This winter will be very different for us. We plan to stay here and RV in winter right here in the PNW. We are not going to be able to travel for the rest of the year.
We Plan To RV Through The Winter In The PNW
We’ll be wintering at my Brother’s place so I’m preparing my Airstream for winter so I can stay warm. I’m not a fan of rain and really struggle with the weather here in the fall and winter. Airstreams are not a four-season RV so I’ve got my work cut out for me if I want to RV in winter comfortably.
The first thing to tackle to successfully RV in winter is moisture. Not only is moisture bad for the RV, but it’s also damp and makes you feel colder. I have a dehumidifier I use when I’m in damp or humid areas. It also puts out a fair amount of heat when it’s running so that’ll help keep me warm.
One of the things that helps the most in keeping an RV warmer in the winter is skirting. Placing a barrier around the bottom of the RV to keep warmer air trapped in and colder air out makes a considerable difference. Keeping the underbelly warm will help us RV in winter in comfort. Some people even put a small space heater or heat lamp under their rig to keep the air warmer which in turn, keeps the RV warmer.
My plan for skirting is to order some used billboard vinyl and cut it to the correct length and height. To attach it, I’ve found a self-adhesive style of snap made specifically for this application. When I install the skirting, I’ll do a post about it.
I estimate I can buy the vinyl and snaps for about $200. Not bad considering a kit costs $750. I actually paid less than $100 to skirt my RV. You read about skirting my Airstream in this post.
Keeping The Floors Warm
I’ve ordered a couple of 3×5, washable rugs to help insulate the floors a bit. However, I know there is a warmer you can place under a rug. I’m going to look into that. Unless you have a big fat bank account, planning to RV in winter means keeping energy consumption in mind so I’m not overloading my 30-amp system and blowing breakers and breaking the bank.
When the temperature outside drops below about 43-ish degrees, the heat pump cannot sufficiently warm the RV so heating has to be done by the furnace or a space heater.
Space heaters in RVs are very controversial. Many feel such a heavy and constant draw of power can overheat the wiring and cause a fire. I’m certainly no expert so my plan is to use a combination of the two but electric heat will be used sparingly and only when I’m home and awake. Also, never plug a space heater into a power strip or extension cord. This can also lead to overheating and fire.
My furnace is directly below my seat on the back end of the Airstream. I basically sit over top of it and it’s gets hot in this spot while the rest of the trailer stays chilly. I’ve purchased a small fan to place under the area where I sit to pull the heat out and circulate it through the rest of the Airstream. Hopefully that’s help with my hot hiney and my cold bedroom and bathroom.
Using the furnace means using a lot of propane so I’ll probably get a larger propane tank. I have two 30 pound tanks right now but that’ll go fast.
Plumbing and Holding Tanks
The main reason it’s important to use propane heat when the temperatures get down to or below freezing, it to keep your plumbing from freezing. The warm air flowing through the heating ducts helps keep the holding tanks from freezing. My holding tanks also have warmers to keep them from freezing.
Water Hose Warmer
I’ll be adding an electric water hose heater to keep my freshwater hose from freezing. I used one of these a few years ago when we wintered here and it worked like a champ. In fact, I still have the same one, somewhere.
I’ll be ordering RV Vent Insulation cushions for both of my vents and one to fit my skylight.
I also plan to purchase some Reflectix and line the storage bays which are under the beds. A lot of cold and hot air comes in through those bays and I think it will make a big difference. I’m thinking of using spray adhesive or double sided tape but I need to figure out what will work best in cold, damp conditions.
This is all in the planning stages but I feel like I have a solid plan. If you have any pointers for me, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your ideas.
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