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

| Updated Jan 10, 2014

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.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2014-01-10

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

22 Responses to “Warming up the RV when it’s -12F outside”

June 30, 2014at9:44 am, Steven Burton said:

Must be hard on batteries!

June 30, 2014at3:24 am, Mark Kremer said:

I’ll trade you with our 107 degree California heat!!

January 12, 2014at1:43 pm, Sean said:

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

January 11, 2014at7:44 pm, Jayne Keatts said:

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

January 10, 2014at11:53 pm, Rfaltz said:

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.

January 10, 2014at8:04 pm, Bill Sprague said:


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


January 10, 2014at5:59 pm, Sharon Grammer Stone said:

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

January 10, 2014at5:04 pm, Claudia Harrison said:

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

January 10, 2014at1:54 pm, Daniel Righter said:

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

January 10, 2014at11:49 am, Bill Aloia said:

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?

January 10, 2014at11:42 am, Bill Aloia said:

Looks like my hat..hehe

January 10, 2014at10:05 am, Gary Hennes said:

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.

January 10, 2014at9:56 am, Campskunk said:

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 in 68 degree temperatures, by the way. it was a little foggy this morning but it’s burning off now 😉

January 10, 2014at9:33 am, Bonnie Ellison said:

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

January 10, 2014at9:30 am, Pam Hicks said:

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.

January 10, 2014at9:23 am, Peggy said:

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?

January 10, 2014at8:31 am, Eric Sondeen said:

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.

January 10, 2014at8:22 am, Jim Taylor said:

We got it made

January 10, 2014at8:17 am, Judy Moriarity said:

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

January 10, 2014at8:15 am, David said:

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?

January 10, 2014at7:47 am, Lisa Gruner said:

Cute hat! Great use for the google glass.

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