The Joys of Winterizing Your Camper



The days are getting shorter here and the nights are getting longer and the temperature is starting to drop like a rock. For those of us here in camper land this means we are in the throes of winterizing our campers. To be honest, our family is far behind where we should be on our winter preparations. We ended up paying for it when we woke up one morning last week with no water due to a frozen water line and then, once the lines thawed, the busted water filter began spraying water everywhere. Thankfully, it could have been worse and I was able to quickly install the heated hose and plug in the heated hydrant and we once again have water.

With this experience in mind ,I thought I’d share with you some of the things we’ve done and are planning to do to winterize the camper, along with other tips I’ve gathered for camper winterizing. It’s best to start this process as soon as possible once you know where you will be staying for the winter so you’re not scrambling around in the cold trying to get it done before your camper systems start freezing up.

One of the main things that has been our minds while preparing to winterize the camper are the water and waste lines that are going into and out of the camper. Most lots have sewer outlets so it’s a good idea to install a permanent waste water line. These are typically made out of PVC and include an expansion fitting to ensure that the line doesn’t bust during temperature drops and rises. As for fresh water, we are lucky enough to live in a lot that has heated hydrants which helps immensely with keeping the water flowing. Although, despite having heated hydrants, a heated hose is still necessary to keep our water supply going through the winter.

The next item on our winterizing checklist is caulking and sealing up the camper. For those folks who live in newer campers I imagine that this isn’t such a big concern, but our camper is nearly ten years old and the caulk is starting to degrade which is causing some serious drafts inside our happy little camper home.

The last item on our winterizing checklist is skirting the camper.  Most people use either wood or foam insulation or both for skirting their campers. I’ve even seen custom made fabric skirting custom that will snap onto your camper. Of course, if you can’t get around to doing your own winterizing there are companies who will do this for you.

Unfortunately, even after we’ve gone to all the trouble of winterizing our camper, there is no guarantee that, in the dead of winter, the pipes aren’t going to freeze up. This happened to Jacob and the guy he shared the camper with last winter and they were unable to thaw things out until the spring. I don’t know, nor am I sure if I want to know, how they made it all winter without water. And I sure hope that, by being prepared for the winte, I don’t have to find out firsthand!

So, what kind of tips and tricks do you use for making your camper winter proof? I’d love to hear them!

About chelsea

Chelsea is mama to 4 year old Will and partner to her oilfield man and best friend of 16 years, Jacob. She splits her time between the family’s camper in the North Dakota Oil Patch and a small urban homestead in Kentucky. Chelsea writes about the family’s camper adventures at She is a batik artist and loves teaching others about the art of batik at She can also be found working on her other sites and In her moments of spare time she enjoys knitting, sewing and gardening.


  1. Lony Summerlin says:

    Plastic window insulation is a must! It is super easy to install with a hair dryer and it will make a big difference. We also have thermal curtains that we put in when the weather gets colder.
    Another big tip is if the temps are going to drop and stay that way for a while you can open your cabinet doors at night to help keep the water lines flowing smoothly. The heat from the camper will get into those hard to reach places where they run the water lines. A slow drip on your kitchen faucet at night will also keep the water running.
    I also keep a gallon of RV antifreeze in the bathroom and every time I dump the black water tank I put some antifreeze in the tank after I close the handle. It helps to keep the tank liquefied until the next time it needs to be dumped. Please never, never, never leave your black water handle open. The solids will collect in the tank and then you will have a mess you NEVER want to have to deal with.
    Good luck and stay warm!

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