How to Cold Weather Camp in Your RV

As the weather gets colder, campers start putting their RV’s away for the winter. But not so fast. There is so much to see and do during the winter season and enjoying these activities from the comfort of your RV can be a refreshing experience.

Here’s how to prepare your motorhome, travel trailer, toy hauler, or 5th wheel to ensure you have a pleasurable, safe, and protected cold-weather camping experience.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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 through.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

Here are some more tips on how to help you cold weather camp in your RV:

  • If you don’t want to spend the money for a heated fresh water hose, simply disconnect the normal hose from the RV and the water spigot when the temperature is going to fall below freezing. Empty the hose and store it. You can then use the RV’s fresh water tank to supply water.
  • Some cold-weather RVers winterize and then don’t use their plumbing system at all. Instead, they carry containers of drinking water inside the living area of the RV and rely completely upon the campground’s restroom facilities. Call ahead to the campground if this is your plan. Some close their restrooms during the off-season and others may only have electrical hookups available.
  • During the evening, leave your cabinet doors open slightly. This will help some heat reach the plumbing that runs through the cabinetry and along the cold walls.
  • If possible, empty the holding tanks if they will be subject to freezing and pour a couple of quarts of non-toxic, biodegradable antifreeze into each holding tank. This will protect the dump valves. Pour in more antifreeze as wastewater fills the tanks.
  • When using any type of catalytic heater in any inside area, provide a fresh air opening of at least three square inches. This is necessary because this type of heater consumes the oxygen in your RV. If you do not replace the depleted oxygen through ventilation, you stand a chance of not waking up the next morning.
  • Although the methods explained in this article will help substantially reduce the potential for plumbing and holding tanks from freezing, they cannot guarantee it. Once the temperature gets low enough, little can be done to keep up. Unfortunately, we all have to stop camping at some point!

Source by Mark Corgan

Small Travel Trailer

Once in a while, you might get the urge to escape from your busy and stressful life and plan on having the perfect getaway with family and friends. Consider a camping or fishing trip in travel trailers – it’s a fun and rewarding recreational activity. Traveling in small trailers is very practical, as it saves you accommodation expenses.

Small travel trailers are designed to be lightweight and usually weigh barely 2,000 pounds and stand at 10-feet long. A small truck or just about any kind of family vehicle can easily tow them. In addition, the aerodynamic design that most of these trailers possess makes them very fuel efficient.

In transportation and temporary living accommodations for travel, recreation, and camping, small travel trailers are the best option to meet the level of comfort and convenience needed by small families or even older couples who are enjoying their retirement. You can still feel as if you are in the comforts of your home; these trailers also come equipped with the necessary amenities such as a small kitchen area, a bathroom, comfortable sleeping and dining areas, and even entertainment facilities.

Though simple and engineered to be lightweight, small trailers are also loaded with cooking facilities as well as a refrigerator, heating, air conditioning, a self-contained toilet, a shower, water tanks, and a separate electrical system. These trailers also feature slide-out rooms so you can enjoy additional space.

Whether for weekend camping trips or a cross-country sojourn, this kind of vehicle will surely go places easily as compared to its larger counterparts, as it can easily travel within tight campsites or constricted pathways.

If you are interested in owning one of these vehicles, you can visit and consult various manufacturers. But if you are not sure whether to opt for the hefty and more luxurious RVs, then you can select a smaller one in a price that won’t disrupt your budget. They come in various styles to suit your taste and lifestyle.

Source by Jennifer Bailey

Chinook Camping Tents – An Outstanding Choice

When your family decides it is time to buy a tent to really enjoy the outdoors it is not as easy as what you might think. You can head out to your local stores although it will not help much because there will be so many choices it will be difficult to compare and decide.

You will find you have a wide selection of tent styles and tent manufacturers from which to select. One of these is the Chinook camping tents. You will quickly learn that you can buy a dome tent, a tent with a compartment that acts as a separate room for privacy, as well as the ease of putting up the tent and the strong the material from which it is made.

Unlike some tents which seem impossible to install you will never have a problem with any of the Chinook camping tents. This makes the camping experience even more enjoyable as nothing can take the fun out of a camping trip as it becomes impossible to put up the tent. You will also learn from Chinook that you need to choose the thickness of the tent very carefully. This is because if the tent is too thin, and your family decides on a winter camping experience, chances are everyone will free from the lack of protection. Still, if the thickness is too great then the opposite will happen in the summer and the heat can become intolerable.

Chinook camping tents offer offer a variety of choices such as the bathtub style floor, the polyester flies that are UV resistant and coated with polyurethane allowing for protection from water, large D style doors along with heavy duty # 10 nylon coil zippers on each of the doors along with a # 8 on the windows.

Each of the Chinook tastes has a no-see-em mesh screens. There is also the gear loft which is great for extra storage. You will also find the double stitched and taped seams and strong fiberglass or aluminum pole frames. Every family will be pleased to find the guy lines, ground stakes and poles, along with the flies and storage bags for the tent that make the camping experience even more enjoyable.

One of the popular styles is the Titan Lodge Tent. This is the largest tent made by the manufacturer. It is great for a large family or for a group of campers. It offers a heavy duty, oxford nylon floor that can handle all kinds of foot traffic and camp furniture. The extra fiberglass poles make this choice very sturdy if you are hit by strong winds. It is built to protect the family from bad weather as well as cold or heat.

If you have a small number of campers then the Cyclone 3 Tent is the perfect choice. This is particularly great for those who enjoy the adventure of the backcountry. It offers great protection against the elements. It is also lightweight, easy to install, and roomy inside.

Chinook has so many different types of tents that anyone can find what they need.

Source by Corey Lindsay

Top 10 Reasons To Go Camping

It’s affordable

Family camping is one the most inexpensive vacations available. You’ll need to buy or borrow a tent for your first trip. Most everything else you’ll need can be found right at home. Flashlights, lanterns, sleeping bags or blankets, pillows, pots and pans, utensils, cooler, rain gear, folding chairs, campfire wood. As you grow into camping and gain experience, you can buy an RV or add quality camping gear.

Kids love it

Camping is an adventure! It’s exciting, different and fun. New sights, sounds and experiences await them when they go camping, rather than looking at the same four walls, or the same old television. Ignite their imaginations, spark their creativity! Camping builds memories. Adults who went camping as kids usually have very vivid memories of their adventures.

Experience nature

When was the last time you went to sleep listening to crickets and bullfrogs, an owl hooting or the soulful cry of the loon? Awaken to birds chirping and the sun rising over a misty horizon. Breathe deeply of fresh air. Share your breakfast with a chipmunk, All without leaving your campsite.

Outdoor Recreation

When you go camping, you will discover many outdoor recreation opportunities. Grab a picnic lunch and hike a mountain to admire the view. Walk an oceanside wilderness trail for a glimpse of an eagle’s nest. Swim in a crystal clear lake. Catch a trout or bass. Explore a quiet lake in a canoe or kayak down river. The possibilities are endless.


one of the most universally loved aspects of camping. Sit around a crackling, warm campfire and sing some songs. Tell spooky stories. You can pop popcorn. Better yet, why not make traditional s’mores, or experiment with different kinds of candy bars in them instead. Nothing is as relaxing as gazing into the hypnotizing flames.

Rediscover the taste of your food

Many campers say that food never tasted so good as it does cooked over an open fire. Corn on the cob and baked potatoes wrapped in foil. Hot dogs cooked on a stick over crackling flames. The smell of bacon & eggs on the air is heavenly.

Meet new people

Campers are friendly, helpful people! Many build lifelong friendships with their camping neighbors and return to the same spot at the same time year after year to reconnect with them.

There are many ways to experience camping

There are many types of camping to choose from, depending on your budget and taste for roughing it. Backpacking, tent/car camping, rustic cabin camping, RV camping and luxury campground rentals. There are also many types of campgrounds to choose from. Wilderness campsites, Scenic parks, high amenity RV Parks. Choose a different campground every weekend!

See the stars

Have you ever seen the Milky Way? There are so many more constellations to gaze at when you get away from the light pollution of the cities and suburbs. Camping is the perfect opportunity to do some star gazing. Try camping during a meteor shower.

Camping is peaceful

Slow down the pace of your life and take time to enjoy the great outdoors. No honking horns. No ringing phones. No click, click, click of a keyboard. Sit back in your folding chair and watch the squirrels jump from branch to branch. Read a good book with the wind whispering through the leaves. Play catch with the kids. Unwind.

Source by Ben Watson

Bear Safety Tips While Camping

Camping can be a fun and exhilarating experience, but at the same time it can be very dangerous. One of those dangers is bears. This article will explain a few of the most important precautions to exercise so you can have a safe and fun camping trip.
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The number one rule to follow is to never, under any circumstance, store food in or near your tent. This also includes any items that may smell like food. Toothpaste, lozenges and breath mints have all been known to attract bears. And do not forget that when cooking, your clothes can absorb food like smells.
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You will want to setup a kitchen area that is at least 50 yards away from your tent. Pay attention to the wind direction when setting up your kitchen area as well. You will want to make sure this area is downwind from your sleeping area. And just remember to do all of your cooking, cleaning, and hanging out in the kitchen area. I like to design one set of clothes to sleep in and change into them in this area.
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Always make sure your food smelling items are stored properly. If your car is located near by it is a good idea to lock these items in the trunk of your car. Many campgrounds now offer storage bins to safely store your food smelling items. When you are deep in the country camping and you have no access to a storage bin or car, then all you will need is a tree and about 25 feet of rope. This way you can safely hang your gear in the tree for the night.
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If for whatever reason there is no trees in the area you plan on camping in, there is bear proof canisters that you can purchase to store the food smelling items. These typically range from $ 25- $ 75 and can be found at most outdoor stores.
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This is also an easier alternative to hanging your food from a tree. Keep in mind that you still want to leave the container in your kitchen area, and not in your sleeping area. While the container might be bear proof, it’s not a chance you want to take.
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So next time you decide to camp in bear country just exercise a little caution and you will have a safe camping trip!

Source by Rick Ross