When deciding to live or camp in your RV for the winter, there are many things to consider. The most important factors include keeping the heat inside (and cold air out) and keeping all of your tanks and connections from freezing. Watch the videos below to learn what you can do to properly winterize your RV for winter living and camping. Be sure you don't winterize it for storage, rather than living, as there is more than one type of winterizing. We love the advice from the two experts in the videos below, as they offer practical tips everyone can follow and they both have different things you can apply.
There are plenty of RV parks pretty much everywhere you go. But did you know there are also a large amount of free dispersed camping, parking, and boondocking spaces around the United States? Here is a comprehensive list of resources to find the best FREE spot to park your RV overnight or longer.
Park For Free at Select Walmart Locations
Free Camping in Colorado
Free Dispersed Camping in Colorado
Roads Less Traveled - How to Find Free RV Campsites
RV-Camping.org | Boondocking
Gone With The Wynns | Boondocking Tips - How to And Where to
Love Your RV! | Boondocking Basics
Boondocking.org (Boondocking search database)
Boondockers Welcome | Be My Guest RV Parking
Vanabode | Camp, Travel, and Live Forever on $20 a day!
RV.net Open Roads Forum | Public Lands, Boondocking, and Dry Camping
Camp In My Garden (Private Free and Affordable Lots)
Casino Camper (search for casinos that allow free parking)
Bureau of Land Management (Dry camping is allowed in many BLM areas)
Eugene Carsey | Free Campgrounds and Camping in the USA
Your RV Lifestyle | Boondocking Tips
RV Dump Stations
If your RV sink is turned off or broken in some way, there are still several ways to make use of it. Find out which way is right for you, based on how bad your RV sink situation really is.
Method One: Hand-Fill and Drain Later
This method is best for those who have a working drain and a grey water tank that is less than ¾ full. If your p-trap is leaking, do not use this method. However, if there are no leaks when your pump is turned off and your grey water drains into the tank properly (and your tank is capped with the release valve closed), you can use this method.
Since your RV sink pump will be turned off, you must be either boondocking or you have an issue when the pump is turned on. This means you will need a couple gallons of water. One is for a rinse bucket and the other is for your washing water. You can either buy this water or if you are at an RV park (or other location) with access to water, you can fill up a jug or bucket accordingly.
Plug your drain and fill one side of your turned off RV sink with water. Add antibacterial dish soap and swish it around to make it soapy. Add dishes and wash them. Place them in the empty side of the sink and drain the soapy side. If you have a heat source available, you can boil the water first for added disinfecting. Use the rinse jug or bucket to rinse the dishes over the unplugged side of the sink. Again, only do this if your tank can hold both the rinse water, as well as the soapy water.
Dry the dishes inside the clean sink, on a dry towel, or in a drying rack. Once you have access to a sewer drain hookup, drain your grey water tank. If you can’t get access to a hookup and you need to drain it, drain it into a bucket, safely handle/store it, and drain the bucket as soon as there is a safe place to do so.
Method Two: Hand-Fill and Hand Drain
This method is best used if your RV sink drains well, but the tank is full. Follow the same instructions as above, except don’t drain the water into the sink. Both sides should be plugged. When emptying is needed, siphon the water out with a jug and pour it into a bucket. Follow proper safety methods for disposing of the grey water in the bucket. If there is any residue left in the sink that cannot be siphoned, use a towel to soak it up and dry and clean the towel as soon as possible.
Method Three: Cover the Drain Hole and Use Bins in the Basins
This method is basically the same as method two, except you’re going to use bins to do the washing into so that as little as possible gets into the actual RV sink. This is best for when you either don’t want to siphon out water or don't want to risk getting too much water into the actual sink.
Other Possible Options
So, you have a fridge in your RV or camper but you’re boondocking and can’t turn it on or it’s broken. Here’s how to use a turned off or non-working RV refrigerator as a cooler for food, drinks, or both.
How to Use Your Turned Off or Non-Working RV Fridge as a Cooler
You can use your makeshift RV or camper trailer refrigerator cooler for drinks, refrigerated food, or both.
The first step is to place a freezer pack into each storage container. Then, fill them with ice. Place the covers onto the shelves and then place the containers on top of the covers. The containers need to stay open to keep the refrigerator cool enough. Placing them on top of the covers helps eliminate dripping when the ice melts and helps keep them in place when your RV moves.
Once the containers and food are in place for each shelf, use the RV refrigerator bars to secure everything so that it doesn’t move too much while driving. These bars are inexpensive and will save you from having food crash against the door and either get smashed, spilled, or cause the refrigerator to open while the camper is moving.
Once your shelves are stocked and secure, place a freezer pack in each refrigerator drawer and then fill about halfway with ice. The space left over is where you will place the food that needs to go into the drawers. Freezer bags and storage containers help prevent your food from getting wet, just like in a traditional cooler.
We are a homeschooling family, sometimes roadschooling in an RV. We enjoy spreading the word about how to #RV successfully! We've traveled across the country in a '77 Minnie Winnie decorated Denver Broncos style and dubbed the BroncoBago. We've also had other rigs as well. Follow along as Lyn Lomasi and family share adventures, tips, how-to guides on the RV Life in a #Winnebago, and more! If it's about RVs, homeschooling, roadschooling, camping, and the like, you can bet we'll cover it. Hop in and enjoy the ride!
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, this awesomely crazy family conquers the world, managing Intent-sive Nature while going on Upstream Parenting adventures & lessons, sometimes in an RV. They strive to cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they settle for rescue dogs and cats.
By supporting us, you support a single parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to and/or stands for several causes, including homeless pets, homeless people, trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature goes toward worthy causes.
For guidance in the world of freelance writing or for advice on her specialty topics, Ask Lyn.