How to Keep a Camper Warm in the Winter
Winter is near, but that doesn't mean you have to stop your weekend camping trips. Yet, the key to a successful winter weekend of camping is keeping your camper warm.
Can It Be Too Cold To Go Camping In An RV?
It depends on the type of RV or camper you have. Like tents and sleeping bags, campers are also rated for the seasons. So, if it’s marketed as a four-season camper it’s outfitted for the colder months of the year. However, many campers, claiming to be all-season units, have no extra insulation or tighter windows and doors. Be sure to do your research!
However, when the temperatures drop into the teens on their way to zero, the best place for your camper is someplace warm and protected. Unfortunately, the best attempts at protecting your campers' systems may fail at those temperatures.
What Can You Do To Keep A Camper Warm?
With the right camping accessories, you can keep your camper and the area around your campfire warm. An outdoor fire pit is a piece of excellent camping equipment that will enable you to safely enjoy a fire outdoors.
If you live where the weather falls below freezing and you use your camper in this type of weather, then wrapping your pipes with heated tape is a worthy preventative measure.
Depending on the size of your camper trailer, keeping it warm inside will take several measures. First, ensure that your water and sewer lines won't freeze. Then you can take care of how to heat the interior of your camper.
Check the caulk around the windows and reseal them because the gap will allow cold air to enter your camper. Thermal curtains inside your trailer can also help keep the cold out and warmth in.
The addition of skirts to keep the underside of the trailer warm, roof overs for added insulation, and central heating and A/C units aid in these endeavors.
Manufacturer-Installed Propane Furnace
Many camper trailers are fitted with propane heaters. These work with fuel from the LP gas tanks that most campers have. However, the colder it gets, the more fuel you’ll use, which isn’t always cost effective.
Portable Propane Heaters & Propane Stoves
Portable propane heaters can heat your camper quickly. Many people use them in trailers, as well as tents during colder months of camping. The fuel for these heaters is widely available, too, which is a big plus.
Be cautious though, because portable propane heaters produce carbon monoxide, and so will the burners on your propane stove when burning.
Heating with portable propane heaters or lit stoves to warm your camper should only be used for short bursts of heat, under an attentive eye.
Make sure your RV is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector, and that you test it each time you use your RV.
Are Electric Space Heaters Safe To Use In My Camper?
If you have a generator or are using dock power at a campground, you can use electric space heaters to warm your camper.
Since many camper trailers today are self-contained, even the smallest electric space heaters provide instant heat and use very little electricity.
Can I Use An Electric Blanket In My Camper?
An electric blanket may not keep the camper warm, but it will keep you warm and comfy, whether it's merely cold out or freezing. However, make sure you choose a blanket that’s either powered by 12-volts or that’s battery powered. The type of electric blankets you plug into a wall outlet won’t work.
Warm Bedding For Your Camper
Sleeping bags rated for cold weather can work as well as an electric blanket to keep you warm when the temperatures drop outside. Of course, an electric blanket, a sleeping bag, nice flannel sheets, and cozy comforters will keep you warm, even if your camper is only warm enough to keep its system from freezing.
Dressing For The Weather
In additional to the right cold weather camping gear, the way you dress is also important during your daily activities or while you’re sleeping.
Layers of clothing will allow you to add a shirt or remove one to stay comfortable. The inside of your camper doesn't need to be taken up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit – it only needs to be warm enough to keep the faucets, toilet, and waterlines from freezing.
Many people will camp in sub-zero weather all winter. However, it takes a lot of preparation to do so.
Whatever method of heating you use when winter camping can be combined with other approaches to staying warm when camping in cold weather.