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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