Ive been reading through numerous blogs about RV'ing in winter time.
I even watched a few video's on other Full timers and their trade secrets.
The BEST,, and I mean the best solution is to head south where its warmer,,, BUT,, Not everyone can do that,, So we must improvise and live and learn from trial and error and hopefully get some practical ideas on keeping ourselves from becoming Pop sickles. I myself prefer the head south option, But as of lately, that seemed the best idea at the time and who knew it would drop to the low teens here in the Texas Pan handle. True it does have its cold days,, but very rarely below freezing, especially the lower teens, This past year, I have personally brain farted and pulled a goof,, i.e. frozen supply water hose(s). But in the past, I have simplified the problems incurred, when having to hunker down during a cold snap. To start off,, Have extra blankets and towels,(beach towel thick ones are the best). Not only do you use these on your bed,, they CAN AND WIILL protect your plumbing. I will take blankets and section off the living quarters.
To hang your blankets up, your probably wondering,, how do you hang a blanket across a ceiling without poking holes in your ceiling. I solved this by putting *CUP hooks,(those kind you screw in under your cabinet to hold your coffee cups). I put them up high on opposing walls. They are some what out of sight and no holes in your ceiling.
I have run heavy duty twine string across from each hook and hung the blanket over the twine,, creating a Cloth wall.. I will do this to seperate the kitchen from living room,, and another cloth wall seperating living room from hall way to bedroom. It all depends on how your rig is set up, as to how you will section it off. The reasoning behind sectioning off areas,, The small electric /ceramic heaters dont have to work as hard to heat a large area. In the kitchen area and bath area,, I always leave the cabinet doors OPEN,, and I use *towels to lay over the exposed plumbing pipes. DONT forget about that cabinet UNDER your stove,(some have them some dont). If you put towels or blankets under there,, dont use your OVEN.. Thats a fire waiting to happen,, The bottom of the oven gets just as hot as the top. With your water heater,,, even though you have disconnected your supply hose (and bring it inside and set it in your tub/shower to keep it from freezing),
LEAVE the pilot light burning,,, even on the auto light models,, leave the switch on,, They have sensors so you dont cook the water heater.
Now on MOST RV's, they have auto safety glass,,, not the best insulated glass, so they will get cold,, and I mean COLD COLD.
I use smaller blankets and cover the Side windows creating a heat barrier,, The electric heaters will be warming up the interior,, but exposed glass will just suck it away. Having blankets up,, the material will stop the cold *draft so to speak and hold the heat inside. Hanging these dont require 300 thumb tacks pushed through the material along the wall above the window. Here again, those cup hooks on each side come in handy,, a hook on each side with the string method, A plus to using the cup hooks,,,,,,,,, a place to hang your pretty xmas lights when the season rolls around,, If you dont want to use the string method,, and you dont have a fondness for the blanket, you can always poke holes on each corner of the blanket and slip the holes over the hooks,,, its up to you. Don't forget to put one over the door,, Every door I have come across seems to have a draft comming through it. Now, when your using electric space heaters,,, Remember,,, most service on RV's are 30 amp,,, But that does NOT mean you can go all gung ho with the available 30 amps,
THINK 15 amps,,,TOPS.. Most breaker boxes split the 30 in two. The most I use are those 12 inch tall 8 inch wide ceramic heaters on LOW with thermostat set on medium. 62 to 65 is tolerable when its below freezing outside. If you dont believe me,, step outside for 20 minutes in just a T-shirt,, then step back inside,, feels kinda toasty huh?
Also when using space heaters,, it does help to have a small desk fan on low to circulate the heat around,, that way the heat just doesnt go to the ceiling and hang there, (heat rises).
If you have to have it at a temp of 85 degrees,,, then you shouldnt be there,, just pack up,and tow yourself south where its warmer.
Another NO NO with portable heaters,,, Never ever use a kerosene heater inside an RV... I have read, it sucks to wake up dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. And Never use your stove top for heating,, It may produce heat, but where is the Carbon monoxide going? Yup,, inside you as you breathe and sleep,, then,,,, ya wake up dead.. which by the way will ruin any and all weekend plans with that bbq get together If you have linolium or wood floors,, putting down carpet runners will help hold the heat, plus it keeps your toes warmer,, verses walking on a cold floor. Remember, to have a smoke detector AND a Carbon Monoxide detector in WORKING condition at ALL TIMES. As far as side skirts,,, they are great to have, But using Plywood is Not practical.. Its heavy and it warps easily, and just all around a P.I.T.A. I have found mobile home skirting practical. Its a poly blend,, easily cuts to fit,,(mark them in order so you can put them in place a lot easier). They interlock and tuck nice and tight underneath.AND,, they are light weight and stack easily.
The only draw back is they really suck in high winds,, Of course you do get exercise the next day gathering them up. Now if your going to be hunkered down awhile,, then affixing 2x2's along the bottom do hold them in place better.
And on a final note,,,, Folk lore has told us in many stories about how a nip of bourbon, etc,, takes the chill out. WRONG.. If your hunkered down when its cold, drinking Alchohol is the WORST thing you can do, It can bring on Hypothermia, while making you FEEL warm. There are many many horror stories of thinking that taking a few nips to *curb the chill is a good thing. People have woke up several hours later suffering symptoms of hypothermia, and even cases of frost bit toes and fingers,, ears and nose. Settle for some hot coffee,(unless it keeps you awake at night), or hot cocoa,, or hot tea,, to take the CHILL off. Most of all,,Be aware of the conditions and surroundings, NOTHING is worth losing your life or a loved ones life, JUST TO ROUGH IT so to speak.. Think Safety,, always.
And if you have a pet,,, they get cold to,, make sure they are warm.
A pets feet,(pads) are as tender as the palm of your hand in cold conditions,, When they go out and then come back in,, make sure they get their feet warm,, just like you would if you were outside barefoot.Pets are family to.
I hope this tid bit of info helps a little,, Remember, Be safe, enjoy the adventure, create the memories,, Hope to see you down the road.