RV Camping During the Winter
The Yosemite summer crowds have dispersed, temperatures are low, and the lingering fall foliage proves to be a sight for sore eyes. The sights and sounds of nature are signaling that now is the perfect time pack up the RV and head to the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. RV Camping near Yosemite during the off-season is a magical experience. With nearly 75% of Yosemite’s visitors coming during the busiest six months (May through October), winter in the park offers breathtaking scenery, peace, and solitude. Even so, visitors should be prepared for occasionally harsh weather conditions. Keep reading for tips on how to prepare for winter RV camping in Yosemite!
Winter RV Camping in Yosemite
It’s true, traveling and camping in an RV during the winter presents unique challenges, but with a little planning, you’ll be all set for a fun and relaxing vacation in the mountains. For starters, you should always check current road conditions before attempting to drive into Yosemite during the winter. Call (209) 372-0200 (press 1, then 1) for updated road conditions. Snow tires and chains may be required. It is also important to go easy on the brakes and leave an ample amount of room between you and the next driver. Tire preparation is especially important during the cold winter months, so don’t forget to check your tire pressure before hitting the road.
It may be necessary to winterize your RV to protect you and your rig from injury due to freezing temperatures. As a rule of thumb, even if your RV is in use, it’s best to winterize your rig if the following conditions apply:
• Temperatures are consistently 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below
• You are unable to insulate or heat your RV’s underbelly
• You don’t have heated tanks on your RV
• You are boondocking and can only operate your furnace on occasion
Bass Lake at Yosemite RV Park sits at 3,500 feet, which is a relatively low elevation, but we still get a significant amount of snowfall from time to time. Electric heaters are perfect for warming the inside of your RV, but you will want to make sure you can keep that heat in! It’s always wise to inspect and weatherproof your RV before traveling. Check seals on the windows and doors for gaps. Replace weather-stripping on exterior doors and apply caulk to windows if needed. The last thing you want is freezing cold air creeping into your camper during a winter storm. For added protection, install an RV skirt to help insulate tanks, water lines, and the floor of your camper. Depending on the size and make of your RV, you may be able to purchase an RV skirt for as low as $150 and it is worth the investment.
Snow shovels, ice scrapers, and emergency items are very handy to have during the winter. You never know when you’ll need to scrape ice off your windows or dig your tires out of the snow. You can also purchase vent insulator pillows that slide into roof vents to keep the cold air out. Other useful items include hand warmers, heated blankets, slippers, and extra food just in case the roads are covered in snow.
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