Winter RV Dwelling: 7 Robust Classes We Discovered

Winter RV Dwelling: 7 Robust Classes We Discovered

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There’s a lot to be stated for being spontaneous if you are full-time RVing. However winter RV residing is certainly going to prove finest with some planning and preparation.

We didn’t plan very far upfront as we traveled the continent in our journey trailer for 17 months.

After all, we went from the preliminary concept of “attainable” full-time RV residing to really transferring into the RV in 100 days. So what do you count on?

As we have now aged, plainly we have now additionally grown extra spontaneous. We make choices shortly and act even faster.

This new capability has put us in some unbelievable conditions and allowed some superb issues to happen in our lives. It has additionally put us into some hectic conditions within the chilly climate that might have been prevented with a bit planning and preparation.

On our subsequent massive RV journey, we would select to comply with an RV route that retains us in fixed 70 diploma climate. However that’s not the way it went for our maiden voyage, and now you may reap the advantages of the teachings we realized the onerous manner as we skilled winter RV residing for the primary time.

7 Exhausting Classes We Discovered About Winter RV Dwelling

Let me begin out by saying that I don’t have any true regrets about our full-time RV travels (apart from not being outfitted to boondock extensively). All in all, our travels went about as easily as you may hope for and our household made recollections that may final us a number of lifetimes.

Having stated that, it’s not very onerous to look again and discover classes that we did certainly study the onerous manner. A few of these onerous classes may have been prevented with a bit extra time and a spotlight given to planning and execution. Little question about it.

1. A Heated RV Water Hose Is Value Its Weight In Gold

After we rolled out of the reasonable local weather of Sedona, Arizona in early December of 2017 and headed north towards Utah, we didn’t know what we have been getting ourselves into.

Our campsite in Utah. It was very very chilly! (Don’t let that blue sky idiot you.)

Our cease in Williams, Arizona (west of Flagstaff) for just a few days undoubtedly bought a bit chillier. We really had the right temps to do some exploring across the Grand Canyon and totally loved it.

However then, issues bought actual. Actual chilly, that’s.

After we rolled into Utah in that second week of December and put down roots for every week or so in Kanarraville (simply south of Cedar Metropolis) and discover close by nationwide parks, the acute temps arrived simply behind us. We didn’t even know what hit us.

We awakened that first morning with no water popping out of our taps, introducing us for the primary time to true chilly climate RVing. After two or three nights of disconnecting and draining the RV water hose at night time and reconnecting within the morning, I made a decision it was time to take a look at options.

After all, I attempted the most cost effective route first

Once I headed into Cedar Metropolis to try to observe down a heating possibility for our water hose, I wasn’t even positive what I used to be on the lookout for but. I hadn’t even explored on Amazon as a result of I wished the answer NOW.

So after a few unsuccessful stops at native shops, I discovered a farm and gear provide retailer that carried a few choices that I assumed may work: a heating plate usually put beneath pet beds (about $35), and an precise heated water hose (over $100). You’ll be able to guess which one I selected. (Did I point out that I study issues the onerous manner typically?)

It solely took one night time, and one other frozen hose, to grasp that the heating plate possibility was not going to chop it within the low-teen temps we have been experiencing.

Again to the shop I went to change that first buy for what ought to have been my first buy: a heated RV water hose like this.

That product labored nice…nevertheless it wasn’t the tip of our struggle with frozen hoses that winter. You’ll be able to see a bit extra of that story and see some further RV equipment I like to recommend within the “water” part of this publish.

(Trace: If you plug in your heated RV water hose, ensure that the outlet has energy to it!)

In case you would like a DIY possibility on your heated hose, which I ended up selecting in the long run and was very proud of, you may try this YouTube tutorial.

2. Propane Tanks Will Solely Run Out Within the Center of the Night time

I suppose it’s human nature to push issues so far as they’ll go. And that features the bounds of your propane tanks.

Once I look again on it, it was type of like enjoying a recreation of “hen” with these tanks…betting that the morning would arrive earlier than they might empty themselves.

And greater than as soon as, I paid the worth for enjoying that ill-advised recreation. Effectively, I ought to say WE paid the worth, as a result of all of us had some very chilly mornings as a consequence of my lack of planning. (Sorry household!)

On our journey trailer, we had two 20-lb (5 gallon) tanks. Appeared like a lot to get us by means of absolutely anything. A minimum of, it was for the summer time and fall months.

But it surely didn’t take lengthy for me to get a really feel for simply how a lot sooner these tanks can run dry when the temps drop close to zero. Or beneath zero as we skilled at our subsequent long-term cease in Larkspur, Colorado.

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Yup, simply as the acute temps (record-setting, if I bear in mind appropriately) dropped in on us throughout our keep in Utah, it didn’t take lengthy for them to seek out us in Colorado as effectively in mid-December. (Yeah, duh.)

Christmas with household is vital…and difficult

We made the trek north in order that we may spend the vacations with my brother and his prolonged household within the Denver space. The challenges we confronted have been all associated to climate, not household.

We had lived within the space for 3 years earlier than our transfer to Texas, so we have been very aware of the local weather. There was little doubt it may get bitterly chilly, however we additionally knew it might be remarkably delicate as effectively within the winter months. We simply wanted a bit little bit of luck on our facet to maintain issues in that delicate class.

However luck had left the constructing.

As a substitute, we shortly discovered ourselves plunged into the numbing actuality of sub-zero wind chills. Sure, I imagine Colorado additionally set some report lows throughout our two-week keep there. (Yay for information.)

The underside line is that my estimates for our propane utilization simply couldn’t sustain with the truth of the circumstances. We have been emptying each tanks each different day or so, and I used to be very grateful our RV park had an on-site propane station. In any other case, we’d have been in a world of harm!

So please, in case you are heading into some excessive circumstances, spend an additional couple of dollars and get an additional propane tank to maintain together with your rig so that you simply don’t have any depressing and hectic mornings like we did.

3. An RV Electrical Heater Will Hold the Complete Crew Snug

Undoubtedly, propane is your #1 buddy on the subject of staying heat and comfortable in your RV throughout the winter. In case you don’t have it, you’ll shortly be a popsicle.

However having a backup/supplemental warmth supply additionally makes a whole lot of sense.

Throughout our travels, we had a small RV electrical heater like this one so as to add an additional layer of consolation. And it got here in very useful on a couple of event, that’s for positive.

When you’ve got a bigger RV, I’d undoubtedly suggest having a minimum of two RV electrical heaters this measurement, or a bigger one with extra output. This sort is certainly for a small area and simply gained’t minimize it in a Class A.

Your toes will thanks if you happen to comply with this recommendation from the highway.

4. Time Passes Slower When You RV Within the Chilly (Plan Accordingly)

I really like my household. I actually do. We’ve been by means of loads of stuff collectively and have come out the opposite facet nonetheless tight.

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However if you find yourself “locked” in a small RV with any group of individuals with out a lot hope of escape, let’s simply say that issues can get edgy. And infrequently ugly.

The fact is that you should make some plans to get your self and your loved ones out of the RV for an honest period of time every day or tensions will mount and issues will blow. It’s just like the human model of the Instantaneous Pot, however the product shouldn’t be practically as pleasant. 🙂

With the Instantaneous Pot, the constructing stress produces some very tasty meals that may really be good on your chilly climate RVing expertise.

However when the RV turns into your individual model of a pressurized Instantaneous Pot, nothing good can actually come out of it. So do your self a favor and make some plans outdoors of the RV to maintain everybody sane and happy throughout your RV travels.

(Buying the Instantaneous Pot may have been a stand-alone lesson as effectively, as a result of it was nice to have for making soup and different dishes to heat the bones. Extremely really helpful!)

5. A 4 Seasons RV Nonetheless Has Its Limits (sorry water pump)

Did you assume I used to be achieved with sharing our winter RV residing saga? By no means worry…I’ve extra!

Our campground in Colorado. Snow – enjoyable to play in, not a lot to RV in.

Colorado simply saved on coming at us with its must show simply how wintry and bitterly chilly it may really be. Clearly, we had severely underestimated its capability to do winter, regardless of having lived there!

So right here’s the way it went down: For 5 days round Christmas, we really determined to get an Airbnb in Denver in order that we may have a extra cheap drive to go to household throughout that interval (it was near an hour from our RV park to their place).

We had made these plans earlier than the acute temps hit, however we really prolonged our keep a bit longer to try to enable for the coldest circumstances to cross.

I did some issues proper…

Whereas we have been away from the RV, I assumed I used to be taking the required steps by protecting the thermostat set at 55 levels to maintain every part from freezing and in addition ensuring the heated water hose was disconnected and saved inside and the water pump was turned off.

I uncared for to think about the situation of our water pump within the journey trailer: in an enclosed area simply contained in the wall of the trailer, the place it was extra uncovered to the chilly temps and in addition minimize off from the inside warmth.

(I did make a visit again right down to the RV throughout our time away in order that I may refill the propane and ensure all was effectively. Such a genius.)

However I didn’t do all of the issues proper

What I ought to have achieved (gotta love hindsight) is opened up the water pump enclosure in order that warmth may flow into into that area as effectively, tried to shut up gaps across the adjoining electrical twine to chop down on chilly air intrusion, and in addition most likely positioned a small warming supply (warmth cable or a store mild) in that area with the water pump.

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However none of that occurred.

After we lastly returned to the RV, we walked inside to seek out…that every part was good. No disasters, no messes, no points. Yay! Time to heat it up and switch the water again on.

And that’s when it occurred: a puddle of water began rising from beneath our grasp mattress.

Instantaneous chaos and pandemonium ensued. There was yelling. Individuals bought upset. It wasn’t our most interesting second.

As you may guess, that water pump had frozen and cracked. Even town water passes by means of the water pump, so the water simply spilled forth when it was turned again on. Since we bought the water mopped up instantly, there was no harm to the journey trailer in any respect from the incident.

Fortunately, I solely needed to drive about an hour away and spend $80 or so to get a substitute water pump and set up it myself. This might have ended a lot worse, however I hope that you’ll be able to study a lesson or three from our errors on this state of affairs and keep away from the stress and expense.

6. A Warmth Cable Has Many Sensible Makes use of You Ought to Discover

As I discussed above, the RV park personnel in Larkspur, Colorado have been very useful and gave us some worthwhile tips on chilly climate RVing. In the event that they hadn’t taken the time to enlighten us a bit after we arrived, our keep may have been far much less pleasant and much costlier than it was.

He did inform us about protecting our grey tank closed and solely draining when vital, and in addition about protecting the RV hose flat to keep away from dips that may trigger ice dams within the hose and harm it.

However by far probably the most worthwhile tip he gave us was this: Buy a warmth cable and wrap it across the fridge condenser, situated in an exterior panel of the journey trailer, to maintain it from freezing and blowing.

As you may know, the fridge might be the one most costly merchandise in your RV (a minimum of for journey trailers). It ought to be protected in any respect prices.

If I hadn’t gotten that tip and our condenser had been broken, we may have probably been out $2,000+ for a brand new fridge. Yeah, ouch!

So thanks once more, RV park man, for sharing your knowledge and spreading the RV love with the group. I now cross it alongside in your honor.

Don’t neglect about that DIY heated RV water hose

And do you do not forget that DIY heated water hose I discussed earlier? Yup, that additionally requires using this similar sort of warmth cable.

So in all, there are a minimum of three very sensible makes use of for that sort of warmth cable throughout winter RV residing:

  • Wrapping and defending your fridge condenser (if situated on the outside)
  • Making a DIY RV water hose for FAR cheaper than buying one
  • Putting round your RV water pump to guard from excessive temps (particularly whereas away from the RV)

Warmth cable: the winter RVer’s new finest buddy.

7. Winter RV Dwelling Requires Some Planning Forward

Sure, this one clearly goes with out saying once more. However typically one of the best knowledge, even when it appears apparent, bears repeating:

Planning forward on your winter RV residing is an absolute should that may prevent heartache, headache and {dollars} in the long term!

You recognize that I’m talking from expertise right here, as I’ve clearly specified by entrance of you. Please study from my errors.

Popping out of that have, listed below are my finest suggestions (a recap of every part I’ve talked about) in case you are heading into comparable territory:

  • Hold a spare propane tank (crammed) together with your rig
  • Don’t depart your gray tank open, as you may usually do, or you’ll remorse it. Simply drain recurrently.
  • Take steps to maintain your sewer hose from “ice damming” (place hose inside pipe that may keep away from dips within the hose)
  • Buy a number of rolls of warmth cable to maintain useful for numerous makes use of (defend fridge condenser and water pump, create DIY heated hose, and so on.)
  • In case you don’t need to DIY it, buy a heated RV water hose to save lots of your sanity (and maintain you from freezing your tush off)
  • Get your self an Instantaneous Pot to whip up some unbelievable dishes and heat your bones
  • Hold a minimum of one small electrical RV heater obtainable for these coldest days

Do You Have Any Winter RV Dwelling Tricks to Share With Us?

Hey, we actually don’t know all of it. A lot of you may have much more RVing expertise than we do. We’d love to listen to from you about classes that you’ve realized, and ideas that you’ve used, to maintain your self secure and heat throughout winter RV residing.

Simply drop your recommendations within the feedback beneath, or ask any questions you might have. We’d significantly admire each!


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