Are regular campers suitable for cold weather?



RV owners buy cheap campers to live in cold climates, thinking that by skirting the RV and running electric space heaters, they will be perfectly fine.  The old saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so even though any kind of camper could survive cold weather, it’s best to prepare in advance.

RVing in freezing weather can lead to the following problems that can be prevented by buying a cold-weather-ready RV:

A frozen pipe or water line:

Water lines and pipes are exposed to the elements in a lot of campers that aren’t made for cold weather.  It’s just a matter of time before these stop working or worse, burst and leak. This can cause a mess, water damage to your RV, and/or expensive repairs.

Heat loss through the walls, ceiling, and floor:

There is usually little insulation in the walls, ceilings, and floors of campers designed to be used in warm weather.  You may find it inconvenient to use a skirting for your RV if you move around a lot since it prevents heat loss through the floor. If you live in an area where snow is always on the ground, snow can insulate your roof. However, if your RV walls aren’t well insulated, you will lose heat through them.  As a result, two problems may arise.

Mildew, condensation, and mold:

In an RV, condensation occurs when warm, moist air contacts cold surfaces…like poorly insulated walls, causing warm, moist air to condense.  RVers are constantly battling mold and mildew on damp surfaces like under their mattresses and in the back of their closets.  While removing moisture from the air may help, cold walls don’t disappear with a dehumidifier.  Moreover, running a dehumidifier continuously may make you feel cooler, so you may have to set the temperature higher.

Heating cost:

It costs hundreds of dollars per month to keep a large RV comfortable.  A RV’s heating system will be working overtime to maintain heat loss through the wall.

More to explorer

Which RVs should be winter-ready?

RVs can withstand freezing temperatures with the following features.  If you plan to camp in cold weather, look for these RV features. 

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