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Old 02-15-2019, 10:20 AM   #1
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Cold Weather Camping Questions

We are in Trailer Village at the Grand Canyon for a few nights. Expecting snow and temps in single digits with highs around 30 most days. Yeah, lucky us, we are suppose to be “Snowbirding” My daughter and grandkids are flying in to stay at the Lodge otherwise I would move on. So I need advice with a couple of issues.
1. I have just over a half tank of diesel. Should that be enough fuel for 5 days aqua hot use and does the system allow the AH to use fuel after the level goes below 1/4 tank. I read Gary’s thread about fuel usage and if 3 gallons daily is average I think I should be good.
2. I’m assuming with snow accumulations in temps below freezing all the slide outs have to come in unless I prepared to get on top and clean them before departing. Is there another option?
Thanks all.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:30 AM   #2
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I think you are OK on diesel.

I have been trapped in cold weather (unexpected snow and ice while waiting for a repair in Denton, TX a few years ago), and so experienced the slides out and snow and ice formation problem. Not a lot of fun, but I carry a long, extendable aluminum pole for washing the upper reaches of the coach (shur-Lock brand), and I also carry a 17' aluminum folding ladder (Harbor Freight). So, I first set the ladder at one end of each slide, and used the brushes (these are Shur-Lock brushes, one of each: stiff, moderate stiffness, and not stiff at all brushes). These brushes' bristles are held into a solid wood backing piece that attaches to the pole. Then I used the wood side of the brush from the ladder to push the snow and ice from the slides from the top (never got on the presumably slippery roof). That got the big snow and ice off, then used the bristle side to get 98% of what remained. Did that process from each end of the slide topper. Did that for all 4 slides. Took an hour and a half. Did in morning, hoping that afternoon sun would melt everything else. Afternoon sun did melt almost everything once exposed. Then, carefully ran in the slide while DW watched the action of the slides from outside. Worked fine.

Keeping slides in is easier, and I have done it once or twice after that in potential ice conditions, but it is not as nice inside.

You can also buy a 5.5 gallon fuel can and hand carry an additional 10-20 gallons of diesel to the coach if you are worried about margin.

Gary
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:48 AM   #3
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Thanks Gary, a five gallon can is my backup plan. Will the AH run when fuel level is below 1/4 tank b
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
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Well, I have read that the Onan intake is about 1/4 tank but have never seen the issue discussed of the diesel feed for the AH, but I had my diesel down to 1/8 tank at one point not too long ago (last fall) on this Cornerstone, and the AH was still purring along just fine. The issue of tank linearity in the fuel gauge is another issue... mine seems to be off sometimes. Also, my levels seem to fall an amount that you notice simply from the level it shows when I first park at an RV or boondocking location, and what I see next morning when I am very sure that the AH is not burning that much fuel.

Someone else can give you a more definitive answer.

Gary
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:39 PM   #5
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Hi Mike,
Coincidentally I was staying at trailer village about 4 years ago and we were caught off guard with our slides out. We had about 6” of snow on the toppers in the morning. Gary’s instructions are spot on as one option. What I did was hooked up my spare water hose to the park water and melt the snow with water. In my case it was above freezing and sunny. That being said it still took an hour.
Just another option....
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:42 PM   #6
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Oh, and BTW you should be fine for diesel. If you end up staying longer and run your diesel down you can use the electric element in the aquahot to keep your fresh water loop safe while you fetch more diesel.
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:55 PM   #7
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Cold Weather Camping Questions

A little snow is one thing, heavy snow quite another. I kept my slide toppers brushed off when we wintered in snow a couple years ago but when it snowed 8-14” several days in a row it was impossible to keep up with it. The heat rising from your slides will melt the snow on the bottom then freeze overnight. You don’t want to end up with what we did! The ends of the slide toppers appeared to only have an inch or 2 of snow on them.

In the future I will pull my slides in when more than a couple inches of snow is forecast.

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Old 02-15-2019, 03:35 PM   #8
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I’d offer a couple thoughts on the five gallon can. The new fangled safety spouts are virtually unusable with the slide out and a PITA with slide in. Get an open spout, and pull the slide in when filling. JMHO
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:23 PM   #9
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I use a 5 gallon jug and a battery powered transfer pumpClick image for larger version

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Old 02-15-2019, 04:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike&Chris View Post
We are in Trailer Village at the Grand Canyon for a few nights. Expecting snow and temps in single digits with highs around 30 most days. Yeah, lucky us, we are suppose to be “Snowbirding” My daughter and grandkids are flying in to stay at the Lodge otherwise I would move on. So I need advice with a couple of issues.
1. I have just over a half tank of diesel. Should that be enough fuel for 5 days aqua hot use and does the system allow the AH to use fuel after the level goes below 1/4 tank. I read Gary’s thread about fuel usage and if 3 gallons daily is average I think I should be good.
2. I’m assuming with snow accumulations in temps below freezing all the slide outs have to come in unless I prepared to get on top and clean them before departing. Is there another option?
Thanks all.
We just spent 6 weeks where it was low 30's at night and low 40's during the day for 10 days. I noted the gallons on my Silverleaf on day one of the cold and then 10 days later. We used 2 gallons per day with a well insulated 45' American Coach. We did not use the heat pumps, did our laundry took normal showers and used the dishwasher. When the temps came back up to low 50's at night the usage was closer to a gallon per day.

So we use 1.5 gallons per day to see if we have enough.

If you are using the fuel gage and it says half a tank that most likely is 60 to 75% full.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:45 PM   #11
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Mike, you’re in for a real treat if it snows! Don’t fret too much over the coach and simply enjoy the scenery. We’ve run our generator beyond where the red low fuel warning came on, and it ran fine.

It may seem corny, but the IMAX movie is really quite good.

The train to Williams is fun, but very long.

If you can, explore a bit as there are quite a few interesting places off the beaten path.

I’ll post a picture I took from one of my secret spots. The first picture is what my wife woke up to out the bedroom window, while sitting in bed. The second is how I did it.

Have a great time.

-Matt
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:47 PM   #12
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If you need to use a gas can, try to find a "potable water" can. Many of them are made by the same manufacturers, with the same material as their gas cans. Just don't have the safety device on them.

Heck they even come with spouts for easier filling of your water glass.

I did add diesel only stickers to them.

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Old 02-16-2019, 09:43 AM   #13
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One thing I didn't see mentioned is gelling. With temps that low for so long, you might want to make sure your fuel is #1 Diesel just in case.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #14
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Cold Weather Camping Questions

I can confirm that the AH will continue to run when the fuel tank is below 1/4 full on the gauge. Marcosdad is exactly correct about diesel fuel gelling, get some fuel additive and add it to the tank.

Good luck!
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