Tuesday, January 31, 2023

MENU

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

##RVDT2007

Advertisement/Affiliate

If you value what you learn from RVtravel.com, would you please consider becoming a voluntary subscriber by pledging your support? Every contribution, no matter how modest, helps us serve you better. Thank youLearn more here.

Facebook Groups you might like
RVing with Dogs
RV Tech Tips
RV Advice
Towing Behind a Motorhome
RVing Over 70
. . . and the official RVtravel.com Facebook page

Winterizing your RV this season? Amazon has a wide choice of RV antifreeze.

Comments

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

16 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John
1 month ago

Most sliding windows will channel rain and snow melt into the RV. This will fog up interior plastic film. Use exterior film instead to completely block the window from water and air flow.

Drew
1 month ago

I’m the fireplace person- pretty good until it gets below 39 outside, then I just set the furnace to about 62.

Robin Deane
1 month ago

The front cap is not well insulated on fifth wheels. I insulated the inside of our bedroom front closet with Reflectix (foil bubble wrap). It kept a lot of cold from creeping into our bedroom. I imagine you could also use bubble wrap.

Snoopy
1 month ago

When we did our Alaska trip, I had some insulation bubble foam that I used on the windows to keep the light out as it was summer & almost 24 hours of light. It also had a great side benefit of keeping the heat & cold out. It was leftover from our 99 Winnebago when I insulated the engine cover, that helped a lot!
Snoopy

Martyn Price
1 month ago

“wrap the entire slideout in insulation” Is this really a serious and/or practical suggestion. How about buying the right equipment in the first place. While a true 4 season RV will be a lot heavier and more expensive than a light or ultra lite it is built to purpose and will ultimately be much more rewarding.

Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Martyn Price

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I’ve done a fair amount of cold weather camping in RV’s over the years…down to 0F and even a little colder. A week of -20F one time.
Metal sided campers are the worst as metal conducts cold very well. TTs are worse than 5vers are worse than motorhomes, in my experience. A “basement” provides a huge thermal barrier to help the floor stay warmer. I put a piece of lined bat insulation inside each basement/bay door in really cold weather.

Since 1999 I have refused to buy an RV that did not have dual pane windows. These windows protect in both cold and hot weather.

tommy james
1 month ago
Reply to  Martyn Price

My exact thoughts. It would {bleeped} me off to pay 60-80 K and be cold with sweaty windows. But I learned the hard way with my first 2 RV’s… Now I am lucky enough to own a 2006 3000 series Bigfoot with insulation blown into the walls. Its 8 R walls and 12 R ceiling plus dual pane thermal windows make any climate comfortable. I also installed a little woodstove and that is dry heat. Not a drop of moisture inside even at 20 degrees outside for the last 3 years using the woodstove. Plus some propane on those cold mornings while the fire gets going.

Fred
1 month ago

Wear wool. Wool shirts & wool blankets are incredibly warm & you don’t get that clammy feeling you get with cotton. The comfort range is also much greater with wool. I’m comfortable with just my Pendelton wool shirt in temps from around 50 deg to the mid 70’s.

Carol-lee
1 month ago

We buy pipe insulation. The Grey round stuff you put on the pipe going up to the faucet. With the slides out we lift up the hard rubber flap that goes between the side of the slide and the trailer body and stuff the pipe insulation in. This will block the cold air. Remember to take it out before you move. I think living in a trailer with all the windows covered would be awful.

Dan
1 month ago

Our RV has wheels. If we got too cold we would use those wheels to go somewhere warmer.

bill
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

Best comment yet😎

Dale e Rose
1 month ago

During cold weather, use an induction cooktop for cooking. Propane is a liquid, which increases the humidity when it’s turned from a liquid to a gas. Using an electric induction cooktop will help keep the windows from sweating. They also cook much faster. And, if the humidity is too high, use an exhaust fan during, or after a shower, to keep the humidity lower.

Mary Masters
1 month ago

Instead of a heated blanket, I use a heated mattress pad. I have a fifth wheel and a lot of cold comes from underneath the bed. The mattress pad blocks that cold.

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

How about classes on how to operate the Dometic heat pump controls. Furnace only operates with certain settings, I wish I had a separate control for each A/C unit.

Spike
1 month ago

Heat pumps aren’t going to do much good below 40 degrees. Nice for cool temps, but not cold, by a Northerner’s definition anyway! 🙂

robert
1 month ago

In the bedroom slide I insulated the bottom of the slide with foam board. It makes a big difference.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.