Extended-Season Camping in North Carolina with a Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX 
Tips for preparing a travel trailer for cold weather and precautions to take.

By: Austin & Kirsten Lawrence (@Adv4two)

Living on the Outer Banks of North Carolina can be tricky in knowing when to winterize our Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX. Our weather can go from a warm summer day to freezing in just a 12-hour period. Typically, our true winter months start in late January and continue through March. However, mother nature does prove us wrong and gives us a few beautiful warm days during these months. So, how do we prepare or plan for winterizing our Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX you ask? We will be taking a lot of temporary winterizing steps this year on our extended season adventures.

Important Cautionary Notes

Be sure to read your operator manual carefully to take the necessary winterization steps for your motorhome or travel trailer. Not all RVs are all-weather or extended-season capable, and any time you are camping in severe weather there are risks involved.

Winnebago Travel Trailers are designed for recreational use and short-term occupancy only.  Winnebago recommends completing the Cold Weather Storage and Extended Storage procedures listed in the Owner’s Manual to prevent damage during cold weather. Please refer to your owner’s manual for more information.

Cold-Weather Camping Precautions 

During the colder months, we usually still plan camping adventures and just take all the precautionary gear we can with us. Keeping up to date on the current weather conditions is a must! We love to camp in the mountains of North Carolina; however, the weather conditions can change at the drop of a hat. 

Road closures are the biggest threat starting in December for a lot of the mountain roads. Slick, icy roads and overnight snowstorms are known to happen quickly and with little warning. Due to temperature fluctuations and changes in weather, checking and monitoring the tire pressure on our truck and towable is a must during our extended season camping months. 

As we all know, tire pressure can make or break how your vehicle performs. Staying ahead of these conditions will save a lot of worry. We always keep a weather radio on hand just in case we find ourselves in these areas where the weather can change quickly

What About the Water?

When our cold-weather camping plans include staying at a campground, we pull our Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX “dry” - we don’t use our tanks and just use the facilities at the campground instead. 

What about off-grid? We can definitely still camp off-grid during the colder months here in the Carolinas. Keeping RV antifreeze on hand for temporary treatments is always a good idea. Pouring some in the sink and shower drains ahead of freezing temperatures will help keep any standing water, as well as the gray tank, from freezing. 

[WARNING: Do not use automotive or windshield washer antifreeze in the trailer’s freshwater system. These could be harmful if swallowed.]

The factory installed 12-volt tank pad heaters are another way to help keep the tanks from freezing during those overnight temperature dips. Our Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX is equipped with the Truma AquaGo water heater which requires some winterizing during the cold months when we are not on the road. Truma has a step-by-step guide on their website to complete this process, see more here.

Don’t Forget the Batteries!

Many of us tend to focus on winterizing everything that involves water. We all have probably experienced what happens when water freezes, so that is our first thought. But don’t forget your batteries, whether they are AGM or Lithium they will need to be ready for those cold months too! 

Have you ever tried to start a car on a cold morning and the battery is dead? The answer is probably yes, so let’s not forget the ones in our RVs! There’s a lot of information on the web on how to maintain your batteries during the cold winter months. We follow Winnebago’s maintenance and storage guide for FLX batteries, found in our operator’s manual. However, it is important to find the maintenance and storage guide for your specific battery.

Make Sure You & Your RV Are Cold-Weather Ready!

Here are some additional tips for extended-season camping:

  • Check your propane before heading out! Most of us heat and cook with propane, so keep those levels in the green to keep warm and happy. 
  • Carry a weather radio. We camp off-grid a lot which means little to no internet signal in a lot of these areas. Always be prepared and dress in layers. As we mentioned, we can have all four seasons in one day in North Carolina. 
  • Carry an alternative heat source, matches, and/or lighter. When we camp, we keep dry firewood with us just in case we need a campfire to keep warm. 
  • Have a back-up cooking option. Keep utensils and a pot or pan on hand just in case you need to cook over the campfire. 
  • Having an alternative power source is vital. We carry a large power bank that is able to charge our cell phones, two-way radios, and even power an infrared cook top. 

During the extended camping season months, you can never be over-prepared while out enjoying all the outdoors have to offer.


Comments on this post are moderated, so they will not appear instantly. All relevant questions and helpful notes are welcome! If you have a service inquiry or question related to your RV, please reach out to the customer care team directly using the phone numbers or contact form on this page .

User commented on December 27, 2022 8:16 AM
What brand alternative power source generator do you advise for doing your infrared cooktop, cell phones and radio? Powered by solar or gas or propane?
User commented on January 12, 2023 10:55 AM
We have several sources for alternative power. We really love solar and typically the convenience of the sun. However, we have those cloudy or dreary days that we don’t have much or any solar input and have to rely on other means. We have a Champion brand gas powered/remote start generator that can run all electrical systems of the Hike 100. We use this at times we may need a “real” power source, when we’ve not had much solar. Otherwise, we have a Jackery solar generator and love using it. To charge our phones, GoPro batteries and it even runs the infrared cook top. There are many good brands available in the market, do your research and get what is right for you.