Winter RV Living

It is hot chocolate season

Living an RV life in Ontario is a four season life even if your RV is a three season RV. Winter has came to southern Ontario this week and I finally had to winterize my water tanks. It’s so sad when the pink stuff comes out. The count down now starts. Approximately 2.5 months to running water.

I have found that since I retired I can wait a little longer to winterize. Probably because there is always a heater going inside the van. With the exterior tank turned off I can keep my running water just a little longer. One of the hardest thing about winter is not having running water. I call it jugging it. Bottles of waters rolling all over the van. I am not sure why they decided to start using round bottles but really??? Why? Lol!

You know it’s cold when your water jugs are frozen! Lol. It has not gotten that cold this year yet but winter has really just began.


This is my fourth winter living in my Class B RV in Southern Ontario. Well fifth if you count I moved into my van in February. When I was working I traveled all over Ontario in the winter. From Ottawa to Timmins to Windsor. I have experienced winter at all degrees of cold. Since I have retired I keep mostly to southern Ontario region. Well mostly! Lol! Covid has also kept me close to home base. Maybe next year I will be writing this from under a palm tree, but we will see. Lol

With the temperatures dropping I do my usual things. Put plastic on the bottom of the windows by the couch and bed, double up on my blankets, and I will also hang a blanket closer into the house portion of the van to keep the heat more centralized to my living area. The foam puzzle floor also helps insulate the floors along with my bath mats but as the temperature drops into minus double digits I still need slippers.

Since I move around as my van is my only vehicle I really cannot skirt or winterize anything permanently. Snow actually is a good friend sometimes, as it helps to insulate the van creating an igloo effect. When I have to move, the shoveling is not near as warm or fun. 

Digging out

How cold it is in here really depends on the wind. When that north wind blows it is drafty in here. As fast as my furnace warms it up, when it shuts off it will cool right down. Those are the sweater and slipper days. Finding a spot that is somewhat shielded from the wind helps to cut the drafts. My propane furnace works very well to get it warm in here and if I can plug in, I add a small space heater which helps to keep the cold and dampness at bay.

This year I changed the interior from a king size bed to a couch and single bed. Creating a work space as well as opening up the back to give myself a little more living room. One thing I did not realize was how much it was going to impact the temperature in the winter. There is a lot more floor for the cold to come up from the bottom. With the king size bed up the floor in the aisle way is covered by boards, couch pads, a foam mattress and blankets. I would also put body pillows along the walls and back doors to keep the cold from seeping through the wall. With this design I cannot do that. I also installed a bistro table at the back so I cannot put a body pillow along the back doors. I am finding it a lot draftier and colder in here than previous years.

The way it was
The way it is!

As you can see there is much more open space. The wood cabinets along the bottom do not insulate from the cold and there are even a few small holes that the wind whistles through. I stuffed them with paper towels and have covered them with some material. It does help somewhat but we have not dipped as far as we are going to dip so we will have to see if that is sufficient.

One thing I have come to appreciate is winter camping. With only having a custom van that I drove in the summer I had never really experienced winter camping before. As my job took me farther and farther north I began to have an appreciation for the beauty winter creates. Now let’s not get silly and begin thinking I am going to go play in the snow, a snow bunny I am not, but a walk in the quietness on a fresh snow fall in the woods is something to be experienced.

Picture perfect

There a few Ontario parks open in the winter. The Pinery near Grand Bend,  Silent Lake near Peterborough, Mew Lake in Algonquin Park to name a few. You can go to their website to get all the fun details. Some have yurts which is an interesting structure and looks very warm and comfy. I had never seen them before. It is like a large heavy canvas, round heated tent. Some of the parks have electical spots which is convenient for running my space heater. I can run off my batteries but being plugged in I know I will not have to get up and start the van. Although I must say I have not had to do that since I put in the extra batteries two years ago. Now finding the power pole can sometimes be a little challenging. In the north there is a lot of snow. Like oh man this is a lot of snow kind of snow. Lol!

There it is!

I love the little critters that peak out as you walk through the forest. Where trees and foliage would have hid them the white canvas mother nature has created let’s them peak through. This little Pine Marten was watching me carefully from the safety of his branch. Oh my stars soooo cute. Reminded me of the ferrets we used to have when my kids were young.

Pine Marten

One thing I would like to try is dogsledding. It’s not really playing in the snow more gliding over it and there are cute animals involved.

Winter is here and as I write this I can hear the freezing rain falling on the roof of the van. It is warm and comfortable in here. The challenge…to keep it that way!

70 days until spring and counting!!

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure.

See you next week.

Chipmunk 🐿

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