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Old 01-26-2014, 03:51 PM   #1
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Cold Weather Operations for Newbees 101

After years as sailors we sold the boat and bought our first motorhome, a 2002 Monaco Windsor in September 2013.. We did some due diligence and “thought” we knew most of the questions to ask. We also described in detail to the sales people our intended use of the vehicle. One of those things was our intention to take the RV to Colorado ski country for a couple of months each year. The sales person who sold us our Monaco assured us that it had the equipment necessary to do just that. We could see the System heat switch and he described that it controlled the wet bay heater and heating pads that were on the holding tanks.

Now, almost 4 months later we know we have the wet bay heater but no heating pads on the tanks. We have a good LPG furnace, 40K BTUs and 2 heat pump/air conditioners. I have not been able to identify any furnace vents in the basement compartments. We are now planning a 2015 ski trip and I need a cold weather operating course! Help! It can go to 0 degrees F. some nights in the mountains with highs sometimes only 15. Most days highs are closer to 25-30. Can we expect to live aboard/operate our RV in those conditions? If so what do I need to do to this motorhome to make that happen?

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Old 01-26-2014, 04:21 PM   #2
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First thing you want to have and be prepared to put them on are chains. You should do a test run with them on to make sure they don't damage the fenders. Road tires on MH's are terrible on winter roads. Most MH's are not built to withstand 0-15 degrees for any length of time. If you get caught in a storm your mind won't be on skiing....it will be on the MH and how your going to get it off the mountain. We carry our water with us and use it for flushing toilets and doing dishes along with water bottles for drinking. Even though you've tried to prevent your water system from freezing up, my thought is the chance of it happening is just not worth it. Also, instead of taking the MH up on the mountain, you might find a CG down below and take the toad up. Even then, we take our water with us because the likelyhood is the CG's have turned their water systems off. Besides when you get home you don't have to re-winterize your system. We know lots of folks who do this.

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Old 01-26-2014, 08:53 PM   #3
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We are staying in those kind of temps in Oklahoma here is what we did

1. Indoor/ outdoor thermometer sensor in wet bay area.
2. Hose with built in heater tape. ( Heater tapes you buy at lowes specifically says not for use on garden hoses.) We were told to make sure we bought the blue water hose. Evidently some quality control issues and blue ones had the fewest of those.
3. Smallest space heater Walmart has 600 watt manual controls ( does not have to be reset in case of power failure. Placed it in wet bay area and keeps it around 50 degrees in -3 degree weather with its thermostat turned to almost the lowest setting. Highest setting got it to 100 degrees in there before I noticed it and turned it down.
4 heat loss through front window. Bought 1/4 double silver sided insulation from lowes for front window. Had some left over so covered windows in door and a couple of other places.
5. Propane is going to be one of your bigger problems. We use space heaters but they do not do much good when temps below 20 degrees. With a class A you are going to have to move the MH to get propane. If we only used propane the weeks the temps are like you are talking about would probably have to refill every week maybe a bit more often. Look on the web for a Y adapter for MH tanks. It allows you to use a remote 100 lb tank you your MH. The campground I am at rents those to you and they come and take it back to their fill area and fill it up for you. We did not use that option because the temps you are talking about have only happened twice while we have been here and only for about 2 weeks each.

That is how we are doing it and is working good for us. We have been here 5 months and going home Friday. I am curious what your wet bay heater is. We have vents from the bedroom propane heater to our wet bay. IF we are driving in cold weather we have to use the bedroom propane heater so that the wet bay stays warm when driving.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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Some threads in this link for winter camping, you really need heat in tank compartments may have a spare outlet off furnace that you could ship some heat down there if you need to.
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cold weather

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