How to keep warm in your RV during winter

Sweet surfing waves, crisp air, crowd-free beaches and cosy campfires. If I had to choose a time of year to hit the road, honestly? I would pick the winter. It’s cold, sure. And if you’re not prepared, caravanning in the winter can be a chilly ordeal. But the bottom line is, if you’ve done your homework it can be a pretty incredible time to explore. So on that note, here are five tips for keeping warm in your RV during winter.


Tip 1: Insulation

First things first, you’ll want to make sure your van has in-built insulation in the roof and walls. You’d be surprised how much cold rises through a non-insulated floor. Once you’ve got your insulation, consider taking it a step further by adding a removable carpet or a rug to enhance the floor insulation. Carpet tiles cut to ft make for an easy DIY job. To keep everything together, you could add Velcro or press studs.

Windows are another cause of heat loss. Look at using curtains, blinds or dedicated thermal window coverings once the sun goes down to prevent this. Don’t forget to check door seals for cold ingress points.

Pop-top vans, camper-trailers or expandas with canvas sections are harder to retain the heat within, so utilising a second cover can help keep out the cold. If you have a pop-top van, drop the roof to reduce the volume of air to be warmed.

Tip 2: Internal heating

Cheap hardware-store-sourced blow or ceramic heaters may be a good option but you’ll need 240-volt mains power to run them. Alternatively, you might have ticked the option box on a dedicated caravan Diesel or LPG heating system, which is designed for camping away from mains power. If you don’t already have one, you could choose to install one yourself. Truma also has a great range of compact RV heaters, including the hybrid Combi model.


Preparing a hearty meal is another surefire way to heat inside your van. Remember heat rises, so keep those roof vents closed once you’re done cooking.

Tip 3: Create a cosy bed

Caravan interior
Credit: Alex Azabache

A nice thick duvet and lots of rugs are a no-brainer, but don’t forget about the old-school hot water bottle or heat back; they work a treat to pre-warm the bed. The same goes for electric blankets and 12-volt options are available as well as 240V versions. Toss an extra blanket on the bed, or invest in a four-season doona that fastens two quilts together – IKEA has a beauty. You’re looking to maximise body heat under the covers. Depending on your van, a thermal blanket under the mattress may help too. 

Tip 4: Dress smart

Now, stating the bleeding obvious, you will need to rug up when it’s cold, but there is a right and wrong way to do it. Layering is key. A number of thinner layers of clothes (instead of one huge jacket) helps regulate your body temperature and allows you to easily change clothes as you move in and outside. A hat makes a big difference to overall body warmth, as do gloves and decent socks.

Tip 5: Maximise nature

© Ewen Bell

Even in the winter, the sun can make a big difference. Park your van in the sunshine for as long as you can during the day. Come evening, grab some logs and get ready to huddle around the campfire. Tip: Put a blanket on your camping seat for extra warmth. 

In summary

There’s plenty to think about above and with a little preparation, and a wise spend, caravanning in winter should be thoroughly enjoyable. 




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