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What if your RV season didn’t have to end? What if instead of storing your travel trailer you became one of the brave few who kept on trucking through rain, sleet, and SNOW!
With the right setup, it’s entirely possible.
Not only does RV’ing through the winter allow you to see the world from an entirely different perspective, but it also means lower prices at campgrounds, and in some cases, you’ll have the campground all to yourself. Of course, that’s not for everyone and winter camping isn’t easy. But if you’re one of the brave few who wants to keep the adventure going, I’m going to review my 8 favorite travel trailers for winter and cold weather camping.
Why Travel Trailers?
You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to winter RV’ing but for my money travel trailers are one of the best ways to go. While driving anything in winter conditions is going to be difficult, the big benefit that you have with a travel trailer is the freedom to unhitch and hit the road. While this luxury is always nice, it’s absolutely awesome during the winter.
The last thing you want to do in bad conditions and drag your entire house to the store for a supply run. With a travel trailer, you don’t have to.
Travel trailers can also be just as hardy and warm as any other RV class so there’s no reason not to take advantage of the freedom they offer.
Do I Need An Arctic Package?
You’ve probably seen an RV labeled as being 4-seasons ready or being fully equipped with the arctic package. Unfortunately, there is no standard for what an arctic package has to include- which makes things confusing. It also means that one manufacturer’s version of an arctic package could be very different from what you actually need.
That’s why it’s important to not get distracted by the marketing; instead, you need to make sure you understand the specifics of what’s included in the 4-season or arctic packages. The biggest things to look for are additional insulation as measured by the rigs R-Value along with special warming mechanisms for tanks and fluid lines. Obviously being cold isn’t great but if you’ve got a frozen line in the middle of winter you could up with much bigger problems than being a little chilly.
When it comes to insulation, you should focus on the specific R-Value of the rig but make sure to figure out what it is for each part of the RV. Some manufacturers will really focus on a specific part of the rig and advertise super-high roof R-value, for example, which the rest of the rig could be lacking.
So should you put a lot of weight into whether or not an RV has an arctic package? While it can certainly help, at the end of the day it’s going to come down to the specific additions that have been added and not just the 4-season marketing. After all, there’s a big difference between being 4-season ready in Alaska vs Texas so make sure you know what kind of places you plan to roam before you buy.
1. Keystone Montana
- Beautiful residential-style fixtures including hardwood cabinetry
- 22 different floor plans give you plenty of options to pick the perfect one for you
- Four Seasons Package comes standard and includes 12V heating pads for the tanks and R-21 insulation on the floor.
- Higher price compared to some other travel trailers but it’s well worth it if you’re looking for a winter-ready rig.
It doesn’t get much better than the Keystone Montana when it comes to staying warm and comfortable- no matter what the weather. No need to upgrade to an arctic package here since the Montana comes standard with a long list of winter-ready features including heating pads on holding tanks, heated underbelly, state of the art solar panels, and more.
But it isn’t just talk with the folks at Keystone! While I can’t track down the original post from Keystone, Guaranty explains that Keystone put the Montana to the test by placing the rig inside an extreme weather chamber. They then set the thermostat to a toasty 74-degree Fahrenheit while dropping the exterior temperature all the way to 0 degrees. Even with temperatures well below freezing, the interior of the Montana stayed nice and warm and didn’t drop below 70. Not only is that plenty warm, I’d say that’s a little too warm even!
As if that wasn’t enough, the critical tanks, dump valves, and other fluid lines stayed completely unfrozen and entirely operational. All thanks to the long list of features included standard in their Four Seasons Package.
The only real downside to the Keystone Montana would have to be the price but even that is hardly a downside. With an MSRP of $85,094, it may appear to be more expensive than other similar-sized Fifth Wheel and travel trailers but a big part of that is the Four Season upgrades that run standard. Let’s look at the R-Value of the flooring for example. A typical RV might have an R-Value of 10 to 15 while the Keystone Montana comes standard with an R-Value of 21!
If you don’t plan on taking advantage of this by braving the winter cold then this going to be overkill and you’ll end up paying for features you don’t really need. But if you’re planning on staying on the road this off-season in sub-freezing temperatures then the Keystone Montanan is probably worth every penny.
2. Northwood Arctic Fox 22G Travel Trailer
- Extra insulation everywhere on this rig from every compartment door, to the roof and holding tank area.
- Beautiful bathroom, especially when you consider the size of this RV
- Luxury fixtures and features with a surprising amount of headroom
- Budget-friendly with rigs available for less than $40,000.
- The 22 foot 22G may be too small for some folks.
As the name implies, the Arctic Fox is ready for tough winter weather with a super tough trailer and plenty of insulation. But just because it’s purpose-built for winter weather doesn’t mean you have to skip the creature comforts and the Arctic Fox is packed with beautiful residential-style fixtures including a stovetop that I absolutely love. There’s also a supringly spacious dry bath, especially for a 22 footer, that includes a porcelain toilet and a skylight above the shower.
The chassis is built by Northwood Manufacturing and is offroad ready with a powerful steel frame. While most Class C or Class B RVs have a chassis that’s connected to a big name like Ford or Dodge, there can be a lot more variation when it comes to the chassis for travel trailers. That also means it can often be overlooked or taken for granted but if you’re planning on hitting the road this offseason, you need a rig that can handle the bumps and bruises that winter is going to dish out.
I believe that this chassis is ready for winter and the folks at Northwood take things a step further by having every chassis reviewed by an independent 3rd party tester. You can check out some footage of the chassis being built in this video:
When it comes to insulation, the Arctic Fox comes jam-packed with extra insulation on every inch of this rig. Including smaller areas that you might not immediately consider like the 1-inch thick insulated doors to all exterior storage areas. While it might not hit all the R-Values of the Keystone Montana, the Arctic Fox is still very comparable and won’t have any problems staying warm. All the usual features you’d expect in a winter-ready travel trailer are there too like extra insulation for fluid lines and extra heaters for the tanks.
Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with the Arctic Fox and with the folks at Northwood. They’ve got a long history of producing high-quality travel trailers that stand the test of time and with used models available for less than $40,000 at the time of writing, the Arctic Fox is a lot more affordable than some of the other specialized winter rigs.
3. Lance 2295 Travel Trailer (With Fireplace!)
- This is one of the only RV’s you’ll find that includes an actual fireplace! What could be better for enjoying winter weather (and saving on propane)?
- Nice sized oven with a beautiful three-burner stove
- Huge slide out dining area with plenty of room for guests
- Beautiful bedroom with a nightstand- which is another thing you’re not going to see in many other RVs!
- The entertainment center in the middle of the overall layout feels a little clunky to me.
The Lance 2295 travel trailer is one of the more interesting travel trailers out there. Not only does it have a unique layout with but more importantly it has an electric fireplace placed in the center of the RV. While this certainly gives the rig a unique feel and ambiance it’s also practical- especially for winter camping. While you can’t exactly throw in a bunch of wood and call it day (although there are plenty of aftermarket wooden stoves you can add to your RV) the electric stove can save you from burning out on propane when you’re hooked up at a campsite.
But for me, the style points you get for having a fireplace (electric or not) inside your RV are hard to beat!
In order to get the fireplace centrally located, the overall layout of this rig is a little different. There’s a center pillar that partially separates the bedroom from the rest of the RV and also houses the fireplace and television. You end up with a very separate bedroom and a television that’s in a much more central location than usual. I find that most folks either love this layout or hate it without much in between. You can see it in this video tour here:
Besides the fireplace, one of my other favorite features is the bedroom. It has a beautiful sloping window that will let you see the stars at night from the comfort of your own bed. Of course, you can also drop the blinds and sleep in. Because of the pillar in the center of the rig, the bedroom feels more secluded than a lot of other layouts which is actually something I love. If you’re sharing the travel trailer with another person there’s a better chance they can actually leave the bedroom and move about without waking you up.
Another nice touch in the bedroom is the addition of the nightstand. Most RV’s skip this small but really nice to have feature and the Lance has plenty of room for your nighttime needs complete with a simple recessed light. Of course, you’ll need to secure them when you hit the road.
When it comes to staying warm in the winter, the Lance has some nice features but isn’t going above and beyond like some of the other RVs on this list. It does have double-paned windows which can drastically increase the insulation factor of any space. The Lance also includes block foam insulation which is a little different from traditional insulation but still has comparable R-Values based on the research I could find.
Overall, the Lance 2295 is not only a great travel trailer for winter camper but also one of the more unique rigs on this list. You won’t find many RVs with a fireplace that comes standard and if you’re looking to recreate the cozy feel of your traditional home, the Lance might be the perfect fit. You can find used models for less than $50,000 which makes this a great way to get into the world of winter camping!
4. Forest River Cherokee Arctic Wolf with Extreme Weather Package
- The Extreme Weather Package comes with plenty of great features for winter camping including a 35,000 BTU Furnace and upgraded insulation.
- 9+ flexible floor plans so you can find exactly what you need (including bunk beds for the kids)
- Double slide outs make this rig very spacious with plenty of room for the family
- Auto-leveling system which is especially nice if you’re working in tougher terrain
- This RV also has a fireplace which may people will absolutely love
- May be too big for some folks to tow
It’s hard to go wrong with an RV from the folks at Forest River and the Arctic Wolf is no exception. This travel trailer is on the larger side and most folks would consider this a fifth wheel. That means you’ll need a heavier duty truck to tow this but if you’re looking to stay comfortable throughout the winter (and any other kind of weather) then this makes a great choice.
For starters, you’ll also find that most floorplans include a fireplace! There are several floor plans and the location of the fireplace changes in each one so it’s worth looking closely at the available options. My personal favorite is the 321BH Floorplan which you can see here. It features a fireplace placed near the kitchen and entertaining area. As someone who loves to cook, I love the idea of having guests, my kitchen, and the fireplace all in the same area!
But let’s talk about weather. Forest River offers an extreme weather package that will get you ready not only for winter but any extreme temperature with additional fans and air conditioning units. The package includes a 35,000 BTU furnace, heated and enclosed underbelly, upgraded insulation across the entire rigs, several additional fans, and a ducted A/C unit. There’s also the option to even get a second air conditioning unit that specific to the bedroom. Not only is that more efficient since you don’t have to heat or cool the entire rig while you’re sleeping but it also gives you some extra power in terms of temperature control.
Overall, the Arctic Wolf has a great option for winter camping, especially if you pick up the extreme weather upgrade. But this luxurious travel trailer also comes in at a great price and you’re able to find 2021 models for as low as $32,000. That makes this a great option for getting the entire family started on a winter camping adventure this season!
5. Jayco Eagle 330RSTS
- Available with Jayco’s Climate Shield upgrade for serious winter camping
- Electronic leveling which is typically reserved for only fifth wheels
- The beautiful two-tone interior gives this travel trailer a stylish look
- A spacious bathroom which ceilings that are well above 6 feet tall
- Tested by a third party facility for temperatures well below freezing
- The lighting fixtures are nice but I’d personally always prefer recessed lighting over traditional fixtures
- The modern IKEA-style interior design might not be everyone’s favorite
Jayco is another well-known RV manufacturer and they actually have two RVs on our list of the best Class C’s for winter. Jayco seems to specialize in cold weather rigs and they offer a Climate Shield upgrade that goes above and beyond the traditional arctic package. Available on a handful of Jayco RVs (including the Eagle Travel Trailer) the Climate Shield package includes a double-layer of fiberglass on the front cap to keep the bedroom nice and toasty along with a heated underbelly. You’ll also find PEX plumbing that’s tested for -40 degree Fahrenheit temperatures! Like the Forest River rig, this package also protects against hot weather with heavily tinted windows as well.
Jayco even took things a step further and put all this to the test by subjecting their RVs to 0 degrees Fahrenheit in a climate-controlled facility for 8 hours. Even after 8 hours of bitter cold (and some frost-covered tires) the interior of the rig was nice and comfortable with all plumbing working perfectly.
So there’s not really any doubt that the Jayco Eagle can handle cold temperatures- certainly anything most RVer’s will throw at it. But I also love the interior of this RV! It features a beautiful two-tone, black and white design that makes the entire travel trailer look like an IKEA set piece. For some folks, that might sound like a nightmare but I personally love the design. The bathroom includes a huge shower, massive ceilings, and several other nice touches like plenty of counter space. There’s even a backsplash which is not something you’re going to find in many RVs!While that doesn’t exactly bring a lot of function to the RV, it’s still a nice feature that makes this rig feel more like home.
I’m also a big fan of kitchen islands in any travel trailer and the Eagle has a great kitchen layout. There’s also tons of storage in this RV with enough room to squeeze in a washer and dryer in the bedroom.
You can get a feel for the layout and see if it’s something you like in this video:
Overall, the Jayco Eagle is a great travel trailer for winter camping with one of the most robust climate protection packages available. While not everyone is going to be a fan of the interior, if you like modern design like me you’ll probably love it. Compared to other RVs on this list, the Jayco Eagle is going to be a bit pricey and you should expect to pay a little over $50,000 for some of the newer models.
6. 2020 Heartland Big Horn 3985 RRD
- Raising electric beds is perfect for finding the best tv viewing angle but it’s also extremely practical when it comes to squeezing in extra storage.
- An absolutely beautiful shower that gives you the feel of a full residential home
- Comes standard with underbelly insulation and closure to keep the essential warm
- R-34 insulation is more than enough for most RV’ers
- More expensive than many others on this list with a roughly $70,000 price tag
Heartland is another manufacturer that’s no stranger to producing the 4-season RV market with several models that are purpose-built for cold weather. As a result, you can find a variety of features on the Big Horn fifth wheel that help it stand out from other rigs. For starters, there’s the massive 42,000 BTU furnace. Considering that most RVs have around a 30,000 BTU furnace this upgrade goes a long way to keeping you warm in the winter.
Then there are things like standard underbelly closure and insulation, the R-11 rating on the walls, and the R-34 insulation on the ceiling, and the always awesome PLEX plumbing. Add it all up and you’ve got a solid winter camping rig.
But I also love the interior of this RV with the most notable features being the bed and the bathroom. First off, the entire bed can be raised with the push of a button while that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I love the options this gives for additional storage. I also like the idea of being able to sleep a bit higher off the ground to give my knees a break when I have to get out of bed in the middle of the night. The bathroom is beautifully designed and feels like a bathroom you’d expect in a full-size home with a sliding glass door and a proper vanity!
The only downside is that this RV runs a little on the high side compared to the rest of the rigs on this list and you should expect to pay around $70,000 for the Heartland Big Horn.
7. Northwood Nash 18FM Travel Trailer
- Northwood’s 4 season insulation package includes a combination of batt fiberglass and block foam insulation for cold winters
- Residential style cabinetry gives this travel trailer some extra style
- Fully insulated and heated fluid tanks, pipes, and valves
- Murphy bed for extra space
- Not much natural lighting inside this rig and overall the interior is a bit dark
I don’t think any list of the best travel trailers for winter would be complete without a little more from the folks at Northwood! They’re well known for building durable and winter-ready rigs and the simply named Nash is a great option for folks that want something smaller than the Arctic Fox but don’t want to sacrifice any winter-readiness.
The Nash is part of the “Absolute Northwood” line which means it comes standard with an off-road chassis that’s great for rougher winter weather. You’ll also get a whole lot of extra insulation on the roof, walls, undercarriage, and tank housing. All of which makes this a truly 4-season RV.
You can check out all the insulation upgrades included in the Absolute Northwood package in this video:
In addition to the usual winter features, the Nash includes a Murphy bed which gives this rig a bit more space but some folks aren’t going to exactly love it. When it comes to smaller travel trailers, something has to give when it comes to space and while the murphy bed is a great addition it’s going to be hard to ever match the comfort of a traditional bed or the memory foam options that we’re seeing in a lot of RVs these days.
The biggest downside to this RV is the interior lighting. You can tell if you watch the walk-through in the video above that the interior is a bit dark and it’s clear that windows aren’t a priority. Part of that comes with the territory when you have a smaller rig that includes a slide-out but I’d still love to see some more windows on this travel trailer. After all, there’s nothing more beautiful than a snow-covered landscape.
The Northwood Nash is also budget-friendly with an MSRP of less than $40,000.
Honorable Mention: Ice Castle All Seasons Travel Trailer
- With a name like “Ice Castle” you know that it’s winter-ready
- Spray foam insulation covering every nook and cranny including plenty of insulation in the underbelly
- Power lift bed that can be lowered or raised with a flip of a switch
- A unique “second-floor” style lounge area that can be converted to an additional sleeping area
- Okay, that much cedar might be everyone’s style and it can get a bit overwhelming
- It’s made for ice fishing so it’s definitely not for everyone
While the Ice Castle is actually purpose-built for folks that love ice fishing, I didn’t think that this list would be complete with a travel trailer like this one! Considering that they named this travel trailer the “Ice Castle” you know that they take 4 seasons’ capability seriously and it shows in the heavy duty insulation you’ll find throughout this RV. They’ve paid extra attention to the underbelly of this RV which makes a lot of sense when you consider that it’s intended to be parked on a sheet of ice!
This travel trailer has a total of 6 holes scattered throughout the main living area that allow you to actually fish while you’re inside the RV. If you’re not planning on ever doing any ice fishing then this is definitely a take or leave it to feature but if some cold weather fishing is on your bucket list then this might be worth a look. You can see the ice fishing holes (and the rest of the travel trailer) here:
Does that mean you have to ice fish to consider this rig? Not at all! It’s still a fully functional travel trailer with a dry bathroom and a ton of sleeping space. Still, if you’re spending most of your time at campgrounds or in urban environments the heavy-duty nature of this rig is probably overkill. But if your idea of a good RV adventure is hitting the outdoors and breaking some trail without fearing freezing temperatures than this could be perfect.
One of my favorite features is the bed that can be raised up the ceiling. While this is intended to give you extra space for fishing, you can use it for any kind of extra space or storage. There’s as a unique “second-level” (it’s only a few stairs) that can be converted into additional sleeping areas.
Overall, the Ice Castle is definitely best for the ice fisherman, if you want a no-frills four-season powerhouse then it’s worth a look.
Winter camping can be a lot of fun…if you’re warm! You could go with any of the RVs on this list and stay plenty warm all winter all while getting the flexibility of a travel trailer. But let me know down below if there’s a travel trailer I should have included on this list or which on is your favorite!