Winter camping in a travel trailer involves winterizing the vehicle so that the pipes and water supply do not freeze and insulating the trailer to stay warmer. Materials are available that help keep the trailer functional during cold or subfreezing temperatures so that you can continue to enjoy camping or vacations throughout the season.
Clean the trailer thoroughly, especially in the cooking area. Make sure that no food crumbs are in the cabinets or on counters since rodents find entries into trailers to eat since food resources are scarce outdoors in the winter.
Wrap the water pipes with heat tape that will keep the pipes from freezing in subfreezing weather. Besides the heat tape, you can also find water tank heaters that look like small heating pads you can lay on top of your fresh water tank to keep it from freezing.
Put nontoxic antifreeze in the black or grey holding tanks to keep the waste from freezing. When staying in an RV park, check with the office to see what kinds of antifreeze they allow. Some jurisdictions regulate the kinds of antifreeze that people can use since toxic chemicals can be a source of water pollution.
Cover the windows with plastic or bubble wrap. You can use masking tape to hold the tape to the windows. A surprising amount of energy transfers through windows. Bubble wrap is also an effective way to insulate the doors and windows of travel trailers, especially if you use the wrap that has one-inch bubbles. Cut the bubble wrap to fit the window and doors and dampen the surfaces with a spray bottle of water or use a wet cloth. Place the bubble wrap, bubble-side facing the glass, against the window or door, using your hands to stick the wrap to the surface.
Use foam board or heavy fabric to enclose the base of the travel trailer when temperatures are well below freezing or if you are going to spend days at a time using your travel trailer in the winter. Cut the foam or fabric to fit the distance from the ground and the base of the trailer. You can attach the foam or fabric to the trailer using wide masking tape. If the weather is windy, anchor the bottom of the protective cover using bricks or other heavy, dense objects. You can also use commercially available skirting for your camper.
Run your vehicle's engine at least once daily to keep the auxiliary batteries for the travel trailer and the towing vehicle fresh. Cold weather depletes batteries.
Items you will need
- Pipe heat tape
- Water tank heater
- Skirting or foam core board
- Plastic or bubble wrap
- Winter image by melanie from Fotolia.com