I belong to a few different groups on social media for full-time RVs and this time of year is when everyone is getting ready for winter. If you’re living in an RV there are two ways to get ready for winter, the first and easiest being drive south. The other option for those of us working and living in the north is to winterize. If it is your first winter in your RV it can be stressful trying not to freeze your pipes while also keeping heat costs down. I’m going to share with you the steps we take while wintering in Idaho.
- Skirt your RV – skirting your camper will help keep drafts from blowing under your rig and it will also help insulate your tanks so they don’t freeze. Last year we were in a trailer park for the winter and if you were to skirt your camper there were guidelines. So we followed the rules and bought think pieces of foam board, cut them to shape and taped them together. Other people have custom vinyl skirting that snaps on, that can be a little more costly than foam board though. This year since we are not in a trailer park, we’ve got about 15 hay bales surrounding the camper. We also put a light underneath our camper near the gray and black tanks as extra warmth to keep them from freezing.
- Insulate your Hose – just like skirting your camper, there are a few different ways to do this. The easiest way to keep your hose from freezing is to buy a heated hose. Heated hoses can be pricey so another option is heat tape, which is a warming wire that you plug in and tape to your hose. We use heat tape but also take an extra step by using plumbing insulation around the hose, it sorta looks like a pool noodle surrounding the hose.
- Cover Drafty Windows – I did not do this last year because I love being able to open the windows in the afternoons, but I did it yesterday to prepare for this winter and it’s made a huge difference already. So, I covered all the windows around the bed and the large window behind our kitchen table using Frost Kings window insulation kit. If you can’t find the insulation kit, all it is is thick plastic sheets and double-sided tape, you can create your own kit if needed. I covered each window with plastic and then used a blow dryer to smooth out the wrinkles and shrink the plastic some. I didn’t realize how drafty the windows were until I did this yesterday and it kept the heat from kicking on until about 9pm.
I hope this helps fellow full-timers stay warm out there.