An RV built for winter and cold weather camping

RVs Built for Winter and Cold Weather Camping

Updated on February 2nd, 2024

Do you want to camp every season of the year but don’t know where to find a recreational vehicle made for cold-weather camping?

Luckily, niche manufacturers cater to this need by providing better insulation, heating, freeze-protection features, and rugged tires to handle winter RV camping trips.

Down below, I detail some lesser-known RV builders who focus on providing winter camping enthusiasts with the ideal haven. These RVs will protect you from even bitter-cold temperatures yet perform wonderfully in other seasons too.

Expand your RV travel options by checking out these manufacturers who focus on RVs built for winter use. Their campers may surprise you!

Why Winter-Ready RVs are Better

A winter ready RV

Which RV is best for winter?

As most motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheels design and material choices are for warm-weather camping, that’s a loaded question.

While major RV manufacturers are stepping up their game to capture the winter camping market, the reality is that most are only adding more insulation and not much else.

Take a traditional RV out camping in winter, and you can expect to have tires slipping on snowy roads, burn through a ton of propane to remain warm, have difficulty with hot water, have pipes freeze, or even have roof damage from heavy snow.

The rise of independent RV manufacturers who create niche winter-ready campers came from real people who were frustrated by the poor function of standard recreational vehicles during cold weather.

They found the joys of year-round camping too great to be miserable in a cold, drafty RV and stepped up to create winter-capable RVs.

Expect RVs built for winter to include:

  • Effective, full-coverage insulation
  • Extra-durable exterior siding
  • Heavy-duty chassis and tires with deep treads
  • Freeze-proof appliances, holding tanks, and amenities
  • Efficient heating solutions
  • Beefier framing on roofs
  • Upgraded seals and caulking
  • Off-grid power generation
  • Heated flooring and exterior mirrors

The owners and designers behind these small company’s products know what RVers expect and need while winter camping and don’t skimp on quality.

These manufacturers deliver winter-ready RVs with thoughtful, highly functional features that allow you to have a comfortable and safe camping experience in both cold and warm months.

Best Niche RVs Made For Winter Camping

Ice Castle Fish Houses Recreational Vehicles

Ice Castle Fish Houses began as a spin-off from American Surplus & Manufacturing when they were asked to produce some ice-fishing “homes on wheels.”

Made in Minnesota by the original family owners since 1997, you can be sure they have plenty of experience with cold-weather camping needs.

Modern versions of the original “ice castle” use the latest technology and materials to boost warmth and functionality.

The floor of these campers has hatches you can open for fishing, while the entire RV chassis frame hydraulically or manually lowers to seal the openings to the ice.

While these RVs can’t be any more custom-made to suit ice-fishing enthusiasts, they also deliver a surprising amount of luxury touches.

Enjoy granite countertops, rustic wood interiors, and top-grade entertainment centers that perform well in any warm or cold-weather camping situation.

Winter upgrades include:

  • Spray foam insulation
  • 30,000 BTU heater
  • Fireplace
  • Thick fiberglass exterior siding
  • Large, deep-tread tires
  • Heavy-duty chassis
  • Freeze-proof wastewater and holding tanks

There are now 43 different models in 8-foot and 6.5-foot widths that range from 8-24 feet in length. Most of the RVs are travel trailers, but they do offer one toy-hauler fifth-wheel model.

Stub House from Ice Castle! American Freedom (Video)

Outdoor RV Travel Trailers

Outdoor RV is a small Oregon company that began in 2009 and creates all four of their travel trailer lines with a ruggedness that can handle even the mountainous off-grid camping that’s very popular in the Pacific Northwest.

Each model comes standard with a four-seasons climate package to withstand whatever weather the winter season can dish out. Camper lengths range from 22-28 feet.

Winter upgrades include:

  • Highly insulated walls, floor, and roof
  • Thermal pane windows
  • Extra large furnace and 10-gallon water heater
  • Refrigerator cold-weather kit
  • Insulated cargo and exterior doors
  • Off-grid power supply
  • Off-road chassis and suspension
  • 2″ bonded aluminum frame walls

You can customize a camper to fit your camping style by choosing models that include onboard generators or solar power systems, back decks, faux fireplaces, or large sliding doors.

The owners, Ron and Sherry Nash, design these RVs for backcountry camping, but the modern look works equally well in any standard RV park in any season of the year.

Alaskan Campers

Alaskan Campers is the best winter truck camper out there. The company has been in business since 1953 and focuses on building campers that can hold up to brutal Alaskan weather, sub-freezing temperatures, and even curious and hungry bears.

The hardshell camper exterior withstands high winds and flying debris, while tightly formed and sealed edges keep cold air out. The removable truck campers use hydraulic jacks to lift the unit for removal at the campsite.

Winter upgrades include:

  • Highly insulated spray foam all around
  • 20,000 BTU heater
  • Crack-resistant thick vinyl flooring
  • Option for water heater, solar power, or extra insulation
  • 27-gallon freshwater tank
  • Retractable hard-top for less travel resistance
  • Freeze-resistant appliances

The company offers cab-over models that range from 6.5 to 10 feet in length, with some models featuring a slide-out. The non-cab-over campers are 8 or 10 feet in length.

With so many customizations to choose from and handcrafted cabinetry and trim, you can own the winter-ready truck camper of your dreams.

Pop-up Hard Side Truck Campers by Alaskan Campers (Video)

nuCamp Recreational Vehicles

nuCamp Trailers is an Ohio company that builds well-insulated teardrop and travel trailers, as well as truck campers in the heart of Amish country.

The brand offers handcrafted RVs that are lightweight, but with the addition of winter-ready options, they’re ready for cold winter camping excursions. The TAG model with Boondock package is a great choice to start your customized winter-ready teardrop RV build, but there are many other choices to suit your needs.

Winter upgrades include:

  • Aggressive off-road tires
  • Heavy-duty pitched axle and extra clearance
  • Solar package
  • Ceramic heater

The nuCamp RVs are perfect for winter campground vacations for those who prefer small, lightweight, and easy-to-pull travel trailers.

HomeGrown Trailers

As a very small, custom RV teardrop camper builder in Washington state, HomeGrown Trailers already incorporates all the necessary basics of a fabulous winter camper that you can customize even further during the building process with a heater, extra insulation, and protection.

The unique design and hours of hand-craftsmanship that go into each camper come at a price, but getting a model tailored to your needs can’t be beaten.

Winter upgrades include:

  • 600-800 watts of solar panels
  • Powerful lithium-ion battery
  • Freshwater system with hot water

The HomeGrown Timberline model is 23 feet long with a 4,250-4,750 pound dry weight, and the personal attention you’ll receive during the purchasing process is top-notch. Do expect to be patient waiting for your new camper to arrive, as there is no mass production at this facility.

An Inside Look at a Homegrown Trailer (Video)

Arctic Wolf by Forest River

Yes, I know Forest River isn’t a small-time RV manufacturer, but I must mention their Arctic Wolf series of fifth-wheel camping trailers that get extremely high ratings from cold-weather campers.

You can choose either the Arctic or Extreme Weather package on any of the six-floor plans to turn your camper into a cozy winter paradise.

Winter upgrades include:

  • Dense 2″ block foam insulation
  • Underfloor heating
  • 35,000 BTU furnace
  • Armored underbelly
  • Heated holding tanks
  • Seamless roofing
  • Solar-ready for off-grid camping

Ranging in size from 31 to 43 feet long, these RVs are not small nor lightweight. Most models are well over 10,000 pounds GVWR and require a super heavy-duty truck to pull them safely.

Best Motorhome for Winter Camping

A best motorhome for winter camping

Unless you have the money to fork over for a custom-built winterized motorhome such as the Earthroamer XV-HD you may have difficulty finding an independent motorhome manufacturer that offers a winter-ready RV.

After extensive research of both motorhome features and customer reviews, I find that the three models below are the best motorhomes for winter RVing.

Best Class A Motorcoach for Winter Camping – Tiffin Allegro Bus Motorhome

The Tiffin Allegro Bus Motorhome is the winter camping choice if you want space, luxury, and essential features like the standard 10kw diesel generator and Aqua-Hot interior living space and water heating system.

The one-piece, molded fiberglass roof cap provides 5.5 inches of formed insulation and heavy-duty strength to withstand even the snowiest of days. The walls and floor also include high-performance thermal insulation to form a solid barrier against the cold and wind.

The heated water and holding tank compartments prevent freezing, and the coach is ready for solar for off-grid camping. Tiffin also uses a Hydronic Heating System to warm the floors so you’ll never have cold feet.

The heated mirrors are a nice touch, and the Powerglide Chassis offers the ultimate control on winter roadways. The Allegro Bus ranges in size from 37.5 to 45 feet in length.

Best Class C Motorhome for Winter Camping – Jayco Redhawk 26XD

The Jayco Redhawk 26XD is the consistent top-rated Class C RV for winter travel and camping. The spacious floorplan, queen bed, and cab-over bunk are perfect for a solo, couple, or small family, but it’s the other features, like the standard 12V heating pads on holding tanks, that make it winter-worthy.

The Magnum Truss Roof System is solidly built and can withstand the weight of even heavy, wet snowfall. Choose the seamless fiberglass front cap to reduce cold air or water penetration for even more interior warmth.

The large 42-pound capacity propane tank will keep the efficient 31,000 BTU furnace running to keep occupants warm.

Built on a Ford E-450 chassis, the powerful Triton 6.8L EFI V-10 305HP engine will make road travel days comfortable. You can switch to winter tires for more safety if you plan to be traveling in snowy conditions.

The length of the motorhome is just shy of 29 feet, and the height of 11.5 feet means you’ll rarely have to worry about low bridges or underpasses, making travel less stressful.

Jayco Redhawk 26XD Class C Motorhome (Video)

Best Class B Motorhome for Winter Camping – Winnebago Revel 44E

The Winnebago Revel 44E Class B campervan with the Winterization Package is a cozy retreat for the winter camping season that provides dual-paned windows and comprehensive insulation on the holding tanks, floor, ceiling, and walls.

The Hydronic heating system and two 125-amp-hour LiFePO batteries extend off-grid camping while staying toasty. There is no need to head outdoors when nature calls, as this campervan includes a wet bath with a cassette toilet for even more convenience.

At just under 20 feet in length and only 10 feet high, you’ll have no problems parking or driving this model just about anywhere.

Best RV Parks for Winter Camping

RV parks for winter camping

Now that you’ve got an RV built for winter, you should know some of the best RV parks or campgrounds that are ideal for cold-weather camping and are open in the winter.

Forget about heading south and fighting with snowbirds for an RV park with a pool. Take advantage of these fantastic campsites that are especially beautiful and relaxing in the heart of wintertime.

1. Hocking Hills State Park Campground

Hocking Hills State Park Campground in Logan, Ohio, offers peaceful hikes where you can view frozen waterfalls or explore the many caves.

Each full-hookup site offers 20-, 30- or 50-amp service on a paved parking pad that can hold RVs up to 50 feet in length.

2. Dakota Ridge RV Park

Dakota Ridge RV Park in Golden, Colorado, offers year-round camping with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains and Denver skyline with tons of nearby attractions, restaurants, and entertainment.

The park has 141 full-hookup campsites with paved parking pads and attractive landscaping, along with the bonus of lower rates during the winter season.

3. Platte River Campground

The Platte River Campground is found inside Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on the banks of Lake Michigan in Empire, Michigan. Amazing wintertime camping allows you to take in quiet walks along the shoreline to pick up bits of sea glass or stroll through the dunes for amazing views.

The park offers 174 campsites with 30 or 50-amp RV electrical service only, with toilets, showers, and dump stations readily available.

Final Thoughts

When you have a camper that can withstand harsh, unpredictable winter weather, you’ll have no worries hitting those campsites that offer stunning, snow-covered vistas or refreshingly crisp and cold fall landscapes.

Safety and reliability are crucial for staying safe and warm during winter camping trips. These niche and well-known manufacturers deliver RVs built for winter that are also ideal for warding off unusual cold snaps in warmer climates.

If year-round camping brings you joy, RVs built by winter camping experts should be on your shopping list!

Winter RV Camping: The Ultimate (How To) Guide (Video)

2 thoughts on “RVs Built for Winter and Cold Weather Camping”

  1. Just wondering why the article didn’t mention Bigfoot, manufactured in Armstrong BC.

    Every camper they manufacture is built for and intended for winter use – in fact they are legendary in Alaska – it is my understanding that Bigfooots are the ONLY RV used by Alaskan State Troopers.

    Just seems odd to not include one of the few manufactures that makes RV’s exclusively designed for winter use ?

  2. Bigfoot Campers and travel trailers are way better than any listed for winter camping… Northern Lights campers too are also a winter camper to check out

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