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Old 11-14-2017, 07:53 AM   #1
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Catalina 263RLSLE Cold weather

Hello all, I am wondering about cold weather camping. We have the enclosed and heated under belly which i was told helps keep the holding tanks warm and you can camp further into the cold weather. can anyone atest to this? Just dont want to start out with a brand new camper and have issues.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:24 AM   #2
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How cold is cold? Just because the underbelly is enclosed and heated doesn't mean the tanks and plumbing can't freeze.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:29 AM   #3
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An enclosed underbelly does not keep holding tanks warm. It keeps them from freezing at 30 degrees.

Where will you be camping? If at an RV park with electric hook-ups you will want to use electric heaters and not your propane. Only the propane furnace helps the holding tanks.

Camping in the cold is not fun. A trailer gets much colder quicker than a house. Even in north Florida in a RV park at night we used the fireplace and one electric heater or two electric heaters running constantly. This was on 35 to 45 degree nights. As soon as we turned off the heat sources the trailer would cool off fast. Seldom did we use the propane furnace because the furnace used aot of propane.

We used an electric blanket to help stay warm and even fought over the oscillating tower electric heater in the living area. This was in a 5th wheel.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:27 AM   #4
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You'll need 120V, a gen or a huge battery bank to be able to run the furnace. The tanks are heated by duct work from the furnace. If you are dry camping then you'll need to rely the batteries to run the furnace. You'll need a gen to recharge the batteries.
As far as how well the tanks are insulated and how well the furnace will heat them is unknown until you try it. Many times MFG's don't do a good job of completing their work in unseen areas.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:05 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the info. I used to have a 1999 prowler 33 ft TT and camped a week at new years eve in northern michigan every year. I loved it. Obviously yo need to prepare and understand what you are getting into for cold weather. I was just wondering if anyone had tried these heated underbelly things and if it really did seem to extend your wet camping season. I will be camping at Williamsburg VA Dec 21st and it doesn't look like the average temp is all that horrible but if we can have water that would be great.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:00 AM   #6
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Haven't tried our Catalina 223RBS LE in freezing temps yet but we did do 2 months at the local KOA in our old Trail Cruiser 23QBC two years ago. We had a cold spell with temps in the 20s for about a week and things got interesting. The black tank froze at the drain valve. It took an hour of running a hair dryer on the valve and several dish pans of hot water poured in the tank to thaw it out enough to dump the tanks.

The gray tank drain pipe is exposed on our Catalina so I think I'll have to run a heat tape on it if we ever go out for any winter camping. Probably have to heat tape the black tank valve too.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info.

We are going to give it a shot and also do the heat tapes on the Black and grey valve areas. and i think we are going to add heat tape to the piping for the outdoor shower to be safe. This is the only thing that always seemed to give me troubles in cold weather in my old tt.

Appreciate all the word from you all. i am hoping to make my wife's first camping trip a success. she loves the cold and the campfires so i am working my butt off to get everything just right for this first trip for her.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:52 AM   #8
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Campfires in the cold. You need a circle fire with people in the middle. Or stand close to the fire and rotate. I gave up having a campfire if it is below 45 degrees. They work great above 55 degrees not so good below 45 degrees.

Get the heat pad that you sit on. That helps alot but your back will get cold.

Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:47 AM   #9
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Thanks

Tuffr2

Thanks for the tip. We are just nuts when we lived in Michigan we dry camped the whole week of New Yearís Eve for 5 straight years and you are exactly right it is a tough gig. The best thing I found to do and it works real nice. When you have a good fire going and covered in a wam blanket. Just rotate the blanket. It keeps your back and butt warm. Oh and ofcourse snuggling close with the love of my life and plenty of wine. But we are gonna try to wet camp at Williamsburg Virginia this December. Isnít going to be that cold maybe approaching freezing but thatís it so I think the heated underbelly will atleast help in that situation. Atleast Iím gonna find out LOL .
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:26 AM   #10
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UPDATE!!!
Went camping and it was fantastic, Weather was near 30 or higher the whole time and the catalina did awesome. The heated underbelly is amazing, the floors were warm and you could walk around without socks on. Wife loved it and cant wait for the next time. If you ever get a chance to go to Busch Gardens Christmas town don't miss it, Anvil campground was fantastic.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:10 AM   #11
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I often camp in areas that get down to 14* such as Prineville State Park in Oregon. I love it, often I am the only one there so we run wild.

Tip combat water freeze I run my space heater at night, leave the cabinets open that have water lines running through them and set the furnace 65. I do not hook up a water hose but use my fresh water tank. I don't winterize and make full use of my bathroom. Have never had a problem.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:09 PM   #12
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Do you dump your tanks after each trip? Where do you store your TT when you're between trips?

We keep ours in the garage so I don't winterize either but we don't usually camp after Thanksgiving weekend. We usually camp at the Oregon coast.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:54 PM   #13
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Tuffr2



Oh and ofcourse snuggling close with the love of my life and plenty of wine. .


Scotch!
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