Best RVs and Motorhomes for Winter Use

How to choose the best motorhome for winter


Best RVs and Motorhomes for Winter Use

Winter may not seem like the best time to explore the great outdoors in Australia, but in reality you can still enjoy camping during the cooler season, especially if you pick the right motorhome as your travel buddy.

For some RVer’s camping in cold weather, especially as we move deeper into winter may not be top of the to-do list. Many may wish to trade in a scarf for a swimsuit by travelling north or, store their RVs until the warm weather visits again. However, there are so many reasons to give winter camping a try!  The serenity of nature, fewer crowds, cheap camping deals and hot chocolate to mention just a few. Plus using your campervan or motorhome all year round means you’re getting more value from your RV investment. With so many good reasons to embrace the cold for the duration of the season, one question remains: which is the best motorhome for winter use?

In this article, we discuss:

▪          Benefits of having a motorhome for winter use

▪          Things to look for when buying an RV for winter use

▪          Other things to consider when using your motorhome in winter

Let’s get started!

 

Motorhome in winter

Benefits of Having a Motorhome for Winter Use

 

Winter may not seem like the best time to explore the great outdoors in Australia, but in reality you can still enjoy camping during the cooler season, especially if you pick the right motorhome as your travel buddy.

 

Enjoy the serenity

 

Roads tend to be quieter during winter and off-peak travel seasons. This means you’re likely to have a more pleasant drive on clearer roads and have your choice of campground spots. If you are keen to escape the busy city life for a change, winter is the ideal time to do so. With fewer (or even no) crowds around, you can fully immerse yourself in the serenity of nature during the cooler months.

 

Keep warm and cosy

 

Your motorhome will come in handy, as it will become your cosy shelter from the elements.  Perfect for when you want to stay warm and dry after a long day hike in the snowy alpines or gaze at the clear starry skies without suffering the chilly cold wind at night. 

 

Make the most of your investment

 

With the purchase of the right RV, you can get the most of your investment by travelling all year round. If you feel like paying a visit to your friends and family in other states, you don’t have to bother them for extra bedding or living space especially in winter. It is truly your warm home-on-wheels to retreat to!

Diesel Heater

What to Look for When Buying an RV for Winter Use

 

Insulation

 

Insulation is a very important factor in providing you with cold-weather comfort. The right insulation will keep warm air trapped inside your motorhome whilst also keeping cold air out. It is the most important thing to consider when choosing a motorhome for winter use.

Insulation is measured with an “R-value” that indicates how resistant a material is to conducting heat. In other words, the higher the R-value of your motorhome insulation, the greater the thermal efficiency of your motorhome. Among the common types of insulation in most RVs, fiberglass has the highest R-value.

All KEA motorhomes are installed with fiberglass walls, along with insulated ceiling and floor that can keep you warm through the cold winter nights effectively.

Also, remember to cover the inside of the windscreen and the drivers and passenger door windows with a fitted silver blanket to stop heat escaping through glass, and decrease condensation in your vehicle. It can also help improve insulation.

 

Heating Systems

 

Although insulation is great for keeping hot air inside the motorhome, it does not necessarily generate heat. To warm the inside of the motorhome, you will need a heating system. There are three common ways that motorhomes are heated:

▪          Reverse-cycle air conditioning

▪          Diesel heating

▪          Gas heating

The most popular system these days is probably the reverse-cycle air conditioning, as it comes in handy for both summer and winter. It takes minimal space and is safe to run overnight. KEA motorhomes are all fitted with reverse-cycle air conditioners on the roof to suit your needs. However, the only downside of it is that you need to make sure your motorhome is plugged into 240V AC power to keep it running. It means you need to stay at a powered campsite to run heating in your vehicle.

If you are more likely to travel off-grid in winter, diesel or gas heating installed in  motorhomes are both good options. These heaters warm up the vehicle quickly, are virtually noiseless and highly economical in power consumption.

Diesel heaters have become our favourite option for motorhome heating. Compared to LPG, diesel is relatively hard to ignite and heaters are safe to use while driving. Safety is a strong motivator for many when making a fuel source decision for their new cabin heater, as is ease of installation. With so many regulations in place for the installation of gas appliances, there could be a possibility that your vehicle is ruled out from having gas heating installed. Diesel heaters, on the other hand, are easy to purchase and get installed by KEA’s knowledgeable staff. The friendly team is always available to help you pick the right products and accessories for your vehicle.

 

Contained Draughts

 

In winter, a quick way to lose heat is through windows and doors with draughts. To keep your motorhome more energy efficient, make sure to check if all the windows and doors are sealed properly before your trips. KEA motorhomes are fitted with tight seals to keep warm air inside the van in cold weather, of course also cool air in during summer. You can also choose to have thermal blinds or curtains fitted in your van if needed.

 

Storage Space for Warm Woollies

 

When travelling in winter in Australia, temperatures are usually pretty mild. So one of the cheapest and easiest ways to stay warm in your motorhome during winter is to take a couple of extra blankets and linen. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference they can make! Wool blankets and thermal clothing or winter bedding can definitely make the nights more comfortable. A hot water bottle is a cosy addition you won’t regret packing for winter travel.

With so many items to take, it is very important to have plenty of storage place. KEA motorhomes have large overhead and under seat storage to help you keep your motorhome clutter free, and your winter warmers contained. It also has a large rear storage boot with easy access if you need to store large items for winter trips.

If you plan on travelling during the winter months, buying a motorhome that will keep you warm, dry and protected from the elements is a must. KEA motorhomes are designed for all-weather travel, explore our range now. Want to modify or refurbish your vehicle for winter? We can help with that.

 

Motorhome in Winter

Other Things to Consider When Using a Motorhome in Winter

 

Driving in Frosty or Snow Conditions

 

You may be a wonderfully capable motorhome driver on the sun-kissed blacktop, but commandeering your vehicle in slippery, icy conditions is  another skill altogether. Remember to go slowly, brake easily, and leave tons of room between you and the car ahead of you. Check your tyre has good tread before your winter adventures - if your vehicle is fitted with summer tires, it may be worth swapping out for the winter. Unlike New Zealand, unless planning on travelling in alpine areas, snow chains are not really necessary, neither is diesel that has wax additives. Check out our guide on driving a motorhome for more handy tips.


 

Parking in Winter

 

Winter travel often means lots more options for parking as sites tend to be less crowded. So take your time and choose to park in sheltered spots.  Angling your vehicle with the rear of the vehicle facing the prevailing wind will also help. If you want a more comfortable stay, try to park on solid ground and use levellers and tyre savers to balance your vehicle or avoid sinking in wet weather. Check out our guide on keeping your motorhome level for additional tips and tricks.
 

 

Make sure Your Vehicle is Regularly Maintained and Serviced

 

Having your motorhome serviced yearly reduces the chance of anything going wrong when you’re about to hit the road, especially before you depart on your winter adventure. Make sure to get a motorhome specialist to do your servicing so you can rest assured knowing your  vehicle is you safe. It will save you precious time and you’ll always be ready for your next journey. KEA Motorhomes have the experience and facilities across our national network to take care of your motorhome.  Choose your service plan at KEA so you can rest assured your vehicle is in top shape and ready for a smooth trip.


 

Other Commonly Asked Questions about RV Winter Travel

 

Will RV pipes freeze in one night?

 

There isn’t a definitive temperature where you start to be at high risk for pipe freezes. In fact, it’s very dependent on how long they remain in the cold. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should start to take precautions once the temperature goes below 0 degrees. (luckily that doesn’t happen too often in Australia!)

 

Will RV holding tanks freeze?

 

Unless you are going for snow adventures, just like the RV pipes, it’s unlikely that your holding tanks will freeze. But if you are one of those who park up their motorhome during winter time and don’t travel much at all. Winterizing your RV is just one of the options you have to keep them from freezing.

 

Get started with KEA Motorhomes

 

If you are considering a motorhome that ticks all the boxes above, KEA Motorhomes is the smart choice. From the new 2 berth KEA Ultima to the legendary 6 berth KEA River, we’ve got different models to suit your all weather adventures.

Always keep it in mind that the best motorhome for you is one that is suited to your lifestyle. Got something special in mind? At KEA we have a dedicated team at our service centres that you can talk to to get help with enhancing and customising your RV. Make sure to check out KEA’s great range online or at your nearest KEA certified dealers. Enjoy a comfortable and stress-free winter holiday with KEA.