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Old 12-30-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
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RVing in the cold

Hello,

Does anyone know how to prepare your RV / 5th wheel, etc. for when your traveling to a climate that is below freezing? I am planning on leaving Sunny South Florida and heading toward different parts of the country where it maybe colder than 32 degrees.

Thanks,

Chris

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Old 12-30-2010, 08:24 PM   #2
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I would drain all of the water lines (blow the lines as well) and water heater, completely drain both holding tanks, put antifreeze in the p-traps at the sinks and shower. Once you arrive and the coach is warm, fill the fresh tank and run the furnace to keep the basement warm. When you get ready to head back south, drain everything again and head for warmer weather.

Ken
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:07 PM   #3
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don't know what type of RV you have, but I have done cold weather camping (even below zero). In my case my holding tanks are in heated space so they weren't an issue. Even though I have an enclosed underbelly, I had an apron made up that I connected to the bottom of the 5er with snap and anchored to the ground. This kept cold air and snow from blowing under the trailer. I took my water hose and wrapped heat wire around it and then used foam pipe insulation to cover it all. That plugged into the CG 20A outlet. I had a local LPG company provide a 100 gallon propane tanks as I wasn't moving. They topped it off every 3-4 weeks. I also sealed the rear picture window from the inside using the clear plastic kits from Home Depot. I left the gray tanks open to drain right away. I replaced the flexible sewer hose with PVC that I made up. With a good pitch, there will be no standing water to freeze. The black tank was left closed and drained as usual.

Made it down to sub-zero temps with no problems at all. We kept the thermostat at 68 during the day and 64 at night. We were toasty warm all winter, except when outside.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:34 AM   #4
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Thank you guys for the info... I see that it can be done with little to know problems at all. Is it safe to say that if you have a sealed underbelly, then that area is heated? I have a 2005 Jayco Eagle 5ther.

Thanks,

Chris

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Old 12-31-2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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One thing I learned at an early age ... something is never ALWAYS, and nothing is ever NEVER.

That said, just because your underbelly is sealed does not necessarily mean it is heated. Is it likely that it is? Probably. But you may want to check with the manufacturer if your model is a 4 season coach which would mean the tanks are in heated space. Now what I mean by heated space is that heat circulates in the area of the holding tanks. It does not mean that the tanks themselves are heated. There are heat tape kits that can be installed on the holding tanks either later or when ordered as new.

I have heard of some using hay bales to surround their RV perimeter to keep wind and snow from blowing under. The CG I was in did not allow that as they were fearful of rodents and other critters. I had a local awning company make me vinyl shirting that i could easily fold up and store away.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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IMO, when daytime temperatures are near 45-50 and night lows are not below 28, residual daytime heat will keep your water system from freezing at night. I assume you will be living in your RV while you are traveling. This means winterizing is not practical. I run the furnace while driving when temperatures never get above 32*F, set at 45or50*F. It used more propane sure, but my object is to prevent freezing my water system. I also believe in what John said; always and never usually return to cause me regret. This to me means prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
If your holding tanks are not heated by your furnace you might consider installing http://www.ultraheat.com/ to protect them.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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Do you use your slide-outs during freezing period? I think, there are thermal bridges to bring cold air into your living room, right?

Chrissy
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:33 PM   #8
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In the Great White North

When we lived in the Edmonton, Alberta area, we always winterized our MH and on the trip south to El Paso (2 1/2 day trip) we used whatever we could use in the MH without any trouble. Flushed with RV Antifreeze and used Bottled Water for cooking etc. No Hotwater of course!!! Just from the stove.
In El Paso we filled our Watertank and used the Hotwater until we drove NORTH again. MH did not have slideout. Here in the COLD we do not use the slide-outs at all. But we live now around Vancouver, BC and it is hard to find 'Winter'

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Old 02-26-2011, 12:30 PM   #9
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We drained and then blew out system, RV antifreeze in all the traps, dish and clothes washers, used bottled water for cooking and drinking, and carried five gallon bucket/w about 3gallons of water with lid to flush when necessary. Carried the flush bucket and the freezable food in the back seat of truck. We also used truck stop restrooms or rest areas when possible, drove quickly to the warmer climate. I worried about using furnace on the go due to possible ignition of fuels near gas stations etc. Some states it is illegal to have pilot lights or appliances operating while traveling.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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We done 25 years of snowmobiling With our Winnebagos. Some tempatures as cold as - 37 deg. thats below zero; AS long as we used our furnace everything was fine. The problem comes when you use them D$#@%$# electric heaters; Everything would freeze up; The coach is designed to keep things warm/from freezing with the furnace, but NOT with electric Heaters..People in the camp ground/snowpark would complain about freezing up while it was warm in the coach;;; DAAA, We would say use your furnace When they finly got it through there head, No more freeze ups.. life is good. This applys to most of the newer coaches;;
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:23 PM   #11
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That is some cold temps! Coldest I have had was -25 and I had no problems, but some of the people in the CG had all sorts of problems. I don't think I would have been ok at -37 as -25 felt like my limit.

The ice build up was the worst of it. For whatever reason ice was everywhere from trees, RV's, buildings, signs, and it grew for several days. I carefully chipped it off my rig daily, but the guy next to me in a brand new MH had an igloo and I am sure some serious damage. I left that CG before his ice melted lol.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:38 PM   #12
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Hmmmm...chipping ice off a rubber roof ??? How do that ?
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix2 View Post
We drained and then blew out system, RV antifreeze in all the traps, dish and clothes washers, used bottled water for cooking and drinking, and carried five gallon bucket/w about 3gallons of water with lid to flush when necessary. Carried the flush bucket and the freezable food in the back seat of truck. We also used truck stop restrooms or rest areas when possible, drove quickly to the warmer climate. I worried about using furnace on the go due to possible ignition of fuels near gas stations etc. Some states it is illegal to have pilot lights or appliances operating while traveling.
DW
Where did you find that list of states with the prohibitions?
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:38 PM   #14
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No no Ray... I didn't touch the roof. I had to chip ice so I could keep my door from freezing shut, chip ice to open outside bins I needed to get into, chip ice from fridge vent area where it really got thick.

It was a weird weather pattern where ice formed everywhere for a week. All of the other storms it just snowed and slowly melted. I think it was just the super cold nights, everthing would turn to solid ice, even the snow lol
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