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A&A ‘Winter In Texas’ Starts Early; Snow & Cold Weather In An RV

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

End of Week #22

Summerlan RV Park, Raton NM > Ute Lake State Park, Logan NM > Fort Amarillo RV Resort, Amarillo TX

Miles traveled since last week’s post = 320

Total miles traveled to date = 4,194 with trailer

Hello to you all from Texas! You may have seen on my recent Facebook post, that we arrived to Texas almost a week earlier than planned, and were welcomed by some interesting weather… A lot of our travel plans for the past couple of weeks were completely shifted around, as the original plans just didn’t seem like the best idea anymore.

Sort of last minute, we ditched the idea to head east through Colorado and down through Oklahoma, and instead went completely south into northern New Mexico – like I mentioned last week. From there we fully meant to stay another 5 nights in eastern New Mexico, at a State Park, however upon arriving there we had zero cell signal (which has started to become a non-negotiable at this point in our life), and there wasn’t as much to do there as originally thought. We had plans to stay specific dates at a Texas State Park south of Amarillo, however we cancelled those and instead booked an entire week stay in the city of Amarillo.

Photos from Fort Amarillo RV Resort

I’m not going to lie, upon heading this way we absolutely thought we would be in the “safe zone” of warm weather and relief. We had it engraved in our heads that Texas meant no snow, and tons of warm sunny days. Funny story – the first full day we arrived here it snowed for 12 hours straight, accumulating about 4 inches and the winds gusted wicked cold air the whole time too.

Welcome To Texas

Here we are. We have been welcomed into Texas in the most Minnesotan way ever. In fact, we have been trending a lot colder than our friends in family “up north” in Minnesota for awhile now and we think that is just totally unacceptable. My dad reminded me this morning that we are sitting at 3,700 ft elevation, about 3,000 more than St. Paul. This is the high plains, and the cashier at the store where I just bought myself some chocolate also told me that they can typically experience all 4 seasons in one day here…. Hmm, sounds a lot like Minnesota, eh?

Needless to say, I don’t think Adam and I will be returning to Amarillo after this week, at least not anytime soon. The city is quite large and has everything you could need, but the surrounding area is basically a whole lot of nothingness. Flat plains, farmlands, and houses plopped right in all the nothingness with no surrounding trees, bushes – nothing. It’s so odd looking and really makes me have a stronger appreciation for Minnesota and my old neighborhood of Woodbury!

Winter Came Early

Dealing with snow & cold while living in an RV

When I think of living in an RV, I personally do not think of withstanding the snow and cold while doing so. Now there are a lot of brave, bold and extreme people who DO camp out all winter long, in places like Colorado and even Minnesota and wherever else. But this is not something that we specifically planned to do ourselves.

RV’s are all designed different, some are built to withstand “4 seasons”, and some are not. And amongst those that are built for it, some are more insulated and protected than others. There is a lot of variety! Our Grand Design is technically more along the lines of the “4 season” variety, but you would be surprised at how much cold air actually comes through. When the sun starts to set you can definitely feel it coming in through the walls & the windows, and even small cracks to the outside that I can see through the slides. The floor gets super cold too!

We will try as much as possible to keep the cold air out by shutting the blinds on our windows, by running our furnace with propane, and by running our electric fireplace heater as well. But if we are somewhere where we don’t have electricity (like when we were in Great Sand Dunes National Park) then we have to be very conservative of our heating efforts, because running the furnace and fireplace will drain our battery completely and then we won’t have any options.

For the past 2 months, we have done an outstanding job of outrunning the snow. I was starting to feel pretty confident we weren’t going to encounter it at all. Ever since we went to Yellowstone, we have been leaving places and within a few days of leaving that area they get a wild snowstorm. This happened to us all throughout Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. It’s quite ironic to me, that in all places possible, our first snowfall happened in Texas. It almost seems unnatural to happen here!

The slushy mess the day after our snowstorm.

Regardless of what we think, Mother Nature clearly had a different agenda, and she brought us around 4 wonderful inches of snow last Thursday. Sure, it mostly all melted by Saturday, when the temps neared the 70s with a full blast of sunshine. But looking ahead to this week the temps are dropping again and more snow is expected on Wednesday, which also happens to be the day we were supposed to move on to the next location – Wichita Falls.

Steps to take after snowfall

We are obviously quite new at this whole experience – both in dealing with snowfall and in living in our RV in general. But I like to think we have a pretty decent amount of common sense when it comes to dealing with anything that might come up in this lifestyle. Specifically – the day after it snowed, there were certain steps we took to ensure that we did our part to help clear away the snow and ice, and any condensation, to prevent any leaks or water damage. (And when I say we I fully mean Adam.)

Once the temp warmed up a bit and the sun slightly poked out, Adam went to work in wiping down the windows on the inside of the trailer to help remove any moisture buildup. (The day before our windows were frosting a lot from running the heat and from when we would cook meals.) He then went outside and climbed onto the roof to clear away snow with our broom and clear away buildup in the gutter systems along the sides of the roof. Our hose had frozen from the night before so he laid that out in the sun to melt. And after a few hours he re-went back onto the roof to clear off anything else remaining. Everything he did made a HUGE difference, and prevented any leaks from entering the trailer as all the snow melted over the next few days.

Taking Advantage Of One Nice Day

Being cooped up during the cold and snow is a new experience for us. We are so used to being able to get outside everywhere we go so far on this journey, and haven’t had a lot of days where we stay inside the entire time. That is, not until as of late where everywhere we go seems to get colder and colder. We have almost been in Texas a week and 4 of the last 5 days we have had to mainly spend inside, due to super low temps and oftentimes super high winds. I would be lying if I said we weren’t getting a little stir crazy…. even with the luxuries of being able to watch some Netflix, watching a lot of football, working on writing and my new online business – it can still start to feel like a bit much. The smaller space has NEVER bothered us, until maybe now – when it’s a lot harder to escape it.