In 2007 Rene Agredano embarked on full-time RVing with her husband and three-legged dog, and never looked back. Through her work as a small business owner, writer, metalsmith, and animal advocate, she loves sharing RV knowledge with other nomads here at Let’s RV, and on her website at LiveWorkDream.
UPDATE: THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED. Keep reading to see the results!
RVing is no longer a summer-only experience. Many people are looking for the best 4-season travel trailer to go on year-round camping adventures. But choosing an all-season RV can be so confusing.
Let’s look at the qualities that make great RVs for heat, cold, and everything in-between.
When we are done, you can cast a ballot for your favorite all-season travel trailer below.
The Votes are In!
As of 9/6/22, we received a total of 331 votes from readers in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. What a surprise to see the number one manufacturer according to readers! Here’s the top 4-season travel trailer makers according to the votes:
- 1st Place: Outdoors RV Manufacturing, 54 votes
- 2nd Place: Lance, 50 votes
- 3rd Place: Northwood Manufacturing, 48 votes
- Honorable Mention: Grand Design RV, 36 votes
Did you like this survey format? Comment below and let us know if you’d like us to do more RV lifestyle surveys.
Do You Really Need “4 Season Travel Trailer”?
If you want to buy a used or new travel trailer, there’s one big question you need to ask yourself. It’s not: is the RV four season rated?
If you don’t plan to RV camp in extreme temperatures for weeks at a time, don’t let the “four season” marketing term distract you from a good buy. Generally speaking, if you’re not camping in northern Minnesota in winter, or Death Valley during summer, don’t waste your time searching for a 4-season travel trailer. Get the RV with features you need, when you need it.
Experienced RV buyers know that “four season RV” is a marketing term (and a distraction).
RV manufacturers generally don’t build rigs to withstand weather extremes, but some claim to do it. They might use terms like “Polar Package,” “Arctic Package,” and “All Season” in their sales materials. In today’s climate change extremes, they might want to add “Extreme Heat” package too.
The truth is, there is no RV industry standard that sets apart extreme weather RVs from competitors. How a manufacturer defines “four season RV” is entirely up to the company.
Why Do People Keep Looking for the “Best 4-Season Travel Trailer” or Fifth Wheel RV?
Many people still believe that a “4-season travel trailer” or fifth wheel is a better buy. It can be, but finding the best ones takes some research. After all, an RV manufacturer can claim they build all-season RVs. And then put giant picture windows into the design, which negates the unit’s insulation qualities.
However a few RV manufacturers do have well-earned reputations for building quality 4 season trailers. Northwood, ORV, Lance, and Keystone are four of the best all-year RV makers.
Features that make good 4-season travel trailers
Here are the 4-season components you’ll find in Northwood, ORV, Lance, and Keystone travel trailers and fifth wheels:
- above average insulation on ceiling and walls
- heated and enclosed undercarriage
- dual pane windows
- high BTU furnace with floor or wall ducting
- pex pipe plumbing that expands if water freezes
One of the first “four season” travel trailers we noticed was an Arctic Fox.
We wanted to use our first RV all year long. Full-time RVing was on the horizon, and we needed an RV for spring, summer, fall, and winter. That future fifth wheel needed good hot and cold weather insulation. It was 2006, and the term “four season RV” was just beginning to bounce around the industry.
Made by Northwood Manufacturing, the Arctic Fox trailer had an official looking “4-seasons insulation” seal on the outside. The salesman saw us coming from a mile away. With some general feedback from the iRV2 Forums community, we hyper focused on Northwood rigs. We were an easy sale for the guy. Within weeks, a shiny new four season Artic Fox sat in our driveway.
Is the Arctic Fox really a 4-season RV?
Now that we are on our second Arctic Fox in 15 years, we can say for sure that Northwood makes a great 4-season RV. From snowy Colorado mountains to blazing desert heat, our rigs have kept us relatively comfortable in extreme weather. The key word is, relatively.
When it comes down to it, the Northwood 4-season reputation is well-earned, but with some caveats. Sure, the insulation built into our 4-season camper does a good job keeping bad weather our of the RV. But it’s not necessarily the insulation that makes extreme temperatures livable.
What makes our Arctic Fox 4-season livable is how we use the RV appliances to cool or warm the inside of our trailer. For example, on the hottest summer days, without running the RV air conditioner all afternoon, temperatures in our Arctic Fox can exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. And when camping during winter, when the furnace is off I’ve seen it dip down to 34 at night.
When all is said and done, it’s still an RV. And whatever we do, it’s still not like living inside a stick house.
SURVEY IS CLOSED:
Cast Your Vote for the Best 4 Season Travel Trailer Have you done your homework searching for the best 4-season travel trailers? Do you know what qualities make great RVs for extreme temperatures? Let us know! Vote for your favorite all season travel trailer. Help readers find the best campers for all year RVing.