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How to Live in an RV in the Winter

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Last Updated on May 10, 2022 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. 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 is to never 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 slow. 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 deal with cold weather and even go through some snow in Tennessee.

We learned about heated water hoses.

25ft Heated Water Hose
$108.69 $86.99
  • 1/2" inner diameter
  • Withstands temperatures down to -40°F
Pros:
  • Keeps water flowing without overheating
  • Fair warranty
  • Quality customer service
Cons:
  • Customer reported breaker flipping
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02/06/2023 05:56 am GMT

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.

Super Shield RV Insulation
$84.88
  • 4' x 25' Roll
  • 100 Sqft
  • 25ft Tape Kit
Pros:
  • Dampens noise
  • Blocks hot or cold air
Cons:
  • No adhesive on the back
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02/06/2023 02:06 pm GMT

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.

Mr. Heater Big Buddy Grey Indoor-Safe Portable RV Propane Heater
  • Heats 450 sq ft
  • Convection
Pros:
  • Approved for outdoor and indoor use
  • Will shut off if tipped over for safety
  • Easily adjusted by knobs
Cons:
  • After the first year, there may be a bit of challenge with the best functions
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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.

Pro Breeze Electric Dehumidifier
$44.99
  • 215 sq ft
  • Auto shut off for RV
Pros:
  • Small enough to be out of the way
  • Big enough to remove 9 oz of water per day
  • Energy efficient
Cons:
  • A tad noisy
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02/06/2023 02:14 pm GMT

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.

Wrapping Up RV Living in the Winter Advice

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.

If you want more tips, tricks and other helpful RV-related articles, make sure to check these out:

How to Live In an RV for Cheap

How to Find the Best Camping Spot for RVs

What’s the Average Height of an RV?

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