This is the final post of a four-part series on Winter RVing. Here are a few cold weather RVing suggestions:
1. If you have winterized your RV, space heaters or propane powered catalytic heaters, such as Mr. Heater or Camco’s Olympian, are excellent choices as backup heat sources and are great to keep handy, according to Chris Dougherty, owner RV Medics LLC of New England in Springfield, Mass.
“It is extremely important to follow the directions carefully and leave a window and a vent cracked for fresh air,” he said. “Make sure your safety detectors (propane, smoke and carbon monoxide) are in good working order and do not disable them.”
2. Because of the small space in an RV, condensation can be a considerable challenge. Thermo-pane windows are a big help.
“If you have the space and access to shore power, a dehumidifier helps tremendously,” said Dougherty. “If you do not have the space, try to keep your interior space vented, especially when creating steam from cooking.”
3. If it snows, remove it from the top of your rig as soon as it is safe to do so. “Prolonged snow load on a warm RV, because of the relative lack of insulation, can cause snow melt water to back up, and if there is a spot for a leak, can make that leak worse,” said Dougherty.
For easier snow removal, purchase a long-handled snow brush, or a big truck wash brush with extendable handle, or a super soft wide floor broom. Always remove snow before driving.
4. “Cold temperatures can quickly drain batteries in cell phones and cameras,” said Suzi Dow, publisher, US National Forest Campground Guide. “Carry these electronic devices under your jacket to help prolong battery life and have a spare battery, just in case.”
5. One last cautionary note, know your destination and how to get there. Winter is not the time for spontaneously exploring backcountry roads. Do not trust your GPS, especially on forest service roads. Check the weather forecast and always be prepared for a change in the winter.
Also read: Winter RVing, part 1 — “Not much different than summer camping” says Mike Wendland
Winter RVing, part 2 — Rich and Joanne Bain don’t limit camping to the warm seasons
Winter RVing, part 3 — Chris Dougherty loves having “a portable winter cabin all ready to go”
Photo: Many RVers use their travel trailers, even when temperatures dip below freezing, to cross country ski in many public and private RV parks open all year that have camping sites with electricity. (Courtesy of GoRVing)