There are several big reasons why you cannot spend the winter living in an RV in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, or even Kentucky or Kansas.
- First, RVs are not insulated anywhere near as well as mobile homes. The walls are only 2" thick and you can't add any more insulation since the walls are made of pressed foam with no extra spaces. Your "sticks 'n 'bricks" home has at least 4-6" of insulation in walls.
- Second, very few RVs have double-pane windows, so there is a lot of air leakage around windows. And the ratio of windows to solid walls is more than in a home or mobile home.
- Third, slides leak air. All of them. There is only a thin piece of rubber that surrounds most slides, and it is not unusual to have gaps in that rubber weatherstripping. I have one space that is 1" by 1" where I keep a rag stuffed in mine. If you want to test air leakage around slides, park sideways next to a 65 MPH wind as I once did. Even when I put my slides in, rain and wind came in under, over, and to the sides of the slide facing the storm. It took a lot of towels to sop it up.
- Fourth, even with skirting, which most people do not put around RVs, fresh water and sewage tanks are exposed from underneath. You can last a few hours at maybe 28 degrees, but any colder or longer, and you are likely to have frozen pipes and frozen hoses, and frozen sewage!
- Fifth, it takes a lot of propane and electricity to keep your RV warm, no matter what kind it is.
I have a 10-gallon built-in propane tank that fuels my hot water tank, stove and oven, and two furnaces--one in the front living area and one in the rear bedroom. I am also supplementing the furnaces with two small electric heaters. (Bigger heaters would not be safe and might blow fuses.) My first tank of propane lasted 15 days. My second lasted only 12 days. Getting a refill means driving my motorhome out and getting someone who can fill it. (There are external supplemental tanks you can get, but these require a special fitting, which I don't have.) And I have been barely keeping the temps at 68 degrees during the day and much lower at night.
Luckily, I have a really warm down comforter that keeps me warm at night, but getting out of bed in the middle of the night is still pretty chilly. I am hooked up to sewer, but I have to go outside to pull the handles on my tanks every three or so days.
So, as soon as I can, hopefully in late January, I am headed for warmer places around Las Vegas and Arizona! In the meantime, brrrrrrr!
And by the way, the good news is that it is now raining in Oregon!! Even better, it is raining in Northern California, so the fires will be going out and the air will be getting a lot better in the next few days.