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Protect Your RV From Cold Weather

There is nothing worse than waking up in freezing weather conditions. If you live in an RV, you are more susceptible to loss of heat and freezing pipes than normal homeowners. In our last blog, we covered the importance of winterizing your RV for storage. For more information and to read that post follow this link. In this blog, we'll discuss how you can stay warm and protect your RV from freeze damage if you live in your RV.

Have you ever had the heater on full blast and still need to wrap yourself up in multiple blankets or articles of clothing? There could be several reasons why your RV isn't staying warm but the biggest culprit is often heat loss due to poor insulation. One of the best things you can do to stay warm in your RV is to insulate your windows, vents, and underbelly.

Two ways to insulate a window include reflective insulation and thermal curtains. Reflective insulation can be found at local hardware stores and help to prevent cold air entering the RV and hot air from escaping. Thermal curtains can be used to help retain heat or reflect cold depending on the material used. Many RVers make these to fit their needs and aesthetics but premade curtains can be found on Amazon and fabric retailer sites.

Camco and other RV part manufacturers produce pillows that can be used in rooftop vents. These come in sizes of 14" x 14" x 3" and some have reflective material on one side. These are simple to install and fit the vast majority of RV vents. A ladder or step stool may be required to reach these if you have Fifth Wheel or high ceiling, but they fit snuggly in place just by pushing the pillow into the opening.

Depending on the RV, you may have an open underbelly, which is the area underneath the floor, or you could have a covered underbelly. If you have an open underbelly, I highly recommend running a plastic cover and adding insulation between that and the floor. While this will add weight to the RV, it will also help retain heat which can help the inside stay warm and keep pipes from bursting. This can be a lot of work depending on the length of the trailer and getting help from neighbors or friends is highly encouraged even if you are handy.

If you have a covered underbelly, you may check that the manufacturer installed insulation as well. Not all covered underbellies will also have insulation. Local hardware stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot offer fiberglass insulation suitable for this job and anything between R-13 to R-25 should work. If your looking to save money, or simply don't like handling insulation, then foam boards can also be purchased at a reasonable rate.

When insulation isn't an option or you want a little more protection, two great choices to help prevent water lines from freezing are Tank and Pipe Heating Pads. Tank heating pads can be used on black, grey, or freshwater tanks while pipe heating pads go around the pipes. Both operate on 12V DC or 120V AC and are thermostatically controlled to turn on at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and off at 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Tank pads can generate heat for tanks up to 100-gallon capacity.

If you've done all of the above and still find the inside of your RV to be cold you could have seals that need to be replaced. Slide-outs allow a generous amount of heat to escape if there isn't a solid seal. Ensure the slides are all the way out and the seal is touching the wall inside the unit. There shouldn't be a lot of play and the slide may need to be adjusted if you have large gaps on the top or bottom. Additionally seals start to deteriorate over time if not conditioned regularly. Ensure they aren't dry and cracking. If they are, it's time to replace them.

For all of your service needs, RV FIXIN has you covered. We can inspect your RV, install, or replace furnaces, heaters, insulation, and seals. You can also purchase products on our website or reach out to us directly for a quote. Hopefully, this blog was helpful and can assist you during these winter months. In our next blog, we'll discuss heating and appliance options for your RV. Until then, take care, and get your fixin's while they're hot.


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