Whether you are going camping or going for a road trip with an RV during the winter, you’d want to stay warm all through. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that all RVs cannot afford.
While there are some hacks that you can harness to keep your RV warm without having to buy another, it will not be as effective as having one specially designed and adapted for winter living.
We understand that you may not know what features such camper trailers should have, so we have done all the work by not only highlighting these features but also reviewing 5 of the best RV for winter living.
Some of these RVs are also among the Best Class C and Class A RVs for winter living. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- 1 Is It Possible To Live In An RV In The Winter?
- 2 Best RV For Winter Living
- 2.1 1. Ice Castle Stub RV America II Fish House Trailer – best RV for fishermen
- 2.2 2. Northwood Arctic Fox Classic 22G Travel Trailer
- 2.3 3. Glacier 17 RV Explorer Toy Hauler
- 2.4 4. Jayco Redhawk 26XD Class C Motorhome (Best Class C RV For Winter)
- 2.5 5. Heartland Bighorn BH 3985 RRD Fifth Wheel Trailer
- 3 Factors That Improve An RV’s Ability To Withstand Winter
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Conclusion | Best Cold Weather RVs
Is It Possible To Live In An RV In The Winter?
There is no limit to when you can live in an RV concerning the season, weather, or temperature. RV life is all about preparation. You have to prepare all adaptive features and carry all gears you will need to survive at any time.
The winter can’t stop you from exploring the wild or mountains, water.
If you are on a low budget to upgrade to winter fitted RVs, you can equip your already existing RV to handle whatever temperature that overwhelms you.
The following RVs are the best in the market that will make your RVing during the winter worth the while.
Best RV For Winter Living
1. Ice Castle Stub RV America II Fish House Trailer – best RV for fishermen
This RV is designed for comfort as it features everything you will need to have an amazing experience out there in the cold. If there anything that we love about this unit is the fact that there are sufficient storage spaces, cabinets to store all your gears for a long trip.
Talking about the insulation, it is perfect specially adapted for winter living – this is the reason why it stands out. It is insulated with closed-cell spray foam for superior insulation. This helps retain more heat in the cabinet than usual.
There is a 30,000 BTU furnace capacity. This may sound small, but you can be sure that it will keep the unit warm even in strong windchills warnings.
Maxx Air distribution system is there for even and fast distribution of heat throughout the cabin. Overall, the unit is sturdy, thanks to the fiberglass lining and spray foam insulation.
Ice castle stub sleeps 4 persons conveniently.
Key Features of the Ice Castle Stub RV America II Fish House Trailer
- Stub Nose
- Standard shower
- Six Fishing Holes
- 16′ Lighted Power Awning
- 3 Cooktop Burners
- 54″ Electric Bunk
- Stainless Steel 110V refrigerator
- 16′ Lighted Power Awning
- Fiberglass Exterior
- 6420 dry weight
- 8 ft external width
- 22ft length
- It is specially designed for fishermen for ice fishing
- Maxx Air distribution system even help maximize heat
- Thermal windows
- 30,000 BTU Propane Furnace
- Not best for a large family
2. Northwood Arctic Fox Classic 22G Travel Trailer
The Northwood Arctic travel trailer is not just designed for extreme cold; it is also the best unit for summer and you will know why shortly.
It is well insulated and features a thermal window – there are no chances for the escape of heat. The underbelly is enclosed, and well-heated.
Again, the 25,500 BTU per hour propane furnace may seem underrated, but for the size of the unit, it is just sufficient to keep the enclosure heated.
Name it, TV set, cooker, refrigerator, king’s bed, just to mention a few, you’ve got everything therein to make your life comfortable.
Unfortunately, this is a small capacity RV and only sleeps 2 persons conveniently.
The high-density block foam insulation coupled with the air ducting system keeps the inside warm no matter the temperature outside.
Key Features of the Northwood Arctic Fox Classic 22G Travel Trailer
- 12-volt and USB chargers in bedroom
- Full tub with bath skylight and a retractable shower screen
- Queen mattress and bedspread
- Bedroom fan vents
- Bedroom carpeting
- Microwave with range cover
- Porcelain toilet
- Skylights with shades in the kitchen
- Digital thermostat
- 10-cubic ft., fridge with raised panels
- Jackknife sofa and booth dinette
- Foam insulation throughout the vehicle
- 19 inches LED TV includes a Bluetooth and DVD/CD player
- Detectors for smoke, carbon monoxide, and liquid petroleum gas
- Ceiling insulation equivalent to R-18
- Drawer glides with roller bearing
- 15” aluminum wheels
- Fiberglass siding contributes to its Sturdiness
- Four Season” RV makes it multipurpose
- Wide-body floor plan
- High-density block foam insulation
- The capacity is too small for a family
- The 25,000 BTU propane furnace can’t measure up with other higher counterparts
- The room shares the same space as the kitchen
3. Glacier 17 RV Explorer Toy Hauler
Just like we love it, the Glacier 17 RV hauler has a 30,000 BTU propane furnace that measures up with the lowest temperature that can be encountered. And for the size of the unit, it can never match any better.
With a well specious interior, Glacier sleeps 5 persons – perfect for a family. However, this depends on the model.
And talking about the model, there are different series to choose from, including the A216RD that is specially designed for ice fishing with the feature of 6 ice-holes.
Another thing we love about this brand is that there are up to 12 colors to choose from.
And did we mention that this unit can serve as a toy hauler? Thanks to its payload capacity of 1,084-pounds.
Key Features of the Glacier 17 RV Explorer Toy Hauler
- 3 BUNKS SLEEPS 5 | 6 ICE HOLES
- 17’ EXTERIOR LENGTH | 96″ WIDTH
- SINGLE AXLE | 1084 LB CARGO CAPACITY
- 30K BTU FORCED AIR FURNACE
- (2) 30lb. LP TANKS
- Weight 4790 – GVWR 5500
- 2 5/16” Receiver hitch, TH – 2” Receiver hitch
- Toy Hauler Weight 4785 – GVWR 5500
- Cedar Interior
- Enclosed Battery Box
- Fire Extinguisher
- CO & Smoke Detectors
- Digital Thermostat
- 1 Piece Seamless Roof
- LED Interior Lighting
- Microwave Oven
- 4 cu Refrigerator
- Power Awning
- Medicine Cabinet in Bathrooms EXP Models
- Free Standing Table All Models
- 30,000 BTU propane furnace is a good capacity to match extreme cold
- Colors and series of models to choose from
- Four Season” RV makes it multipurpose
- Sleeps up to 5 people
- R-16 Rated Insulation
- High payload capacity can serve as a toy hauler
- It is designed rugged, and may not provide the anticipated luxury of comfort
- It is pretty expensive
4. Jayco Redhawk 26XD Class C Motorhome (Best Class C RV For Winter)
This is one of the best class c RV for winter living. For a small capacity enclosure with a 30,000 BTU propane furnace, you wouldn’t expect poor heating.
That is not all; the R-15 insulation retains all the heat within. What helps the most with heat retention is the heated storage tank enclosed underneath. This helps withstand extremely cold temperatures.
This design further prevents the plumbing system from potential freeze-ups.
Let’s take a tour inside the cabin.
First, you will love the layout. The space is well conserved. For a small unit, one wouldn’t expect to see a queen’s size bed. Luckily, the Jayco 26XD class has not only got that, but also has the best interior features such as the stove, range, refrigerator, microwave, toilet, shower, and sink.
2020 Jayco Redhawk 26XD is our recommendation for a small family that likes to travel and go camping in the winter.
Key Features of the Jayco Redhawk 26XD Class C Motorhome
- Large linen closet
- Full bathroom with toilet, sink, and a shower
- Queen sized bed
- 2-seater sofa
- Roomy, built-in linen cabinets and other closets, so enough storage space
- Fully fitted kitchen, upper shelves, including countertops, large sink, and microwaves
- The living area comes with a sofa and has a lot of space
- Enclosed & heated underbelly keeps the plumbing system from freeze-up
- High capacity 30,000 BTU propane furnace
- Sleeps up to 4 people
- 15,000 BTU air conditioner
- Except you have over $100,000 to spend on the recent model, you are left with no choice than the older and lower models with fewer features
5. Heartland Bighorn BH 3985 RRD Fifth Wheel Trailer
If you are a serious mountain camper with a team or a family, you definitely will need a larger unit that can house everyone, and including the gears. Not only will this RV do this, but it will also provide all the comfort to make your experience worthwhile.
For such a large space, you will not expect anything less than 30k propane furnace capacity. You are not wrong. The 2020 Heartland Bighorn BH 3985 RRD features a 40,000 BTU forced air propane furnace.
The system is also supported by large fresh, gray, and black water storage tanks. This design helps reduce the risk of freezing especially for times where you will need to stay out of civilization for multiple days.
Although this RV has got only one King’s bed of 70 X 80, the whole unit can host up to 7 persons. This makes it suitable for family and large team.
Key Features of the Heartland Bighorn BH 3985 RRD Fifth Wheel Trailer
- A heated, insulated underbelly
- 42,000 BTU furnace
- An insulated in-roof A/C duct system
- A high-quality furnace functions at a 42,000 BTU level
- Single piece below-floor heating duct
- The below-floor has its own heating system
- The RV is completely insulated
- A water system from the Plumb-Plex range
- Sleek interior, external design, and layout
- A king-sized bed with a comfortable mattress made from memory foam
- Lots of storage space
- R-38 main flooring and radiant insulation values, R-14 upper deck flooring insulation values, R-11 wall insulation values, and R-34 roofing insulation values,
- Heavy-duty 42,000 BTU Propane Furnace
- Large capacity to Sleep up to 7 people
- Large fresh, gray, and black water storage tanks sustain the entire system for a longer period
- Four Season” RV makes it useful all year round
- No noticeable cons worthy of mention
Factors That Improve An RV’s Ability To Withstand Winter
When buying or renting an RV, there are some key factors that you should take into consideration.
Sometimes, these factors are manufactured into the initial design. Note that you may not get all of these factors in one, however, in absence of any of these features you crave, it can be upgraded through a dealership package from the manufacturer.
This is by far one of the most, if not the most important factor to consider when buying an RV for winter living.
Insulation is valued in R-Value. So the higher the R-Value, the better it is at holding heat in place.
Haven said that the material choice for insulation is also important here. The areas of installation also matter. A good RV would be insulated at the ceiling, walls, and most times, underneath.
2. Dual-pane thermal window
Windows are another channel where heat could be lost. Since we cannot insulate windows as we would for the body, manufacturers are left with no choice to use dual-pane thermal windows or other thermal rated glass for the design.
If you are going to camp in an extremely cold region up north, and your present RV has no double pane windows, you can maneuver your way by covering them with a clear plastic window as seen in winter home window kits.
3. Heated water tanks
Here, we are not just only concerned with the heated water tanks but mostly concerned about the underbelly tanks. If you will be working on ice especially for ice fishing, this factor is not negotiable.
An enclosed heated underbelly does a lot of job for an RV.
First, it ensures that prevents conduction of heat, thanks to the external insulation.
Secondly, another important advantage of a heated and enclosed underbelly is that it helps to prevent water tanks and water lines from freezing.
4. The propane furnace
Another important feature of an RV that is a must-have for winter is the furnace.
A furnace does a major job in heating the enclosure. Now, most RVs have this feature, but not all RVs are made equal.
RVs furnaces are rated in BTU (British Thermal Unit), and the higher the rating, the better it is for extreme cold. You should also take into consideration the size of the RV required to be heated. A wider space will require a higher furnace rating.
Most of the RVs we have reviewed here range from 35,000 up to 42,000 BTU furnace capacities.
5. Number of heating ducts
Fewer heating ducts affect even distribution of heat throughout the entire space. So if you have got spots with temperature differences within the RV, this could be a reason.
Luckily, if your RV has few heating ducts, you can always fix this problem by installing one or two small 12-volt fans close to the ducts and direct the flow towards the cold spots. Doing this will help improve heat distribution.
Frequently Asked Questions
How cold is too cold for an RV?
It can never be too cold to stay in an RV equipped for winter.
You should be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Always ensure that you have all the survival gears, and you go the extra length in preparing your RV to provide the required temperature to stay warm throughout your trip.
Weather forecasts will keep you informed and help you in your planning.
Is it cheaper to RV or stay in hotels?
Whether you are planning to buy an RV or rent one, it is cheaper to use an RV than book a hotel, especially for a family trip.
After all, you can always place your private RV on rent and earn revenue for maintenance. Owning a small RV is the cheapest mode of extended travel.
How cold does it have to be for RV pipes to freeze?
Typically, once the temperature goes below 32-degrees Fahrenheit, it will only take a few minutes before your RV pipes start to get freeze. An RV with a heated underbelly will resist freezing.
On the other hand, if your RV lacks this feature, you can consider insulating the water pipes, running the water through the night, and if possible, emptying the tanks and water lines.
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Conclusion | Best Cold Weather RVs
It is a wrap up here, and it’s good to know that you’ve made it here through our best RV for winter living.
When it comes to traveling and camping in the cold, RVs are the best to consider for shelter. Not only do they have everything you will need to survive in the cold, but they are also comfortable and will provide you with the equivalent luxury you would find in a usual hotel.
Note that you may want to check out other features that appeal to you because we have only highlighted the useful features that relate to winter adaptiveness on each RV we reviewed.
Whatever your priorities are, there is an RV in the market that will meet your need for winter survival.