8 Tips to Camp in Comfort This Fall

The end of summer is just around the corner, but as we move into brisk and beautiful autumn weather, there is still plenty of time for camping adventures.

RV parked at a campground surrounded by fall colors.
Moose Hillock Camping Resort | Warren, NH – Photo by: Maggie

Camping comfortably in the fall is within any RVer’s reach. You don’t need special equipment or a four-season camper to enjoy this gorgeous, quiet season. Here are a few easy and inexpensive camping tips that will set you up for camping success.

Grouse Mountain Dispersed Camping | Buffalo, WY – Photo by: Laurie

1. Check the Weather

In some parts of North America, fall is a barely noticeable blip on the spectrum of seasons. In other places, it’s an intoxicating mix of warm days, cool nights, and a few dips into freezing temperatures. Florida in October may represent a beautiful summer’s day in Maine, while fall days in the higher elevations may bring a dusting of snow.

It’s essential to check the local weather before heading out. You may find yourself packing shorts for the day and a down jacket for the evenings, but that’s just part of the fun!

Man and dog sitting near a large campfire.
Coconino Rim Road Dispersed Camping | Grand Canyon – Photo by: borntobenomadic

2. Pack Extra Blankets

Camping comfortably means sleeping comfortably. To get a good night’s rest, load up your camper bed with extra blankets—they can be the difference between a cozy night and a night spent shivering.

Bonus! Not only do blankets help you stay warm while sleeping, but they are also a perfect addition to a fall evening by the campfire or even at the dinner table.

Silver RV with Reflectix in the window.

3. Put Reflectix In Your Windows

Keeping every last bit of heat that you can inside the RV will be critical when you’re trying to stay warm. The windows of any vehicle will be the main culprits for rapid heat (and cooling!) loss.

A great way to insulate windows is to cut Reflectix and place it over your windows at night. Typically you would find this reflective surface being used to keep the sun and heat out, but it works to trap heat inside too.

Pro Tip: If you have fixed blinds in your RV, you can often place cut Reflectix against your window and then close the blinds to keep it in place—no suction cups, hooks, or magnets required.

Propane heater on the floor inside an RV.

4. Service Your RV Furnace

No matter how old your RV is, it’s important to give your furnace a once-over before heading out in the fall. Without the working furnace, the Reflectix will have little heat to trap, and you’ll run the risk of spending a very chilly night camping!

Whether you service your furnace yourself, or bring it to a shop for care, make the time to get it checked out before you head off on your fall camping adventures. If you don’t have a furnace in your camper, considering looking into camper-safe space heaters.

A pair of slippers being worn.
Photo by: Dave Burns

5. Keep Your Toes Warm

If there’s one thing that can make your whole body feel chilly, it’s cold feet. There are a couple of great ways to keep cozy, no matter how cold it starts to get. First off, getting rugs set up in the RV is an excellent defense against icy feet. Remember, your camper floor has nothing but cold air beneath it! Rugs help to provide a barrier between your toes and the chilly air below.

Another personal favorite is packing some slippers. There are great slippers for making your way to bed, but there are also slippers with hard soles that can be worn outside. With these, you can keep your feet cozy around the campfire and when walking around the camper at night.

RVs parked in a snowy lot at night.
Brundage Mountain RV Parking Lot | McCall, ID – Photo by: Mike S

6. Beware of Freezing Nights

Sub-freezing temperatures, especially when you’re up in the higher elevations, are possible during the fall. Just like you might in your house, freezing temps means keeping an extra-close eye on your plumbing. Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than a burst water pipe!

While you shouldn’t need to get your rig fully winter-ready to camp in most parts of the US in the fall, definitely research your destination and its average high and low temperature. If it looks like it might freeze during your stay, check out our list of winter-ready RV preparations. While you won’t need to implement all of these, you might consider wrapping your water lines or investing in a heated hose.

Blue heeler mix dog wearing a red soft shell dog jacket.
Photo by: Live Small Ride Free

7. Don’t Forget About Your Pets

When getting ready for fall camping, don’t forget about your pets! Little Milo and Otis may be covered in fur, but they can definitely feel cold, especially if they are used to living indoors.

There are some great options out there for pet fashion that will also keep them warm. Vests and fleece pet coats are not only adorable on your dog, they can help him or her sleep as well as you do. You can also line your pet’s bed with some of those extra blankets you brought so they can nest up and stay toasty all night.

Pouring rice into Instant Pot filled with soup.
Photo by: Wandering Pulse

8. Cook Comfort Food

If you’ve ever gone winter camping or hiking, you may already know that your body is a house, and your stomach is the furnace. What you feed the furnace will affect how efficiently it works throughout the day and night.

Comfort food is called comfort food for a reason. Hot soups, creamy mashed potatoes, beef stew, and our other favorite comfort foods are typically packed with calories. These calories give your stomach the energy it needs to heat the house…and keep you warm and happy.