How do I keep my tent warm in the winter?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do I keep my tent warm in the winter? We will give you advice on how to stay warm and cozy while camping, no matter the weather or the type of tent or RV you are using. 

How do I keep my tent warm in the winter?

Even if you are equipped with the best heater, you still may need additional tips to keep your tent warm in winter. Here are our suggestions:

  1. Prepare yourself before going to bed: Do some exercises to warm up, but without getting to the sweating stage. If you go to bed cold, you will keep the feeling of cold.
  1. If the night promises to be very cold, eat before going to bed: Fatty foods are better suited than refined sugar and caffeine.
  1. Drink warm liquids before sleeping: You need to be well hydrated to stay warm. You should drink 1 to 2 hours before going to bed. The amount of water to absorb depends on your rate of elimination. The urge to urinate can be a great wake-up call! If you want to wake up early, drink more water!
  1. Clothing: Change in warm and dry clothes when going to bed. Clothing worn during the day is damp inside and cold outside. If you go to bed with clothes you wear during the day, you will need to dry and warm them before putting them on.
  1. Heat your bed: Fill bottles with hot water, wrap them in clothes (or thick, woolen socks) and use them to warm your bed.
  1. Wear a head covering: We lose a lot of heat through our heads. Keeping your head warm helps keep your feet warm!
  1. Keep your nose and mouth out of bed: The air exhaled through your nose and mouth will moisten the inside of your bed. A properly designed down will keep your nose and mouth out of them down and cover the rest of your face.
  1.  Insulating yourself from the ground Sleeping warm requires a mattress that insulates you from the ground. 
  1.  Sleep with socks on and put on nylon tights: To keep your feet warm, dedicate a pair of socks for the night. Keep it in the sleeping area. A woolen pair is recommended. A great way to keep your feet and legs warm is to put on nylon tights. Normal for the ladies, the gentlemen will make the effort!
  1.  Air your sleeping bag:  Keeping your sleeping bag dry is important. It’s your greatest defense against the cold at night. Moisture will draw heat from your body if you have it. Down sleeping bags lose their level of protection when wet, reducing heat. Synthetic bags retain more of their heat when wet. Store it in a waterproof bag and dry it every morning.
  1. Invest in a high-quality sleeping bag: A warm sleeping bag is most important in order to stay warm in your tent. The temperatures marked on sleeping bags are becoming more precise, but they vary from person to person. 
  1. Use a mattress with a great R-value: Sleeping on the floor with a good sleeping bag will not be as warm as on an insulated mattress. There are a variety of mattresses to choose from these days. They are no longer limited to closed-cell foam. 

How do I keep my tent-trailer warm in the winter?

Below we share with you what we believe are the most essential 10 tips for safe travels and warm nights in a tent trailer during your winter trip. We have divided them into two categories: Before leaving and During the trip! 


1. Check your gas reserves: In winter, we use more gas, so plan to go with 2 gas cylinders instead of one. If you have gas heating, it’s even more important to think about it so that you don’t end up without heating.

2. Clean your heating system: For efficient heating, you need clean heating. Remember to clean the grilles and the ventilation system. Dust that gets stuck there can drastically reduce airflow!

3. Adapt the equipment of your winter tent trailer:  Snow tires, chains, remember to equip yourself to deal with snow and ice. Remember, your vehicle weighs almost 3.5 tons (or more)! Snow tires provide better grip on cold, wet or snowy ground and therefore reduce the risks.

4. Prepare for the worst! Even though it can be adventurous and you’re not heading to Alaska, gear up! Take a snow shovel, sinking plates, recharging cables for the battery, a broom (to clear snow from the roof if necessary), a windshield squeegee, gloves, a headlamp etc. Awaken the Mike Horn that lies dormant in you!

5. Reflexes against freezing: Going in winter means dealing with low or even negative temperatures, so you expose yourself to a risk of frost. Consider using an anti-freeze windshield washer cleaner. The right reflex is also to lubricate the door seals and locks, this protects the seals and in very cold weather, it prevents the door from sticking to the seal.


6. The classic case of the handbrake: Do not apply the handbrake but engage a gear. The drums can jam and the pads come off. It can avoid unpleasant surprises and get stuck!

7. Beware of frost in the tanks: Water reserves are also subject to freezing. Regularly drain the wastewater from your trailer to prevent water from freezing inside. If this is the case, a few doses of coarse salt can liquefy the water and be able to drain it again. There are products that reduce the risk of freezing, they must be poured into the water reserves directly.

8. Insulate your tent trailer as much as possible: Try to insulate your trailer as much as possible against the cold! Tarpaulins that apply to the front cover the windshield (or even the driver and passenger windows in addition to the hood). This decreases the entry of cold and helps retain heat in the passenger compartment.

9. Raise the windshield wipers: Make sure that the wipers are not stuck to the windshield so that they do not freeze. You have to take them off the windshield: the trick is to slip bottle caps (plastic or cork) between the wipers and the windshield!

10. Look for the sun! Even if it may seem trivial as advice: find a place in the sun. If the sun is out during your stay, you’ll be happy to take advantage of it! It will bring you a little warmth, a little light and that is still much more pleasant 

Final thoughts and tips

Remember, to keep warm while camping in winter you will need:

  1. A thermos – A classic but always useful, a thermos filled with a hot drink can brighten up any cold day in the trailer. Another interesting option is the dual model, which allows you to store both drinks and hot food, ideal for small trailers.
  1. A hand warmer – Despite being small, USB hand warmers are a great invention. They usually have various intensity levels, can be stored in pockets and can be used as external batteries.
  1. A 12V electric blanket – A good option to warm up when we get into bed is a 12V electric blanket: you can simply leave it on for a while before getting into bed so that the night begins in a more comfortable way.
  1. A hot water bottle – It is a lifelong home method but it does not stop working. A hot water bottle, in bed and to sleep warm!
  1. Thermal clothing – In winter it is recommended to wear a set of thermal clothing every time you go out with the Teardrop trailer, especially to sleep in the tent trailers, where the cold is usually more noticeable. 

What else do you think you need to keep your tent warm in the winter? Let us know!

FAQ on How do I keep my tent warm in the winter?

Can tent trailers be used in winter?

Yes, tent trailers can be used in winter, although – you are warned – they can be quite cold!  Proper insulation is the most important factor in keeping the trailer warm. Before lighting a heater be sure to insulate your trailer’s walls, floors, and windows. The more insulation there is, the less energy you need to keep warm. Spray foam and silicone caulking are your friends.

Do you get wet in a tent trailer?

Yes, you can get wet in a tent trailer, as they are not completely waterproof. Particularly with long use and bad maintenance, your tent trailer can leak especially during rainy days! 

Is it safe to sleep in a tent during thunderstorms?

No, it is not safe to camp and sleep in a tent during a thunderstorm. Avoid pitching your tent under a single tree or the tallest tree, near a metal fence, or on top of a hill. You must seek shelter in a solid building when seeing a thunderstorm approach.

Are tent trailers worth it?

As the name suggests, a tent trailer is an RV that isn’t quite a trailer per se, but offers more features and comfort than a tent. Indeed, a tent trailer is an RV whose size, when opened, generally varies between 15 and 23 feet, and about half as much when closed.


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