How do you make a 4 season travel trailer?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you make a 4 season travel trailer? We will explain what a 4 seasons travel trailer is and how you can make your travel trailer habitable even on the coldest winter nights and hottest summer days. 

How do you make a 4 season travel trailer?

To make a 4 season travel trailer, it is important to understand what fit for 4 seasons means in the camping world. A four-season trailer, thus, has better insulation to keep you warm on cold winter days and cool on hot summer days. The main three characteristics of a 4 seasons travel trailer are:

  • Insulated, enclosed and heated underbelly;
  • Higher-insulation for the roof and the room floors;
  • One/two interior heaters and AC to keep you cosy and warm in winter, or cool in summer.

Next, we are going to review each of the 4 seasons travel trailer characteristics and explain how, with little resources and some free time, you can convert any travel trailer to a four-season RV. 

Making a 4 season travel trailer: Thermal insulation 

If you want to travel in your travel trailer all year round, thermal insulation is an absolute must. In fact, insulating the vehicle is essential to maintain an acceptable temperature inside: warm in winter, cool in summer. In fact, consider that during the night, especially in the mountains and in winter, temperatures drop a lot and you could have very cold nights. As in summer, heat could spread more easily.

Thermal insulation is achieved by applying a layer of insulating material chosen from among these on the walls and roof of the travel trailer:

  • Rock wool
  • Fibreglass
  • EPS Expanded Polystyrene Panels
  • XPS Expanded Extruded Polystyrene Panels

The material you choose can be applied with this spray glue. Any gaps are then filled with the polyurethane foam, once sprayed it will expand into the hole filling it.

To this first layer of insulating material to insulate your travel trailer, you will have to overlay a layer of Reflectix. If you want to simplify and speed up the process while maintaining high performance, you can use this product that replaces them all:

Armaflex Self-Adhesive is highly flexible and easy to apply the insulating product. It resists steam (which can cause rust to the bodywork) and has a very low thermal conductivity. It is able to insulate from temperatures of even 125 ° down to -50 ° and for this reason, it is also used in industrial plants.

In addition to the walls and the roof, the floor must also be insulated. To do this, you can use some subfloor panels on which you will then rest the actual floor. We talked in more detail about the process and the costs of insulating a travel trailer in other articles, so make sure you check them out! 

Making a 4 season travel trailer: Air Conditioning

In the next sub-paragraphs, we will focus on the features to be evaluated before proceeding with the purchase of the portable air conditioner for travel trailers. So you can make a careful choice. So, without going too far, let’s get to the heart of the topic.

The first factor to pay attention to concerns the power (in order to choose the model suitable for cooling the interior of the travel trailer). And how do you choose the ideal power?

Simple because it is enough to calculate 340 for the number of square meters of the passenger compartment. The sum will give you the number of BTUs you need.

A 5000 BTU portable air conditioner is usually fine for a travel trailer.

The substantial differences between a portable air conditioner with an external unit and a monobloc are in two factors: noise and installation.

  • The installation of a portable split air conditioner involves the assembly, outside the travel trailer, of the unit containing the compressor. Absolutely no complicated assembly, considering that models such as Eurom ac2401 (recommended previously), thanks to the special supporting structure, can be hung on the windows of the travel trailer. With the external unit outside the passenger compartment, there will be no major annoyances resulting from noise.
  • With monobloc air conditioners, on the other hand, a hole must be made in one of the windows of the travel trailer in order to let the hot air escape from the exhaust pipe. Obviously, these are the noisiest models due to the lack of an external unit (everything is included in a single unit).

What is the best choice?

We suggest the portable air conditioner for the travel trailers with an outdoor unit, as it will not be necessary to make any holes in the glass. And by opting for the model recommended above, installation is really simplified.

Making a 4 season travel trailer: Heaters

If you are planning to travel somewhere where the cold will last more than a few days, fitting a heater in your travel trailer is a must. For one thing, you will be freer to choose your winter destinations without any problems, especially for mountain and winter sports lovers. 

Secondly, travel trailer batteries can freeze, so keeping them stored inside a warm travel trailer ensures a drama-free trip. Additionally, sub-zero temperatures can also lead to frozen water tanks and pipes, causing irreversible damage. Depending on several factors, you may just need to wrap up warm and sleep with a hot water bottle or fit a long-term solution for your travel trailer. We have listed all possible RV heating ideas and their pros and cons.

  • Electric heaters have many positive factors. They’re lightweight, indoor safe, emit no odor or CO2, give off constant heat, and are adjustable, not to mention they’re super convenient. Unfortunately, they take a lot of power from the travel trailer.  This obviously limits the freedom to move around in your travel trailer during colder weather, as, unfortunately, there is no way that this demand can be met by solar panels, in case your travel trailer has them. 

A less energy-intensive solution is to plug a 12V electric blanket into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter if you just need a little extra warmth on slightly chilly nights. Otherwise, our top choices for electric heaters include the Portable Electric Heater or the Lasko Ceramic Heater.

  • A diesel heater for a diesel-powered travel trailer makes a lot more sense. Diesel heaters provide uniform and comfortable heating, are economical to use after installation and require little fuel. They also produce low levels of condensation. Unfortunately, the installation is extensive and therefore the start-up costs are high and can be a bit noisy. 

Our top-of-the-range choice would be the Eberspächer 12V Airtronic heater. In general, on amazon you can find lots of good options to choose from.

Tips for four-seasons travel trailers

If you’re serious about travelling during all four seasons in your travel trailer, you will need to make sure you can keep an optimal temperature inside. This is the key to a successful trip no matter the weather outside! Here are our last tips:

  • To feel comfortable during the winter there is more than just installing a heater for your trailer. 
  • While it sounds counterintuitive, ventilation is the key to a comfortable travel trailer. 
  • Water vapor in the form of condensation can feel like it’s heating up your space, but don’t be fooled – it condenses on walls and windows and can cause major problems for the travel trailer’s integrity and your health. 
  • Keep your living area well ventilated to ensure that stale, humid air is replaced by cool, dry air. 
  • Other tips for avoiding condensation include drying laundry outdoors or in a laundromat and cooking with a slow cooker or fan oven, which is another great source of heat.
  • In summer, keep the doors, the windows and the skylights closed during the hottest hours, unless there is a light breeze or light wind that, although it will not help to cool the environment, it may make the heat more bearable.
  • Try to avoid prolonged cooking inside the travel trailer in the hottest hours of summer.
  • If you have a tarp that covers a large part of the travel trailer, feel free to use it as an awning. I
  • When you notice that it has already cooled something late at night, make sure you have constant ventilation inside the travel trailer for as long as possible, ideally throughout the night, paying attention to leaving all the mosquito nets in place.

Do you have any tips or concerns regarding the process of making a 4 season travel trailer? Let us know!

FAQ on How do you make a 4 season travel trailer?

What is a thermal package on an RV?

A  thermal package on an RV usually means better motorhome insulation to protect you on cold winter days. A thermal package usually includes:

  • Insulated, enclosed and heated underbelly;
  • Higher-insulation for the roof and the room floors;
  • One/two interior fireplaces (on certain RV models) to keep you cosy and warm.

How does a heated underbelly on an RV work?

A heated underbelly on an RV has a two-inch diameter hose that transmits heat to the underbelly area of the motorhome to prevent the water tanks (including sewage) from freezing during winter nights. 

Are campers cold in winter?

Yes, campers can get quite cold in winter, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot travel during the cold time of the year. As long as you are well-prepared, you can live and travel in a caravan no matter the weather. 

What is the best camper for hot weather?

The best camper for hot weather is one that will have good insulation, will come equipped with several options to reduce heat and keep your motorhome well-ventilated.

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