Preparing Your RV for the Colder Months Ahead

author image

September 4, 2009

As summer winds down, it’s time to prepare your RV for the cooler weather ahead. Fall and winter are really great times to take in the changing seasons on the open road. But when it’s time to turn in for the evening, the overnight temperatures can plummet, especially at higher altitudes, resulting in increased propane usage, interior condensation, and other plumbing-related issues.  And then there is that freak snow storm you wake up to that while beautiful, can catch you off-guard, leaving you unprepared to deal with freezing temperatures.  If you plan to camp well in to the colder months, here are some ways you can make your cold weather RVing ventures less of a chilling experience.

1. Examine your RV’s plumbing to determine what measures may be needed to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. Some RV’s have plumbing exposed to the outside elements. In this case, you should wrap the exposed plumbing with heat tape and foam pipe insulation.


2. Part of the plumbing system includes the holding tanks. Some RV’s have enclosed holding tanks that are heated by the RV’s furnace through heater ducting to the holding tank areas. As long as the furnace runs occasionally, the tanks won’t freeze unless it’s very cold (below 20F).

For those tanks that are not heated and/or enclosed, tank heating pads can be affixed to the bottoms of the tanks. These are very easy to install, thermostatically-controlled, and come in both 12-volt DC and 110-volt AC.

3. Yet another part of the RV plumbing system is the holding tank piping and dump valves. Some higher end RVs have these pipes and valves enclosed and heated from the factory. For most RVs though, they are exposed to the elements. As with the plumbing pipes, these pipes and valves can be protected by wrapping them with heat tape too.

4. You should keep your gray and black water valves closed until you are ready to dump your holding tanks. If gray water constantly allowed to drain, it will eventually form an ice dam in your sewer hose. As an alternative, you could also try insulating and wrapping heat tape around your sewer hose if you want to leave the gray water valve open. In any case, be absolutely certain that your sewer hose is at a steep angle where liquids drain rapidly and are not allowed to stand. Using a sewer hose support will help with this.

5. Another area subject to freezing is the fresh water supply hose. You can use a heated water hose to prevent freezing. This is a good option if you are in a campground with full hookups. They run on either 12 volts DC or 110 volts AC.


6. To reduce drafts and heating requirements, you can insulate the your RV’s windows against the cold with heavy drapes or curtains. You can create an insulating dead air space inside of the windows by covering them with clear, heavy vinyl. You can even cover the interior of the windows with sheets of Styrofoam or poster board but these are a little hard to see.

7. The roof vents are an area where heat can escape. There are foam type pillows specifically made to be placed in the vent openings. These fit snugly and greatly reduce heat loss in these areas. And they have the added benefit of reducing sunlight during those bright mornings.


8. If you have a motorhome, hang a heavy blanket or privacy curtain between the driver’s compartment and the rest of the motorhome which will block the cold radiated by a motorhome’s windshield. This works very well whether you have a Class A, B, or C type motorhome as they all have large windshields.

9. Any compartments that open into the inside of the RV need to have good weather seals. Adding some inexpensive foam tape or weather stripping to the compartment opening and doors will really help seal those air leaks.

10. Now that the RV is sealed tight from air leaks, we have the problem of condensation to deal with. Moisture from cooking, washing and just our breathing raises the humidity inside the RV. As it gets colder, this moisture condenses out on cooler inside surfaces like window frames and doors. This can lead to mold and mildew, water stains or even worse. The best way to prevent condensation is to avoid introducing excessive moisture into the air. A good practice is to always use the range hood vent when cooking and the bathroom vent when showering. This will draw most of that moisture out of the rig. It may be necessary to keep a roof vent open slightly to provide some ventilation and keep condensation in check. Insulating exposed surfaces that tend to collect moisture will also help. A small dehumidifier or some of those little tubs of desiccant crystals may be necessary, depending on the RV and how many are staying in it.

11. Finally, we need to consider how the RV is going to be heated. Portable electric heaters are a great supplement to the propane furnace. This method of heating doesn’t add condensation to the air and allows the propane furnace to run considerably less, saving a lot of propane. Catalytic heaters are another popular way to provide assistance to the propane furnace but require fresh air ventilation to avoid oxygen depletion in the RV.

There are many more mods you can make to help protect your RV from the cooler weather ahead. Head on over to and have a look at the heating category for some more ideas:

Happy modding!

Leave a Reply


  1. Pingback: sarla

  2. Pingback: adult incontinence products

  3. Pingback: knock off purses

  4. Pingback: huntsville weight loss

  5. Pingback: Arizona Real Estate Attorney

  6. Pingback: buy meridia

  7. Pingback: cialis

  8. Pingback: Gelinlik Modelleri

  9. Pingback: zahne auhellen

  10. Pingback: ogrzewanie

  11. Pingback: ogrzewanie

  12. Pingback: herbata

  13. Pingback: ogrzewanie

  14. Pingback: herbata

  15. Pingback: Vampire Films

  16. Pingback: ogrzewanie

  17. Pingback: ogrzewanie

  18. Pingback: herbata

  19. Pingback: thai lottery

  20. Pingback: wedding photographer

  21. Pingback: wedding photographer

  22. Pingback: how to submit screenplays

  23. Pingback: water damage cleanup

  24. Pingback: How to beat a drug test

  25. Pingback: alexa

  26. Pingback: build your own website

  27. Pingback: build your own website

  28. Pingback: onebuckresume

  29. Pingback: killer deal

  30. Pingback: This Site

  31. Pingback: Social Media Marketing

  32. Pingback: Going Here

  33. Pingback: ouvir musicas

  34. Pingback: Panda research surveys

  35. Pingback: best ps3 games

  36. Pingback: airport taxi st. anton

  37. Pingback: turnkey websites for sale

  38. Pingback: make money online

  39. Pingback: best movies

  40. Pingback: Pneumatic Tube Delivery Systems

  41. Pingback: buy cheap zynga poker chips

  42. Pingback: india jobs

  43. Pingback: millionaire society reviews

  44. Pingback: crime scene photography

  45. Pingback: Chicago legal recruiter

  46. Pingback: tickets

  47. Pingback: Ethel Stephenson

  48. Pingback: Christian Ball

  49. Pingback: labes

  50. Pingback: buy twitter followers

  51. Pingback: Haraj

  52. Pingback: paczki dla dzieci

  53. Pingback: sex toys

  54. Pingback: read more

  55. Pingback: urgent care clinic

  56. Pingback: Bible Teaching Ministry

  57. Pingback: site

  58. Pingback: data toronto

  59. Pingback:

  60. Pingback:

  61. Pingback: safe baby infant cars seats

  62. Pingback: pozycjonowanie

  63. Pingback: Gestionale Magazzino Gratuito

  64. Pingback: party club dresses

  65. Pingback: seoric

  66. Pingback:

  67. Pingback:

  68. Pingback:

  69. Pingback:

  70. Pingback: tattoo tampa

  71. Pingback: adult autism

  72. Pingback: best ticket deals

  73. Pingback: Joe Khorasani

  74. Pingback: visalus scam

  75. Pingback: Voodoo

  76. Pingback: Poker Bonus Codes

  77. Pingback: liposlim free trial

  78. Pingback: homes for sale in Hermosa beach

  79. Pingback: carolwood building

  80. Pingback: free burgers

  81. Pingback: enjoy online blackjack in Canada for more fun

  82. Pingback: neptune krill oil quebec

  83. Pingback: earch position

  84. Pingback: iPhone 5 price|cheap iPhone 5

  85. Pingback: bleeder cleaner

  86. Pingback: Arnold

  87. Pingback: temporary medical insurance

  88. Pingback: kansas city party bus

  89. Pingback: Sol Salzer

  90. Pingback: mr blogger

  91. Pingback: isagenix cleanse

  92. Pingback: Jean Goodwin

  93. Pingback:

  94. Pingback: NFL Training Camp

  95. Pingback:

  96. Pingback:

  97. Pingback:

  98. Pingback:

  99. Pingback:

  100. Pingback: diabetes cure

  101. Pingback: rsg online course

  102. Pingback: nat mur

  103. Pingback: relieving sciatic nerve pain

  104. Pingback: white card online

  105. Pingback: phlebotomy training classes

  106. Pingback: rsa certificate

  107. Pingback: Bonuses

  108. Pingback: breville bje510xl

  109. Pingback: dentist salt lake city

  110. Pingback: choosing an objective

  111. Pingback: cash loan

  112. Pingback: Pariuri sportive


  114. Pingback: auto insurance

  115. Pingback: Profit Agent Review

  116. Pingback: krill oil latest news

  117. Pingback: prices of rings

  118. Pingback: Penny stock egghead review

  119. Pingback: flex belt reviews

  120. Pingback: Profit Agent Discount

  121. Pingback: replica watches

  122. Pingback: business plan

  123. Pingback: translation service UK

  124. Pingback: Factory Unlock iPhone 4

  125. Pingback: how to become a radiologist

  126. Pingback: Photography

  127. Pingback: waterproof basement cost

  128. Pingback: ProfitAgent

  129. Pingback: pharmacy no prescription

  130. Pingback: Zalando Gutschein

  131. Pingback: asbestos removal toronto

  132. Pingback: asia

  133. Pingback: weight loss

  134. Pingback: firefox tips

  135. Pingback: ppi

  136. Pingback: contact creperie saint germain today to schedule a reservation

  137. Pingback: Marcella Higgins

  138. Pingback: love

  139. Pingback: Charles Harmon

  140. Pingback: logos quiz

  141. Pingback: Music

  142. Pingback: risarcimento danni

  143. Pingback: como hacer el amor a un hombre

  144. Pingback: tattoo fonts

  145. Pingback: Fresher jobs

  146. Pingback: lana pengar direkt

  147. Pingback: sms lana

  148. Pingback: moda

  149. Pingback: lana 15000

  150. Pingback: web host with highest uptime

  151. Pingback: limousine in toronto

  152. Pingback: brake repair

  153. Pingback: dr sid solomon

  154. Pingback: CAR NEWS

  155. Pingback: halloween costume shoes

  156. Pingback: pardons canada

  157. Pingback: electronic cigarette reviews

  158. Pingback: christian books

  159. Pingback: Cannabis

  160. Pingback: Nike Free

  161. Pingback: Jobs Waterstones

  162. Pingback: laguna niguel homes

  163. Pingback: this post

  164. Pingback: texting get your ex back

  165. Pingback: lieux insolites

  166. Pingback: plaingreenloans

  167. Pingback: oreringe

  168. Pingback: Florida Road Trips

  169. Pingback: weisse zahne

  170. Pingback: cheap holiday car hire

  171. Pingback:

  172. Pingback: social media agency denver

  173. Pingback:

  174. Pingback: computer video games uk

  175. Pingback: garage floor paint reviews

  176. Pingback: Nashua Insurance

  177. Pingback: buildings insurance

  178. Pingback: New York Legal Jobs

  179. Pingback: Kredyty firmowe kielce

  180. Pingback: AAA Pro 1 Raingutters

  181. Pingback: watch internet tv online

  182. Pingback: womens fragrances

  183. Pingback: adopted

  184. Pingback: Instant messenger

  185. Pingback: security guard resume

  186. Pingback: security guard certificate

  187. Pingback: 30 year fixed jumbo rates

  188. Pingback: waterproof paint for basement

  189. Pingback: yellowpages

  190. Pingback: online broker details

  191. Pingback: cfnm tube

  192. Pingback: brival

  193. Pingback: future of health now

  194. Pingback: aer conditionat

  195. Pingback: precle

  196. Pingback: Click Here

  197. Pingback: massage in dubai

  198. Pingback: adt security reviews

  199. Pingback: Bicycle Jersey

  200. Pingback: hearing loss at decibels

  201. Pingback: Lounge

  202. Pingback: pengen buka usaha jualan pulsa

  203. Pingback: Online Sports Betting

  204. Pingback: baby teething necklaces

  205. Pingback: true weight loss austin

  206. Pingback: Promotion

  207. Pingback: Atlanta maid service

  208. Pingback: E Cigarettes

  209. Pingback: official website

  210. Pingback: about his

  211. Pingback: straight from the source

  212. Pingback: avis remunere

  213. Pingback: Calgary photographer

  214. Pingback: amazing website

  215. Pingback: Kitchens

  216. Pingback: Read More Here

  217. Pingback: you could try here

  218. Pingback: blueair

  219. Pingback: dentista itaborai

  220. Pingback: this post

  221. Pingback: Discount Code

  222. Pingback: lida hapi ankara

  223. Pingback: asbestos removal toronto

  224. Pingback: payday loan

  225. Pingback: dui lawyer Orlando

  226. Pingback: my source

  227. Pingback: Hazelnut

  228. Pingback: Bloomington Exterminator

  229. Pingback: dotcomsecrets review

  230. Pingback: $250 Arch Card

  231. Pingback: dumbbells

  232. Pingback: Ecigarettes

  233. Pingback: Compare Auto Insurance Quotes

  234. Pingback: ski skills

  235. Pingback: Kamagra

  236. Pingback: ways to lose weight

  237. Pingback: Zalando Gutschein

  238. Pingback: Candy Wholesale

  239. Pingback: start a wood working business from home

  240. Pingback: how to make money flipping cars

  241. Pingback: flipping cars for profits

  242. Pingback: how to lose weight

  243. Pingback: foods that burn belly fat

  244. Pingback: auto insurance austin tx

  245. Pingback: Internet security software 2012

  246. Pingback: PPI Claims

  247. Pingback: vending machines business

  248. Pingback: woman adores man

  249. Pingback: cam chat

  250. Pingback: auto repair houston

  251. Pingback: a hamster

  252. Pingback: LocalBiz VORTEX

  253. Pingback: lida satis

  254. Pingback: cheap insurance

  255. Pingback: News

  256. Pingback: bad credit loans

  257. Pingback: Beats By Dre 2500

  258. Pingback: dg eyewear

  259. Pingback: online casino no deposit bonus

  260. Pingback: dotcomsecrets review

  261. Pingback: fat loss 4 idiots

  262. Pingback: truth about abs

  263. Pingback: fat burning furnace

  264. Pingback: rocket chinese

  265. Pingback: the diet solution

  266. Pingback: best shoes

  267. Pingback: frases para pensar

  268. Pingback: spinning bike reviews

  269. Pingback: Wirelesss

  270. Pingback: united nations arms trade treaty

  271. Pingback: osteo arthritis symptoms

  272. Pingback: cheap car insurance in nj

  273. Pingback: You Could Try Here

  274. Pingback: Flame Retardant Reflective Tape

  275. Pingback: E Cigarette

  276. Pingback: seo company

  277. Pingback: mieszkania slupsk

  278. Pingback: learn Piano Chords

  279. Pingback: Upscale Bathroom Design

  280. Pingback: best natural weight loss

  281. Pingback: acai free trial

  282. Pingback: accounting service

  283. Pingback: Electric Cigarettes

  284. Pingback: site internet

  285. Pingback: Review

  286. Pingback: check the website

  287. Pingback: website

  288. Pingback: projectors and screens

  289. Pingback: dont approve me

  290. Pingback: letmewatchthis

  291. Pingback: free shipping coupon code for toshiba

  292. Pingback: dumpster rental roseville mi

  293. Pingback: how to build a blog

  294. Pingback: dumpster rental monterey park ca

  295. Pingback: truth about abs review

  296. Pingback: Age of Mythology Full Version Free Download

  297. Pingback: cpanel web hosting

  298. Pingback: Jugar juegos

  299. Pingback: salvage truck online

  300. Pingback: aluminum patio furniture

  301. Pingback: medical malpractice lawyer in Jacksonville, fl

  302. Pingback: Foreign Business Formation in Vietnam

  303. Pingback: PSD to JOOMLA

  304. Pingback: business promotional products

  305. Pingback: hot tub removal mclean va

  306. Pingback: Luxury Louisville real estate

  307. Pingback: Luxury Louisville real estate

  308. Pingback: Homes for sale in Lexington Kentucky

  309. Pingback: Tucson Homes for Sale

  310. Pingback: Tawanna Betties

  311. Pingback: Click Now Finance

  312. Pingback: Free mp3

  313. Pingback: Hcg Drops Reviews

  314. Pingback: tweet adder

  315. Pingback: iphone 4s jailbreak ios

  316. Pingback: SAP Job

  317. Pingback: CA Parivar

  318. Pingback: alkoholforbrug

  319. Pingback: ukulele for sale

  320. Pingback: u rl

  321. Pingback: Printing Brochures

  322. Pingback: Pest Control Newport Beach

  323. Pingback: hcg diet book

  324. Pingback: Side effects of Lovostatin

  325. Pingback: height enhancer

  326. Pingback: diet solution

  327. Pingback: California Ticket

  328. Pingback: Lexington Luxury homes for sale

  329. Pingback: Vitalikor

  330. Pingback:

  331. Pingback: bed bath and beyond coupon 2012

  332. Pingback: unsecured loans

  333. Pingback: the diet solution program by isabel de los rios

  334. Pingback: Chandra Demastus

  335. Pingback: kirkland chiropractors

  336. Pingback: mdansby

  337. Pingback: Acai

  338. Pingback: binary options demo account

  339. Pingback: eat stop eat

  340. Pingback: Related Site

  341. Pingback: sukienki

  342. Pingback: visit the website

  343. Pingback: Party Ideas For Girls

  344. Pingback: Stop Sugar cravings

  345. Pingback: Quickest way to melt stomach fat

  346. Pingback: Exercises to do to lose love handles

  347. Pingback: Exercises that will burn the belly fat fast

  348. Pingback:

  349. Pingback: florida lottery

  350. Pingback: visite site

  351. Pingback: chef knifes butcher

  352. Pingback: secure data destruction austin

  353. Pingback: private investigator Singapore

  354. Pingback: click site

  355. Pingback: Global Traffic Machine review

  356. Pingback: Hydroxatone Bellaplex Reviews

  357. Pingback: Vagas de emprego

  358. Pingback: austin alarm monitoring

  359. Pingback: waterproof iphone 4 case

  360. Pingback: Wiertarka

  361. Pingback: Randki

  362. Pingback: wine tours santa barbara

  363. Pingback: win lottery

  364. Pingback: flooded basement

  365. Pingback: hdmi cable

  366. Pingback: san diego t-shirts

  367. Pingback: raleigh window repair

  368. Pingback: Headphones

  369. Pingback: nicht verfügbar

  370. Pingback: secure shred austin

  371. Pingback: edu backlinks

  372. Pingback: us

  373. Pingback: where to buy phen375

  374. Pingback: how to make money quick

  375. Pingback: PCB prototype

  376. Pingback: patio stone austin

  377. Pingback: kitchen

  378. Pingback: Location Villa Ile Maurice

  379. Pingback: truth about abs book

  380. Pingback: This

  381. Pingback: disaprovee

  382. Pingback: not comment

  383. larry gianakis


    Thanks for info, i was hoping there be a solution like adding pipe insulation to the tubing but i’ll try your idea first thanks again larry

  384. Lary, what you are experiencing is common with a hybrid TT. It is condensation created by the high temperature differences between the outside of the tenting and the inside. A simple way to help improve this situation is to leave one of the tent panels unzipped about 4-6 inches. The opening allows dryer outside air to mix with wetter inside air (and vice versa). You won’t lose any additional heat in doing so either.

    When I had a hybrid (Bantam Flyer), I experienced this as well. Since the DW gets cold easily, I slept on the end of the bunk and it’s also where I kept the zippered panel open a few inches. Sleeping temps were great for me and the DW was happy to be closer to the heater.

  385. larry gianakis

    Hi folks

    I need some winterizing help, we bought a jayco ;it weight exp 17′, we went camping at the ocean this week and had a ba;ll, except when we were folding up canvas beds we notice the bar that holds the tenting up was wet,and dripping water, we never had any rain,it was cold at night though,and we had the heat on. can anyone tell me what to do?thanks Larry

  386. The freezing point of water can be lowered by increasing it’s salinity. So yes, adding salt to your tanks will help. But it will take a lot of salt. Ocean water freezes at around 28F and it has quite of bit of salt in it. Even if you added more than a few cups, your freezing point wouldn’t go down much so if it gets much colder than say 25F for an extended period of time, your tanks would likely freeze.

  387. I was told by an RV dealer that just adding a couple of cups of salt would keep the holding tanks from freezing. Is there any truth to this?

  388. Thanks Drew. I appreciate it.

    Charles, you’re on the right track. But how much RV antifreeze you need will depend on how much water is in your tanks. A few gallons should work with 30 to 40 gallons and should keep the mixture slushy in all but the coldest temperatures. The colder it is the more antifreeze you will need.

  389. charles cox

    I have poured rv antifreeze into the grey & black waer tanks for times when I thought it might freeze. my thought is that the antifreeze would keep the water from freezing solid- just get slushy. is this a good idea or not? thanks.

  390. Drew

    Great post Mark- a lot of good ideas to consider. Thanks.

  391. Pingback: Cold Weather RV’ing | Triangle RV Blog