You will definitely want to have hookups for electricity. If your camper is 50 amp capable, try to get a campground that will give you 50 amp. You will need electricity to keep your batteries charged as the heater fan will quickly deplete your camper battery especially if dry camping. And, of course, with the darker days and cold outside, you will use more lights and entertainment features. More batteries are better but not necessary as long as you have shore power. Generators are useful for powering your 120v accessories and for battery charging. Purpose-designed battery chargers are faster and more efficient at charging batteries than OEM converters. Locate portable generators where exhaust fumes will not enter the camper and where the generator will be dry. You do not want to be handling wet wires while the generator is operating. Store extra fuel away from the generator in a dry place, and turn the generator off while refueling. Remember to be respectful of your neighbors when operating the generator. Solar panels can be useful when it is sunny but are best for use during longer summer days. Do not count on solar panels for much recharging during the winter due to shorter days, snow cover, and cloudy conditions.
Condensation and ventilation will be your two biggest chores. Thermopane windows are a great addition and help minimize condensation, but if you don't already have them, consider them next time as they not only will minimize condensation, but also retain heat and reduce outside sound levels. You want to minimize condensation as it can get into some insulation and destroy its insulating value. Excess moisture gives mold a chance to start and this is never a good thing. Try to prepare meals that do not require boiling water as that creates moisture in the air. Make reservations and go out to eat. Heat pot pies or frozen meals in the oven. When cooking, especially when you can see vapor being produced, use the exhaust fan and crack a window in the bedroom or back of the camper. Use paper plates and disposable cutlery as washing dishes uses lots of water and creates moisture. When taking a shower, always run the roof vent fan and open a window for ventilation. You will use more heat but will also minimize condensation. When showering, do your first dry off with a chamois - like the synthetic ones Wal-Mart has in the auto department - wring it out and watch all the water go down the drain that would be otherwise be condensation from drying a towel. Keep your mattress an inch or so from the outside wall of the camper otherwise you will get condensation and frost in that area and a wet mattress. On a sunny, not windy day, consider opening the door and all the windows for a while and give the camper a chance to air out.
Make sure you do run your furnace enough to heat the storage compartment and holding tanks. Use a 60-watt light bulb in the storage compartment. That will help keep things warmer there.
Heating: Do not use the stovetop or oven as a primary source of heat. Burning fuel creates carbon monoxide (CO), which is deadly. It is OK to do normal cooking. Consider cooking a meatloaf, casserole, or frozen convenience dinner rather than boiling pasta (moisture). Keep your heat on enough to be comfortable AND to keep the basement areas from freezing. Wear a sweater or vest if chilly. If watching TV or just sitting, consider using an afghan, throw, or fleece blanket for comfort. If you are “follically challenged”, as I am, and chilly on top when sleeping, consider a night cap. Consider locating a remote reading thermometer (or one with a sensing unit at the end of a 5’-6’ wire) in the basement area(s) to keep tabs on the temperatures there if you are going to be sub-freezing for some time. Locate the camper to get sun during the day, and position it so the prevailing winds do not force themselves into the camper door when you open it. Make sure your CG has propane or it is locally available. Check your propane tanks daily – you don’t want to run out. For long stays consider installing a Marshall Brass “Extend-a Stay” fitting on your camper propane tank and renting a 100# tank. marshallbrass.com
Consider using one or two small cube electric space heaters to augment the main heater. We use one or two depending on our CG power source, and usually keep them both on low. Split their use to two different 120v circuits. Use caution with portable heaters especially if you have pets or small children. Consider purchasing the insulating foam plugs available at Camping World that can be inserted into the roof vents to stop heat loss. If you are going to be stationary for a long time, install skirting to prevent wind getting underneath the camper.
Water: fill your water tank and use water from it, refilling as needed. Do not leave the city water hose hooked up. Otherwise your hose will freeze, and leaving water in the CG plumbing may cause it to freeze as well. CG water supplies usually have the shutoff in the ground below the freeze line that is activated by an above ground handle. Do leave your dump hose connected as it will be brittle and difficult to handle when cold. Do not leave the dump valves open. Only drain the tanks when they are approaching full, and close the dump valves after dumping. Dump black water first as usual, and ‘rinse’ with the gray water. Ensure your dump hose has drained after use.
Depending on your slide configuration, consider keeping one or more slides in. This reduces the volume of interior space to be heated. We sometimes slide in the night before departing a CG, and it is amazing how much less heat is needed.
Put something under the tires to make sure they don't get frozen to the ground.
Use your awning with extreme caution. Winters are windy. Snow and ice will be too heavy for the awning and would make it very difficult to retract. With snow and ice, slide toppers might become damaged and difficult to retract.
Before you run your slide all the way out slip an extension cord (heavy duty) through the opening into your rig. Then plug the extension cord into the 20-amp CG plug and run an electric heater on the extension cord. You don't even go through the electrical system in your camper this way.
Consider operating a dehumidifier to control humidity / condensation. The dehumidifier keeps the humidity in check and allows you to keep trailer warmer. It's much harder to heat humid air than dry air.
Take along a few old throw rugs, towels, or rags. Place one inside the entry door on rainy days to catch any dirt and moisture. When dirty enough, just toss it in the trash and replace it with another.
The above thoughts were generated in 2007 by forum members of the Titanium Owners Group.