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Old 06-24-2018, 08:55 AM   #1
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Winnebago class A cold weather use

Hi,

I do not intend to use my 2008 Itsaca Latitude in winter but would like to be prepared to do so in an emergency situation if no shore power, city water is available.

Brochure states it has a heated tank bay, I must presume this uses the forced air furnace.

My coach has a 100gallon gas tank, dual pane windows and vent pillows. I also have two oil filled heaters which can be used when the generator is running.

My main issue of concern is that the 28gallon propane tank really only has about 22 gallons capacity and driving somewhere for a refill may not be safe to do so. Furnace is 40,000 btu so will use about .45 gallons an hour.

I understand that adding 12volt tank heaters is a big and costly job.

So what I am trying to figure out is at what temperature difference do I need to set the furnace to keep the water bays from freezing.
I.e. the coach needs be at x temp when its x outside .

Thanks,
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:21 AM   #2
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If it's cold and you want to be prepared, you must keep it warm. Consider having a propane company provide you with a large external tank. Get something like an "Extend A Stay" to hook it up.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:27 AM   #3
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Hi Ed,

Thats what I was thinking also.
My issue with that is what if we got stuck in a location due to unforeseen weather or had to evacuate with the MH from our house.

I know the best thing would just be to go to a hotel but a lot would not take our dog and two cats.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:37 AM   #4
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Run the generator and put small electric heaters in any bay with water lines and tanks. Inside too if necessary. Now you have over 200 hours of run time on a full gas tank, probably more than that.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:41 AM   #5
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Thanks,

Generator does sound like the best option. It would keep my battery banks topped up also.

What heater would you recommend? I would rather one that does not have an exposed element. I must see can I find portable oil one thats small enough to fit in the water bay.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:00 AM   #6
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Where is winter? How low temp, how long? Do you have 120 available?

LEN
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:26 AM   #7
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Hi Len,

I would assume no shower available. We are in Michigan so average temps 10-20f. Does get much colder but not that often.

The exercise is to figure out if there is anything I need to purchase modify or test rather than trying to do it at the time.
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Old 06-24-2018, 12:02 PM   #8
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I just found these insulation figures on an fmca review.

polystyrene foam; R ratings: roof 14.83, sidewalls 7.17, floor 13.82, back wall 6.15
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Old 06-24-2018, 02:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Hi Len,

I would assume no shower available. We are in Michigan so average temps 10-20f. Does get much colder but not that often.

The exercise is to figure out if there is anything I need to purchase modify or test rather than trying to do it at the time.
At 10-20f you will burn 6-7 gallons of propane per day with the thermostat set to 65f. If you have 20amps of shore power you can run a 1500w electric heater in the living area to make things more comfortable and reduce the demand on the furnace but you will still burn 6+ gallons of propane per day. You can also put a 100watt bulb in the wet bay to help prevent the waste and water pipes from freezing.

If you forgo the use of your domestic water system and use RV antifreeze for flushing and use a 3-5gal water jug next to the kitchen sink for cooking and dishes you won't have to burn as much propane keeping the living space (and basements) at 65f.

If you install insulated roof vent inserts and insulation on all the windows (aluminum bubble wrap or something) and pull all your shades all the way down you can make a 10% improvement in the heat loss of the coach.

If you don't have shore power and must use the generator full time you will burn through a full tank of fuel in under 4 days. At 10f your furnace will run 100% of the time and your coach batteries will need to be recharged every 4-5 hours during the day.

We have winter camped in our Itasca for 10 years or more. We can easily make it 4 days on 23 gallons of propane at 15f. During winter camping we carry a Honda EU2000 for power because it will run for 10hrs on .9gal of fuel. We insulate the windows and ceiling vents. We don not use the domestic water system during winter but we do use the black and grey water tanks as normal.

IMO you shouldn't even consider putting water in the fresh water tank and water heater for this type of situation. Leave the coach winterized. Use RV antifreeze for flushing and add a couple of gallons every day to the grey tank depending on how much water you put down the sinks.

If you try to unwinterize a coach at 10f you are asking for trouble and will burn up a lot of expensive propane in the process.
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:16 PM   #10
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Thanks Tom,

Thats great advice, if we do have to use the coach we will not dewinterize it.

I do have insulated vent covers already from my old coach. I also have a load of reflectix left over from the old coach but it had single pane windows and new ones are dual. I have made ones for the bedroom but they come down first thing in the morning. Also have a set made up for the windshield.

I do a lot of winter tent camping do could pack our cold weather sleeping bags.

We don't boondock a lot but if we did I would definitley consider an inverter generstor.
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:40 AM   #11
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Thanks,

Generator does sound like the best option. It would keep my battery banks topped up also.

What heater would you recommend? I would rather one that does not have an exposed element. I must see can I find portable oil one thats small enough to fit in the water bay.

We use small enclosed (not oil) electric heaters (no element exposed) with tip-over protection in 175/350 watt power choices in the basements. Several companies make them.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:32 AM   #12
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Hi,

Could you post a link or name of one?

Thanks,
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:08 PM   #13
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I assume you would be using the coach with daytime temperatures above freezing and night temps dipping into the 20s. You really only need to protect the PEX tubing and valves in the wet bay. The interior plumbing will fine if you have a couple of heaters running inside. Not sure what cold temperatures you are contemplating but if the low at night hits 20 degrees f, think you will find that a 60 watt bulb in a trouble lamp holder, will keep the service compartment warm enough so that nothing is damaged. We have a 100 gallon water tank and that amount of water has a very significant "heat mass" and it would take much more than overnight to freeze that amount of water. Personally, I wouldn't attempt to live in a coach with temps below freezing for more than 24 or 48 hours as there is no practical way to keep the tankage warm beyond what enters the service bay. Good luck
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Old 06-26-2018, 05:58 AM   #14
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Thanks Bob,

We dedinitley do not plan to use the coach below freezing continuously, if we did I would winterize it.

I know a lot of folk ask about Winnebago r values and when I found this I decided to post it.
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