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Old 11-06-2015, 11:45 AM   #1
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Traveling in winter- Winnebago Vista

In May of this year we purchased a new 27ft Winnebago vista. This replaced a 32ft Southwind in which we had traveled over 150,000 miles winter and summer. Now, my question. The water storage area's in the "basement" are heated by vents from the furnace. However, it does not appear that any of this "heat" will migrate to the water heater which is essentially in a separate compartment. At some point I will winterize the coach and put it away as it is kept in my garage which is unheated. However, this winter we will be traveling in weather that can reach as low as near 0 F. Does anyone know if this coach will handle that without freezing up as long as I leave the water heater and furnace on? Our Southwind never had a problem in this type of weather but am a bit apprehensive with this one. By the way, we live in Eastern Washington state so winters here can get pretty darn cold.

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Old 11-06-2015, 05:46 PM   #2
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I also have a Vista 27N. I agree that you will want to have your hot water heater on when using the coach in winter at temps well below freezing such as 0 F, as even with the furnace on I don't think the basement forced air heat will get to the hot water heater area. When you are traveling you should be fine with the water heater as the 27N is MotorAid equipped which means your water heater tank is being heated by engine coolant when the engine is running and warmed up.

When parked and non-winterized if it is going to be below 32 F for more than an hour or two and you have not winterized then I would make sure the propane furnace is on with thermostat set to at least 45 F and that the hot water heater is on either 120 V or propane.

I don't think the Vista was really intended to be used un-winterized in 0 F weather in the winter given that the step well is un-insulated and the front cap is un-insulated. I think you will have trouble with the door freezing shut.

Randy - Manhattan, Kansas
2015 Vista 27N
2016 Honda HR-V
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:07 AM   #3
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I would worry more about lines freezing. We have a incandescent light at the end of an extension cord that we plug in and leave on in cold weather. This provides enough heat so things don't freeze(most of the time). The challenge is finding light bulbs.
Sue and Tom

2015 Winnebago Vista 36Y
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:56 AM   #4
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We have a Vista 35b and travel alot in the winter. My freshwater froze last January while in chicago in 4 degrees despite running a small heater in the wet bay. I was surprised but found out it is not cut out for extreme cold. The next night i dripped the faucet and it did ok.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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I installed remote thermometers in the compartment with the water pump and a compartment on the other side where the fresh water tank is exposed. I leave WI for FL first week in March and my rule is not de-winterize if the temps the first day are not going to be above +10.

Don & Bev Morgan Weyauwega WI, 05 Itasca Horizon 40KD, 400 HP Cummins, Delorme GPS LT 40, Toad 07 Saturn Vue AWD, Air Force One, TST 510 TPMS, Mayor of Weyauwega 2007 - 2013, Waupaca Co Board Supervisor 2010 - 2014
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:30 PM   #6
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I sincerely thank you all for the feedback. I have thermometers in the compartments that have exposed or questionable heating capabilities. While here at home I am monitoring them to see what the differentials are while our ambient temperature fluctuates between daytime 50's and night time 30's. I have the propane furnace set at 45 deg. I have not yet turned on the HW tank as the temps are staying above freezing inside the garage. I am really just checking at this point to see what variations I can see. I had forgotten that the coach is equipped with the motorAid water heating system so that will relieve my concern while traveling. I pulled out my manuals and have re-familiarized myself with that as well as some other points I had forgotten.
I agree that this coach is not perhaps ideally equipped for extreme weather conditions but I am confident it will handle the conditions we expect to be in. Like I said before, my Southwind did fine for many years, even being snowed in in Spokane and Wyoming as well as finding ourselves in 17 degree weather one morning on the desert dry camping in Deming, NM.(luckily we had the furnace on). It also was not well insulated around the cabin and step well so would certainly get cold but never froze the door shut!
Again, thank you all for the feedback.

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