If you’ve experienced the RV lifestyle a few times, you’d agree with me that camping out of seasons comes with a lot of fun, adventures, space, and of course, cooler temperatures especially in the winter.
For this reason, it is quite important to stay warm, keep your camper warm and cozy, and prevent heat loss from the camper by all means— as this is key to enjoying a comfortable off season camping.
There are several heating options for campers and camping trailers that you’ll find on the market, however, most of these heating solution depend solely on electrical supply.
But what then can you do when there’s no power supply? Say in emergency situations like a sudden power trip or RV Electric system failure, how do you keep warm?
There are several feasible ways to heat your camper without electricity, even in the middle of winter. HOW TO HEAT A CAMPER WITHOUT ELECTRICITY? You can:
- Keep your camper well insulated
- Consider portable gas heaters for campers
- Use your vehicle’s heater
- Stay active and eat properly
- Use protective gears such as clothing, and Beddings
Of course, in situations where you just want to take to camping as a way of escaping from the digital lifestyle and focusing on self discipline and growth, not having electrical supply might be the best option.
Moreover, unlimited electrical supply during camping often come with a premium, so if you want to conserve electricity, this might be the way to go.
Regardless of that situation you find yourself; whether you’re planning to get off the grid for some time or in unexpected situations and emergencies, we have just what you need to be stay warm and prepared.
In the rest of this article, we’ll be sharing important tips on how to keep your camper warm in the winter, even without electricity.
We’ll also be sharing some helpful tips that can save you a lot of stress and worries while on your trip. Sound exciting? Let’s get to it!
How To Heat A Camper Without Electricity
Below are some of the ways by which you can heat your camper without electricity.
By using these methods, you can easily keep your camper warm and nice regardless of the season you’re in.
1. Keep Your Camper Well Insulated
Now this is a very great way to keep your camper warm without electricity.
This simply involves containing or trapping your body heat or that of whoever is using the camper using insulation.
You can easily conserve body heat as well as the heat from other sources inside your camper by trapping them within the camper using different insulation methods.
- Replacing the weather stripping material of your camper especially when it starts to crack or becomes damaged. Look out for any area on the camper that contains gaps, breakage or holes, as well as other openings which cause a potential break in the insulating barrier of your camper, and allow heat to escape
- Always observe the caulking on your camper and make sure you strip it out or replace it when necessary, especially when it begins to crack or dry. This will help prevent cold air from entering your camper
- Line the floor of your camper with thick rugs as this will help keep the floor warmer and your camper cozier. It will also act as an extra layer of insulation against cold.
- Block the bottom of your doorways and any exposed part of the windows with rolled towels or cloths. This will help prevent draught from getting into your camper and sucking up all the heat available to keep you warm
- Place reflective insulated panels or boards over the windows, hatches and roof vents of your camper, as these will help trap heat generated within the camper, and even amplify the effect of the heat, making you feel even warmer. Even your cupboard can be a potential ‘hideout’ for cold air in your camper during winter. Insulating the back of your cupboard will go a long way in keeping you warm. Use vent insulators for your roof hatch, this will keep heat in and still allow ventilation.
Always remember that keeping your camper insulated at all times, will save you the time and stress of having to heat it up with an external heat source.
2. Consider Portable Gas Heaters
Another option you might want to consider is a portable and safe RV heater that runs off propane or gas.
This will definitely help you heat up your camper especially in freezing temperatures.
A portable gas heater can also come in handy in emergency situations where it can serve as a back up for when there’s no electrical supply.
It’s also a great source of heat and can even be placed anywhere inside your camper. You’ll get your money’s worth when you invest in one— or more.
The heat output of most propane gases are quite strong so you won’t have anything to worry about.
These gases also come in different sizes ranging from small to large, and the size of your camper will often determine the size of the heater you’ll use.
So if you’re using a van or small camper you might want to consider a medium sized gas.
There are even options for smaller sizes if you’re using it for an emergency back up and not a major alternative heat source.
However, there’s a disadvantage to using portable gas heaters especially when placed in closed spaces— they produce carbon monoxide.
So it is recommended by manufacturers to only run them for a short period except if they are vented to the outside of your camper.
3. Use Your Camper’s Heater
Now this method of heating your camper is often used during emergencies and not as a major or long term alternative.
So it’s advisable to not really solely on this method. Heating up your camper by using the vehicle’s heater is quite easy to do.
The first thing you need to do is start your vehicle right before going to bed, then slowly crank the heater as high as it can go.
Leave it to run for about 15 minutes so that the inside of your camper is warm and cozy.
Once it has reached your desired temperature, you can turn the vehicle off and enjoy the heat generated.
The heat created by your camper will keep it warm through the night, and it is even more effective if your camper is well insulated so that the heat is trapped within the vehicle and not sucked out.
However, it is important to note that this method also depends on your fuel level since your vehicle will be idle for a while.
The heater will only work correctly if the engine is running and this requires fuel.
Be sure to check the fuel level before opting for this method to avoid disappointment.
4. Stay Active and Eat Well
Yup, you read it right! Get active and eat good.
There’s a popular belief that eating well and eating right can help raise your body temperature and make you feel warmer. Well, this is not a myth and it is quite effective if done properly.
There’s actually a medical term for this process called thermogenesis, and it is the process why which your body produces heat caused by metabolism of the food consumed.
Generally, food that take longer period to digest will help you maintain your body temperature.
Consider meals like pizza or your favorite casserole, as well as some fatty foods as these help to keep the body warm.
You can prepare them within your camper using a pressure cooker to generate more heat and reduce water vapor within your camper.
If you like to enjoy a warm cup of coffee when you wake up in the mornings, you might want to consider Camping coffee makers as these do not require electricity to run and are great for brewing your morning coffee.
All these methods will definitely help heat up your camper and subsequently keep you warm.
Additionally, staying active will also help you keep warm and reduce the amount of heating needed in the camper.
So how do you stay active?
There are several ways to keep busy during camping. From hiking or skiing, to going for a walk, hunting, or shoveling snow, you can keep active and even improve on your health.
These activities will help your body to generate more heat and keep you warm.
Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing and gears, and avoid condensation by drying off your wet clothes outside your camper.
5. Use Protective Gears and Clothing’s
You may not know this, but the right clothing can make a big difference between a cold and featuring night and a comfortable one.
This simply means that wearing the ‘right’ clothing will go a long way in keeping you warm, cozy and comfortable all through the night, especially when camping in the winter.
It isn’t just about wearing clothes but wearing the right and perfect piece of clothing.
- Prevent heat from escaping from your extremities such as your head, feet or hands. Wear warmer clothing when it gets cold, cotton socks will also help to keep your feet warm throughout the night. It’s normal for the weather to get colder at night, and your head and hands will most likely be exposed, or outside your sleeping bag. This is why you must pay attention to these features.
- Your feet should also be kept insulated at night as a lot of heat tend to escape from your exposed feet. A good pair of big wooly socks or comfy slippers will go a long way in ensuring that you’re comfortable and cozy.
- Try to cover up with layers of clothing. Depending on your body temperature, you may need to wear more than the usual clothing. Just layer up as much as you need— it goes a long way in how well you adapt to the changing weather.
Apart from your body, your camper also needs extra clothing or gears to stay warm. Cover the floor with thick rugs which will trap heat inside.
Also, nobody wants to get out of bed in the morning only to step onto a cold floor.
For your camper furniture, consider throw pillows and scatter cushions with which you can snuggle and keep warm whenever you feel cold. This can also make the camper feel warmer.
Don’t forget to use thick thermal lined curtains for your windows to keep draft away and retain the heat within your camper.
If you’re not really into the windows covers or curtain method, you can simply place a blanket over your windows whenever it is cold.
This method is effective and easy, and will definitely make a lot of difference in keeping your camper warm.
6. Alternative Power Source
Asides using propane gas heaters, there are other ways to heat a camper. One of which is to install a wood stove.
Sounds like a bad idea right? However, this method is actually quite effective especially if you plan to live in your camper all through the winter.
Wood stoves are quite cheap and they serve as an effective way to heat a camper.
While they may pose a risk of fire hazard, this can easily be prevented if the stove is not in contact with flammable material, or is placed on fire-resistant surfaces.
Wood stoves also come in various sizes, but it is recommended to consider mini wood stoves— they are not too large and can heat up as much as 200 square feet of space. This makes them a great option for your camper of RV.
It’s important to note that your camper must be well ventilated whenever your stove is running, to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and oxygen loss within your camper.
No matter your situation, there’s always something to do to keep warm inside the comfort of your camper.
While there’s no one solution for heating your camper without electricity, you’ll definitely fine one or more option(s) that suits your needs. Just insulate your camper properly and know your limit in the cold.
Now that you know how to heat a camper without electricity, you should be able to enjoy a camping trip without hassle in terms of warmth and comfort.