“If you go out in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…” While it won’t be stumbling upon a teddy bear picnic, the post-summer glum for avid campers won’t last forever. Across Canada, camping season officially runs from the May Long Weekend to Labour Day, but from October to April, winter camping begins. Do you want to change up your winter getaways this year? Winter camping may be just what you need!
What is Winter Camping?
Winter camping is not a one-size-fits-all experience. It will be different depending on how you choose to camp. Like summer camping, people will embrace the outdoors with winter tenting, in an RV, or in style. Due to the unpredictable nature of Alberta winters, winter tenting can be risky and depends on having the right equipment for the weather conditions. If glamping is more your style, Alberta is home to a variety of yurt and cabin experiences to check out. To get you started, check out our previous winter glamping post.
Winter RV camping is not for the faint of heart, as it will require more preparation to winterize your RV properly. Some of the common reasons against winter RV camping include:
- Poor RV insulation
- Increased preparation expenses
- Risk of frozen water lines
- Limited to indoor activities
When you step back for reasons not to go, there are easy solutions to the problems. Your RV parts dealer can help you determine what you will need for insulation and heat sources to make winter RV camping a possibility.
9 Benefits of Winter Camping
- Access your favourite trails all year long: Have you ever wondered what your favourite trail looks like in a different season? Check out new hiking trails and places open to activities this winter. Looking for something new? Try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or skating trails this year.
- Save with winter camping rates: Across Alberta, campgrounds have a variety of spaces reserved for winter camping with cheaper off-season rates. Benefit from the energy efficiency savings compared to heating your home.
- Discover winterizing options for your RV: Regardless of your RV model, winterizing options are available to everyone! From antifreeze treatments to heated hoses, our online parts store has just what you need to get on the road this winter. To conserve more heat, shrinkwrap your screen door to create a wind barrier.
- Enjoy the view without the crowd: Remember the campground you wanted to stay at this summer that was fully booked? Check again. With fewer travellers in the winter months, you can find the best campsites with off-season rates and enjoy the outdoors without the noise.
- Discover hidden health benefits: When did you last escape the city? Spending time in the great outdoors in the winter has mental and physical health benefits. Burn calories as you learn a new sport and reduce inflammation with colder temperatures.
- Fewer pests: With the colder temperatures comes a much-appreciated break from our pesky friends from the summer. Enjoy a buzz-free zone without the flies, wasps and mosquitoes.
- Get more out of your favourite destinations: From the fall leaves to snowy scenes, see your favourite places transform with the seasons. With more time, find a new haunt and see what else to do in the area.
- Last-minute getaways: If you suffer from the winter blues of staying inside, a last-minute getaway can be freeing. When your RV is winterized, you can choose a destination and plan in a few weeks compared to months in advance. By changing up your routine, you can check out new places and benefit from a cost-effective winter getaway.
- Spend more quality time with loved ones: Cuddle up by the fire or sit around the table with a cup of hot chocolate and a game. Spending time winter camping can help you to reconnect after a busy summer and create new memories with wildlife up close and personal.
How Do I Prepare for Winter Camping
Check the Forecast
When planning your winter camping getaway, it is essential to know the timing of your trip to plan around the forecast. Is there a winter storm on its way? Have a backup plan for your travel days to ensure you don’t get caught in a blizzard with your RV. More importantly, be realistic when dealing with extreme cold warnings – can your RV handle it? If the temperatures will be consistently low while you are away, it may be time to check your heating systems. Can it be improved to keep your pipes from freezing? Our talented service team at Grove RV can help inspect your RV for heating improvements to keep you safe on the road.
Winterize your RV
Whether this is your first winter camping trip or you are an experienced pro, your RV should be ready to go each season. To help you stay warm this winter, there are a few areas of your RV to inspect.
- Tires: Do you have all-season tires or winter tires for your RV? Consider investing in rugged or winter tires for your RV to keep up with the icy terrain and give you a grip on the road. Additionally, many winter roads across Canada will require you to have tire chains for your RV. Contact us today to find the right tires and chains for your model.
- Water tanks and hoses: Just as you would do in a regular winterizing routine, your grey and black water tanks should have an antifreeze treatment to ensure that there will be no freezing in storage or on the road. If you are worried about your water tanks for shorter trips, consider using bottled water in the interim. Consider adding a heated hose to your rig to keep water flowing in the cold. An RV skirt will also help keep the RV core warm while parked as it traps escaping heat from the underside of the unit.
- Insulation: Many RVs are categorized as three-season models, meaning they will have the right Spring, Summer and Fall insulation. You can add to the existing insulation by insulating your roof vents for the winter months. Adding rugs and curtains can also help to stop the heat from escaping through the windows and laminate surfaces. When in doubt, an electric blanket can help you to stay warm as you enjoy a cozy night in.
- Furnace and heating systems: Is your furnace in need of a tune-up? Book a tune-up service today to inspect your heating system and replace any damaged connections. For propane replacements or to check out fireplace and heating systems compatible with your RV, check out our online parts store.
For any additional winterizing steps, check out our complete winterizing checklist!
Follow a Packing Guide
Don’t let frostbite and cooler temperatures ruin your dreams of a winter camping trip! Just as you want to keep your RV warm, other items shouldn’t be left off your packing list, including:
- Waterproof layers
- RV skirt
- Sleeping bags
- Extra blankets
- Tire chains
- Extra propane tanks
- Batteries and spare parts kit
- Emergency First Aid Kit
Tag Grove RV in your Camping Adventures
Where will you go this winter? To help you get inspired, check out our top 5 recommended year-round campgrounds in Alberta! Wherever you go this winter, we want to hear about it! Tag us on social media and use our hashtag #GroveRVLife. Whether you are looking for winter accessories or want to check out our new inventory, come by the showroom! Our talented service and sales teams are here to help you from booking a tune-up to helping you bring your camping dreams to life.