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Tips for Tenants: Winter RV Camping Packing List

By Go RVing

Toy Storage Nation often provides information for operators to share with their clients to reinforce their bond with tenants. This installment focuses on winter camping and what RVers need to pack for a comfortable excursion.

More people than ever before are using their RVs to camp year-round, even as the temperatures plummet across the northern part of the country. There are so many ways in which winter camping in an RV can be a unique and enjoyable experience, but it’s crucial to be well-prepared, especially if the temperatures will drop below freezing or if snow may fall.

The good news is that many campgrounds are embracing this trend and staying open through the winter months. Make sure to do your research in advance and understand exactly what services and amenities are offered wherever you are visiting. Some campgrounds may turn off their water and sewer service but keep heated bath houses open for their guests. Others may have heated and insulated water spigots at individual sites. It’s worth making a phone call or sending an email to know exactly what will be available for you once you park your rig at the site.

Also take time to think through the logistics of how you will use your RV if it remains winterized through your winter camping trip. In a winterized RV, you can still use all your electric or gas-powered amenities, but anything requiring water will be off-limits. Have a plan for using the bathroom, bathing, washing dishes, and accessing drinking water.

You can use Go RVing’s complete RV packing list to prepare for your camping trips year-round, but here are some additional items that you won’t want to forget if you are embracing RVing in the winter season. 

Essential Items for Winter Camping

  • RV Antifreeze: If you are camping when temperatures are below freezing, your RV’s plumbing system should be free of water and contain RV antifreeze to keep your pipes from getting damaged.
  • Heated Water Hose: If camping in colder temperatures (but not freezing ones) a heated water hose will ensure a steady supply of water from the spigot to your RV.
  • RV Skirt: this insulates the underside of your RV and prevents cold air from flowing underneath.
  • Extra Propane Tanks: You will use far more propane when camping in the winter. Make sure you are prepared.
  • Insulated Window Covers: These help to keep the heat in and the cold out.
  • Thermal Curtains: These are very helpful in adding extra insulation to windows.
  • RV-Friendly Space Heater: Many campers use these to help warm up smaller areas of the RV.

Safety and Emergency Items

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector: Make sure your detector is working to monitor gas levels, especially when using propane heaters.
  • Fire Extinguisher: Always have one or more on hand in case of a fire emergency.
  • First Aid Kit: Stocked with supplies for minor injuries and illnesses.
  • Emergency Blankets: These are lightweight and effective at retaining body heat. You can find affordable ones in emergency kit bundles.
  • Flashlights and Batteries: For power outages or nighttime emergencies.
  • Weather Radio: To stay informed about severe weather alerts.
  • Battery Jump Starter: Batteries are more prone to dying in cold weather. Make sure you have this for emergency jumps in the winter months.
  • Portable Dehumidifier: To prevent moisture buildup inside the RV.
  • Backup Generator: In case of power loss.

(Photo courtesy of Erin Thiem)

Clothing

  • Thermal Underwear: For layering and warmth.
  • Waterproof Boots and Jackets: Essential for staying dry.
  • Gloves, Hats, and Scarves: To protect extremities from the cold.
  • Extra Socks and Sweaters: To stay warm and dry.

Kitchen Essentials

  • Insulated Thermos: You’ll probably enjoy many more hot beverages when camping in the winter months. Keep them warm in an insulated mug.
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: Most folks trade grilling for cooking indoors when winter camping. Using a slow cooker or instant pot along with your RV oven and microwave will keep the hearty meals flowing. 
  • Non-Perishable Food Items: Stock extra boxed and canned goods before traveling in case of being snowed in.

Outdoor Gear

  • Snow Shovel: Be prepared to clear snow around your RV, even if it’s not in the forecast!
  • Ice Scraper and Brush: For clearing ice and snow from windows and solar panels.
  • Outdoor Mat: To keep the inside of the RV clean from snow and mud.

Remember the Fun!

Don’t forget to pack all the fun, recreational gear for enjoying the great outdoors…and the cozy warmth of the RV.

  • Snowshoes
  • Cross-Country Skis
  • Sleds
  • Snow Tubes
  • Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows
  • Board Games
  • Puzzles
  • Extra Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Camera
  • Binoculars

Clothing & Toiletries

  • Thermal Underwear: For layering and warmth.
  • Waterproof Boots and Jackets: Essential for staying dry.
  • Gloves, Hats, and Scarves: To protect extremities from the cold.
  • Extra Socks and Sweaters: To stay warm and dry.
  • Sunscreen and Lip Balm: Remember the winter sun and wind can be harsh.

Remember, the key to a successful winter RV trip is preparation. Take the extra time to ensure your RV is well-maintained and ready for the colder conditions, and always check weather forecasts before heading out. Stay safe and have fun!

Go RVing‘s mission is to inspire potential RVers, spark curiosity, and raise awareness about the benefits and accessibility of RVing through rich, authentic, and diverse storytelling.

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