Cold Weather Camping
We recently explored an epic spot in the United States that you may have heard of before: the Grand Canyon! It was everything we imagined it to be, except we never thought we would be visiting it in the middle of winter. ❄️ We were definitely nervous to camp in colder temperatures than we had previously experienced in our RV. But it turns out that our timing was perfect because with colder temperatures comes fewer people, and we had plenty of space to enjoy the sights.
But more to the point, our biggest challenge amidst all that fun was certainly the thought of… camping out in the cold! 🥶 We are both from the Midwest where we would get quite a bit of snow regularly and cold weather just comes with the territory. Most midwesterners would say we grew up having a thicker skin, but we aren’t so sure how true that is since we spent our first year on the road avoiding cold weather like the plague. 🙈
But after our trip to the Grand Canyon and braving the winter storm that caused subzero temperatures across New Mexico and Texas last month, we are much less afraid of the cold! No matter where you are from, if you are prepared for cold weather camping then it really isn’t all that bad.
If you are debating whether you want to try out some cold weather traveling, don’t let the cold stop you! 🌬️
Here are our cold weather camping tips!
Fill the Fresh Tank
The first thing to think about is water, and it’s the most important one! We keep an eye on this all the time because if the temperature is going to dip below 32 degrees in any significant way, the hose connecting the RV to city water will probably freeze through (no, we don’t have one of those plug-in fancy heat hoses…yet).
There are a few options to keep your water in liquid instead of solid form. Our personal favorite is to fill our fresh water tank all the way, which would make it incredibly hard to freeze. Then, we can just put our hose away or bring it inside so we know it will be ready to go if we need to get extra water and it’s still cold out. And, if you have an East to West RV like us, they all have an enclosed and forced air heated underbelly that keeps our pipes & fresh water tank warm all night long!
Leave a Drip
The other option is to let your sinks drip overnight to help prevent them from freezing (this is even common in some houses.) We may leave a drip instead of filling the fresh tank if the temperature isn’t going to be much below 32, and on the coldest of nights (like the -15 degree windchill we experienced during that winter storm), we will both fill the fresh water tank and leave a drip.
Run the Propane Furnace
We have found that using the propane furnace is super effective for sleeping/nighttime. Because the bedroom and bathroom are smaller spaces than the main living area, the furnace can be super-efficient at heating those areas and keeps us nice and toasty while we sleep. It also helps protect our pipes and tanks from the freezing temps with the enclosed and forced air heated underbelly.
Get a Space Heater
One of our favorite amenities of our Alta RV is the electric fireplace. It is the perfect spot to curl up with a good book, but it also keeps the RV really hot! However, we also have the additional responsibility of a pet, so to help make sure he stays EXTRA warm we use the Dr. Heater infrared heater.
It doesn’t pull much resistance, and we can keep it on all day to keep the temperature pretty solid for Mose (our guinea pig.) We don’t think we would need this if we didn’t have a pet, but if you are someone that is always cold (like Andrea) then you might like to have one, too!
Cuddle up with a Heated Blanket
Something we of course have to have on our list is a heated blanket! We got a totally decent heated blanket with dual controls because Tyler sleeps cold and Andrea sleeps hot, so we each have our own options for optimal sleeping. Ours is the Cuddl Duds brand which we love, but we can’t find it anywhere, so this one looks almost identical! Most nights we only need our heated blanket and the space heater for the guinea pig and we are good to go.
And that is cold weather camping in the Wild Hixsons RV. We definitely aren’t experts on this, but we have managed to not freeze too much. 😂 Happy cold weather camping, everyone!
Tyler & Andrea
We are full-time adventure seekers taking on the world in our East to West RV! We have seen so much personal growth during our first year of nomad life that we wanted a way to capture all of those moments and share them with you! Our goal is to inspire everyone to chase after their dreams and always seek adventure in whatever they do.