It sometimes feels that summer is over in a heartbeat and before we know it we’re stuck into long cold nights and short cool days. One minute we’re basking in tropical heat and then within a week we’re being battered with freezing rain and gale force winds.
Maybe I’m showing my age, but the summers seem to be getting shorter, and the winters are getting longer. December is just around the corner, the kids are getting excited for Santa and the temperature will probably continue on its downward trend with no chance of warming up anytime soon.
Common sense dictates that most of the shelf RVs are not meant for exploring the Antarctic. If you’d like to take your RV out during colder weather, you’ll probably need to invest in what’s commonly named an arctic package. These will normally upgrade the existing insulation and provide additional heating for the enjoyment of the RVs passengers and driver.
However, there are certain models of RVs that have designed and built with the colder weather in mind. These vehicles are meant to be taken out when the mercury drops, through icy gales and even in some cases, snowy roads. If you stay in an area that experiences harsh winters, or you just want to experience the thrill of being on the road with your RV year-round, then these top cold-weather RVs are made to meet that need.
Windjammer 3008W Travel Trailer
Travel trailers are a great much cheaper alternative to the full-blown RV, they are ideal choices for beginners and those just looking to get a taste of the RV lifestyle. The Windjammer is a fantastic option, it can accommodate a maximum of five beds, so there’s no excuse for not bringing your family along.
This trailer is not exactly small, boasting an 897-pound hitch load, but it will do an admirable job of keeping the bad weather on the outside and the warmth and creature comforts on the inside. Given its impressive size, it can hold a generous 45-gallon black water tank, a 75-gallon gray water tank, and a commendable 45-gallon freshwater tank.
Additionally, the trailer does a great job of providing a host of other features such as a wardrobe, linen closet, a kitchen space with microwave, gas cooker hook-up and an awning to keep the sun or snow off. To top it all off, the master suite features a clever table that folds away and a large double bed.
If you’re wondering at this point what exactly makes this trailer a good fit for winter excursions, then read on:
- Inbuilt whole trailer insulation
- The heated tanks that are electronically controlled and monitored
- Upgraded windows
- Electronically heated master bedroom mattress
- Upgraded fireplace
- Heated floor ducts
Pros: This trailer features a ton of traits that make it particularly well suited to cold weather. Admittedly, it’s not much to look at, but what it lacks in the looks department it more than makes up for in the functionality department. We’re sure that if you are someone that likes camping trailers and enjoy the winter months outdoors, the Windjammer will definitely become a firm favorite.
Cons: It’s a heavy trailer to haul around, more so than most other camp trailers. Given its size and weight, it might take a while to get used to using it, especially if you’re new to pulling a trailer.
Jayco Redhawk 26XD
The Jayco is a visually stunning RV that all but guarantees a snug and warm environment, doubly so if you’re looking to purchase one of latest 2017 – 2018 models. You’ll be spoilt for choice with five floorplans to pick from, meaning you’ll no doubt find something to meet your specific requirements. All models boast a robust Ford chassis, ample linen closets, a generous refrigerator, an awning, as well as a massive queen sized bed.
Every Redhawk is generously proportioned, so in addition to the above, you should have little trouble fitting in the following:
- A queen sized bed
- More closet space
- A fully equipped bathroom with shower, sink, and toilet
- An array of kitchen appliances, storage, and work surfaces
- A large sofa
- A 32-inch television
Obviously, the equipment and space are impressive, how about the purpose of this article, how does it fare during cold weather? The huge fuel tank, powerful auto-igniting furnace and large capacity water heater all ensure you should feel warm and comfortable no matter what the outside weather is doing. If you want to take your family, your friends family, and your dogs with you on your winter excursions, then the eight-person sleeping arrangements should be more than adequate.
Pros: There’s an awful lot to like about the Redhawk, it’s massive and feels like a holiday home, but it’s also easy to maintain a very comfortable temperature no matter what the weather outside is doing.
Cons: To achieve all of these luxury offerings you’ll need to spend a small fortune on the Redhawk, prices are just shy of $100,000. Opting for the previous years model will be cheaper but you may have to sacrifice many of the newer luxury features.
Lance 4 Seasons Travel Trailer
Manufactured specifically for all season driving, including winter and warm weather, the Lance proves that you need not spend a fortune to experience cold weather trips. Here’s a quick breakdown of its features:
- Easily removable hatch covers, these can be added or removed in a matter of seconds depending on what the weather is doing outside. The insulated covers are designed to keep the outdoor weather conditions from encroaching into the indoors of your RV, which means happy campers.
- The design utilizes insulation, which supersedes the more traditional wood. The good thing about this thermoplastic is that it’s a natural insulator which is adept at keeping the heat in and the cold out, it will also provide a certain amount of soundproofing, meaning you’ll be at least partially immune from the sounds of generators or other outdoor noises. Lastly, the insulation won’t rot or be prone to hosting mildew or mold, unlike wood tends to do.
- The RV features an impressive ducted warming system. Clever engineering and design mean that the heating is equally directed across the whole of the RV, ensuring every room is warmed to the same level.
Lastly, the windows are dual paned and tinted, which provides an additional level of insulation and soundproofing.
Pros: With bags and bags of insulation, worrying about the cold weather will be a distant memory. The added benefit of the soundproofing makes driving it an almost peaceful experience.
Cons: Nothing we can find. The Lance package is available for a range of truck trailers and toy trailers, which provides a ton of adaptability.
Forest River Arctic Wolf
The Arctic Wolf is available with six floorplans to pick from, meaning it’ll meet the requirements of nearly every RV fan. The largest models top out at a huge 10,000 pounds, equating to a hitch load of approximately 1,400 pounds. This weight is down to its generous proportions which max out at 35 feet in length and 11 feet in height.
In addition to its comfortable dimensions, Artic Wolf owners can pick from either an Extreme Weather Package or the Arctic Package for any winter excursions. Let’s take a look at each package:
- Windows for the upper bunks
- Wired solar setup
- Pull-out kitchen taps
- Optional fittings for outdoor TV and shower
- Hardwired entertainment system
- Entry doors with friction hinges
Extreme Weather Package
- Arctic insulation fitted throughout
- Ducted air-con
- Featured fast cool fan
- Upper decking with insulation
- Powerful ceiling fan
- Underfloor heating
- High gloss wall construction
- A powerful furnace capable of outputting 35,000 BTUs in a matter of seconds
Pros: If you purchase the Arctic Wolf with the Extreme weather package, you’ll be comfortable, warm and immune from the outside weather conditions, no matter what it’s doing.
Cons: The size and mass of this RV can pose a hurdle for anyone inexperienced driving with such a large vehicle, turning, and other maneuvers may prove to be challenging.
Jayco 327CKTS Eagle
Jayco makes a second appearance on our list with the Eagle. The new model just released in 2018 includes a range of improvements and upgrades, including a sizeable refrigerator, a comfortable and luxurious queen-sized bed, massive wardrobes and a washer dryer combo.
Additionally, you’ll have a full 19 feet of outdoor warning to utilize, a well-equipped full bathroom which includes a toilet, sink, shower and closet, a kitchen with everything you might need, a large sofa and an extra recliner.
If that’s not enough to suit your needs, you can optionally choose a décor package which will make your RV feel more like a home away from home. Additionally, there are a few optional extras:
- Double glazed tinted windows
- The dry package, which provides LP storage and capacity
- The Waste System
- A digitally managed and monitored tankless water heating system
Pros: As we’ve already discussed, the Jayco name is well known in the RV industry for providing four seasons options. The upgraded 2018 model of the Eagle provides a range of comfort upgrades that rival those of your home. The capabilities and luxury appointments mean you could feasibly keep going on the trail all year round.
Cons: Only the most recent version of the Eagle feature everything detailed above, older models will cost less but won’t be as well appointed.
Heartland is a giant within the world of RVs and has established a reputation over the years as a firm that is more than capable of producing RVs that can go up against even the toughest of weather conditions. The Bighorn is not an exception and well deserves the hype associated with the brand. This trailer boasts close to a dozen floor plans to choose from, which means regardless of your requirement, budget or niche needs, there’s going to be a Bighorn which will tick all of your boxes.
These trailers are available in a variety of size combinations, with the largest coming in at an impressive 14,000 points, which equates to a hitching load of close to 3,000 lbs. This mass is largely due to the 45 feet in length.
Nearly every single floor plan features the following feet warming features:
- An inbuilt A/C System with insulation
- A heat pumping furnace that can crank out 42,000 warming BTUs
- Floor heating ducts that move heat equally around the RV
- The design and build feature insulation built into every aspect of the RV, including the floors, walls, roofing, and windows.
- A heated underside
- Enjoy a bathroom away from home with patented water lines.
- The aesthetics provided by the fiberglass walls, laminated flooring, and tinted windows means the RV will turn heads wherever it goes.
- If you’re looking for a comfortable night’s sleep, the Bighorn provides this in bucket loads with extra storage, large king sized bed, a mattress made from memory foam, and recessed lighting
Pros: Unfortunately we can’t cover every exciting feature of the RV in this article, best rest assured that the Heartland Bighorn delivers impressive comfort and winter capabilities that will leave you impressed. The large selection of floor plans means you’ll be hard pressed to find a combination that doesn’t meet your requirements.
Cons: We’re hard pressed to find any faults with the Bighorn, it’s a seriously impressive piece of kit.
Another brilliant camper trailer in our list is the Raptor. As you would expect from a brand such a Keystone, you’ll receive a ton of features, including artic packages to choose from. Additionally, you may choose some optional extras.
The Raptor has a range of eight intelligently designed floor plans to pick from. All designs feature the same basic rooms, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms, however, the exact layout and the amount of room dedicated to each room changes based on the chosen floor plan.
Providing a comfortable and warming environment is the MaxFlo air conditioning unit which can pump out an impressive 15k BTUs. This will keep you warm and toasty during even the biggest cold snaps.
Pros: If you’re looking to buy a Keystone trailer, then we think the Raptor is an obvious choice. Once you’ve chosen your ideal floor plan and you’ve cranked up the heating, you’ll have no excuse for not heading out for a winter adventure.
Cons: None that we can find. The sheer popularity of the Raptor is a testament to its capabilities.
Heartland LM Arlington
If you choose to buy Arlington with the Yeti Package equipped, you’re buying on the most capable and beloved arctic packages that are available. The package is, of course, optional, but if you’re serious about taking your RV out in cold weather conditions, it’s an obvious choice.
Coupled with the away from home package, your RV is going to remain in tip-top condition regardless of how many times you choose to take it out. Read on for some of the outstanding innovations that are available as standard:
- A power bed with inbuilt reading and convenience lights
- A lockable and secure safe
- A generously equipped kitchen including an oven
- A tiled backsplash area with gorgeous backlighting
- Soft touch tables
- Inbuilt USB charging ports
- An inverter with built-in surge protection as standard
- An ambient illumination system
- You may optionally add the capability for an exterior TV, inbuilt dishwasher and powerful bathroom extractor fans.
In order to fit all these features in the Heartland weighs in at 15,170 lbs which equates to a 3,100 lbs hitch weight, and the ability to carry a further 2,780 lbs, this means that this vehicle is far from the smallest vehicle on our roster. The Heartland measures in at eight feet across and slightly larger than 13 feet in height.
Pros: Taking into consideration the Yeti Package, the Arlington is a seriously capable and comfortable cold weather RV. It is continually mentioned when the best four-season RVs are discussed. It’s without a doubt the premier artic packages available to buy.
Cons: Without the optional Yeti Package, the Arlington is not as capable. You’ll need to pay for the package which can make it a pricey purchase.
Northwood Arctic Fox
Very few arctic campers are as popular well know or held in such high regard as the Fox. The reason for this is simple enough, the Arctic Fox accomplishes what it was set out to do and contains a ton of helpful features. Let’s take a closer look:
- Built into the bedroom are USB charging ports, as well as a well-proportioned mattress and carpeting throughout
- A fully function bathtub with a skylight and foldable shower screen
- A foot-operated toilet
- Powerful extractor fans in the bedrooms
- Inbuilt skylights and a sizeable fridge as well as ample storage space
- A fully equipped kitchen including a microwave
- A booth eating area and L shaped sofa with comfortable pillows
- A digitally monitored and controlled thermostat for perfect heating
- Inbuilt smoke, carbon monoxide, and LPG detectors
- A foldaway 19-inch widescreen TV with Bluetooth connectivity and CD/DVD player
- A range of clever storage options
- Fully insulated through with four-seasons foam insulation, providing exceptional insulation properties
And that’s not everything! With all the features, it would be easy to mistake the interior for a luxury apartment. If you so choose, you can even add additional features such as generators, solar panels, cameras, thermal windows and much more besides.
Pros: A fantastic offering from an already impressive brand, the Arctic Fox proves that the cold weather doesn’t need to hinder your outdoor adventures. It’s entirely possible that you could be living in the lap of luxury that you’ll not want to go home.
Cons: Like anything that borders the line of luxury, you’re going to have to pay for the privilege of all of these features. The latest models from 2017 onwards will cost upwards of $56,000, and previous models don’t tend to depreciate that much, which in itself is a testament to their quality.
Perhaps the best known cold weather RV, the Montana is a legend in its own right. People have and still do live all year round in this capable vehicle. This model has a 15-year pedigree which has stood the test of time, proving year upon year that it’s at the top of the pile for all weather RVs and well deserving of its excellent reputation.
In developing and testing the Keystone Montana, technicians would use the RV in Indiana for several weeks on end during freezing temperatures to ensure the vehicle was capable of continued exposure to very low temperatures. Additionally, within the Montana testing facility, the Keystone was tested in temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit, which is far below what you’re likely to come across in the wild. Needless to say that Montana flew through every test with full marks. This is in part due to the equipment included:
- Digitally controlled and monitored dual thermostat
- Ducted secondary A/C
- Powerful free-flow 15,000 BTU air conditioning
- Heated water drains
- Electrically heated tanks
- Built-in water lines
- Insulated holding tanks and dump valves
- Insulated heated underbelly
- Attic system with full venting
- Insulated heated ducting system
- A 35k BTU heating furnace with auto-igniting feature
- Insulated roofing, flooring, walls, and windows that massively improve heat retention
Pros: If you’re looking for an RV that will stay warm on the inside no matter what the weather is doing on the outside, then you’d be hard pushed to find a better option than the Montana. The vehicle has been designed from the ground up to deliver outstanding cold weather capabilities, ensuring its occupants remain in the lap of luxury.
Cons: Top of the range options will cost quite a bit of money, which may be too much for someone starting out as an RV enthusiast.
As the saying goes ‘winter is coming’, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to migrate south with the starlings. If you want to head out into a winter wonderland, then choosing one of the ten cold weather RVs we’ve discussed will all but guarantee a comfortable trip. Some of them are larger, better equipped or costlier than others, but all are capable and will make great choices for anyone looking to spend some time exploring the winter landscape.