RVing In Extreme Weather: What You Should Know

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

boondockers 15 off

RVing in Extreme weather

Key Takeaways:

  • Weather Considerations for RV Living:
    • Weather becomes crucial when living in an RV due to its less secure nature compared to a traditional home.
    • Extreme hot or cold conditions require special attention to keep the RV and its occupants comfortable and safe.
  • RVing in the Heat:
    • Without shade, RV interiors can get significantly warmer than outside temperatures.
    • A/C units are effective but require generators or electrical hookups to run efficiently.
    • Fantastic fans are useful for smaller rigs to bring in cooler outside air.
    • Tips for staying cool include positioning the RV to minimize sun exposure, using awnings, and creating shade with netting or canopies.
  • RVing in the Cold:
    • RVs not designed for all seasons require extra insulation and protection in extreme cold.
    • Preventing plumbing from freezing is crucial; options include heated hoses, heat tape, and running incandescent bulbs near tanks.
    • Additional insulation measures like skirting, bubble wrap, and reflective sheets help retain heat.
    • Personal warmth strategies include heated blankets, thermal underwear, and propane heaters.
  • Safety Precautions:
    • Plan travel around weather conditions, avoiding areas prone to severe storms or extreme temperatures.
    • Stay updated on weather reports using apps and live radars, and heed extreme weather warnings.
    • Avoid driving in high winds or storms, seek shelter when necessary, and maintain a fully-stocked emergency kit.
    • Check insurance coverage to ensure comprehensive protection against weather-related incidents.


When you’re inside your home, the weather outside can get extreme, but you usually won’t need to worry. It is a little different when you live on the road in your RV. The weather becomes more important because RVs are not as secure as your home. It is helpful to know how to stay up to date with weather changes and what you can do to keep your RV comfortable in extreme weather.

Depending on where you travel and what season it is, you may end up living in extreme hot or extreme cold conditions for a while.

RVing in the Heat

If you are parked without shade or trees, the inside of the RV can get almost 8 degrees warmer than the outside temperatures. If the exterior color of the RV is dark, then these internal temperatures can become even higher. Traveling in hot climates is more comfortable when you have good insulation, so this should be updated and maintained often.

One of the best ways to keep an RV cool in the heat is with an A/C unit. You will need a generator or electrical hookups to run the A/C efficiently. Given the amount of sun around you, using solar may seem ideal. But, it will take a large amount of solar power to run the A/C for any length of time for effective cooling. Larger RVs may even require two A/C systems to provide enough cooling for extreme outdoor temperatures.

My RV has 2 fantastic fans. Those are great to bring in the outside temperature and keep your RV cooler. I highly suggest investing in at least one fan for smaller rigs.

To help you stay cool inside the RV, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind.

  • Park your RV so that the awning faces the sun, and keep it rolled out to reduce sun exposure.
  • If you have a smaller RV or teardrop camper, you can park it under a canopy or set up netting over them to create shade.
  • For hot and dry climates, use a vent that blows inward to create a homemade swamp cooler. Get a cloth wet and drape it over the vent to cool the air as it comes in.
  • Attach reflective sheets to the windows to reflect heat away from the RV.


[amazon table=”11051″]


RVing in the Cold

While most people think of RVing as a summer trip, there are many people that live the full-time RV lifestyle. This means you end up living in extreme cold sometimes. Most RVs are not designed for all seasons, so if you plan to spend lots of time in extreme weather conditions you will need a better-insulated rig. Along with keeping yourself warm in the cold, it is just as important to keep the RV plumbing from freezing.

Most modern RVs have plastic plumbing to help reduce freezing. There are steps you can take to add additional protection to the plumbing and yourself when the temperatures drop.

  • Consider buying a heated hose or heat tape to wrap around your pipes
  • Run an incandescent bulb to deliver heat to holding tanks that are enclosed in bays
  • For exposed tanks, add skirting around the RV
  • Dump tanks when they are half full, so if they do freeze, there is room for expansion, and tanks will not break
  • Bubble wrap and reflective sheets taped to the windows can increase insulation
  • Invest in heated (or electric) blankets as they use less power than heaters
  • Stock up on thermal underwear, blankets, and sleeping bags

I personally keep myself warm with hot water bottles during cooler nights in Arizona. I also have a Wave Propane Heater which I use with a smaller 2-gallon propane tank.

As best as you can, try to plan travel around the weather. If certain areas are known to have severe freezes or hurricane seasons, do your best to plan accordingly.

While the weather can change in an instant, planning will minimize the risks of severe storms. Always watch weather reports in your area and pay attention to extreme weather warnings. Invest in weather apps and live radars to help keep you in the know.

  • Do not drive in high winds and in bad storms.
  • Seek shelter if you cannot avoid a bad storm coming your way.

You also need to keep a fully-stocked emergency kit with first aid, a flashlight, batteries, charging banks, and extra clothes and water. If you are spending a lot of time on the road, it is also worth checking your insurance coverage to get as many scenarios covered as possible. Planning ahead is the best way to prepare for extreme weather, so you can focus on having fun on the road.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


No, thanks!