Last Updated on April 15, 2023 by Jessica Lauren Vine
If you failed to make it far enough south, then you better learn how to live in an RV in the winter before you freeze, or your RV becomes the number one home of mold and mildew.
If your RV wasn’t meant for four season living, then you’re up for more of a challenge than RVs that were designed to make it through the colder times of the year.
Our Winter RVing Experiences
Okay, so I am going to tell you a couple of stories about our winters RVing. Hopefully, these stories will help you learn how to live in an RV in the winter as well. We spent three winters in an RV, and we got smarter as we went, but we still had different challenges because we were in different situations.
First Winter in the RV – Freezing Ourselves to Death
Our first winter, we had no idea what we were doing. We hit the road from east Tennessee, went down to Alabama, and then back up to Tennessee but in the west because we were heading southwest.
It was super cold in each of these places because we left our house in November when it was just starting to get cold.
We thought that we would go to Texas and escape the cold, but it decided to have an ice storm and freeze us even more than we thought was going to happen.
Takeaway number one about how to live in an RV in the winter is never to assume that the weather will be the same as it was the year before.
We did finally get to California, where it was warmer, but we were getting close to spring by that time because we traveled really slowly. We spent 2-3 weeks in each of the places we went to save on cost of traveling and get better campsite rates.
Second Winter in the RV – Making it to the Warmth
We made it to Florida for the second winter, and it was much nicer down there. We were able to not worry about much of the common winter worries, but we did still have to deal with some of those challenges. AND it was super packed in all of the RV parks, so there was no peace and quiet.
Takeaway number two is to know that there will be trade-offs. If you’re in a really nice winter spot, you shouldn’t expect any privacy.
Third Winter in the RV – Freezing But Dealing
By the third winter in the RV, we’d figured out how to live in an RV in the winter and even go through some snow in Tennessee.
We learned about heated water hoses, which is a key part when it comes to how to live in an RV in the winter.
- 1/2" inner diameter
- Withstands temperatures down to -40°F
- Keeps water flowing without overheating
- Fair warranty
- Quality customer service
- Customer reported breaker flipping
We learned that some RV parks turn off their water during the winter.
We learned that enclosing the bottom of your RV can help keep the underparts of your RV safe.
We already knew that you should keep your water running a bit so the water won’t freeze in the pipes at night.
We learned how to save money on heating.
You might find that a small space heater can help you out quite a bit. It’s definitely less expensive than heating with propane if you worry about saving money.
- Heats 450 sq ft
- Approved for outdoor and indoor use
- Will shut off if tipped over for safety
- Easily adjusted by knobs
- After the first year, there may be a bit of challenge with the best functions
Another thing to keep in mind is moisture. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, you definitely want to get one. You’d be surprised how much moisture they take out of the air, so you don’t have condensation all over your windows and walls.
- 215 sq ft
- Auto shut off for RV
- Small enough to be out of the way
- Big enough to remove 9 oz of water per day
- Energy efficient
- A tad noisy
Winter RV Living Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to live in an RV in the winter?
Yes. You can live in an RV in the winter if you’re properly prepared and have a place to park safely.
How cold is too cold for an RV?
If your RV gets into negative temperatures, it might be able to take it for a while. However, if you get down to negative 30 degrees and below, that could cause major problems.
Can RV pipes freeze in one night?
Yes. RV pipes can freeze in one night.
How to Live in an RV in the Winter – Conclusion
I won’t say that we loved RVing in the winter when it was cold, but if we were to do that again, I’d want to get an RV that is meant for four season coming. Their manufacturers build them in a way that they won’t have as many problems or make you freeze as much as RVs that aren’t built for it.
No matter what type of RV you have, though, these above products and tips can greatly help you. Don’t be miserable like we were our first winter in our RV. There’s just no need for it.
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