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Admittedly, this particular problem is specific to our Winnebago EKKO. But even if you don’t have an EKKO, there may be an idea here you can use, so check out this video for our latest winter RVing mod!
The EKKO is a winter RVing rockstar, but even rockstars can still have room for improvement. After our first winter RVing in Number One, we had identified a couple opportunities to improve. The first was “bring a shovel.” But a close second was to do something to remediate the EKKO “Bed Chiller” along the driver’s side bed.
You see, there’s a metal reinforcement for mounting the batwing awning that runs along the bed, and even if you don’t get the batwing, the awning support is built into the wall. During the summer, it’s not really a problem, but during the winter, that metal awning support can get quite cold! When you’re sleeping next to it, it’s a problem. (A kind of whiny problem, but still a problem.) Sure, you could always sleep in sweats, but the bigger issue was that it got cold enough to accumulate condensation on the coldest nights.
Well after kicking ideas around my head for a while, I came up with the idea to add a heated mattress pad to the bed. But an oversized mattress pad that drapes over the mattress and presses up against the wall. The idea was that the mattress pad would slowly and gently heat up the wall (and the bed chiller), and prevent the cold and the condensation we had experienced.
The mattress pad I used was this one that I got from Amazon. It’s from a company called “Reaks” that I had never heard of before, but who could really use a consultant to help them come up with a brand name. Name aside, the mattress pad got good enough reviews and had the relevant safety certifications, so I got it. (The safety certifications were important, because I was going to cut into it, so I wanted something that was as safe as possible to begin with.
Most heated mattress pads don’t heat all the way to the edges, and this was no exception. So I got a “Full” sized mattress pad instead of a twin. There was about 8 inches on each side of the pad where there were no heating elements, so when you deduct 16 inches from the width, it came out about right.
It was pretty easy to cut the excess off each side of the mattress pad and then sew some binding on it so that it wouldn’t unravel. It would have been a lot easier if I could sew worth a damn. (I like to blame the machine, but let’s face it – it’s probably me…) I also sewed some nylon straps onto the reduced mattress pad so that I could secure it in place with some “sheet tightener straps“.
How Did It Do?
After our field test, I’m calling this project a success.
While the wall didn’t actually become what I’d call “warm”, it was much more comfortable than it was without the mattress pad. It did warm up a little bit, and it’s not something I notice when the mattress pad is on.
Also – HEATED MATTRESS PADS ARE NICE! I had never had one before, and I was really underestimating how super cozy it is to get into a warm bed when it’s cold outside. Just… wow.
But most importantly, we experienced no condensation behind the bed. At all. None. And while I’d eventually stop complaining about a cold wall, trapping soggy moisture behind the mattress really isn’t a good long-term plan.
All in all, for only 70 bucks or so (it seems they’ve gone up a bit since Christmas), I’d say this was a worthwhile project. And if you’ve never had a heated mattress pad before… don’t sell it short!
Happy Winter RVing, everyone!