hey everyone just curious what are some of the better rvs for living in negative temperatures me and my husband.and two kids want to live in one for a year so we need.something that will keep us warm
Your rig alone isn’t whats going to keep you warm. that requires heat. If you’re parked, where you can run the heat 24 hours a day, insulation MIGHT save a little on your heating bill, but with the required adequate ventilation it’s doubtful.
I live in a high top window van with the stock passenger van interior floor, walls, and ceiling. I’ve spent winters in Alaska down to -40f and stayed toasty warm. I have a 23k BTU kerosene heater, 2x 12k btu kerosene stove burners, and a 1-12k BTU kerosene sports heater.
I usually only run my heat when I’m in the van, and it takes both the big heater, and both stove burrners on high to raise to temperature to comfortable in a reasonable amout of time. Once it’s comfortable, either a single stove burner on low, or the sports heater on low can maintain the temperature. It’s the raising the temperature that’s the hardest.
In really cold temperatures, electric heat just won’t cut it. A 1500 watt electric heater only puts out 5,100 BTU’s of heat. That might be enough to maintain a comfortable temperature, but not enough to raise it in an acceptable amount of time.
Kerosene is cheaper and safer than propane, and propane RV furnaces are known to suck a lot of propane. Last winter, my kerosene heating/cooknng costs, were under $100, my neighbor’s propane bill was $2500+.
Winters in a RV require other considerations as well. Plumbing doesn’t work in below freezing temps. That means no running water, hot or cold, no toilet, sinks, or showers. All of your plumbing needs to be winterized before the first freeze. Basically your RV turns into a no frills tent but with comfortable beds, a heater, and a stove.
There are work arounds, but I really wouldn’t recommend them for a family. I built my van with no plumbing, and to be prepared for extremely cold temperatures. RV’s aren’t designed that way, none of them, not even the 4 season RV’s. My solution in Alaska when I had an RV and was going to be there for 6 months during the winter, was to build a heated greenhouse around my RV, so my whole RV never got below freezing. A very large portable water tank and a 55 gallon drum of kerosene resided in the greenhouse, and do did the RV dump station I built, so I had a bubble of above freezing weather, to keep my plumbing system working. I heat my water only as needed.
It was more hassle than I wanted to repeat, so I built a camper van with all of the amenities, but without plumbing. My shower system is portable, powered by a repurposed weed sprayer, my sinks are dish pans, and I use trigger spray bottles for the water, and my toilet is a bucket style one. My waste water goes into a 7 gallon jerry style plastic jug that can be emptied in any public restroom. My water supply is 2x 7 gallon plastic jugs, and they’re all stored inside out of the freezing weather. When it drops below freezing, I just run my heat 24/7 so my interior never gets below freezing.
You also need a good carbon monoxide detector, and if you’re using propane, a propane detector too, and of course a smoke alarm.
Is it doable, yes… Is it advisable, NO !!! Not if you have better options available, especially with a family. Even RV’s that are supposedly designed for cold weather use, will cost you a fortune, and be a never ending headache in below freezing temps. Most people only do RV’s in above freezing weather for a reason. A house or apartment would likely be cheaper, and a whole lot more comfortable.