Winterize an RV or Tiny House

Winterize an RV or Tiny House

Winter is approaching fast, and it’s vital to winterize an RV to reduce any risks of damage. You don’t want to wait until the snow is already on the ground before you start prepping your tiny home, RV, or other modular structure, so these are some of our best tips to get winter ready. 

Here’s how to Winterize a Tiny House or RV

Why Winterize an RV or Tiny House?

As winter hits and temperatures drop, the weather creates the perfect opportunity for frozen pipes and ice accumulation that can cause damage to your tiny home or RV. The potential for thousands of dollars in damage threatens those not prepared correctly.

As an investor or owner, the last thing you want is to find yourself in the middle of a freezing winter day with no heat. Like a traditional home, a tiny house needs regular maintenance and care.

Look For Damage 

Before winter approaches, it is wise to look around the whole home to see if there is any noticeable wear-and-tear. Check window seals for any breakage, test for door and window air leaks, and look at the roof to ensure no holes or other damage.  

Many builders will drill holes in the walls and floors to run plumbing, wiring, and propane lines; however, they don’t always fill these gaps before the sale of the home. Check for holes near the bathroom, kitchen sinks, and where the plumbing for the tanks comes in.  

Heat Your Hoses

Heating your hoses under the tiny house RV is an essential step when you go to winterize. There are a couple of different ways to do this:

First, put pool noodles or other insulation around the hoses to ensure they do not freeze. Secondly, if the space under the house is closed off, a heater can be run on low to keep the temperature above freezing. 

If the tiny house or RV is hooked up to potable water, you will need a heated hose or to insulate the hose with wired heat tape. A heated hose runs about $150 on average but is an excellent investment for keeping the threat of frozen hose lines and pipes at bay. You’ll also want to insulate the hose bib to keep it from freezing and cutting off your water supply. 

Prep Your Propane

When the temperatures drop, it can be difficult for your propane to work properly and maintain optimal pressure. Low pressure prevents the gas from vaporizing, leaving your tiny home without propane.

To avoid this, grab your propane and a nice cozy blanket. Heated blankets can run around $100-$500 depending on what is needed for your climate. 

Insulate Windows

Tiny homes often have several windows to allow for natural light and boost the feeling of spaciousness. While this is nice in the summertime, it can become quite costly in the winter if not appropriately insulated. Utilizing solar shades or black-out curtains can create an extra layer of protection from the chilly temperatures or blazing Texas summers. 

Also, check the weather stripping on the windows and replace them if necessary. Re-caulking can also be needed on the inside if the caulking is cracked. 

Skirt Your Underbelly

Adding a skirt around the exterior is one of the best ways to keep your portable home warm. This is a must, so that the wind doesn’t get underneath the house and suck warm air out. 

  • Custom Skirts. You can purchase a custom-fit skirt designed for your specific RV or modular structure.
  • Foam Board. Many people will make their skirting using foam board. As with any underbelly, ensure that you create a tight fit and no air gaps. 
  • Nylon/Banner Material. A simple nylon banner can be an easy way to wrap the exterior quickly and is easy to find at a local hardware store.
  • Add Insulation. Before the skirting gets put on, adding insulation under the house or in any storage compartments is perfect for extra protection from the cold.  

Prepare Your Holding Tanks

Winterizing the potable water tank and your black and gray tanks is vital for your tiny home or RV. Start by putting insulation around the tanks. Adding a small space heater into the compartment where the tanks are located is also an excellent way to manage temperature control.

Cover Your Tires

If you keep your RV or Tiny Home stationary, ensure that your tires are covered for wintertime.

Covering tires with weather-resistant material and keeping the wheels off the ground will prevent dry rotting from weather exposure. Heavy-duty tire covers are necessary to keep tires in the best condition possible through freezing temperatures. If you plan to travel, invest in the best tires you can afford that are made to grip snowy, icy, or wet surfaces for safety.

Backup Generator

It’s vital to have a backup generator available for the winter seasons. There may be times when a storm comes through or an icy winter hits (we’ve been known to have those in Texas!) when all power will be knocked out (another Texas classic!). A generator likely won’t make the entire home function as usual, but it will allow you to run some heaters and cook food while you stay warm. 

How to Heat Your Tiny Home

It can be tricky to keep all home spaces warm during the winter. Tiny houses and RVs are relatively sensitive to the temperatures outside. If the home comes with a propane furnace, you should always use it when temperatures are below 50 degrees F. 

Add a space heater to the rooms you frequent in the winter, such as the living room and bedrooms. Many people also like to add space heaters to warm up specific rooms or in tandem with their propane furnace. Close any doors that go to rooms that you are not utilizing often. 

Have Your Tiny Home Built the Right Way

Turn Key Fabrication takes pride in the work and attention to detail we put into every home we build. By using SIP panels, our tiny homes will be ready to keep you warm through the winter months while still keeping proper airflow moving throughout the house. Contact us today to learn more about our building materials, and let’s start building your ideal home. 

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Tiny Houses as Airbnb Rentals

Tiny Houses as Airbnb Rentals

Is a tiny house Airbnb a wise choice? Let’s take a look! Long gone are the days when people want to stay in a hotel with noisy neighbors, elevators, and very little privacy. Airbnb has become the new way to stay when seeking a vacation or even a long-term place for out-of-town work. A tiny house Airbnb is a terrific investment because of the affordable purchase price, high demand, and low start-up costs. 

Other than the standard rental, unique spaces on Airbnb’s website are campers, school buses transformed into RVs, treehouses, tiny houses, and more!

Here is everything you need to know about owning a Tiny House as an Airbnb or host share rental.


There are several aspects to determining the price of a tiny house. Aside from the initial purchase price, insurance, energy costs, maintenance, and customizations are all things to consider. Working with the builder to confirm that they use energy-efficient materials such as SIP Paneling will help keep monthly utility costs lower.

On average, purchasing a tiny house is 87% cheaper percent cheaper than a traditional home.

Legal Entity

To protect the tiny house Airbnb investment, it is essential to create a legal business or limited liability company (LLC). These options lessen the owner’s chances of becoming personally liable and vulnerable to potential lawsuits.

Other options are a business bank account to keep funds separate from a personal account, insurance, and business taxes and accounting.

Tiny House Rental Types

Stationary Tiny House 

A stationary tiny home is a perfect option for investors who already own land. If the land is part of a community check for amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools, or gardens that guests would appreciate.

Other ideal places to plant your stationary tiny include near popular attractions, especially national parks, or near a beautiful natural landscape.

Legislations and Restrictions

Before investing in a tiny house, Airbnb, it is critical to understand the zoning laws for your specific state and city. Some states require additional fees for short-term rentals, and others have restrictions on if a rental or business can be placed on private land.

Here’s How Much Money you can make from an Airbnb Tiny House Rental

What is Airbnb Smart Pricing?

Airbnb Smart Pricing is a tool on the Airbnb website that collects and analyzes data about demand and supply, tourist activity, similar listings, and trends. This handy tool provides a suggested price for hosts or investors to determine their nightly rental cost.

Determine the nightly rental cost for your Airbnb:

The Airbnb Smart pricing tool is a great place to start. The bare minimum for determining the nightly rental cost would be to add up the mortgage, utilities, cleaning fees, etc., and divide by 30 days to see the lowest nightly rate. Just ensure that the items below are being added in and check out comparables to see if the calculation seems right.

  • Basics: Items such as towels, sheets (plus the cost of laundering them), or extra toilet paper are basics that hotels offer and have become standard, even in an Airbnb or host share.
  • Amenities: If extras such as beverages, snacks, and candy will be provided, the host will need to replenish them before each guest’s arrival. 
  • Weekday vs Weekend / Season Pricing: Most rentals charge more during weekends and peak seasons, so adjust your pricing depending on demand.
  • Service Fee: With each rental, Airbnb charges a 3% fee of the total rental (sometimes more, depending on the full rate). Read the entire policy here.
  • Security deposit: Decide what amount the customers will pay the homeowner to cover any damages.
  • Guest reservation fee: Guests are charged a service fee of 6-12% when they reserve their tiny house.
  • Cancellation Fee: This is especially important when considering that last-minute cancellations can increase your vacancy rate and decrease that month’s profit.

Extras for your Tiny House Airbnb

Creating a memorable experience for renters is a great way to get a 5-star review or have them recommend the tiny house Airbnb to others. Some excellent ways to uplevel their experiences are:

  • Local Recommendations: Create a guide of things to do in the area. Best restaurants, close-by grocery stores, date places, family-friendly places, hikes, etc. This is a personal and memorable touch for guests that are unfamiliar with the area.
  • Streaming Services: Although Wifi is essential, streaming services like Netflix or Hulu are nice touches.
  • Coffee and Tea: Having a Keurig or coffee pot touches on the familiar comforts of home. Coffee pots or Keurigs toe the line between essential and extra, so make sure to have at least one coffee option.
  • Snacks and drinks: Everyone loves a little sweet treat! Some people might not make it to the store before visiting, so it’s a nice touch to have a little something to grab and nibble on when they get there.
  • Firewood: If there is a wood stove or fire pit in the tiny house, having already cut wood is a functional touch that adds to the aesthetic.
  • Games / Books: A small section of non-electronic activities is always appreciated, even if they don’t get used. The phrase ‘it’s the thought that counts,’ applies here.

How to Market Your Tiny House Airbnb

Tiny houses and unique places are popping up on Airbnb, so making the home stand out is essential! Here are some tips on what people look for in desirable places to rent:

  • Photos: Make sure the images are high-quality and capture the uniqueness of the property. Pictures should be clear and bright, with no blurry or dark photos. If you’re having trouble with images, see the below tip about working with influencers.
  • Description: Set the scene. Explain what is unique, what the views are, extras, and amenities you provide and include positive reviews.
  • Location: Provide information about nearby activities, grocery stores, attractions, etc. 
  • Name it: Give your rental a fun name to make it stand out.
  • Social Media Marketing: Create an Instagram or Facebook for the property. Instagram is best for showing off your themed interior, incredible scenic views, or anything visually pleasing about your rental. Pinterest is also great for visual marketing. Facebook, along with your website and Google Account, is your business’s online storefront- where people will find the basics of your rental- location, amenities, and the like.
  • Work with influencers: Collaborate with influencers (photographers, bloggers, and videographers), to get credited images (or even better, a blog post) in exchange for a free or discounted stay. Last-minute cancellations or off-seasons are ideal for influencer collaborations. Read more about what Airbnb has to say about influencer partnerships.

A tiny house Airbnb is one of several ways to make a profitable investment. The Airbnb website is a helpful third party that allows easy booking and is popular and accessible. Tiny homes and the nomadic lifestyle have never been more desirable.

A unique or themed tiny house makes it stand out from other rentals! We have solutions for all of your needs; contact us, and let’s get started today!

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