Winter in an RV in the Rocky Mountains

Spending a winter in an RV can be an experience of a lifetime…

Multiple challenges – sometimes several at once arise when the outside temperature falls to -35F (and then barely crosses zero degrees in the “heat” of the day!) Yes, at times the cold was “biting”, but this campground in Steamboat Springs is in the deepest part of the valley the town is located in and a “temperature inversion” insures cold, dense air collects for much of the “dead of winter”.

the walkway...


Be sure to visit my NEW site dedicated to RV’ers and the RV Lifestyle –

My RV site has an entire section dedicated to winter living

As you’ll hear and then see, I had to make several modifications and preparations for the upcoming winter in October and November – but even with those preparations, challenges arose. Those challenges included water freezing (multiple times in multiple places), frozen grey and black tank levers (you can’t “dump” when the levers won’t move!), refrigerator failure, water pump freezing, slide outs requiring snow removal, and more. 

an amazing view

More pics coming soon! Some of the greatest skiing in my life has happened in the past few weeks!

If you’re ever thinking of such a lifestyle, watch this video and enjoy! 

YouTube Preview Image
best rv accessories

Click the image to see what RV Accessories I’ve found stand “the test of time” – AND – are designed for WINTER RV LIVING!

Tags: , , ,

10 Replies

Trackback  •  Comments RSS

  1. Cathy G says:

    My husband and I went deer hunting one year with my father in a trailer and it got so cold one night the propane froze. Not Fun!

  2. Wayne Thomas says:

    That is what I like about you. You have to be crazy

  3. Alan Sills says:

    Who me? Crazy? Yup, dats me! Al

  4. Alan Sills says:

    I was warned to keep the thermostat up and not let the propane quit for too long or it could be a problem – but – only in the most extreme cold of winter which lasted about 3-4 weeks. Al

  5. Adrienne Halanick says:

    I was wondering what park is that you are camping in?

  6. Alan Sills says:

    steamboat campground…but, they may not be open next winter; the owner is getting “cold feet”! but…there ARE other options, are you looking?

  7. Maureen Phillips says:

    Hi Al,
    I have appreciated your videos this morning (10/2015). I am at the AF Academy (retired AF/ANG officer and college English professor) campground in Colorado Springs, planning to stay until spring. I have a 2015, 34′ polar edition Keystone Cougar. I figured Steamboat Springs was at a much higher elevation. DOH! Not. There’s only about 600 feet difference…(perhaps that’s significant?). It went down to 30 degrees last night but stayed toasty inside. Still have water and all this morning, too.

    I’ve already set up an e-hose and wrapped the faucet pipes at the ground and housing on the side of the RV. My next step is to build skirting with straw bales. I’m told they’re even more efficient than the foam core panels (tried that, I’m too unskilled and confused by it all…they blew off! I’m such a girl! LOL). I am planning to keep my gray/black sewer outlet closed and only empty once each week or 10 days. I’ve been told that Co Springs/USAFA sits in a spot that gets tons of sunshine and less snow than the surrounding areas. They tell me the USAFA roads are kept plowed, too.

    I was surprised to hear that your RV fridge blew. Was that directly a result of the cold weather? That’s a scary possibility that I wouldn’t want to have to confront in the midst of snow. What would you have done differently to protect it?

    You and I have indeed chosen an enviable “neutral location” lifestyle. Like you, I also have a web-based consulting business. It’s ideal! I believe freedom is worth working for….as my 20 year career attests. (Not that I’m not utterly relieved it’s behind me!!) :o)

    Just watched your “About Me” video….didn’t realize you are also an educator and that you’re in ID. I rode horses for a week at Swiftsure Ranch in Hailey in June. It’s as beautiful there as in my home state: Oregon! I agree: the high country of the NW is like heaven on earth!


  8. Alan Sills says:


    Just saw your note. I’m spending a bit more time these days with I will be posting an article about running a RV refrigerator in the winter shortly on that blog (figure 2-4 days from now) – perhaps sooner! And, yes, the rv fridge issue WAS a result of the cold weather. You’ll find colorado springs to be cold but not as bitterly cold as the valley in which Steamboat resides. You’ll see that climate on the front range (as folks have told you) is quite a bit drier than west of the divide (as steamboat is). Also, Colorado Springs will have periodic thaws with downright mild temperatures – something not found often in Steamboat. Al

  9. Kenan Alexander says:

    I lived in my 5th wheel for several years in Winter Park, CO. It does get cold but other than using a lot of propane I didn’t really have a lot of issues except some water line freezing when temps got way below zero and I didn’t leave the water dripping. At times the icicles would cover the entire back of the RV from roof to ground.

  10. Alan Sills says:

    Please do be sure to visit my RV related website – as I’m not currently monitoring or developing this site. You stated your case for the NEED for skirting quite well – without it you say you experienced water line freezing and used lots of propane. Just think with skirting how life would be better. Not to mention the degree of wear and tear on your trailer.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *