Winter RV Safety Tips You Need to Know

RVs camping in the snow

As a hobby or a way of life, RV camping offers the opportunity for year-round excitement. Even though the summer months is when our Salem RV park receives the most reservations, winter camping offers its own unique rewards. From winter vistas and fewer crowds to skiing and hiking, the winter offers a different camping experience when compared to the spring and summer seasons.

For new RV owners who may not have had the chance to take their vehicle out on the open road during the winter, know that the cold does require taking special precautions to make sure the RV and your family both come back in the same condition as when you left.

Additionally, not every RV offers the same freedom of travel during the winter months. Hybrid, or expandable, RVs may not offer the protection needed to keep you comfortably warm, while larger Class C RVs may have trouble navigating narrow mountain passes covered in snow.

Knowing the type of RV you own and what seasons if functions best is just one of many things campers need to understand to make their winter trip a success. Here are a few other important dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

The Dos and Don’ts of Winter Camping

Do determine what the weather will be like before you leave, especially if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing. When temperatures outside drop low enough you run the risk of having the water line in your RV freeze. That will turn your weekend outing into an incredibly expensive disaster. Don’t worry, you can still use the bathroom with jugs of water and antifreeze in the holding tanks.

Don’t avoid sunlight during the winter months. Look for campsites that feature a lot of sunlight during the day. Not only will that exposure help to heat your RV, it will also give your heater a break so it doesn’t have to run 24/7.

Do know how to fully operate your RV’s forced air heater, as well as how much LF it will use. If your RV is equipped with an electric-powered ceramic heater, make sure you operate it in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. For example, make sure the area in front of the heat source remain clear of combustible materials, like bedding.

Don’t store your hoses with any water in them. If you need to use a hose, it will probably freeze. Don’t worry, you can always bring the hose inside or use a hair dryer to defrost it later.

Do cover your windows with curtains or drapes. Anything that can help to hold the heat in will make a significant difference keeping your comfortable.

Don’t close cabinets or drawers where water lines are located. Leave them open so that heat can easily circulate and keep the lines from freezing.

Do consider closing any vents and sealing all window using either cut-to-fit foam or plastic installation.

Don’t forget the electric blanket. Even with the heater working, nights can be cold when up in higher elevations.

Do check to make sure the weather-stripping around all the windows and doors hasn’t become worn or torn.

Don’t forget to use windshield wiper fluid specially designed not to freeze.

Do consider skirting the exterior of your RV. The harder you make it for cold air to flood the undercarriage of your RV, the warmer it will stay in the cab above.

RV camping during the winter offers a number of unique benefits that make it worth the extra effort. By following the tips listed above, you can keep the family warm while at a Salem RV park or camping in the hills of Mt. Hood.