Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful! Driving Your RV in Winter Weather Conditions

Winter is here and though most motorhome travelers have packed their RVs away for winter there are a select adventurous few who still choose to travel during the winter months. For those who choose to embrace this traveling lifestyle year-round, there are a few things to remember to keep you, your family, and your RV safe in treacherous conditions.

Make sure your have appropriate tires:

When purchasing your RV nine times out of ten it is outfitted with “summer tires” which are specially designed to be quite and comfortable on the road. During the winter months, however, these tires may not have adequate traction for icy or snowy roads. For this reason, purchasing tires more equipped for poor weather is important. When choosing tires for your RV try and choose a set with the Severe Service Emblem. This means the tires qualify for use in severe weather, including slush or deep snow. These tires generally perform better than their competitors with only M+S ratings. Some popular brands for RV snow tires are Dunlop, BFGoodrich, Michelin, and Goodyear.

Front wheel drive vs. rear wheel drive:

Most drivers today are used to driving passenger cars, the majority of which are front wheel drive. This means that generally those who are familiar with driving in severe weather conditions have developed habits for regaining control of their vehicle. Motorhomes have rear wheel drive making most of those habits obsolete. When driving in poor conditions in your RV, remember to steer with the slide and gently pump the breaks. Increasing speed makes the matter worse. At times like these you will be happy you have left plenty of room between your vehicle and the on in front of you!

Prepare ahead of time for colder weather:

No one can fully predict the weather and you never know when the skies will open up and dump on you. That being said, if you suspect you might be traveling though snow or in extreme temperatures there are a few preemptive measures you can take to protect your RV.

  •  Check your plumbing, especially if some of the pipes are exposed to the elements. Any exposed plumbing should be wrapped in insulation to prevent freezing and possible cracking.
  • Keep your grey and black water valves closed until you are ready to empty your tank. Leaving the valves open will eventually form an ice dam in the sewer hose which can be hard to fix. 
  • Insulate your windows and vents to hold in heat and use less energy. Also make sure any compartments that open to the outside have good weather seals to prevent leaking. Also consider using portable eclectic heaters to heat your RV, which uses less propane.

For more information about winterizing your motorhome or traveling in more extreme weather conditions please contact Johnson RV or bring you RV into our Sandy location! Also to find some if the items needed to winterize your vehicle visit our Camping Store in Sandy Oregon today!


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