time and piled on another blanket. The next day I read about lots of ideas that could potentially solve our cold spot issues. I thought I’d share some fellow RVers’ suggestions. There really are some good ones here!

Start outside

Begin on the exterior of your RV. If you plan to remain in one spot for several weeks or even months, consider fastening a skirting all around your rig. Skirting keeps cold air from blowing under your unit and your floors will stay much warmer. There are many different types of RV skirting, even an inflatable one that really seems ingenious. Check it out here.

Windows

A great deal of heat is lost through your RV’s windows. Most RV windows feature single-pane glass that are no match for winter’s cold and blustery weather! Here are some things you can do to get your windows ready for winter’s big freeze:

First, thoroughly check all around each window in your RV. Look for any cracked or missing caulk and replace it. Do the same thing for entry doors, including the window in the door.

Cover the windows. You can use the thin, insulating plastic that applies with a hairdryer. You cut the plastic as per directions, and then hit it with hot air from the dryer. The plastic will shrink wrap the window. The trapped air in between the window and the plastic acts as insulation. Bonus: you can still see outside! Daylight shines in, too.

If you don’t want to use the plastic sheeting, you can simply use bubble wrap. Cut the wrap to the window’s size and secure it in place. You’ll still get daylight into your RV, but you won’t be able to see out the window very well.

Use reflective, accordion automobile window shades at each window. You can get these at most Walmart stores and even some dollar-type retailers.

Use Home Depot’s green foam board insulation. It can be cut to your window size and help keep out winter’s chill.

Note: However you choose to cover your RV’s windows, be sure to watch for accumulating moisture on the inside of the glass. You don’t want this water to drip down and into the walls. A dehumidifier can help reduce excess moisture.

Install insulated or thermal curtains. If you still detect drafts coming from the sides and bottom of the curtains, use Velcro or tape to “seal” curtains to the wall.

Slide-outs

Slides are another area of concern when it comes to staying warm in cold winter temperatures. Here are suggestions for keeping slide areas warmer:

Check to see if there are spots where the slide does not form a tight “seal.” Replace worn-out slide gaskets, if necessary.

Fit pool noodles into the top, bottom, and sides of the slide. They can help keep winter’s temperatures from penetrating into your rig.

For extended stays when temperatures are freezing, wrap insulation around the entire slide (top, sides, and bottom.) Then place a waterproof tarp or plastic sheeting over the insulation and secure in place.

Stay warm at night with these ideas:

Invest in down comforters. They are lightweight and will keep you warm.

Use an electric or battery-powered blanket on your bed. These are especially nice if you buy one with dual controls. That way, both you and your spouse can adjust the temp to fit your sleeping needs.

For little ones who may be sleeping on the floor, be sure to cover the sleeping area with a blanket (or two). Then place the sleeping bag on top of the blanket. The blanket(s) will add an extra layer of padding, and also insulate the cold floor.

Several folks like to use a weighted blanket. It will hug your body and hold in body heat, as well.

Keep your fireplace going overnight if you have one in your RV. Or use a ceramic or oil heater for additional warmth overnight. (Be sure to use caution whenever you use any additional heat source. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.)

Dress in layers. That way if you get warm, you can simply peel off one layer and go back to sleep.

Some moms reported that their kiddos like to wear a sock hat to bed. Because a lot of body heat is lost from the top of your head, it makes sense. (Gotta’ love inventive moms!)

How do you keep your RV interior warm in winter? Share your ideas with us!

Related:

Some basic tips for winter RVing

##RVDT1744

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Jennifer R Willner
1 month ago

We decided a lot of cold air was coming up through the entry stairwell (we have a Class C). So wifey cut a squarish piece of 1/2″ maple (or oak or…) to fit over the stairwell. She glued that silver insulation stuff on the underside. What a difference it makes! We can stand on it too. The other thing that made a big difference was to get a windshield cover that wraps over the cab door windows. I also sewed new privacy curtains out of heavy chenille upholstery fabric. That makes a big difference too. Now no more cold spots from the cab and stairwell! The last thing that makes a big difference when we winter camp is we found 3 identical very thick area rugs that fit side by side when the slide is out. Cushy and warm. When we’re rolling, they get tossed on the upper bunk out of the way.

Leanna Bath
1 month ago

The thin small cell foam that many things come packed in is wonderful for a ground cloth. Light weight, easy to store and cheap. Talk to your local appliance or TV stores. They will save it for you.

Larry
1 month ago

Before you shut down your engine make sure the heating/cooling on the dash is turned to off.

Carolyn Smith
1 month ago

Thanks for the tips!! I just told my hubby I was reading this article, as we are preparing to travel through cold weather to get to our warm destination. He added a tip…”get a hotel room.” Very funny. Not!

John
1 month ago
Reply to  Carolyn Smith

That’s what we do from MN. To AZ in January. For the first and maybe 2nd night till we get out of the snow belt.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

“wrap insulation around the entire slide (top, sides, and bottom.) Then place a waterproof tarp or plastic sheeting over the insulation and secure in place”. Huh?

LaCinda Tilton
1 month ago

We use an electric mattress pad instead of blanket, that way no one can steal it or kick it off, it is adjustable for each side. We also have drawers that connects to the outside under our bench seats. With these we have taped up the outside of the pass thru doors to keep the wind out.

Snayte
1 month ago
Reply to  LaCinda Tilton

We do the same. I finally found one that will work even when someone is not laying on it allowing us to preheat the bed.

Deborah
1 month ago

No, the husband doesnt think the air comes through the belly because its closed although it is freezing, will not cover windows and he cant feel the same air I do coming in from under our 2 full wall slides. We heat using 2 electric heaters, 1500 w each and wear winter clothes. Sounds crazy, exactly but that is what I deal with.

Kenneth Fuller
1 month ago

Heated mattress pad cover. Works better then any electric blanket, the mattress is always warm and your blanket traps the heat in.

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

I have learned the cold way that beds in Airstream Trailers are pushed up against the wall. Lucky me, the bathtub mattress keeps me in the center.

Donna
1 month ago

Dh hangs a fleece blanket over the entrance door. On chilly windy nights (yes, even in FL!), you can see the blanket billow out!

Jennifer R Willner
1 month ago
Reply to  Donna

Old school but still very effective!

Last edited 1 month ago by Jennifer R Willner
Judy G
1 month ago

I purchased the reflective insulating sheeting by the roll, cut rectangles to fit each window, marked each re its window, and stored them behind the sofa when not in use.

Snayte
1 month ago
Reply to  Judy G

I did this too but mostly to keep the light out of our bedroom.

Jennifer R Willner
1 month ago
Reply to  Judy G

We did this too. Though only at night. During the day, I like the clear bubble wrap idea.