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What Is An Arctic Package On An RV?

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Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine

If you’re asking, “What is an arctic package on an RV?” you might be trying to figure out how to camp in the cold.

When I was looking at different RVs, I noticed RVs with the Arctic package. I didn’t plan on camping in freezing cold temperatures, but even so, RVs can get cold even when it isn’t below zero.

An Arctic package on an RV describes how it is set up to handle the winter. Think more insulation and more resistance to the elements. Most of the RVs with Arctic packages have a heated underbelly, heated RV holding tanks and heated dump valve, and usually sturdier floors and windows that resist the cold.

Is an RV Arctic Package Worth It?

An RV with an Arctic package costs a pretty penny more than an RV without out. So, I don’t blame you for wondering if you should put out that extra money or save it for eating more tacos on the beach.

As far as I can tell, I don’t think it justifies the price. I’d rather get some skirting around my RV and buy some heat pads for my RV holding tanks than put out a bunch of money for some extra insulation and slightly upgraded materials.

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Other RVers agree that it’s not necessarily worth the cash, but some people would rather have the best even if it doesn’t do everything they want it to do.

If you want to hear what some of the people that manufacture these RVs with an Arctic package have to say, you can watch the video below.

As you can see, some of the older RVs with Arctic packages might not have been as good as they are now. It’s nice that they are taking customer feedback into mind when fixing up their new RVs, but I’m still not sold on the Arctic package. How about you?

Important Things to Keep in Mind about Arctic Packages

Don’t assume that all Arctic packages are created equal. Some packages are much better than others, and some aren’t even called Arctic packages. I’ve seen some of them going by the name Polar package.

Before you make a blanket decision on whether Arctic packages are good or bad, here are some things you should think about when you’re considering your purchase.

Read Reviews on the Specific RV You’re Considering

Someone else out there has already bought the RV you’re considering. Find them on forums, Google the reviews or ask about RV parks to find out how people feel about their purchase.

Keep in mind that you should ask these people if they ever took their RVs in the conditions you want to go through in the cold. If they got a four-season package RV but never took it to a freezing cold climate, it doesn’t matter how much they like it—they haven’t tested it yet.

Check the RV’s Insulation

If you’re like me, insulation looks like insulation. I don’t know what I’m looking for. They could put cotton candy inside the RV, and I wouldn’t know the difference. But when you’re making this big of a purchase, it could pay to get an RV inspector to look over the RV you want to buy.

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This is an added expense, but when you’re putting out thousands of dollars, you’ll be glad to rest easy knowing that your RV is what you need it to be. Or, you might find out that you shouldn’t buy this RV because it’s not what you need it to be for your desired uses.

One of the things your RV inspector will check is the RV’s R-value. According to Home Depot, R-value measures how well building insulation can prevent the flow of heat into and out of the home, or in this case, the RV. The higher the R-value, the better it is for your RV winter stays.

Look for an Enclosed Underbelly

An RV that doesn’t have an enclosed underbelly is not a four-season camper and shouldn’t be considered an Arctic package RV. Exposed pipes are asking for something to go wrong when the temperatures drop.

Besides being enclosed, you also want it to have a heated underbelly. Keep in mind that heated underbellies don’t work on their own. The heat comes from your RV’s furnace. If your furnace is off, then there is no other heat source heating up the basement.

If the RV doesn’t have an enclosed underbelly, that’s ok. You can put your own enclosure there, but that’s a bunch of extra work.

Check the Warranty

Before you ride off into the sunset with your Arctic package RV, make sure you get a good warranty for it. Since there are extras on this RV, you need to make sure everything is covered. If the warranty isn’t to your liking, you might want to look elsewhere.

RV Arctic Package Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some other related questions about RV Arctic packages that might help you.

How do I know if my RV has an Arctic package?

When you purchase your RV, they will have this listed in the brochure. If you bought it used, you can look up the VIN and find out its history and details.

Can you live in an RV during the winter?

Yes. You can live in an RV during the winter but you should be careful because cold weather can damage RVs.

See also
What Does Dispersed Camping Mean?

What Is An Arctic Package On An RV? – Conclusion

Now you have a good idea of whether you think an Arctic package is a good idea for you or not. It’s always good to have your RV as protected as possible but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to put out that extra money.

Wondering about other important RV topics? Check out these as well:

How to Find Old RV Owner’s Manuals Online

What Size Mattress Do I Need for My RV?

Should I Upgrade My RV Mattress?

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