by Blake Herzog
Are you looking for a post-holiday escape to nature for some rejuvenation?
If you’re thinking along those lines right now, you’ve likely got a little bit of polar bear in you. Camping in a tent might still seem a little extreme, but a weekend camping trip in an RV could be right up your alley.
It’s a great way to see some destinations that might be a little crowded for your taste in the summer and a chance to see the astonishing beauty of winter up close. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to be parked in the middle of freshly fallen snow, you’ll see a landscape brimming with surprising life and energy. q
And if this is the first time you’ve taken your RV or trailer out in the winter you may need to do a little work to get it ready, depending on the kind of weather you’re expecting. But once it’s done you should be ready to go for many a winter’s ride.
Insulation — Many modern RVs are well-insulated enough for a weekend trip in the Arizona mountains, but you’ll want to make sure yours is as sealed as it can be against the cold. Seal all windows and doors, install window coverings like foil if you haven’t already and use heavy drapes to block drafts from around windows. You can install extra installation on the floor and the skirting for extra protection
Plumbing protection — If freezing pipes are a possibility where you’re going, wrap heat tape around your freshwater and sewer hoses and on connections most at risk of freeze-ups; add foam insulation to be extra safe. Keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open so your trailer’s heat can keep the pipes warm. Use your internal freshwater tank as your primary source of water.
Check the engine — Inspect the battery before you leave on your trip for any signs of damage and ensure it is fully charged. Use the proper amount of antifreeze (usually 50%).
Prepare the furnace — Remove dirt and debris and check for any obstructions that could restrict air flow. Check to make sure the furnace return isn’t blocked. Space and catalytic heaters can be a great help in heating your interior, but use them with the proper precautions.
Install vent covers — These allow you to keep your air vents open in any weather while keeping snow or rain from getting inside. Keeping them open reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re using a portable heater and releases humidity to keep it dry, as well.