Many campers immediately associate RVing with warm weather — and for good reason. Tons of the best camping experiences take place during sunny summer days.
But what about when you want to use your rig to do some good, old fashioned holiday travel?
Traveling during the winter in your RV is totally possible, and it’s actually a great way to get away! As always, it can be a lot more affordable than standard airfare-and-hotel trips, especially when you save 50% on your campground accommodations with Passport America. You also have the convenience of cooking your own meals and enjoying your privacy, no matter where the snowy road may take you.
However, you do need to put in a little bit of extra planning if you want to pull off your winter excursion without any issues. From RV antifreeze to heated hoses, dehumidifiers and more, we’ll walk you through all the advice and tips you need to prepare for and enjoy your RV holiday travel.
Smart Holiday Travel
For the first, and arguably most important, part of our holiday travel guide, let’s talk about how to prepare your rig for freezing weather. (Otherwise, you could end up with burst pipes… or worse!)
Properly winterizing your rig is imperative for maintaining your comfort and safety during your holiday excursion, and any travel planner should focus on getting these tasks done very early on in the process. Fortunately, it doesn’t actually take too much work!
First, you’ll want to winterize your RV’s water system so your pipes and tanks don’t freeze. This involves using RV antifreeze and possibly a bypass system in order to avoid putting antifreeze in your potable water tank and water heater. For a full guide on how to tackle this project, check out this post.
Don’t forget about your other fluids, either! There are special winter formulas to keep your windshield wiper cleanser from freezing and your diesel fuel from gumming up, which you may need in your generator as well as your engine.
And speaking of generators, be sure to fill up your propane tank before you hit the road. You’ll thank yourself when it’s easy to turn on your furnace! It’s also a good idea to invest in a quality electric heater, so you don’t have to burn quite so much propane — which creates humidity as well as being costly over time. Humidity can cause a lot of trouble in your rig in the winter, so you might even avoid using propane to cook on your gas stove by investing in a countertop infrared range or Instant Pot. You can also help combat the moisture with a dehumidifier.
Winter RVers might also invest in a heated drinking water hose if they’re going to be camped somewhere with a water hookup, as well as RV wheel skirts to help keep the rig as well-insulated as possible. However, always be sure to avoid all exhausted vents when skirting your rig. Otherwise, you risk deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Best Places for Holiday Travel
As you can see, winter RV travel can really benefit from a few well-chosen purchases… at least if you’re going to be staying somewhere cold. And there sure is a lot of fun to be had out in the snow — from visiting loved ones to skiing and other winter sports. (Psst: Here are some of ski resorts that allow RVers to park overnight for their visit!)
But one of the easiest and best holiday travel hacks? Simply choose from one of the many warm holiday travel destinations!
Full-timers often rely on the weather forecast to help them choose their next locale, and it’s a great way to organize shorter trips, too. After all, couldn’t you do with a break from shoveling snow for a while?
All sorts of pleasant holiday travel is there for the taking, just south of the Mason-Dixon line. You can choose from a ton of great American destinations — for instance, New Orleans, Savannah, Austin, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Diego, or any of Florida’s beaches and keys (and don’t forget Disney World in Orlando!).
Better yet, you can actually score some pretty cheap holiday travel when RVing in the wintertime, since shoulder season means lower demand and usually lower prices. If you really want to save a bundle on your holiday camping trip, keep reading.
Holiday Travel Deals
One of the biggest holiday travel expenses, aside from gas and propane, is the money you’ll spend on your campground accommodation fees. Even during the slow season, many resort campgrounds with hookups fetch as much as $75 per night or even more… and if it’s freezing out, you might not be quite as thrilled about boondocking.
That’s why we love discount camping clubs, which can help to offset those high campsite prices. Our favorite here at RVshare is called Passport America, and it can actually save you a full half of the price of your campsite fee at almost 1900 campgrounds across the country! With a membership fee of less than $50 per year, that means it’s bound to pay for itself on your very first use.
Camping clubs are also a great way to make friends and involve yourself in the wider RV camping community and network. Plus, you’ll sometimes find special discounts on other camping necessities, from fuel to equipment and more.
Holiday Travel Ideas
We hope this post has helped you realize that pleasant holiday travel by RV is totally possible… it just takes a little bit more preparation than its summertime equivalent.
Even so, we have no doubt that the stark beauty of the leafless trees and snow-capped mountains will more than make up for the little bit of extra time, effort, and energy you have to put into your planning. It’s all part of the adventure!
Or, if you go the warm-weather route, well… just think of all the the beautiful beach photos you’ll be making your friends jealous with.
Happy holidays, and safe travels, RVers!
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