two people keeping warm near a bonfire

How to Keep a Camper Warm in The Winter

The summer holidays might be behind you, but that shouldn’t mean you have to stop spending time in your RV.

Winter travel is becoming all the more popular, and when you think about the wintry magic of the snow-covered fields that await you, it’s really no surprise. 

From skiing to snowball fights, there are plenty of winter activities to keep you entertained that you can only experience at this time of year.

But in the colder months come colder nights, and even the best RV campers available on the market are not going to be as well insulated as your bricks-and-mortar home. 

All is not lost! Here are some of the best ways to keep your camper cozy and warm all winter long so you won’t be kept awake by your own chattering teeth at night. 

Repairs

Covering over existing issues with insulation might hide the problem from view, but it certainly won’t fix anything. In fact, it will only make things worse and it will ultimately make your RV much harder to heat! 

From holes or cracks in the walls to water damage, there are multiple ways in which your RV may need to be repaired in order to be ready for the winter months.

Keeping up on your RV maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs down the road, but can also help you keep the RV air-tight, keeping the cold winter air out and your toasty warm air inside!

Insulation

Due to their mobile nature, RVs and camper vans are designed to be extra lightweight and therefore typically have thinner walls than you’d find in your average house.

Ensuring that the walls of your camper are properly insulated is a great way to combat this issue and will help to retain heat a lot more efficiently. 

The two main types of insulation used for mobile homes are spray foam insulation and foil insulation.

Spray foam insulation is both simple and cheap, and you can use it in any space behind your walls or flooring to fill the hollow gap which will prevent heat from escaping as easily. 

Foil insulation is a bit more expensive, but it’s an excellent material because of its ability to regulate temperature so effectively.

Reflectix is one of the best choices available in terms of insulation, and not only is this a great option for helping to keep your camper warm in the winter, but it works just as well in hot weather when you want your RV to remain cooler. 

If you can’t afford to kit out your camper with new insulation, another way of achieving the same effect is to use plenty of heavy blankets to line the roof and floor of your RV, although this does mean you’ll have to part with them while you sleep.

Pipes and Hoses

Your walls aren’t the only things that benefit from extra insulation, and it’s essential that you keep your pipes and water tanks running for a comfortable stay in your camper.

Plus, being able to take a hot shower or bath when the temperature is cold outside is a quick and easy way to warm yourself up, especially if you like to have your showers scalding hot anyway. 

When it comes to your tank, heated blankets are a great and low-energy consumption way to prevent freezing when the temperature drops.

Heating cables can also be used to reduce blockages and there are even pads available for elbow pipes. 

Don’t Neglect the Underneath of Your Camper

With all the insulation in the world, a bare floor is going to make it so much harder to keep your camper warm in winter.

We all know (or should - how many sciences classes did you skip?) that heat rises, but the underbelly of the camper is actually a huge place for heat to be lost.

When the temperature drops, the underneath of your RV is the most vulnerable place and if left exposed, could be damaging to the overall vehicle.

The best way to prevent this is to - of course - insulate this area, but in its place, you can use a skirt to prevent windy weather from seeping into your camper from where it’s circulating below. 

Windows

Windows are another source of heat loss in your camper, so when it comes to winter travel, you should try to make sure they’re well-insulated to help them retain as much warmth as possible.

Dual pane windows are the best way of achieving this, so if you’re planning on replacing your windows you should definitely consider investing in it. 

An alternative way to draft-proof your windows is to install a window cover, which does the same job of preventing heat from being released through your windows, but admittedly to a lesser extent.

Foil insulation works well although blocks your view during the day, or shrink-wrap insulation is another option. Use foam seal tape for the window’s edges to keep drafts out. 

Ventilation 

Vents are hugely beneficial in the summer when you want to keep air flowing through your camper to keep it cool, but in the winter, uncovered vents can render all the effort you’ve put in thus far pointless.

Covering your vent will drastically limit how much cold air can enter your camper, as well as keeping the harsher elements out.

They’re easy enough to remove when the next summer season rolls around, but you won’t regret having one in the winter months. 

Heaters

It might sound obvious, but heating your camper is going to help you stay warm, and these days it’s easy enough to hook one up to your generator.

Having something like a Lakso space heater, which is compact so as not to take up too much space yet also powerful enough to effectively heat your camper through the winter is hugely beneficial. 

Lakso heaters are a great example as they’re also incredibly safe, which should be a top priority when thinking about using a heater inside your mobile home.

Failsafe features such as automatic shutoff in the event of being tipped over or low-oxygen alerts are also good things to look out for. 

Pack Enough to Keep You Warm

We don’t mean you should take everything except your kitchen sink, but you should definitely try to pack as many warm blankets and clothes as you can fit in your luggage.

There’s nothing cozier than cuddling up in a fluffy blanket on chilly nights, or you’ll find that electric blankets really do a great job of keeping you warm. 

Thermal clothes and multiple layers are also a good idea, and you should always throw in a pair of fluffy socks so your toes can stay toasty.

Speaking of feet, rugs will take the cold out of your bare floor, whilst also providing another layer of insulation to the bottom of your RV. 

Any of these options are easily done without having to make any changes to the vehicle itself and are therefore great options for anyone who doesn’t have the budget to upgrade the insulation.

Final Thoughts

Insulation is obviously the best way to keep your camper warm in the winter, but it’s not an option that’s available to everybody.

However, this doesn’t have to stop you from going away at the most wonderful time of the year!

There are many other ways to help maximize your camper’s ability to retain heat, which we hope this article has pointed out to you. 

Camping during the winter can be a magical experience, but it’s one that will be spoiled if you spend the whole time shivering.

By investing either some time or money into preparing your camper, you can enjoy the comfort of home in your RV all-year round.

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