Photo by hobo_018 via iStock
Winter trailer camping is so much fun. There’s often fewer people to contend with, beautiful landscapes to enjoy, and if you’re lucky, a little snow shower while you sit around the campfire.
Plus, the fact that you’re out there with a trailer means that you can take gear that will help you stay warm while also being able to sleep somewhere that is insulated from the elements.
The question is, what should you do to make the most of winter trailer camping?
Today’s article focuses on a few essential tips for planning your trip and having the right gear, including a trailer that’s capable of all-weather travel, like the Freedom MAX from our friends at Second Wind Trailers.
Let’s dive in and learn more about winter trailer camping!
Table of Contents
- Winter Trailer Camping: Plan Ahead
- Invest in a Winter-Capable Trailer
- Winter Trailer Camping: Add a Reliable Heat Source
- Bring Along Backup Power
- Have the Proper Recovery Gear
- Final Thoughts
- Other Recommended Overlanding Gear
Winter Trailer Camping: Plan Ahead
Photo by SimonSkafar via iStock
Winter camping is a different beast – it requires additional preparation than you’re used to for summer trips. The weather can change from sunny to snowy in a matter of minutes, road conditions can be impassable, and campsites may be closed.
To avoid such problems, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead. First and foremost, plan the route you will be following and check the weather and road conditions in areas that can be problematic. These could be high mountain passes or roads that are prone to landslides.
Having a backup plan will save you a lot of time in case you stumble across a road closure, campsite closure, or horrible weather, as you can change your trajectory straight away.
It’s also important to let people know where you’re planning to camp, especially if you’re doing a solo trip. This is important no matter the time of year you’re camping, but in the winter, when you might find yourself stuck, having people aware of your planned route and destination can lead to a faster rescue.
These are just a few tidbits to keep in mind for winter trailer camping. Get additional tips in the video above by DIY Outdoor Life.
Invest in a Winter-Capable Trailer
Obviously, it’s a good idea to invest in a trailer that’s prepared for winter, as some products on the market don’t offer the insulation and rust resistance needed for winter use.
Our trailer of choice is the Freedom MAX by Second Wind Trailers. This hand-built trailer offers fully insulated walls, an insulated ceiling, and a weather-resistant frame that will withstand the punishment of snow and salty roads (or hot summer days and muddy trails…it’s an all-season rig!).
As a bonus, the Freedom MAX also offers off-road wheels and tires (and up to 14” of ground clearance) that can handle the muck of winter roads. There’s even an optional water heater and shower that will make getting cleaned up during those cold adventures far easier!
But this just scratches the surface of what you can enjoy in the Freedom MAX on your winter trailer camping trips…
For example, you’ll find laminate plank flooring and birch cabinets in the cabin, which you can access via two side doors. Both doors have 12” x 22” screened windows that give you a nice view of the winter wonderland outside without letting the chill of the day inside!
Since days are short in the winter, you can rely on the LED in-cabin lighting to cozy up with a favorite book on the full-size memory foam mattress. When you need to head outside, the exterior LED lighting will help you navigate your surroundings.
The Freedom MAX comes with a fantastic power system to keep the trailer up and running. It includes a 100-watt solar panel, a 2000-watt Renogy inverter, and a deep-cycle RV 12-volt battery system. Connected to the electrical system are two USB charging stations in the cabin, two additional USB charging stations in the galley, and 115-volt plugs.
Speaking of the galley, it has a resin countertop, a sink, and a cooler area. The trailer also has a water supply pump and a 10-gallon onboard water tank. The Freedom MAX also has full electric and water RV hookups if you find yourself in a full-service campground in winter (or spring, summer, or fall, for that matter).
When you invest in a trailer for camping, you want something that’s well-designed, well-thought-out, and well-built – no if you’re camping in February, June, October, or December. But the need for a well-built rig is all the more important when you have difficult road conditions, bitterly cold temperatures, and rain, sleet, and snow to contend with.
The Freedom MAX ticks all the boxes when it comes to being a beautifully designed, well-built adventure machine. With tons of features that make it off-road ready and all the comforts you could want or need on a winter trailer camping trip, this bad boy is the ideal base for your wintertime adventures!
Winter Trailer Camping: Add a Reliable Heat Source
To make the most out of the insulation available in your winter trailer camping rig, you need a source of heat to keep the cabin toasty warm. You can use any number of items to do so, from an electric heating blanket to a small propane heater.
Of course, these solutions come with risks. A heating blanket needs power, and might run your trailer’s batteries down if you use it all night. A propane heater puts out plenty of heat for a trailer cabin, but you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and creating a damp environment due to condensation.
A diesel heater resolves these issues, though…
I have a Planar 2kw diesel air heater in the nose of my trailer, and it supplies all the instant, dry heat I need for my camping adventures. The keywords here are “instant” and “dry.” There’s no waiting around for the heat to kick on, nor is there any worry about condensation build-up.
All you need for a heater like this is diesel and 12-volt or 24-volt power. Simply connect the ducting to the heater, run the ducting into your trailer, and voila – you’re ready to rock for winter trailer camping!
Bring Along Backup Power
When you’re camping or overlanding, it’s a good idea to have duplicate systems. This is especially true in the winter months!
So, if you have a trailer with an electrical system as discussed earlier, you can back it up with a reliable power source like the ALP 1000-watt propane generator.
Not only is this generator compact and lightweight, but it’s also affordable. It’s a trifecta! Add to that unparalleled reliability, and you have the makings of the perfect winter overlanding power source.
This generator offers many advantages that make it a must-have for your overlanding kit. For example, since it runs on propane, you don’t have to worry about fuel spillage in your vehicle or trailer storage bays. Just bring along your propane bottles, hook up the hose, and you’re ready to rock.
Likewise, this generator is whisper quiet – just 52dB. That’s quiet enough that you can stand next to it as it’s running and carry on a conversation without yelling. Nice!
Furthermore, this generator offers you all the power and outlet options you could hope for. It’s 1000 watts of power is enough to run small appliances, the water pump in your trailer, or even the fridge. And with ports that include two 120V outlets, two USB ports, and a 12V DC, you can run a variety of gadgets. You can even run two of these generators in parallel for double the power output!
Since the ALP 1000-watt propane generator doesn’t take up much space, it’s the perfect addition to your winter overlanding kit. Heck, it’s a great addition to your kit no matter the time of year!
Have the Proper Recovery Gear
Recovery gear is important during all seasons, but is even more important during winter. The mud and snow can get you unexpectedly bogged down – even while driving on the road. To ensure you can get out of a sticky situation and continue your trip, it’s important to carry the proper gear.
The most important items to have are recovery boards, a snatch strap, rated recovery points, a winch, and some shackles.
If you aren’t stuck too badly, recovery boards enable an easy recovery. Just place the boards under the wheels and off you go! If you’re stuck a little more thoroughly, a snatch strap, shackles, and rated recovery points provide the ability to recover a vehicle by pulling it with another one. Of course, if you have a winch, it’s one of the most effective methods of self-recovery during winter travel.
Photo by mixetto via iStock
Winter trailer camping is a great activity. It enables you to enjoy nature in the colder months, and if you have the right trailer, you can do so in comfort. Of course, precautions and planning are necessary, so take the tips discussed above to heart and be sure your winter trips are well-thought-out and that you have all the necessary gear.
If you have any further questions regarding winter camping or anything else off-road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page.
Other Recommended Overlanding Gear