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Old 09-11-2016, 02:13 PM   #1
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Living in 30-19 degrees in a 5th wheel question

I'm getting back into a RV and it's going to be a big 40' 5th wheel. I want to live in the Cleveland/Helen GA area where it can get down below freezing, (even 19 degrees or less sometimes) at night in the winter months. So here's my questions:
1. With only 2, 30 gallon LP tanks for heat about how long will they last?
2. Do the floors get cold? I know in my 40' motor home, they got cold! Do ANY 5'vrs have heated floors? I can't find one.

I won't have a truck so I'd have to pay about $1,300 ( $2.50/mile) to have someone haul it south for me to get out of the cold so I thought I'd just stay there in the winter.

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebxl View Post
I'm getting back into a RV and it's going to be a big 40' 5th wheel. I want to live in the Cleveland/Helen GA area where it can get down below freezing, (even 19 degrees or less sometimes) at night in the winter months. So here's my questions:
1. With only 2, 30 gallon LP tanks for heat about how long will they last?
2. Do the floors get cold? I know in my 40' motor home, they got cold! Do ANY 5'vrs have heated floors? I can't find one.

I won't have a truck so I'd have to pay about $1,300 ( $2.50/mile) to have someone haul it south for me to get out of the cold so I thought I'd just stay there in the winter.

Thanks in advance
More info would be nice, what kind of 5er and are you staying at a RV park with power? I no you said you were shopping for one but it does make a difference and it might be cheaper running a smaller electric heater than propane. There would be times when you would have to run the furnace to heat the basement where your pipes are at. Very pretty area you are talking about and it can get cold you are right.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:33 PM   #3
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Hard to answer your questions without knowing what brand of 5'r you may own. Good insulation and dual pane windows will make a difference. As an example my Drv has 3 1/4" insulated walls, including the slides and dual pane windows. We were in Montana one year for Thanksgiving, it was 18 degrees at night, we used a 40# bottle of propane in 6 days. I don't know of any 5'rs that have heated floors but ours have the heating ducts running right under the floors so it's kinda like we have heated floors. We also have an electric fireplace that we use, you can use small electric heaters. If you have to pay for electricity it may be cheaper to use the propane furnace. That's a mathematical problem that only an MIT graduate could figure out. There are workers that lived in North Dakota in rv's in the winter so it's doable, just not easy. You need an enclosed basement with heaters on your holding tanks or a heating vent in the basement like we have so they don't freeze AND heat tape on your water hose
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:12 PM   #4
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As stated not all RV’s are created equal when it comes to weather extremes. Rv’s rated for 4-seasons tend to fair better than lite duty.


Depending on your comfort tolerance and the actual OAT 60# of LPG could last you anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks.
Not knowing the cost of electricity $ per KWH and the cost of LPG it would be difficult to give you a ballpark example. Usually electricity is cheaper, plus there is the PIA factor of filling the cylinders coming into play. You'll note a break-even point.
We’ve done well with using the oil filled electric radiator style heaters and setting the furnace thermostat rather low for use only on the coldest nights. We also bundled up too. We’ve occasionally wintered in cold climates before and had a larger LPG cylinder set by a local supplier who came by and filled it as needed.
Yes, floors, walls, windows, everything can get cold in extended cold weather. Plus condensation can be a very annoying issue to endure. Fortunately the temps you’re speaking of are only occasional night time low’s.
At the minimum you will require a heated fresh water hose, and strategic use of insulation etc. . In that region I’d expect no issue with holding tanks or internal water lines in anything short of a very flimsy trailer or a record cold weather spell.
Your estimation of transport cost sounds accurate.
Best of luck.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebxl View Post
I'm getting back into a RV and it's going to be a big 40' 5th wheel. I want to live in the Cleveland/Helen GA area where it can get down below freezing, (even 19 degrees or less sometimes) at night in the winter months. So here's my questions:
1. With only 2, 30 gallon LP tanks for heat about how long will they last?
2. Do the floors get cold? I know in my 40' motor home, they got cold! Do ANY 5'vrs have heated floors? I can't find one.

I won't have a truck so I'd have to pay about $1,300 ( $2.50/mile) to have someone haul it south for me to get out of the cold so I thought I'd just stay there in the winter.

Thanks in advance
Using electricity would probably be less expensive then propane.

Look into electric blankets, ceramic and oil filled heaters.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:32 PM   #6
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FTd in winter.....2' snow and freezing temps

Two 30# propane cylinders
Refill one every fourth day when temps were above 10*F
When temps went below 10*F propane usage doubled

When temps went below ZERO....refilled one cylinder every day

34' 5th wheel that is well insulated has heated underbelly with attic vents
We stayed roasty toasty (55*F nighttime/65*F daytime) supplemented RV Furnace heating by using a 1500W space heater (RV Furnace NEEDED for heated underbelly)
Floors warm........carpeted except for kitchen/bath floors

Used fresh water tank/on-board pump....CG shut down water system at nighttime due to temps

Doable..........just need propane

Enjoyable.........for first week then it got old real fast and became a drudge
(And I grew up ---worked oil field in WY/UT.....but winter in an RV Trailer is just NOT all that !!!!!!!!!)
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by roothoss1282 View Post
More info would be nice, what kind of 5er and are you staying at a RV park with power? I no you said you were shopping for one but it does make a difference and it might be cheaper running a smaller electric heater than propane. There would be times when you would have to run the furnace to heat the basement where your pipes are at. Very pretty area you are talking about and it can get cold you are right.
You are right - I need to provide more info

As far as size goes, it'll be 38'-43'. I prefer to buy used, may buy new if I can't find what I want close to Cleveland, GA. I haven't decided yet. I have been looking at are the Jayco Northpint, Heartland Gateway or Landmark 365, a used DRV if I can find one, or a Luxury class Keystone model. Upgraded windows, AC's, insulation, etc. I actually plan to full time in the thing without moving for awhile. Cheers!
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:46 AM   #8
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I'll try to use electricity at first, but I know in a MH, the heat pumps were very inefficient when it dropped below 35 or so and I always had to turn on the propane. Sounds like I'll need a couple of extra tanks nearby to make less trips to the filling station! Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
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You are right - I need to provide more info

As far as size goes, it'll be 38'-43'. I prefer to buy used, may buy new if I can't find what I want close to Cleveland, GA. I haven't decided yet. I have been looking at are the Jayco Northpint, Heartland Gateway or Landmark 365, a used DRV if I can find one, or a Luxury class Keystone model. Upgraded windows, AC's, insulation, etc. I actually plan to full time in the thing without moving for awhile. Cheers!
We bought ours in Buford GA. at Camper City. So far they have been great to work with and have a pretty good service dept. I have names if you need to talk to someone to keep an eye out or they may have something on the lot. Another possibility you may look at and that is looking at campgrounds that have campers set up for the long term. We live next to a campground that is mostly by the year and people use them on weekends and some live fulltime in them.

We are going to be in Morganton Ga. over Thanksgiving and staying at a really nice little long term place and I no there is a few for sale in there but it is a you buy the lot and then pay a service fee. Really nice little place with a lake and a lot of trees. Choestoe Falls RV Park is the name. Hope you find what you are looking for.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:57 PM   #10
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Contact your local propane company and inquire into leasing or buying an auxiliary 120 gallon tank. You can get an upright or horizontal tank and it'll have no problem fitting into your rv pad.

If your planning on spending the entire winter and worry about cold floors look into having the unit skirted. Recently had a 39' 5th wheel done and the cost was a little over 2k. The difference is very noticeable.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:10 PM   #11
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"Contact your local propane company and inquire into leasing or buying an auxiliary 120 gallon tank. You can get an upright or horizontal tank and it'll have no problem fitting into your rv pad."

This is the best answer...plenty of propane, use electricity/space heaters most of time. You will figure out a system pretty quick. Heat tape/insulation on the water hose; be sure there aren't any dips in the sewer hose to collect and freeze--not good to have the dump hose frozen. Or you can just run off the water tank, filling it on warmer days, and dumping the holding tanks at same time.

I have made it thru many nights below freezing, its doable and not uncomfortable when set up for it. Now, if you get to seeing below freezing highs, several days in a row...all bets are off.

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Old 09-12-2016, 09:24 PM   #12
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Skirting will help a lot. If you are there for a long time so much the better for skirting. Keep you cool in the summer. Consider putting an in car heater or heater/fan underneath to remove some chill. Make the floor a lot warmer if the temperatures underneath are kept above freezing. Also remove worries about frozen lines and water tank.

Additional propane tank as suggested.

Ventilation and humidity an issue. Most RV do not have vapor barrier so frost in walls can be an issue. Possibly a dehumidifier if unable to get lots of ventilation if you are cooking and showering in the unit.

Heat tape on fresh water hose. Install PVC for tank drains and wrap with heat tape for extended cold periods. Should not be a problem but heat tape is not that expensive.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:17 AM   #13
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Skirting will help a lot. If you are there for a long time so much the better for skirting. Keep you cool in the summer. Consider putting an in car heater or heater/fan underneath to remove some chill. Make the floor a lot warmer if the temperatures underneath are kept above freezing. Also remove worries about frozen lines and water tank.
I did look at skirting and wondered if it made that much of a difference. This is something I'll do for sure.

Some of the models I'm looking at have winter options like tank heaters, enclosed under belly's etc. I need to convince my wife to just let me spend some money and order/build what I want. She's VERY, uh, thrifty! Heartland even has a heated/wrapped water hose option. LOL. Heat tape would work just as well though. I like the Yeti package option too.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:12 AM   #14
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I did look at skirting and wondered if it made that much of a difference. This is something I'll do for sure.

Some of the models I'm looking at have winter options like tank heaters, enclosed under belly's etc. I need to convince my wife to just let me spend some money and order/build what I want. She's VERY, uh, thrifty! Heartland even has a heated/wrapped water hose option. LOL. Heat tape would work just as well though. I like the Yeti package option too.
Watched some RV'ers setting up for the winter building insulated skirting. 2x2 construction with OSB and pink insulation. Probably more than you would want to do if you do not have a lot of cold days.

Skirting will help because it will keep the wind from underneath, reducing the wind chill effect. If you are heating with propane and using bottles it may be worth it just for the convenience of less refills.

If you are using bottles a change over regulator is a must have IMO. You can leave both bottles open and the regulator will change over when one is empty. Keep an eye on the indicator and make sure you fill the empty bottle soon. Nothing worse than running out of propane! Always happens in the middle of the night.
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