The weather gurus at the Old Farmer’s Almanac released the Winter Weather Forecast for 2017 – 2018 and it’s not great. If you’re a snowbird RV you need to pay attention to these three ways to keep warm when RVing in winter.
Snowbirds in Texas or California won’t escape a cold wet winter in the coming months. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “much of the South and West can expect to feel cooler than normal.” However you may be able to ditch the heavy coat if you head to Florida or the Southeast, “where milder-than-usual temperatures will be felt” according to the 2018 winter weather forecast.
Regardless of where you go, cold snaps are inevitable. The good news is you can do something to prepare for those brisk days. Here are three ways to keep your RV warm in winter.
1. Invest in a secondary heat source
Ditch the expensive and dangerous space heaters for a secondary heat source. In his RV Life article “How to Avoid Winter Camping Problems in Your RV,” boondocking expert Dave Hegelson suggests a catalytic RV heater or an oil-filled electric heater.
“Your built-in forced-air furnace should always be the primary source as the ducts are routed to keep the plumbing from freezing and keeping the occupants warm. Further, a secondary option are oil-filled electric heaters. They emit a mild radiant heat, are essentially noise-free and present little fire hazards. Catalytic safety heaters too, which run on propane rather than electricity, offer radiant heat and operate safely below the combustion level of flammable materials.”
2. Get an electric blanket
Don’t want to invest in an extra heater? If you’re plugged in it’s an easy solution to keep warm in your RV. According to Russ and Tina DeMaris’ RV Life article “Keeping Warm in Your RV,” an electric blanket can do the job and save money too.
“Here’s the skinny: A typical queen-sized electric blanket has a draw of 200 watts, and an estimated duty cycle of 50 percent, meaning on a cold night, the blanket is “on” and consuming 200 watts half the time. For a 10-hour night, that would mean a power consumption of 1,000 watts (or one kilowatt hour) based on a formula of 200 watts x 10 hours x the 50 percent duty cycle. A space heater keeping their bedroom warm for 10 hours would consume 1200 watts with a 50 percent duty cycle, or a total of 6,000 watts. With electricity running about a dime a kilowatt hour, using that electric blanket costs a dime a night, while the space heater costs 60 cents. It doesn’t take long to see the payoff.”
3. Skirt your RV
Are you a snow lover who wants to live in your RV in snowy weather? If so you’ll be smart to follow the tips from Ching and Jared, aka LiveSmallRideFree.com. Their helpful DoitYourselfRV article “How to Skirt Your RV in the Winter to Keep it From Freezing” shares the ins and outs of skirting your RV with insulation material.
“This is one of the most important things to do if you’re staying somewhere that gets below freezing (don’t forget wind chill) for long periods of time. Especially if your rig doesn’t come with a winterized set-up that includes a covered and sometimes heated underbelly, heated tanks, etc. Even if your rig does come ready to survive the winter weather, it’s still smart to skirt your rig because it helps keep it warmer inside the rig, which means you don’t have to run the heater as much.”
If you plan to continue RVing in winter get ready now with these preparations to keep your RV warm wherever you travel or stay put for the season. For more great tips the iRV2 Discussion Forums are another great resource for even more winter RVing ideas.