How Much Snow Can Pile Up on Your RV Roof Every Winter?

Over the past week as we got pummeled by a desperately needed snowstorm, we watched the fluff pile up on our rooftop.

It seemed like common sense to me that a heap of snow would add too much weight to our Northwood Arctic Fox.

On the other hand, I wondered: what happens to all those RV stored outside all winter long in places like Denver or De Moines? Or RVs belonging to crazy families like Jema’s, who spends winters in Breckenridge?

Obviously those people aren’t going and scraping off snow every few days. Or are they?

Jim thought I was wasting time being worried about it, but after all these years he knows that worry is my middle name. I’m trying to get over that, so this time instead of worrying I just went to the source to get an answer.

I called Northwood Manufacturing and asked one of their fabulous technical support reps:

“How much snow can pile on top of my 24′ Arctic Fox fifth wheel before it starts to present a hazard to my rig?”

“Two feet,” the helpful tech answered.

Whenever neurotic people like me think to ask this question, Northwood will tell them that 2′ is an acceptable load for the roof of any RV, including theirs. After that, you’re on your own and had better start checking for leaks when things thaw out.

Scraping snow off the RV roof is a headache, but not as much as an interior leak. I’m happy to report that so far, there are no signs of water damage inside the rig.

Now, if only we knew for sure that our frozen water pump and plumbing still works.

There I go, worrying again  . . .

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “How Much Snow Can Pile Up on Your RV Roof Every Winter?”

  1. Great post. I love the pictures from the snow.

  2. It is interesting to read about snow fall, I’m happy to there are no signs of water damage inside the rig. I would love to spend time in Indiana during the Christmas holidays.

  3. That 24″ answer is kind of naive. fluffy snow is a lot lighter than wet snow. Not that this is the best answer but it sound about right.

    Ken Hellevang, from the University of North Dakota says:

    “The weight of snow varies greatly. Light fluffy snow may only weigh about seven pounds per cubic foot. More average snow may weigh 15 pounds per cubic foot and drifted compacted snow may weigh 20 pounds or more…”

    From http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_does_a_cubic_foot_of_snow_weigh

    • Yeah, you’re right. However even fluffy snow hardens and turns to heavy snow over the course of a day or two. Then it weighs more.

  4. My friend Jim forgot to winterize his trailer, he has leaks everywhere. His faucet has pushed itself off the counter.

    Hopefully you will have better luck.

    My school bus, when I finally get one, will have a curved roof. I hope that handles the snow better. I will have to spend time in Indiana during the Christmas holidays.

    • Gee thanks Bill that makes be feel better. Are you the kind of person who likes to tell motorcyclists “I used to have a friend who rode, until he got hit by a car.” 😉 Always the optimist eh?

      Hahah. You know I’m kidding right?

      I’ll remind you when you’re in Indiana during Christmas!

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