How to Take a Winter RV Trip, According to an Expert

Here's how to take your best winter road trip yet.

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RV on snowy road with evergreen trees
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

As far as travel goes, 2020 has been the year of road trips. While staying at home is often the safest choice as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and many destinations remain closed to tourists, road trips, especially those taken in an RV or camper van, are a relatively safe way to travel while minimizing contact with others. And if you thought RV trips were solely suited for the summertime, think again. There are actually plenty of beautiful winter RV trips you can take all over the country that will provide a fun and safe getaway — that is, if you know how to prepare.

We spoke with Paige Bouma, vice president of RV Trader, a marketplace to buy and sell RVs, about how to have the best RV road trip this winter. Luckily, she has plenty of tips on how to plan a trip, prep an RV, and enjoy the destination upon arrival.

Keep reading for five tips for taking RV road trips this winter.

1. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the cold.

Bouma recommends outfitting your unit for winter weather inside and out. Start with an RV skirt, which will provide a durable insulating barrier in cold-weather conditions. Then, keep the inside warm and cozy with area rugs, electric blankets, and space heaters. If you'll be staying warm by the campfire outdoors, Bouma also suggests keeping fire-retardant blankets on hand for extra safety.

2. Check with campsites before you arrive.

The last thing you want on an RV trip is to arrive at your campsite only to discover that it's closed for the season. Make sure you're aware of what will be open at your campsite, and check whether there are any seasonal restrictions or closures to avoid any surprises upon arrival.

3. Keep an eye on the forecast.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but staying on top of the forecast will ensure that you're prepared for anything on a winter road trip. If snow or freezing temperatures are predicted, for example, you'll want to make sure you have essentials like a snow shovel, ice scraper, and extra propane.

4. Always park in the sun.

Bouma recommends finding a sunny parking spot, in order to help your RV retain heat. Just as you'd want to park in a shady spot in the summer, you'll want that sunlight to keep your unit warm in the winter.

5. Pack all the cold-weather essentials.

When it comes to packing for a winter RV trip, there are a few obvious essentials, some of which we've already mentioned, including snow shovels, appropriate winter apparel, and space heaters. But Bouma suggests a few lesser-known must-haves that might just make all the difference on your next trip. Don't forget a hair dryer, for example, which can come in handy should you need to defrost your pipes. She also recommends bringing extra firewood, if you're unsure how much (if any) your campsite will have on hand.

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