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Old 09-20-2017, 06:45 PM   #1
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Can I use the TT in Winter?

People have told me I need to "winterize" my travel trailer (1999 Damon Hornet). This makes me wonder if I can use it during Winter? Do people ever live in their RVs thru Winter? I'm the type that fires up my Weber grill when there's 10" of snow on it, so I'm totally up for camping or road tripping in Winter.

Thanks for your comments.

Tom
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Old 09-20-2017, 07:01 PM   #2
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The furnace works, the electric works, the fridge works and water can be carried in jugs, bottles etc. Put some pink in the holding tanks and have fun. I have been known to leave sites with no dump stations after doing the winter minimalist adventure (previous smaller camper) and using a 5 gallon pail to mt and flush after returning home. Hot water was obtained on the range. Water supplies are usually the limiting factor, providing propane tanks are reasonably full.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:51 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'm not sure I understand. You're saying everything will work except the water? What is "pink"?

Are you saying I can use the toilet but have to dump at home?

Can I use the sinks and shower, or would that require keeping the furnace running so it doesn't freeze?

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks again for your help.

Tom
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:06 AM   #4
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Even running the furnace while traveling might not work to keep your water system from freezing even if some of the hot air is directed down around the tanks. Even if the freshwater tank doesn't freeze, it is very likely that there will be some sections of the water lines that might freeze - especially when moving because air infiltration will more than overcome the small amopunt of hot air available. In Germany I once had to pull half my kitchen apart to access a 2' section of pump suction line that froze because some idiot routed all of the hoses properly except this line that was touching an uninsulated single skin - and that was only 10 degrees below freezing. All the rest of the 4-season design was for nothing because of one little slipup

Carry fresh water and be happy to have a navy shower instead of a proper shower. Carry some pink RV antifreeze and put a quart into each of the black and grey tanks after dumping and if dump points are several days apart then add another quart in each tank each day and that should keep your waste tanks from freezing. If you flush the toilet with antifreeze then obviously you don't need to add the quarts of antifreeze separately. Also if you do use the shower (for the navy shower) or the sink for washing up then after each use just add half a cup of antifreeze to make sure the traps don't freeze.

BTW antifreeze means pink RV stuff, not the poisonous car radiator green stuff

If the water is properly winterised then you could probably travel with the furnace thermostat set at say 50F or lower just to stop cold soak and make it more comfortable to get in until you can warm it up properly.

We used the allstays app and managed to find plenty of RV parks open for business and most had dump facilities as well

Last winter we travelled for three months (class A) and didn't winterise but I kept a very close eye on weather and if it was going to be a hard freeze we found an RV park with 50 amp supply and ran a couple of fan heaters in the basement to supplement the furnace and left the HWS on as well. If we were boondocking then we just ran the furnace a bit hotter just for the rig. We were OK with the electric blanket and a couple of doonas. Depending on the construction of your rig you might be able to do something similar
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:11 AM   #5
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Winterize = prepare trailer and contents for storage in freezing temperatures. --Plumbing lines: replace water with either air or antifreeze as noted above
-Toilet: antifreeze in the bowl to keep the seal wet
-Holding tanks (3): drain and put some antifreeze in just in case there is residual

If you plan to use the trailer in freezing temps you just need to be mindful of any liquids that are in the plumbing or holding tanks that could freeze

Of course, using bottled water and the campground bathrooms will negate this entire discussion (except for winterizing)

The replies above point out several ways to deal with this issue. In general, if you are stationary and your trailer tanks are insulated/heated or your underbelly is heated/insulated you can just run the furnace and not have any issues camping when it is below freezing. Once your furnace is off you have to worry about those liquids freezing again.

Freezing liquid in a trailer usually = cracked plumbing = $$$ repairs

We routinely camp in the teen's and don't "winterize". Then again, we dont usually depart until it is near 32deg or forecasted to be above freezing that day. We have trouble dumping as my gray valve is exposed to the outside...a hair dryer usually does the trick when we are ready to leave.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karoshi View Post
People have told me I need to "winterize" my travel trailer (1999 Damon Hornet). This makes me wonder if I can use it during Winter? Do people ever live in their RVs thru Winter? I'm the type that fires up my Weber grill when there's 10" of snow on it, so I'm totally up for camping or road tripping in Winter.

Thanks for your comments.

Tom
Winter is a season not a temperature so knowing where you plan on spending it would help. 10 inches of snow doesn't tell us much. Temperatures do. Winter for many folks can get cold enough to keep propane in a liquid state.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:19 PM   #7
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Winter for many folks can get cold enough to keep propane in a liquid state.
Very few would be outside grilling steaks or RVing at -44F though.
I have seen people get caught out in countries where butane is more common because it doesn't vapourise once it gets down to 32F.


One thing that always needs emphasising when this topic comes up is that insulating pipes or tanks merely delays freezing and can't stop it, so heating is always going to be necessary if below freezing conditions are going to last for more than a couple of hours. If the vehicle is moving or there are strong winds blowing then "wind chill" effect because of forced air infiltration into basement areas will cool things down even faster.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:45 PM   #8
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Yup, temperature is the key component here. If winter means temps around 25 degrees at night with above freezing during the day, a unit with enclosed heated tanks should do just fine. We routinely take ours out in those conditions. We keep the propane heater on when traveling if it is below 32. BTW, it also helps with the food! If you want to travel and camp with lows in the single digits, it is a LOT of work, and it might not be possible at all for many units. We were in lows of 5-7 F last February, helping my DD with a new baby (the only reason we would have done such a foolish thing!). Even with heated tanks and burning propane like crazy, we got one line frozen up. Luckily it is PEX and no damage, but I wouldn't recommend it.

When caped, make sure you don't leave your water or drainage lines connected. Those freeze before the tanks do.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:09 PM   #9
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Any of us up north have a shorter camping season than those in warmer climates. We have to suck it up and accept it.
We will be starting to prepare our MH for winter storage this weekend even though we have a warm forecast for the next few days.
We have to think with our heads and not our hearts. If we don't it will come back to bite us in the end.
Jump on your snowmobile and ride to your hearts content. Put your TT into storage properly and enjoy it when the season returns next spring.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:37 AM   #10
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thanks, everyone! im thinking it might be safer for me to winterize then find campground with bathhouse .
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:16 PM   #11
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32-28 degrees is our max outdoors with the pleasure palace. Even at that we always open the lower cabinet doors before we go to bed and kick the heat up. To some it may seem like a redneck fix, but has worked for us for several hunting seasons.
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