Looking for even more information about Winter Camping? The video was recently released, so we’re still compiling information from subscribers to include in this blog, but let’s start with some of the things that were not mentioned in the video.
You can visit the KYD Amazon page. All the items we discussed in the video are included below. Using KYD Amazon link don’t cost you anymore money and all purchased are completely private. We reinvest anything we make from Amazon directly into RV gear we can share with you!
Extension Cord with Light
If you have a diesel truck with an engine block heater, it’s good to know your extension cord is actually working. Why Ford trucks don’t have an indicator that the engine heater is engaged is beyond me, but a lighted extension cord is a step in the right direction.
Pro tip: Subscriber Stephen Blinkenberg had a great suggestion in the comments on a previous video to place the extension cord over the driver mirror so you don’t forget to disconnect before driving away.
We have heard how essential dehumidifiers are with winter camping, but our experience was different. Perhaps the space heaters were keeping our rig dry. We purchased the below dehumidifier and it did not consume a single drip of water. Our temperature gage read roughly 35% humidity most of the time, but we thought was pretty good. The windows would freeze to solid ice during cold mornings and it didn’t seem there was any way around that. In fact, it was so dry, we could have used a humidifier. We’re still learning on this one.
Staying warm is priority number one! Standard 20 pound tanks are find for keeping the refrigerator running while driving, cooking and occasionally running the furnace, but for winter rv camping, it won’t take long before you’ll be out of propane. Plus, the exchange programs are a complete waste of money by charging more money for less propane. Also, you can get a three-eights threaded rod from home depot and save yourself from buying the unnecessary propane tank kit.
I would have never thought to buy 30 pound propane tanks of off Amazon, but the savings was about tremendous. These tanks were a better value than other brands and seem to work just fine.
Temperature Gauge with Three Additional Sensors
This has been one of our favorite upgrades for winter camping. Knowing your rigs temperature is a key to keeping your rig on track in the winter cold. This four gauge thermostat will give you piece of mind knowing what the underbelly is compared to the exterior and interior temps. Just make sure your outside sensor stays out of the sun or you won’t get an accurate reading.
Save your propane and use space heaters to stay warm. The one thing you need to think about is blowing a fuse. In order to circumnavigate this problem use an extension cord from the main electrical box and fish it through the slide. This will ensure you are pulling power from the correct circuit while keeping your rig warm. The Pelonis space heater has been nice because it has an LED thermostat making it easier to coordinate with the RV furnace. I don’t know why this space heater is more on Amazon than Home Depot, maybe we got our two on sale.
You will want to make the most of your electrical box when staying with an RV resort in the winter. However, the 110 power will most likely be butted up to the edge making it impossible to put in a splitter. This is where the extension splitter comes to the rescue. Then you will be able to hook up all the different cords that will need power like; the diesel engine block heater, hose heat tape, and extension cord going directly into the rig for your space heater.
Roof Vent Covers
If you order two of these, expect a very large Amazon box! Roof top vent covers appear smaller on your rig 🙂 These have been a nice addition to our rig to keep out the elements allowing us to keep our vents open in almost any weather. For winter camping, they are essential to create proper ventilation, especially if you’re funning a propane heater inside your RV.
Light in the Utility Bay
There are two spots that are most likely to freeze when winter camping – your outlet and inlet. One way to help reduce freezing when the water comes into your rig is by installing a light in your utility closet. This light fixture will help you install the light safely, but keep in mind that this metal can still get hot and left unattended could be a fire hazard.
One thing that was not mentioned in the video was that fact that we don’t use a water filter when winter camping. The filter seems to freeze too easily and stops the water flow.
As we mentioned in the video, insulating a hose with heat tape is a pain and takes too much time when just staying one or two nights at an RV park while winter camping. Or temperatures are on the cusp of not needing to bring your hose inside and store in the bathroom shower or tub. For these situations, a Camco heated hose is ideal.
A more detailed review of this hose will be coming soon as I commonly question the reliability of any Camco product.
Keeping Water/Snow Outside
- Sealant: This was our least favorite job on the rig but arguably one of the most important.
- Check for Leaks: The front end of our rig (nose) as been coming apart since day one. This hasn’t slowed us down on our tour through the US or down to Mexico because it has been warm with little rain. However, it was imperative that we fix the issue before we headed into new moisture extremes. Watertight
If you’re planning winter camping or being in cold temperatures for a long-time or want the convenience of running water and a warm rig on a winter vacation, an RV skirt is essential. As we mentioned in the video, we were a bit skeptical on how effective an RV skirt would be really be and how long it would take to setup and we were surprised on both accounts.
The EZ Snap RV Shirt kept our Travel Trailer roughly 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature most of the time and it only took 11 min to snap and setup. The installation process was simple. It took Trish and I about 1 day to setup (2 half days).
Click the image below to check out EZ Snap RV Skirting for your rig.
We’ve had issues with our slide since the very beginning. We finally properly repaired our slide by using non-sag Dicor to close the gap on our slide and then added self-leveling Dicor on top for extra protection. If that wasn’t enough, we added 4″ Eternabond tape to cover the seem completely. Now that the slide was fixed, it was time to keep the moisture off completely with a Carefree of Colorado Slide Topper. Not only is the snow not on our slide, but no leafs or debris. Click the image below to check out a slide topper for your rig.
Do you even more suggestions for Winter Camping? Add them to the comments below and if they are super good…we’ll update the blog. This blog will be updated with new ideas all the time, so check beck next winter for even more ideas to help you stay warm in your RV!
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Mike Pecue says
Another truck to keep water lines from freezing is to drip your faucets.. this will allow a constant movement of water which prevents freezing… old homes in VT have to do this all the time!
Mari Garland says
Dripping water works for a short term solution, but it is a waste of water. When the temps are in the single digits at night and below freezing for multiple days even the Colorado River will freeze (and its definitely running water). Here in the west, water is a critical and limited resource. This practice can also lead to a full wastewater tank requiring more frequent dumping. It is a really bad idea to keep your grey water valve open in freezing winter temps because the water freezes in the hose in layers and eventually blocks the hose. One winter, a guest at our RV Park ended up with a frozen blocked wastewater hose 3 times because he didn’t want the inconvenience of keeping the valve closed during the winter and dumping his tanks once a week.
Molly Williams says
I am a director at a campground in WV. We are trying to convert our 3 season campground into a 4 season campground. I see that you have a RV park. How do you keep your water lines and such from freezing? Any information on the topic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Rene Gerard Jolicoeur says
Yes first year camping tried the drip,got up in the morning to find out the drain line had freeze and back up the sink and flooded the bathroom.I would not recommend the drip.Just saying..
Great video & blog page! Very helpful as I am “winter camping” right in central WA State. My temperatures are not as low as you’re experiencing but the tips on vent covers, skirting, dehumidifier & bigger propane tanks were very helpful. Thanks for all you do!!
You should look at getting the “extend a stay” hookup and the dual valve. We keep 2 40# tanks on our motorhome when we park and have 2 more in reserve. You can usually get them filled at the local tractor supply about as cheap as anywhere.
We got a dehumidifier that has an out hose and placed it in the shower where it can drain as it remove moisture. Every so often I will do an air exchange by opening the bathroom vent and starting the fan with a window at the opposite end also open,
Also keep a bunch of microfiber towels around and wipe, wipe, wipe everything. You can hang them outside to dry when ever its above freezing or take them to the laundromat with the laundry.
Thanks, Dave for your comment. Also looking to winter camp in WA- any advice?
I was wondering how did the truck and trailer do in the snow?do you carry chains for them both? Going over passes? Living in Washington state I would like to do more winter camping but my wife and I our a little scared of the snow, 99 f350 with 29 foot travel trailer. Love you YouTube channel and what a great family you have.. thanks Brian..
Hayden Montgomery says
We enjoy watching your family and love watching your travels in the RV.
The winter camping segment is interesting and the idea regarding getting additional power from the campground power outlet could apply in hot climates as well. Most campground outlets have three 120 volt receptacles. Usually a 50 amp, 30 amp and a 20 or 15 amp. Using a 15 amp three outlet extension cord to power multiple heaters simultaneously would most likely trip that circuit breaker. Instead, use a three outlet 30 amp extension cord, which is available on Amazon. If your main trailer hookup is already using the only 30 amp receptacle, just use a 50 to 30 amp pigtail adapter for this connection. With this strategy, you can use all three outlets and have more power.
Mari Garland says
Using a outlet splitter to plug in more than two items to the electrical pedestal in freezing temps can cause the breakers to trip which means everything you wanted plugged in now doesn’t have power. A better solution can be to plug your vehicle into the outside receptacle on your RV. Also, some pedestals have 20/30/50 amp hookups and you can use plug converters (available at most RV supply stores) to plug in to the outlet you are not using for your main RV power. Be careful though, an RV site electrical pedestal is not an infinite supply of electricity. If you are drawing more than the pedestal, the breakers, your electrical cord and/or your RV are designed to support, you will pop the breakers (best case), damage one of the items in flow of the electricity or start a fire (worst case, sometimes breakers fail).
Also, block heaters for some vehicles don’t have temperature gauges and can draw a surprising amount of electricity – continuously. Even a diesel truck in single digit temps can be plugged in 30 – 60 minutes before you want to drive it and save a lot of electricity. We had one guest at our RV Park who was surprised by his over $200 electric bill. As we helped him diagnose where the large draw was coming from, the culprit was the block heater on his vehicle. He changed his habit from keeping it plugged in all the time to plugging it in before use and cut over $50 off his electric bill.
Rogerio Queiroz says
Hi guys ! first things first I love your videos and had watched every single on of them.
I just bought a grand design Imagine 2400 bh and have been playing some spring camping, Since I live in Toronto that can mean bellow frizzing temperatures.
My question to you is. Do you winterize your rig every time you move from one campsite to another ? Thanks and please continue to inspire us !
Hey guys, what about the fresh water and low point hot and cold drain lines? Mine extend 6-12 inches below the RV’s enclosed underbelly. I’m so worried about a pipe freezing and splitting that I’ve never even considered camping in temps much below 32F. Also, since to save propane (all for that!) you are using electric space heaters to heat the interior instead of using the furnace, how are you keeping the underbelly warm? Just manually monitoring the temperature and running the furnace to warm it up, or what? Also, do you have tank heaters for your fresh, grey and black tanks, or are they staying warm just by being heated by the furnace in the underbelly? (I don’t have tank heaters on my unit). I’d really like to give the cold weather camping a try, but I’ve just got these nightmarish images of bursted water lines under the floors, in the walls, etc. thanks for sharing your experiential knowledge!!!
paul sakakeeny says
I live in NH where fall camping in the mountains drops to the teens and winter is well below zero. Cut the low points back as far as you can. 6 – 12″ can ( these are way to long and can catch on road debris) Some things u should consider for winter camping. RV’s can’t tolerate road salt and deicing chemicals so unless u can wash the underside your inviting serious problems. also, verify your trailer tire pressure. Camp, shielded from the wind. Skirting should do the job. Some use heat tape inside the skirt. Around here we skirt with Styrofoam. Seal any open holes – mice love RV’s especially when its cold. Don’t use e-heaters to save propane. Use it as a supplement and only if u need it. Finally, If the bottom of ur rig is open to the elements I wouldn’t recommend winter camping.
More tips >
1. Bury the water & sewer hoses in the snow. Snow is an insulator.
2. Unless your truck is diesel u don’t need a bock heater- even at 40 below.
3. The ice and sweat u see on your windows is also collecting in your walls and A/C duct work always keep a vent open and air the camper out when possible. We do it daily with the furnace on (dries out quicker).
4. Many place Styrofoam in the vents and cover large windows.
5. If you have an external RV battery make sure it stays charged – discharged, it will freeze. Insulate the battery box. The rv converter will “stir” a fully charged battery randomly to keep it healthy, warming is a side effect.
6. When ur propane tanks are empty be sure the valve is closed and capped. Any moisture entering the tank will cause the regulator freeze after its filled.
7. Heat your hot water with electric off/gas on don’t turn it off. (Heats the camper too)
Lastly, like Marc said keep extra propane tanks. My camper is stationary in the fall so I use 100lb bottle and 2 30lb tanks for backup and unless u have a three or four season unit never set ur heat below 50. good luck
Stephen Gaebel says
i agree with you i would want to put a small furnace under the the whole camper and with the skirt create a pocket of hot air to keep pipes and floor warm. these guys are from the hamptons.
Chris Denison says
Love you Chanel very relaxed and informative and watched with much interest your blog on Wintercamping !! ????????
We have recently had 8 days in Winterberg Germany traveling over from Haren in the Netherlands. We are a family of 4 with 2 boys 12 & 9 and they now love skiing.
Temps there were -16 C most of the time so many issues with freezing. Internal water system worked well, the external piping froze solid. It is located under our van Knaus Sport 500 FDK perfect for family of 4.
Do you have any recommendations for heating our external plastic piping?
Maybe some sort of electrical heating tape enclosed like you had your fresh water hose? Unfortunately they did not have water hookup so pitchers of water too and from water supply.
We agree it’s a great way to experience snow skiing and we have booked the same week nxt year.
Originally from Sydney Australia -16 C was a bit of a shock but we survived! ????????????????
Chris & Janette Denison
Jack 12 & Oliver 9 + Milo our Jack Russell.
Was directed here from the winter camping video. Sad to see some questions here didn’t get replies. If I wasn’t laid up with a ruptured disc, I wouldn’t have all this extra time to watch your videos, etc. I do enjoy them and you guys are really informative and fun. However, when you talk about something in one video and say you’re gonna talk about this in another video, please say the title of that exact video. Thanks for all you do & happy travels.
David Anderson says
Love your youtube videos!
I am a campground host (summer 2019) at Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway, Utah. I find myself binge watching your channel in the morning with coffee. Really loved your season in Mexico, as maybe we’ll spend the 2020/21 season there.
I am planning to stay at the park as a host this winter plus I am checking another item off my bucket list… driving snowcat for Park City Ski Resort this season, therefore I found your winterizing segment very useful and will follow most of your tips with the exception of the skirting (too expensive) ($110).
We just sold our home in Mesa, AZ so full timing is a distinct possibility.
All the best!
Hi David, my family and I will be staying in Park City this winter as well! I don’t want to use the vinyl skirting that KYD recommends in this video, so I’m wondering if you have seen, use, or recommend another solution? I appreciate any ideas you might have.
Charles M says
I was enjoying your youtube video with the F450 Ford and huge 5th wheel camper. If your going to change to that little toy and a crappy jeep … I will not be watching your site. I will watch to see if you go back, otherwise, you lost one viewer. I think you will lose more, because the people that liked what you had are not likely to like what you are going to … totally two different schools of thought.
Hi! I love your site and can’t wait to get on the road with my family. All these tips are fantastic except you forgot to tell us where did you get those adorable boots Tricia (2:17) ? Are they as warm as they are fantastic to look at?
Oh, those are Sorels. I think they are called the Tofino, but the don’t make that print anymore. This is the closest version https://amzn.to/3arpQFh
I would like to echo Rogerio Queiroz’s question. What measures do you take while traveling? Possibly worth another video on winter camping?
Andreas Tsircou says
I’m fairly new to the KYD universe, and am catching up on old videos. This one caught my eye, as I am planning on taking my boys on ski weekends. All the info is great for while we are at camp, but I would like more info on your actual travels to camp in snowy conditions. I have been wondering do people put snow tires on their rigs or just chain up when needed. I was thinking the extra bite of the snow tires would be a great benefit. On my normal travels to the ski hills I have seen plenty of people just start sliding while in backups or Semi’s sliding on the snow pack.
megan mizell says
Hello, I’m an only parent here with a 5 year old boy. We actually live in our travel trailer and are fairly new to this life style. I love your video this is the first one I watched and it was very informative. I do have a question about propane tanks though. At what temp should I worry about them freezing and what is an inexpensive way to prevent this from happening?
I may have missed it, but I was curious about the heated hose review?
Tyler Coomes says
When I got this I didn’t know what to expect since I never had a heated hose before. This Hose is beefy ! The ends are big and solid. It is built so it can go on different types of connection, more than just a standard hose. One note you can not connect directly to a hose connection without using an included adaptor. They include a butt connector for using multiple hoses however the electrical does not allow for chaining them together like Christmas lights (sure it is a safety issue).
hi, question: should water line anti-freeze be flushed every year?