Somewhat specific question before starting

Introduce Yourself…

I’m so excited to have found this forum to help me dive deeper into the possibility of Van Life. I’m an ex-restaurant server who is about to go back to school for a change to a career that hopefully will be both inspiring and will eventually allow the freedom of remote work. I’m happily married to someone who is willing to support me during these 2 years of schooling but we don’t want to go into another basement apartment that has to be paid for with a 50+ hour work week. Living in a van or RV seems like a creative and amazing pressure free opportunity to start the dream 2 years earlier.
The thing that’s stopping us from buying yesterday - where the heck do you all park in the winter? I get the kinda fun ways to get by on showering, water storage and heating. But my gosh I’m struggling on what to do/ where to go when we are going to need to stay somewhere within an hour of the college and work. Speaking about Canada, specifically Ottawa area, all the campgrounds are 6 month seasonal. Walmart parking isn’t a super realistic idea from my current perspective. Any ideas you guys might have would be amazing!
Thank you for taking the time to read my longggg intro!

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Greetings & Welcome!

Winters can definitely be challenging. I’m an extreme weather camper myself. The biggest things are plumbing doesn’t work below freezing, and you want to keep your interior above freezing, even when you’re not there.

Unless you can park somewhere with full time electricity, I would suggest a factory rig with a built in generator. Even then, heat that doesn’t require any power is highly recommended. I use a big wick type kerosene heater, which requires no power, only fuel. It has kept me comfy down as low as -60°f. Good heating & cooling equipment is much more important than any amount of insulation.

You might get lucky enough to find a year round affordable RV park with full hookups, and nice bathrooms with showers. Your built in plumbing will be a losing battle below freezing.

Good luck, and keep us posted!


"They told me I'd save money with solar, and have free electricity.
Neither was true." ~ Disgusted in Dallas