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Old 09-20-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
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Winter RVing

We have decided to winter it out in Northern Arkansas (Cotter Arkansas) in our 2007 National Pacifica. This will be our first winter in the RV. Being new to the fulltime RV thing any thoughts, tips, and tricks to properly prepare for this would be greatly appreciated. I am told average temp in Jan is around 20 degrees however there have been times its dipped down around 0 for a few days.

John and Sandy
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rescue595 View Post
....I am told average temp in Jan is around 20 degrees however there have been times its dipped down around 0 for a few days.

John and Sandy
The only suggestion I would make is go SOUTH. You are going to go through a lot of electricity or propane trying to keep warm and not have the pipes freeze when it's 20F.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
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Add a Propane "T" connection

You will be using both Propane heaters quite a bit, so get a "extend-a-stay" propane "T", a 10 gallon tank and a 12 foot propane line and insert it in your propane feed at the main tank. Then close the valve on the main tank and use the 10 gal tank as your propane source. Much easier to get the 10 gal tank refilled than it is having to pull up stakes and drive the MH to the fill station. I have one of these and it works great!

Go to this thread to read all about it:

propane T-valve
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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Some make some big mistakes when beginning Full Timing. This may be yours

Ok, you have some unknown desire to stay there. If it's a good reason, I would find a place that delivers propane to your site in the small quantities it will be. This will be about twice a week in real cold weather. Alternately, find someone to rent you a large tank you can keep on site. The Extend-a- Stay is also an option if you have room to carry extra propane tanks and don't mind running them frequently to have them filled. You could offset some of this with electric space heaters.

Commom sence approach to adding extra insulation were you can in the coach. Be aware you will have condensation issues in the coach as they exchange very little fresh air, a dehumidifier may be needed. A heat source may be needed in the water bay as well as a heated hose, or use your fresh tank and re-fill as needed.

If it were me, I'd take that extra $500 @ month for heat, put it in the fuel tank and head to S. Texas, Fl or AZ
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:25 AM   #5
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If it were me, I'd take that extra $500 @ month for heat, put it in the fuel tank and head to S. Texas, Fl or AZ [/QUOTE]

thats what i would do hehehe
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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You will hear from the "winter wimps" who will say head south. As you can see, I'm a full-timer and I decided to winter in Cullman, AL last year.....thats in NORTH Alabama where it gets well below freezing (24 degrees) at night much of the time. I used two small electric heaters, one in front and one in the bedroom, set on "low" heat with low fan for a comfortable 72 degrees much of the time, Occasionally, one or both of my propane heaters would cycle on to keep the temp at 72 degrees daytime and 68 at night. I made it just fine. One other thing that I will mention..... some foam insulation and an electrical tape heater is a "must" for your outside water line. Because I need a change of scenery, I'm going to the Pensacola area, in NORTH Florida, for the winter this year.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:12 AM   #7
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Put a drop light in your water bay where your black and gray tank valves are so they don't freeze. Also make sure you disconnect and drain your water hose and also drain your sewer hose. I didn't one time and lost the sewer hose.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:30 AM   #8
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We picked up our first coach December 27th last year, so of course we camped for the week with the kids. This was near Fort Worth, TX, which normally doesn't get too cold, but was unseasonably cold last year when we were there. Our temps were in the high 20's at night, and low 30's during the day.

Being new to the whole RV scene, we weren't as well prepared as we could have been, but we did alright. Our issues and solutions included (1) fresh water hose freezing up; solved by using a new hose (couldn't thaw the ice inside the frozen one) and installing pipe insulation on it (2) campground water supply freezing up; solved by hanging a shop-light on the water source with a 60w bulb facing the metal valve. (3) kids and adults getting the flu; solved by multiple trips to the local urgent care facilities and several different pharmacies hunting down Tamaflu. The later was the most difficult issue to deal with for us... made the trip fairly miserable. We also dumped RV water antifreeze into our sink drains and toilet to keep the gray & black tanks from freezing up. I would hate to try to tackle a frozen black tank problem! But keep in mind that every time you dump your tanks, you'll need more of that stuff...

I now carry that shop light and spare pipe insulation with me all the time, as we plan to winter camp this year too. Friends have also advised that we buy a couple more shop lights and rig them up to in various basement compartments near the plumbing.

Given that you will be there long-term, I'd look into wind protection for under your coach too. Some have suggested hay bales, but I would avoid that because it attracts mice and other unwanted critters. Maybe you could fabricate something?

During that maiden trip, by the way, we also dealt with a fat lip and broken collar bone resulting from one kid falling out of her bunk at 2AM ; repeating this problem was solved by installing a bed rail. This was a rough start to our RV life, but luckily we all kept it in perspective and have had no regrets. Now we have a story to tell about how we began this great adventure.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the tips and advice. We are staying in Arkansas due to some temporary employment that will keep us here through the winter.. I plan to clear the items from the basement and set up a small electric heater on low. I figure this will keep my pipes from freezing as well as the gray and black tank. Might even keep my floor of the motorhome warm. Already have the insulation pillows for the vents. I plan to use an electric hose for my water hookup, and the campground has heat tape on their water supplies. How about the diesel engine and generator? I have a block heater but don't know how often or if I should use it. I plan to start the coach and the generator weekly and get the fluids up to temp. Do I need any additives?
etc to protect those? If yall notice I stopped posting or asking questions someone please bring an ice pick and a hammer to cotter Arkansas. For your safety chip me out first otherwise your going to have to listen to my lovely wife say "I told him this was a really bad idea"

John and Sandy
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:03 PM   #10
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statgeek, That defiantly sounds like a rough start. Sometime I will have to share our maiden cabin cruiser boat stories with you. Its a miracle she is still married to me. Anyway that's a whole other journey we tried. lol
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:19 PM   #11
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John, I start my main engine and ginny about once a month and run them for 10/15 minutes. It will help start the main engine in very cold weather if you turn on the block heater a few hours before you try to start it. If your anti-freeze in the main and ginny are good, then you will not need any additives. Good luck. Rook
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:21 PM   #12
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Awesome thanks Rook
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:06 PM   #13
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John....just thought of something. Initially, I got the wrong kind of "T" and it would not allow enough gas to flow to support my stove and heaters on at the same time. It was one of those designed for taking gas out of the system, not putting gas into the system. It was for running a grill or ?? from your main propane tank. It took me forever to discover what the problem was. This is the one you want......

Stay-a-While - F273733 - Mr Heater

If a 5ft hose is too short for your setup, then shop around for just the "T" and buy the hose separately. That's what I had to do. Rook
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:46 PM   #14
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Thanks Rook. I wouldn't have known there was a difference
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