With overnight temperatures dropping into the teens, Kristy and I decided to hitch up our Airstream, tow it to a nearby state park, and do a little camping in the cold. The low temperature was a bone-chilling 21 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chill dropping into single digits. By any measure, that’s a hard freeze.
So what inspired us to go camping in this sort of environment? When we think about RV-ing, we often think about parking our rigs in balmy weather to enjoy a pristine national park setting, or alongside a beautiful beach. We don’t often think about wintertime camping, because it’s a little counter intuitive. But it is fun. The sense of “man against the elements” is heightened when those winter winds kick into high gear.
This wintry situation served as a nice test of our rig. We camped in a full hookup environment, so we had all the electricity we need. But even so, I’m pleased to report that our RV heating equipment handled the job nicely. You never really know until you test it.
We have two heating options on our RV: an electrical “heat pump” and a propane-powered “heat furnace.” If we were dry camping without electricity, we’d probably use a combination of both, powering the heat pump with our generator. So long as temperatures hover above 40 degrees, we’re content to use campground power to fuel the heat pump. We save our propane for those times we really need it — when temps drop closer to freezing. The heat pump alone does not warm the water tanks and pipes; only the propane furnace does so.
I enjoyed a comfortable night of sleep, ratcheting a good 8 hours of shuteye that exceeds my norm. Kristy reports that she “tossed and turned” a bit, though I’m not sure if there’s a reason why. I was warm throughout the night, although there is a bit of chill coming from the large window at the rear of our rig. The walls themselves are well insulated and seem to do a fine job retaining heat.
Camping in the cold is actually a great deal of fun. Have you tried it? Any tips for other winter campers?