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How to Keep Your RV Warm in Winter

Camping in fall and winter presents a specific set of obstacles to overcome. One of the most pressing issues, of course, keeping your RV warm. Not only can cold weather damage your RV, specifically when temperatures drop below freezing, but a chill in your unit can put a damper on the whole trip. To help make winter RVing more enjoyable, we gathered this list of tips to help keep your RV warm in winter.

Keep Your RV Warm When You Camp in Winter

Insulate RV Floors

RV floor insulation will help keep your RV warm, of course, and will help reduce engine noise and vibrations on the road. Floor insulation should be installed between the floor and subfloor in your unit. The main options for floor insulation are foam board and automotive insulation.

Foam board insulation is thicker and often more effective at maintaining temperatures, but it’s rigid and difficult to install. Meanwhile, automotive insulation is flexible and easy to install. Additionally, it has a vapor barrier and high weight-bearing capabilities, which makes automotive insulation ideal for RVs. You can purchase automotive insulation online and install it yourself, or you can let the RV service technicians at Juniata Valley install it for you!

Insulate Your Doors and Windows

Much of the heat inside your RV is lost to the single-pane windows on all sides. If you feel a draft near the windows and doors, or a noticeable drop in temperature, you’ll know you need to work on the insulation. This can involve both upgrading your windows and doors, or replacing the caulking and stripping.

A low-cost option to help keep your RV warm is to re-caulk and replace the weather stripping. Weather stripping will easily last two to three years before it begins to deteriorate. After that, we recommend a replacement. You can also purchase shrink insulation to install on your windows.

On a similar note, you can check on the rubber seals and gaskets around your RV windows and doors. These should be inspected and lubricated regularly, and should be replaced once they begin to deteriorate. Cracked or hardened seals provide an easy path for cold air to slip into your unit.

The last option is a complete replacement to upgrade your RV windows and doors. You can opt to switch out cheaper, single-pane windows for more high-quality, energy-efficient options. The service department at Juniata Valley RV can help with this, of course!

Install an RV Skirt

RV skirts can be installed around the bottom of your RV to prevent cold air from entering the undercarriage. RV skirts are popular in colder months, plus they can often be aesthetically pleasing and offer extra storage space underneath your unit. RV skirting seals the air underneath your RV off from the outside, so the air there stays stationary and warm.

RV skirting can protect your pipes from freezing, which can cause damage if they are filled with water. Additionally, if the air underneath your camper is warm, it helps keep the floors warm as well. In this sense, RV skirts have the same logic as double pane windows. You seal off a pocket of warm air. By doing so, you gain another layer of insulation.

Additional RV Accessories

Another cost-effective, easy option to keep your RV warm is to purchase interior accessories. This means decorating your RV with window shades, curtains and rugs or carpets. These provide an additional layer of insulation to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. In addition to preserving heat, they can add to the homey feel inside your camper. You can easily add some décor that fits your tastes and personalizes your camper while saving cash on RV heat.

Portable Heat Sources

Another low-cost option to keep your RV warm and cozy is the addition of space heaters and electric blankets. These offer localized heat right where you need it. They’re especially popular heat sources at night. You can easily add a space heater to the bedroom, or huddle under the warmth of a heated blanket. As long as you use them safely and responsibly, these are great options to help stay warm.

RV Heat Pumps

Our last suggestion to help keep your RV warm in winter months is an RV heat pump. These pumps provide warm, dry air in your unit. They lower indoor humidity levels and raise the temperature. There are two types of RV heat pumps: ducted and non-ducted. In general, ducted pumps are better for large campers and non-ducted work in small campers. While these do require electricity to run, the addition of warm air and removal of humidity can go a long way to keep your RV warm.

A couple sits outside their travel trailer in the snow.

All of these resources, or any combination of them, will do wonders to conserve heat and help keep your RV warm all fall and winter long. Camping season doesn’t always have to end when the leaves fall! At Juniata Valley RV, we have plenty of RVs for sale that are ready to provide you with winter living. You can also check out our new RVs for sale specifically, and ask us about modern units with extra heating sources, like solar panels or an electric fireplace. Once you’re ready to see a unit in person, visit our dealership in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. Our staff is always happy to take you on a tour!

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Proper Campground and RV Park Etiquette

There’s nothing worse than getting ready to relax at the RV resort, only to find you have the nosiest, noisiest neighbor. To avoid being that neighbor to other campers, we put together a quick guide to RV park etiquette. Although some of our advice may seem a bit obvious, new campers may not know exactly what’s expected of them. Juniata Valley RV is here to help you be the perfect campground resident.

The Spoken and Unspoken Rules of RV Park Etiquette

Being a good neighbor is just as important in camping as it is in your permanent neighborhood. Whether you’re parked for the season or for the long weekend, a good relationship with neighbors is important for your safety and enjoyment.

Don’t Cut Through Campsites

While it may not seem like a big deal to some, it’s best to avoid walking through other peoples’ campsites. Respect their rented property, and don’t cut through sites unless you’re given explicit permission by those renting it. Sure, taking the long way around may add a few more minutes to your walk, but it’s best to show respect to other campers by walking around their campsite. Although only rented, consider other campsites the private property of renters.

RV campsite surrounded by tall pines at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.

Keep Quiet

With outdoor speakers and entertainment centers, it’s easy to get carried away partying at your campsite. However, monitoring your music volume and noise levels is important to RV resort etiquette. If you’re unsure, try turning on the music and walking nearby other campsites to see if you can still hear it.

Account for Slide-Outs

When you park your RV, be sure to account for how much space your slide-outs need. There’s nothing worse than a neighbor who lets their slides hang over shared space or, even worse, into the neighboring campsite. Proper RV park etiquette includes taking up only your rented space. Before you hook up your RV, we recommend testing the slides to make sure there is enough room to be fully extended.

Be Neighborly

One easy way to have a good start with campground neighbors is to introduce yourself. Once your neighbors are parked and set up, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and your family. While some neighbors will want to talk vacation plans and check out your RV, others will be happy with a quick hello. Feel out the situation and don’t pressure your neighbors to talk, but a brief introduction is an easy way to improve your RV park etiquette.

Courteous and Conscious Smoking

If you smoke in any form, make sure you are courteous to your neighbors. Try to keep a respectful distance so that the smoke has time to dissipate before it reaches other campsites. Cigarette, vape, cigar and even pipe smoke can wander into a neighbor’s campsite, or an open RV window, and cause irritation.

Respect the RV Resort

Aside from being a good neighbor, RV park etiquette includes being a good renter. It’s important to follow campground rules, be polite to employees and treat public or shared areas with respect.

Be Considerate of Quiet Hours

To stay in the campground’s good graces, try to respect quiet hours. Most RV parks have posted quiet hours, likely given to you at check-in. During nightly quiet hours, proper RV park etiquette consists of staying quiet and respectful. Those who are noisy during quiet hours can become an issue for campground staff if neighbors begin to complain.

Follow Rules for Pets

Most RV parks allow pets, although some have breed restrictions for dogs. Before planning a trip, review the park’s pet policies and make sure your dog is allowed. Additionally, make sure to keep your dog or cat on a leash and clean up after them. This will help you stay in the good graces of RV resort employees.

A German Shepherd dog is camping at a campground with his owner, a man who is playing guitar in the background.

Aside from the park employees, we should mention that leaving noisy dogs at your campsite is not exactly considered neighborly. If you know your dog is going to bark, consider leaving them at home with a sitter or taking them on outings with you. As much as you love your furry friends, your neighbors don’t want to listen to barking all day and night.

Don’t Leave a Mess

When it’s time to pack up and hit the road, make sure your campsite looks just like you found it. Don’t leave any trash behind that RV park staff will otherwise be left to clean up. Double and triple check the campsite to make sure you packed everything, and clean off any park property you used, like a grill or picnic table.

Spray Down the Dump Station

If you emptied your RV’s tanks at the dump station before hitting the road, take a minute to spray your mess away. Don’t leave a smelly black tank mess for park employees or other RVers to clean up.

RV park etiquette doesn’t have to be daunting. Most of our tips are common sense, and most veteran RVers have mastered them by now. If you have any more questions about being a good RV park renter, just consider the most respectful course of action.

If you’re in need of a new RV to take to the campground, visit Juniata Valley RV! You can browse our RVs for sale online, or visit our Pennsylvania dealership in person. Our team will help you find the towable RV or motorhome that works for you!

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