The Southern Glamper: Gear Essentials for Fall and Winter Camping

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Gear Essentials for Fall and Winter Camping

Monday, December 2, 2019

Our DuraFlame Cube heater provided plenty of heat in our pop up camper on nights in the early fall.


Have you put your RV to sleep until spring?  Regardless of where you are, camping can be a reality during the cold weather months.  Certainly, in warmer climates, four-season camping is much more of a reality.  But, with the right gear and planning, you can sneak in a weekend trip to enjoy nature's beauty during those short gray days ahead.  You might even have the campground to yourself!  Today, I'm sharing 7 essential pieces of gear for cold weather camping.


Both pop-up campers and travel trailers can keep you cozy on a cold night.  We camped in our pop up camper in freezing temperatures several times during our ownership.  Camping gear for fall and winter comes down to heat and insulation regardless of your RV.  To accomplish these feats, you have to consider both the interior and exterior of your recreational vehicle.

Interior Creature Comforts

When you hit the bed at night, plan for more than just your typical blankets and pajamas.  A heated mattress pad works especially well for pop up campers.  The air underneath your bunk ends can create a chill that is difficult to chase.   A heated mattress pad will keep you from feeling the cold air beneath you during the night.  And if you are in a travel trailer, heat up your bedding before you dive in with this amenity.   A heated mattress pad could also keep you from feeling like you have to run the heat so much and so high.

A heated mattress pad works well for both pop-up campers and travel trailers alike.


An indoor heater will help save on propane in an RV and provide additional options in a pop-up camper.  We used a Duraflame Cube Heater in our pop up as an additional heat source.  It worked great, and we still have it.  However, these are more difficult to find and much more expensive than when we purchased ours.  Duraflame does have a portable 3D Fireplace Heater that will provide both interior heat and the look of an indoor fireplace.  If you are willing to splurge and give your living space a homey look and feel, this fireplace would be a great option.

This 3-D Electic Fireplace from Dura Flame has the look of a conventional fireplace and gives off a lot of heat.


If you are looking for something practical and functional with a lower price point, a tall and narrow space heater will do the job.  We have friends with one like this.  They use it instead of their furnace much of the time.  It saves space and provides plenty of warm air.   You can find several options like this that are even smaller.  This tabletop style option would also work well for a pop-up camper. 

A tall and narrow space heater with an oscillating fan can provide a lot of heat in a small space.


For those of you that have winterized but still want to camp, that is okay too.  Just use the bathhouse for showers.  And if you feel like you need a potty for emergencies, put a porta-potty in your RV.  We had a Thetford Porta Potty in our pop up camper and loved it.  No one wants to make a midnight run to the bathhouse to use the bathroom.  A porta potty solves those problems.

The Thetford Porta Potty provides a good solution when you cannot use the black tanks on your RV or if you are in a pop-up camper.


Exterior Considerations

From cooking to heat, keep an eye on your propane tanks.  I added these propane tank level indicators from Dozy Ant to our tanks this fall.  They connect in no time, and you won't run the risk of running out of fuel when you need it most.  Also, stay away from trading your tanks in for prefilled tanks at gas stations.  We fill up our tanks at a local Tractor Supply Company for about $11 a tank.  Prefilled tank exchanges can cost between $18 and $22 a tank where we live.  This is about twice as much!  You can also find propane at some campgrounds and many national brand convenience stations like Love's and Pilot.

Make sure you have a reliable way to monitor the amount of propane in your tanks over the fall and winter months.


If you have not winterized your RV and will be using your hookups, a heated freshwater hose is a must-have.  I have the Valterra Heated Hose that is 25 feet long.  I plug it in during the night when temperatures are at the coldest.  If the temperatures reach above freezing during the day, you can unplug the hose.  It can be left plugged in for as long as you need it (day or night), but the temperatures in the deep south tend to be mild most of the cooler months.

We love our heated freshwater hose as an option for cold weather camping.


If you own a pop-up camper or hybrid travel trailer, pop up gizmos will help to better insulate your interior.  These insulating pieces fit over and attach to the bunk ends.  The heat will be better retained inside, and these will also help to reduce condensation.  In the summer, these also help if you have an AC running inside.

Pop Up Gizmos has also started making interior bunk liners for pop up campers.  These can also be very effective.  However, if you are a do it yourself kind of camper, you can use reflective foil insulation in your windows.  You can cut pieces of this to fit the shape of your windows on your bunk ends and zip into place as additional insulation.  By the same token, you could also place this between your blinds and windows in a travel trailer if you feel like you need some extra insulation there.  These interior insulating pieces can keep the exterior dropping temps out and warmer air from your heat inside.

Cut this insulating bubble material to fit the places where you need it the most.
If you are looking for ways to make your pop up camper or travel trailer more comfortable during the fall and winter, try these tips.  We enjoy camping during these two seasons.  Always check the weather for winter advisories if you live in regions where seasonal weather is more severe.  But, for typical cold weather days and nights, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of a get away in comfort for less effort than you think!

Until next time...
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