Friday, January 27, 2012

Thinking of RV'ing in the Winter?

While most RVers head south for the winter some can and do enjoy the cold and the snow. Imagine yourself in the Methow!  You could afford-ably ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and more all winter!

If you plan to spend extended time in places like Winthrop that get below freezing for more than a few hours at night, here are a few things you should know:

1.  Choose the right RV: Most RVs are not made for cold weather. The amount of insulation does matter and the four-season rigs come with double-pane windows and heated basement compartments. If you are still looking, join RV Consumer Group to find out the rating of RVs you are considering.

2.  Winterize your rig: If you are living in your RV in a place like this, you can take some measures to keep the heat in and protect your RV. Put skirting in the form of bales of hay, boards or other material around the bottom of the rig. This will keep the bottom warmer and lessen the likelihood of your tanks freezing. You can put plastic or aluminum foil over windows and skylights to keep heat in. If your tank compartment isn’t heated, add a light bulb you can leave on in below freezing temperatures.

3.  Reduce condensation: When your rig is closed up tight, condensation develops, particularly from using propane. Keep a vent or jalousie window slightly cracked. Open cupboards and closets to let air circulation. Invest in a dehumidifier.

4.  Disconnect your hoses: Fill your internal water tank and disconnect your hose so the hose doesn’t freeze. Attach it only to fill the tank. You can use heat tape, but make sure that will be adequate. Ideally the faucet should freeze-proof or self-draining and the hose needs to be removed for it to drain. Attach the sewage hose only when time to dump. Prop the hose so it flows at an angle the entire way from RV to opening in the ground.

5.  Heating solutions: For long stays, get a larger propane tank that can be filled by a local company. It will be less expensive and easier than filling small RV tanks. Install a catalytic or ceramic heater. They are more efficient, though you’ll need a slight crack for air. You can also purchase electric heaters, though you’ll have to see whether propane or electric heaters are less expensive to run if you are paying for the electricity.

If you are a skier, you may be able to find a Workamping position near the ski trails or slopes!

There is no reason you can’t spend time in extremes if you are prepared for it.


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