Preparing for a Winter in a Trailer: Winterizing the RV

Owning a RV is in all a project and adventure. As newbies of the RV culture, there is so much to learn, especially with winter around the corner. Depending on how El Nino will affect our region this season, it is prudent to expect lots of heavy snowfall. Plus, we are sitting on an edge, offering pristine views of the mountains, but also exposed to cold wind swirls. To have our RV ready for winter, there are a few things we need to do.

Skirting

Building a skirt to the bottom of the RV will break the wind from cooling the underside of the trailer and can help to keep the rig warm. You can purchase a skirt if your trailer didn’t come with one, or you can build one. We wrapped the bottom of the trailer with foam boards to create an insulation. Then we secured them with plywood. We heard that keeping a space heater works wonderfully as well, to keep the bottom of the trailer warm as well as to prevent the tanks, pipes and hoses to freeze. When snow comes, we will tuck the skirt bottom with snow to give it an igloo effect. Now we just have to watch for rodents!

Roofing

We haven’t quite decided what we will do with the roof. As we aren’t staying at one place permanently, we can’t built a shelter on top of our flat roof to allow the snow to slide off. We also heard that tarps are a no-no. However, we will make sure that we keep shoveling the snow carefully and hope for the best!

Water Hose and Sewer Pipes

We wrapped the water hose and pipes with thick blankets. We heard that heating pads and 40-watt bulbs work well. We will also put an electric heater under the trailer to create heat flow and protect tanks and pipes from freezing.

Windows

We placed shrink film on the insides of the windows to help eliminate cold drafts and reduce condensation.

Condensation

Cooking, washing, showering or even just breathing create condensation. We haven’t had any issue with it yet, but it is something to be aware of, especially living with 2 adults and 2 dogs. When cooking, we always use the stove fan and open up the roof vent. It would be the same thing for showering however, we chose to shower at the campground facilities instead (their showers are amazing!). We might get a dehumidifier for the winter, depending on the level of condensation.

Heat

We chose to use electric heaters to keep the place warm. Electric heaters don’t create moisture and warm up the place pretty quick. We have an electric fireplace that we use when we are here, and at night and during the day we leave an electric oil heater on. Depending how cold it gets this winter, we will try not to use the propane furnace too much as it will get expensive and is bad for moisture. Be sure to read and follow all your heaters warnings and rules. Also get a carbon monoxide detector. Stay warm but mostly be safe!

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We are excited to spend a winter in our new home on wheels. Even though it is quite some preparation to get ready for the cold months and still lots to learn, we cannot wait to wake up to nature, wearing its white and sparkly robe, and go for hikes, snowshoe, nordic ski and sled right off our door steps!

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2 responses to “Preparing for a Winter in a Trailer: Winterizing the RV

  1. I can highly recommend the dehumidifier! Sydney’s houses are not made for winter (ok we don’t have Canadian winters here but still when it’s 8 degrees outside it’s 8 degrees inside too with no heating) and our flat gets really damp which creates mould on the walls. Since we got the dehumidifier it’s dry and much warmer during the winter months. I could not do without. Good luck in your adventure this is awesome!

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