Warming up the RV when it’s -12F outside

Written by on January 10, 2014 in How Tos, Videos with 19 Comments

My Roadtrek has been encased in ice and snow for the better part of a week now with several days of sub zero temperatures. Inside, shielded from the wind with the sun helping to mitigate the extreme outdoor temperature, it was about 15 degrees.

So, I got to wondering, how long will it take to warm it up, if, indeed such a thing was possible?


It’s cold up here!

Slipping on my boots, a parka and my fuzzy warm hat with earflaps, I donned my Google Glass and set out to video a first person experiment.

Everything on the video above was shot with Google Glass, a wearable computer that does video and still photography from the user’s point-of-view, as well as a gazillion other cool things.  If you are on the geek and nerd side and want to know more about Google Glass, here’s a post I did on it on my PC Mike Tech Blog. But my interest in Glass for this blog is to take POV videos like this.

The Webasto heater that my Roadtrek eTrek uses has impressed me before. But on this day, with an outdoor temperature of -12, it really proves its power.

So come along with me to snowy Michigan and click on the video to see for yourself just how fast that cold can be chased away.

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About the Author

About the Author: Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, and Norweigian Elkhound, Tai, travels North America in a Type B motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and frustrations of RV life on the road. He is the official on-the-road reporter for the Family Motor Coach Association. a columnist with Family Motor Coaching Magazine and his Roadtreking reports appear in numerous newspapers and publications. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, video editing and all things dealing with technology. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations. .


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19 Reader Comments

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  1. Lisa Gruner says:

    Cute hat! Great use for the google glass.

  2. David says:

    Mike, I’ve heard you say you’ve been in the snow a bit. Do you have snow chains or cables? I wouldn’t want to travel far with them for certain. But in a pinch to get you safely out of an unplanned situation, I would think they would be a good idea. Anyone have any recommendations on a set for the 3500 Sprinter?

  3. That’s standard Wisconsin winter wear, including the great smile!

  4. Eric Sondeen says:

    Great piece, Mike. Our Webasto furnace kept us cozy coming across Utah w minus 3 F Green River UT at John Wesley Powell River Museum. We then snoozed through a minus overnight at Fruita CO next to the frosty Colorado River.

  5. Peggy says:

    Mike, I know you have done winter camping before, do you winterize for your trips? Would you be able to take a month long trip in the winter and not have to winterize? How would the RoadTrek manage that?

  6. Pam Hicks says:

    Nice clip, Mike. How are the google glasses different from the go pro camera – is it that they do more things? I’ve been really impressed with how well the propane furnace heats up quickly, also. Another thing – I like to check the temp inside my van when I get back to the commuter lot – it’s always warmer than the outside temp, even during the polar vortex! I give credit to the amazing RT insulation.

  7. Warming up the RV when it’s that cold is a great idea.

  8. Campskunk says:

    man, you need that Webasto – I don’t think a propane furnace could have thawed a Roadtrek out under those conditions. propane furnaces are 16,000 BTUs- the Webasto is 20,000. i’m sitting here in my “think outside- no box required” T-shirt from roadtreking.com in 68 degree temperatures, by the way. it was a little foggy this morning but it’s burning off now ;-)

  9. Gary Hennes says:

    Gotta be careful starting up those windshield wipers, though! Should check to be sure they are not frozen down or may damage blades, arms or drive motor.
    Last winter, I pulled out after an overnite snowfall and a big chunk of heavy wet, icy snow came sliding down the windshield from above and knocked the driver’s side wiper arm loose from the drive drum. That was on FRI nite – I was stuck until MON morning before I could proceed.

  10. Bill Aloia Bill Aloia says:

    Looks like my hat..hehe

  11. Bill Aloia Bill Aloia says:

    Read this if you have not already. Have you heard anything about this? What are the restriction FAA put on you to limit your business? http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/blogs/ain-blog-no-rules-doesnt-mean-you-cant-do-something

  12. Daniel Righter says:

    mike you should buy one and ill rent it off you .

  13. Claudia Harrison says:

    Don’t forget the heating cable that wraps around the water hose ;)

  14. Being in Florida during that kind of weather is an even better idea.

  15. Bill Sprague says:


    Thanks! That’s really encouraging. My wife likes warm.


  16. Rfaltz says:

    I liked your iphone temperature app, where can I find it?
    I looked at my app store and couldn’t find one that looked like the one in the clip.

  17. Jayne Keatts Jayne Keatts says:

    Why is an RV there , there are wheels … Go south !

  18. Sean says:

    Hey we have it hard out here in California too! I had to wear a thin wetsuit went I sent surfing yesterday! Hahahaha.

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