How To RV in the Winter


We’ve been RV snowbirds for 8 winters in a row, mostly in the Desert Southwest. This year, for the very first time, we’ll be spending the winter in the RV in a northern location.

Heat Tape:
Pressure Regulator:
Kozy World Infrared Propane Heater:
Kozy World Heater Feet Kit:
0000 Steel Wool:

Granted, the Lower Mainland of British Columbia isn’t exactly Manitoba when it comes to winter, but we’re far enough up in the mountains to get some freezing temperatures and snow here.

We show you all the steps we’re taking to winter in our motorhome. We’ll demonstrate how to keep the water hose from freezing and how to keep ourselves warm too. We’ll cover water hose insulation, heat tape, the differences between all five sources of heat we have available, moisture & humidity control, and even pest control.

We’ll also be using our Extend-a-Stay (also known as a Stay-a-While or an Extend-a-Flow) to connect to a large external propane tank.

SInce this is our first time dealing with winter in the rig, we’ve done a lot of reading and learned a lot from our friends and neighbors up here in beautiful, friendly BC. The site we’re on has 30-amp electric, so we have to be particularly aware of our power usage.

Luckily, Birgit & Greg, whose site we’re using, were nice enough to let us tap into their super-size external propane tank (we’ll be paying for the propane we use, of course). So propane shouldn’t be a problem, but we’ll still want to keep our usage to a minimum, since it’s expensive, and propane use can cause excess moisture to build up in the rig.

There are lots of RVers who know way more than we do about RVing in REAL winter deep freeze conditions, but we wanted to give other cold weather newbies a feel for some of the steps we’ve taken to prepare for it. We’ve seen a lot more online about winterizing an RV for storage, and we wanted to add some information about living on board too.

NOTE: We mention using fine 0000 steel wool in this video. It is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE, and care should be used in storing and using it. To see our video demonstrating how to start a fire using only steel wool and a 9-volt battery, click here:

The piano music is my own performance of Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag from 1899.

Here’s all of our favorite equipment that we use ourselves and recommend to friends:

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Full-Time RVers since April, 2003, we share DIY (do it yourself) RV maintenance, repair, travel, upgrade and operational tips & tricks.

Many RVers are eager to learn more about using, maintaining and caring for their rigs. We hope our experience can help others go DIY, saving time & money, plus the satisfaction of a job well done.

We’re handy RVers, not professional technicians. We’re happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you’re unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.



25 replies
  1. Barry Dutton Sells Homes
    Barry Dutton Sells Homes says:

    Good info never goes out of style. I am finding myself during the day when I am not on your channel, wondering what else can I learn by poking around this channel? And the answer is — always something even if just a good refresher on something I have already learned. Thanks again.

    Frankly I turn the heat way down in my house every night, it is better to have a colder sleep most cases and I started wearing a toque or balaclava for bedtime even before I moved my headboard away from the outside walls. This last week I spent time again washing and cleaning stuff up, storing my colder weather clothes for the move.

  2. Robert Caldwell
    Robert Caldwell says:

    I used to own a camper years ago, I was hooked up to my parent's house and thought I would use enough water to keep the line from freezing, but that didn't happen… I came up with an idea, what I thought was genius, since the water tap and the outside electric sockets were pretty near each other anyway, all I did was wrap the line around the hose (the twist was was about 1 revolution each foot or so). When the snow came, there was a good 4 inches on either side of the hose completely melted of snow, and the hose never froze. I didn't insulate any of it, and although it drew a little bit more electricity for the distance, I thought it worked perfectly fine.

    I miss those days, honestly…..the freedom of not having to pay a damn thing in rent, and just pay utilities? Hell yeah.

  3. V Lightning
    V Lightning says:

    Brilliant and thank you! I Will be getting a 22’ pleasure way in the future. I do intend to make it weather proof when I order it. The retail company that I am purchasing it from said that it’s cheaper and easier to have them do it prior to picking the RV up, then to come back and do it later.

  4. BADGUY 1
    BADGUY 1 says:

    That 0000 Steel Wool for cleaning off the windshield was a GREAT suggestion. I still use it to remove bug spots that defy just about every cleaner I've used in the past.

  5. rkwill100
    rkwill100 says:

    I live in my RV year around. Often there is 2 or more feet of snow on the roof. This means the roof vents cannot be opened, the heat pumps do not work, etc. How do you handle such situations?

  6. Andy Rusten
    Andy Rusten says:

    my hidden roof electric vent doesnt work since we got the coach (98 MADP) so we just leave the doors open when showering , how the heck do they get to them to work on when they are out of arms reach ?


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