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Old 02-12-2014, 04:28 AM   #1
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Brrrrr we're freezing!! Help!

We're sitting in a Sam's Club parking lot in Wilkes-Barre PA and overnight our heat went off. We had it set on lp the generator was not running. Seems as though the batterie drained because the genny wouldn't start until we started the engine. We are professed newbies so hoping it's something we're doing wrong and not something wrong with the coach. Once we started the genny the heat in the bedroom is working but we're getting nothing up front. By the way, the overnight low was -4 degrees. It's warmed up to 0 now. What should we be doing for boondocking in frigid weather? Thanks!!!! ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:53 AM   #2
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Thankfully the chassis battery was able to start the motor and that got your generator started! If you're getting heat in the bedroom there's a chance that the trunk line is just so cold now that it only feels like it isn't working up front but it is. Not many coaches are made to withstand those temps. Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:21 AM   #3
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The Fans can drain a battery very fast

Go in Sams and by a heater if you haven't already and keep the Gen running.

If that doesn't work, move south.

Good luck,

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:37 AM   #4
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At those temps I don't think I would be doing much boondocking. I don't know how big your battery bank is or how old the batteries are but you have to keep them charged to keep things working. You should be running your generator enough during the day to charge the batteries for use at night. I wouldn't suspect the fan motor on the furncae would run down your batteries over night but if you have a lot of lights on, tv's etc eventually you'll run the batteries down. As mentioned already you may want to purchase a couple of electric heaters and just leave your generator running. Good luck and hope all works out.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:40 AM   #5
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The furnace needs 12 volts to operate. If the battery volts get too low it stops working. That's also why the genny would not start. You might have a battery issue. How old are they? Maybe they were just not charged up enough to start out with.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:49 AM   #6
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Please keep your generator running and keep warm and safe! If your in PA do not head south as there is a large snow storm coming through the south. We are in Richmond, VA and expecting heavy wet snow and without adequate snow removal and treatment equipment the roadway travel conditions will be hazardous.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4tfamily View Post
We're sitting in a Sam's Club parking lot in Wilkes-Barre PA and overnight our heat went off. We had it set on lp the generator was not running. Seems as though the batterie drained because the genny wouldn't start until we started the engine. We are professed newbies so hoping it's something we're doing wrong and not something wrong with the coach. Once we started the genny the heat in the bedroom is working but we're getting nothing up front. By the way, the overnight low was -4 degrees. It's warmed up to 0 now. What should we be doing for boondocking in frigid weather? Thanks!!!! ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️
I do hope you don't think you can boondock like that all the time. You state that you are newbies at this as I am as well. My only advantage is I have been around motorhomes enough to know they do not fare well in temperatures bellowing freezing for any length of time. Electric heaters need 110 power so you need the generator running for them to work and they are generally not effective in keeping your water lines and water tanks from freezing except inside the coach. Below the coach floor level you are at extreme risk of frozen lines unless you are winterized. Even the furnace will only keep water lines from freezing for so long. -4 temps with a wind would be brutal so you would definitely need heated tank pads for the water tanks. Be sure you have at least a half tank of fuel to run the generator because the the generator is designed to NOT run your motorhome out of fuel so it will shutoff at 1/4 of a tank. In answer to your last question, unless you specifically made arrangements and modifications to your coach to stay in below 0 temperatures with lots of insulation in all the right places and a means to keep an enormous bank of batteries charged don't do it and, if you do, keep the genny running all the time to keep the batteries charged. Mine ran 24/7 getting from Iowa to Texas this year. You do not want to take a chance of freezing to death.

Good luck

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Old 02-12-2014, 05:59 AM   #8
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According to some of the forecasts if you stay where you are you could have 8 to 12 inches of snow by Thursday night. If I were you I would jump on Route 80 and head west out of the storm.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:10 AM   #9
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Another concern I have is with running the genny full time. All your windows are closed, I would worry about getting some carbon monoxide infiltration eventually... Check your carbon monoxide detectors. And yes I would use the next opportunity to drive South! Stay safe.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:21 AM   #10
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As you have discovered, the furnace fan drains the battery pretty quickly. Therefore, boondocking in frigid temps is difficult.

You can be comfortable even down around 0 as long as you have electricity and can use the furnace, but boondocking is a different story. To boondock in low temps you need a catalytic LP heater (Olympian is a popular brand) that will heat your rig w/o using electricity. Even then, you will need a pretty big heater to be comfortable below 20.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:24 AM   #11
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We're trying to go south as quickly as possible but worried about the storm. Can anyone suggest a route west around it? We missed 80. Currently south 81 Harrisburg being our next major city. Would really appreciate help with this. Thanks!!!
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:30 AM   #12
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Ps batteries are BRAND new. Got them this fall. First trip with them. Not planning on boondocking ever again in this kind of weather. Just a quick overnight stop which ended up quicker than expected. So we should be running the genny even when moving? Doesn't the engine charge the batteries? Sorry if I'm asking not-so-bright questions!
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:31 AM   #13
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We're trying to go south as quickly as possible but worried about the storm. Can anyone suggest a route west around it? We missed 80. Currently south 80 Harrisburg being our next major city. Would really appreciate help with this. Thanks!!!
I meant south81
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:34 AM   #14
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Just turn around and head west and look for a CG that you can plug in at least. There is a place I know of called Twin Pines near Harrisburg (Rt. 78 and Rt. 81). I'm not sure if they are open in the winter but it's worth a call. This storm is pretty big and promising snow amounts to a foot or more. No where to the East of you is safe right now. Most municipalities are out of salt so don't plan on driving at all tomorrow.
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