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Old 09-11-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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Living in TT during winter?

Ok some of the low end mobile home parks here have a few tenants that reside there full time in RV Tt's year round. I am beginning to wonder how they survive the winter without freezing anything up. We are in south central Indiana so the coldest it usually ever gets is mid teens (Fahrenheit) but have seen it down to single digits several times in the last several years. I notice they usually have skirting like a mobile home but it can't be that simple? Curiosity has led me on a wild google search yielding minimal results that apply to our climate here.

How do they do it? Sorry I am overly curious! I can just see lots of busted pipes in that situation. Does the skirting really make that big of a difference? Also condensation in the unit and LP gas usage seems like it would be a problem running the furnace so much. I know my trailer was setup as an office and Lp plumbed from a large tank that supplied gas to the stick and brick home on the property. He only had lattice around the bottom to keep his dog from chewing wiring underneath it. There was a couple small plumbing issues that may have resulted from freezing I don't know, at the time I bought it I didn't know of those leaks and I don't think he did either. It was dirt cheap and had a lot bigger problems to be dealt with first.

I'm not rude enough to stop and ask these people, most are pretty old units and that is all these people have to live in. I don't look down on them for that at all but I would be afraid my questioning would be taken the wrong way and I would find myself staring down the barrel of a 12 gauge!
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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Possibilities: Living like you would in a tent. Well insulated sleeping bag and some warm blankets can make a 40 degree environment tolerable to some people. I have done it in an unheated hunting cabin. Propane use would be fairly low like that. Using bath and shower facilities at the campground would eliminate the need for water in the camper. The fridge would use very little propane also.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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Well I'm assuming these people are using heat and water. I'm not really asking how to survive with bare essentials; I'm asking how to keep your TT plumbing and hvac systems in year round use without damage mainly from freezing or excess condensation. Also they don't have bath houses in mobile home parks around here, it's not a campground.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:19 AM   #4
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Well I'm assuming these people are using heat and water. I'm not really asking how to survive with bare essentials; I'm asking how to keep your TT plumbing and hvac systems in year round use without damage mainly from freezing or excess condensation. Also they don't have bath houses in mobile home parks around here, it's not a campground.
Heat tape and insulation pretty much solves the issue with freezing pipes. Leaving a window or vent cracked open can address condensation, or the use of a dehumidifier can also solve the issue. Depending on the cost of electricity vs. propane, a small ceramic heater does not create condensation. I think there's a multitude of ways to correct or address the problems you questioned. In fact, there are many folks living in North Dakota who full time while working on the drilling rigs. You can Google that area for further suggestions. In reality, I don't see winterizing an RV as that difficult. What I do see as a problem is the energy efficiency/loss of heating the tt if it's not a 4 seasons trailer.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:48 AM   #5
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Ok some of the low end mobile home parks here have a few tenants that reside there full time in RV Tt's year round. I am beginning to wonder how they survive the winter without freezing anything up. We are in south central Indiana so the coldest it usually ever gets is mid teens (Fahrenheit) but have seen it down to single digits several times in the last several years. I notice they usually have skirting like a mobile home but it can't be that simple? Curiosity has led me on a wild google search yielding minimal results that apply to our climate here.
Here in TN those living in RVs also skirt the bottom in and use heat-tapes on their water hoses/pipes. Some RVs have heat in the tank area but that wouldn't be critical with full hookups. In our 19' TT we had some condensation problems. But we don't have the problem with the 28' TT.

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I'm not rude enough to stop and ask these people, most are pretty old units and that is all these people have to live in. I don't look down on them for that at all but I would be afraid my questioning would be taken the wrong way and I would find myself staring down the barrel of a 12 gauge!
And you many find they are a lot nicer than someone in a $500,000 MH. You really can't judge books by their covers. Most campers are very friendly and would be happy to answer your questions.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
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We spent 2 New England winters in *first* a 26 foot Towable Trailer Trailer, *2nd* a 32 foot Class A. Our 2010 winter in the travel trailer was certainly hasher than our 2011 in the Class A.

What we learned:

1. make sure that you have local source(s) for propane. If you are just using the propane tanks(s) on TT/Motorhome, you will want to make sure that the sources are local - as you will go through (in New England) about 20 lbs every 5-6 days.

2. Go to your big box store (Orange or Blue) and get a roll(s) of widow insulation like this - window insulation we did not use this in the TT, but when we added it to the Class A we noticed an immediate difference in heat retention.

3. Purchase one, or two if your electrical connection can support it, electric/oil radiators like this, we moved our Kenwood around during the day and night - depending on where we needed it, and were able to keep the space(s) warm to about 69 degrees.

4. Don't expect to keep your black/grey tank lines and city water lines hooked up 24/7. We hooked them up as needed, and never had a problem with filling or dumping.

5. If you can keep an electric heater and/or incandescent light bulb(s) in the tank bay(s), do it. It will help with keeping the tanks from freezing.

6. Lastly ... know that you're not in a stick 'n bricks, and your nose and extremeties will likely always be cold. But then again, it makes for cozy bedtimes with your partner :-)


Best of luck when/if you decide to winter camp. It's not the end of the world, just a little cooler and takes a little more planning!
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
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Possibilities: Living like you would in a tent. Well insulated sleeping bag and some warm blankets can make a 40 degree environment tolerable to some people. I have done it in an unheated hunting cabin..
40 F is not cold. When I was 12/14 I slept on the back porch for 3 years where we lived in Id. There were a lot of nights I would have been very happy with 40 F. We had no electricity so no help there. I didn't have a sleeping bag. Just a lot of blankets, a heavy canvas for a bed spread and my dog. The back porch was closed in except one wall and a window about 4' from the head of the bed that just had a screen on it (kept the snow from blowing in). There were a lot of nights (and days) with below 0F. It got as low as -20 F. The hard part was going to bed and getting the bed warmed up. When I was 14 we got the ceiling lowered in the house and had 2 bedrooms upstairs. I moved there in Oct. I just about died from the heat. I had my window open all winter.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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40 F is not cold. When I was 12/14 I slept on the back porch for 3 years where we lived in Id. There were a lot of nights I would have been very happy with 40 F. We had no electricity so no help there. I didn't have a sleeping bag. Just a lot of blankets, a heavy canvas for a bed spread and my dog. The back porch was closed in except one wall and a window about 4' from the head of the bed that just had a screen on it (kept the snow from blowing in). There were a lot of nights (and days) with below 0F. It got as low as -20 F. The hard part was going to bed and getting the bed warmed up. When I was 14 we got the ceiling lowered in the house and had 2 bedrooms upstairs. I moved there in Oct. I just about died from the heat. I had my window open all winter.
Holy crap you are one rugged fella!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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Holy crap you are one rugged fella!
Thanks
My dog was a good heater and we both slept UNDER the covers when it was really cold. I think it must have started in the summer when it was warm and as it got colder we made adjustments and ended up staying all winter. It wasn't like going out and trying to do that for the first time when it was below 0. There was my parents and younger sis in a 1 bed room house. It had 10' ceilings so we lowered them 2' and added 2 bedrooms upstairs. In those days sometimes we just did what we had to do.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:42 PM   #10
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40 F is not cold. When I was 12/14 I slept on the back porch for 3 years where we lived in Id. There were a lot of nights I would have been very happy with 40 F. We had no electricity so no help there. I didn't have a sleeping bag. Just a lot of blankets, a heavy canvas for a bed spread and my dog. The back porch was closed in except one wall and a window about 4' from the head of the bed that just had a screen on it (kept the snow from blowing in). There were a lot of nights (and days) with below 0F. It got as low as -20 F. The hard part was going to bed and getting the bed warmed up. When I was 14 we got the ceiling lowered in the house and had 2 bedrooms upstairs. I moved there in Oct. I just about died from the heat. I had my window open all winter.
At least you had screens on the windows.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:08 PM   #11
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I notice they usually have skirting like a mobile home but it can't be that simple?
I'm not rude enough to stop and ask these people, most are pretty old units and that is all these people have to live in. I don't look down on them for that at all but I would be afraid my questioning would be taken the wrong way and I would find myself staring down the barrel of a 12 gauge!
I lived in an 8x20 old trailer in a park in Oregon for a winter. It wasn't bad at all. Skirting helps, especially if it is insulated on the back side. I've seen people use bales of hay around the perimeter of their camp trailers as a temporary measure but I wonder at the wisdom of that as a long tern measure since hay decomposes and creates heat and can catch fire.

Under a small skirted trailer a single 100 watt bulb can generate enough heat to prevent freezing. A 100 watt bulb can be placed under a car in severe winters to keep the oil fluid and help with hard starting problems.

I don't know where you live but I think most folks would be ok with your query... depending on how eloquent you are. Maybe approach them with "I was admiring your Vintage trailer, would you mind if I ask a few questions? Be sure to thank them for their time if they are helpful... and maybe bring them a dozen doughnuts by later as a gesture of thanks.

One more thing. If buying that window film stuff doesn't work for you, Get bubble wrap in clear, (or recycle Bubble wrap from your packages) clean the windows and spray them with a mist of water then press up the wrap on the window. The water acts as a mild adhesive. You won't be able to see out as well,... but it does let light in just fine.... and it stops condensation in it's tracks... insulates too. (I do this in my house in the winter, works great!) You can also build a passive solar heater to place in a sunny south facing window. Youtube has some great tutorials on that. I made one last year to put in my house's south facing window and it saved me at least $40 a month on heating. On freezing cold sunny days... I got temps as high as 160*F out of one that nearly filled a 60x60 window. But I have a small one that's actually for a solar dehydrator that gave me temps of 125*F And it's about 30"x18"x4"

If anyone wants to know more about passive solar heat... let me know.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=SylviaCub;1315918]I lived in an 8x20 old trailer in a park in Oregon for a winter. It wasn't bad at all. Skirting helps, especially if it is insulated on the back side. I've seen people use bales of hay around the perimeter of their camp trailers as a temporary measure but I wonder at the wisdom of that as a long tern measure since hay decomposes and creates heat and can catch fire. QUOTE]


I agree with your post except the part about wet hay catching fire by spontainous combustion. It is only green hay(not properly cured before baling) that will do that. But with dry hay, there is a fire risk from careless smokers etc. I have seen a lot of wet bales (such as top bales of an uncovered stack) never heard any that burned. This was when I farmed and hauled hay in Eastern Wa. I think they have better means of covering the stacks now.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #13
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I agree with your post except the part about wet hay catching fire by spontainous combustion. It is only green hay(not properly cured before baling) that will do that. But with dry hay, there is a fire risk from careless smokers etc. I have seen a lot of wet bales (such as top bales of an uncovered stack) never heard any that burned. This was when I farmed and hauled hay in Eastern Wa. I think they have better means of covering the stacks now.
Interesting. I lived in Oregon for many years before moving to Idaho and bought hay from the local guy who had been selling hay for years. He had sold us some hay that were "supposedly" dried before bailing and it did exhibit heat after a few months. So much so, I had the joyous experience of moving them all from the barn to the outside. Perhaps they were not as dry as he had thought... I don't know. I just know it wasn't fun moving hot hay. lol
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:35 PM   #14
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Interesting. I lived in Oregon for many years before moving to Idaho and bought hay from the local guy who had been selling hay for years. He had sold us some hay that were "supposedly" dried before bailing and it did exhibit heat after a few months. So much so, I had the joyous experience of moving them all from the barn to the outside. Perhaps they were not as dry as he had thought... I don't know. I just know it wasn't fun moving hot hay. lol
My guess is he didn't use a moisture tester. If it was oat hay or similar it is real tricky to judge without a tester. I stacked hay (with a machine) for about 15yrs in Eastern Wa. as a business as well as farming. A lot of farmers say that with oat hay, when you are absolutely sure it's ready to bale, you need to wait at least 3 days. (or use a tester).
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