Setting out for a winter road trip in your RV can be a great experience. Open campgrounds are generally empty, the crisp air is quiet, the landscape is peaceful, and you’ll definitely deal with fewer bugs!
If you are considering taking a winter RV trip, there are a few things you should be aware of before hitting the road. In extreme weather conditions, you must take proper precautions. Allow for a safe and relaxing winter trip with these simple tips.
Empty Your Holding Tanks
Empty your black and gray water tanks before your trip. Add about a quart of special pink RV antifreeze to each to protect the dump valves from freezing. Insulate the pipes draining into the tanks with foam pipe insulation, and consider adding electric pipe heaters if you’ll be camping in below freezing temperatures for an extended time. You’ll need an electric hook-up or generator for this.Don’t empty your tanks until you’re ready to leave to prevent ice from forming.
Take Care of Water Hookups
If you have a fresh water hook-up, consider buying a heated water hose to prevent freeze-ups or bursting. These are controlled with a thermostat and AC power is required to operate. Keep hoses and cables off the ground or out of the snow or fill your fresh water tank, then disconnect your hose from the campground faucet and let the water drain out.
Reinforce Your Windows
If you don’t have dual pane windows, you may be able to retrofit with insulated RV windows or add insulated curtains. Keep them closed at night to trap in warm air. For a Class A or Class C motor home, an insulated curtain made to separate the cockpit from the living area will reduce the amount of cabin space you need to heat, saving propane or electricity.A low-cost solution is to cover your windows on the inside with foil-backed foam insulation.
Test Your Furnace
Test the furnace before leaving. Clean the furnace using compressed air or a soft brush to remove debris. If your RV has only a heat pump or heat fins, consider an additional heat source as these systems don’t work well when the outside temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t want to run the furnace, portable electric space heaters can make a real difference in staying warm.
Most RVs have roof vents or skylights, making it easy for heat to leak out. Seal off these spots by installing RV vent cushions, which fit securely into most standard-size vents.
If you use propane to heat your rig, it’s likely to last only a few days in really cold weather. Make sure that a propane refill station is nearby and open, or bring extra safely secured tanks with you.
Always have the following emergency items available:
- Tire chains
- Weather band radio
- Extra blankets
- Extra warm clothing
- Sleeping bags rated for zero degree temperatures
- 5 gallons of drinking water in heated storage space
- A “white gas” camping stove
- Gasoline-powered generator
- Extra propane tanks
- Emergency GPS system
- Extra food
As one final consideration, make sure that you’ve got an updated RV Insurance policy. You may have purchased your policy during the warmer months, but the wintertime comes with its own unique set of risk exposures, and you will want to make sure that your policy covers all potential losses.
About Sine Insurance
At Sine Insurance Group, we are dedicated to providing you with custom tailored insurance policies to protect your assets. Our comprehensive packages have been expertly crafted to serve St. Louis and the surrounding areas for the past 25 years. For more information about our products, contact us today at (636) 947-1177.