Preparing for the Weather
When traveling, you will run into many different climates and weather situations. Some of these weather situations can be dangerous or unhealthy for travelers.
Of the smaller towable RVs, the truck camper is the only one that is practical for winter camping. Your foldup camper may have a furnace, but it will generally only cut the chill and not keep you warm in subfreezing temperatures. Depending on the type of truck, the terrain, the amount of snow, and the condition of the roads, the truck camper may be the only RV — towable or motorized — that can access some winter camping areas. With a truck camper, you may also be able to pull a small trailer carrying your snowmobiles or other toys to play in the snow with.
Winter camping can be a great experience, but it does come with some added safety considerations. This is not the time to camp alone. Winter camping is great for a group of at least three or more families to camp. Winter weather can make for treacherous traveling conditions. Very cold weather can drain batteries more quickly than more moderate temperatures. If an individual or family has problems or needs some kind of emergency help, having traveling companions can mean the difference between life and death.
Before you set out for a winter trip, you will need to take care of some maintenance details. There are also some supplies that will be needed only for winter camping.
Your truck needs to be in top condition for the cold weather. Have the oil changed, making sure to use the appropriate oil weight recommended in your owner's manual for winter weather. Check the fluid levels in your engine and battery to prevent freezing. Check that your tires are in good shape and tires are inflated correctly. Get tire chains and use them if you are on slippery roads.
Make sure you have sufficient fuel to run the heater, stove, and water heater. These run very efficiently on propane, but only if the tanks are filled.
Take along enough dry clothing to last the entire trip. Even in subzero weather, you will sweat when doing something physically exerting. That sweat can later cause hypothermia, a very dangerous condition. Warm and dry clothing in layers is the best defense against the cold.