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Old 10-16-2010, 09:50 AM   #1
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Cold Weather Traveling

40ft Diesel Pusher with the usual... two zone heat pumps, propane furnace, electric/propane water heater etc.

Now that the weather man is bringing up frost warnings I guess it is time to start worrying about preventing what could go wrong.

We want to travel and for now probably heading to warmer climbs but will eventually have to head back north.

I obviously don't want to fully winterize quite yet but worry about bad things, like pipes freezing.... and probably things I haven't even considered yet.

What kind of advice can I pickup about cold weather traveling?

Thanks,
Norm
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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Norm
I am planing to leave Iowa for Florida after Thanksgiving. The weather here can be well below freezing by then and i have the same dilemma as you. I do not want antifreeze in the lines as I travel so have decided to blow them out with air. I went to Home depot and purchased a hose connection and a couple of brass fittings that will allow me to hook up my air compressor to the water fill cap on the side of the coach. After draining the tank of water, I expect to turn the air pressure way down and start to open up faucets one at a time and blow them out. Flush the stool as well. That way when we get to a location where freezing no longer is a threat we can simply fill with water and resume normal living. I will pour a couple of gallons of RV antifreeze into the waste tanks as well. I will reverse the process should the need arise when returning North.
If anyone has a criticism about my plans, please jump in.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:00 AM   #3
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Here is a thread that will help with cold weather traveling.
More info in Quick Tips.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:33 AM   #4
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As long as we are living in the coach and/or traveling, we don't worry about winterizing ...have been in temps to 5 below zero for over a week. We have a wireless thermometer with transmitters in places we want to monitor. And I do carry a couple of automotive "trouble lights" that I can put in the water service bay and the water pump compartment if their temps get too low for comfort. If the temps are below freezing when parked or driving, we run the LP furnace which provides some heat to the basement areas.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:21 PM   #5
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The first major hint I think is stow your hoses ... both the fresh water and the drain hoses ... in other words fill your fresh water tank and put the hose away ... dump and put the hose away ....

The second hint is to put trouble lights in the bays where your water pump and drain valves are located when you expect the temps to be in the low teens or lower. I put 60 watt incandescent bulbs in them ... make sure you know where you can plug them in ... have an extra bulb

In case you are parked where there is water, ice or snow in your site make sure that you put something under your jacks before you deploy them ... my jack pads froze to the ground and I had to crawl under the coach to jar them loose with my hammer ...

I generally use windshield washer fluid to fill the traps (it is cheaper than the pink stuff and doesn't leave so much residue behind and doesn't freeze till 20 below) ... we use it to "flush" the toilet when we are winterized

Use paper plates to minimize cleanup with water. Buy several gallons of drinking water and stow it in your shower (use it for cooking, brushing your teeth, and drinking)

When you are travelling in cold weather you will experience a significant heat loss from the front of your coach ... so much so that when the temps are in the teens or below you most likely will need to wear jackets (and maybe gloves) to be comfortable ... the rear of your coach will probably remain reasonably comfortable but the front will be downright chilly especially if it is windy and cloudy.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
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I have the same issue, while waiting to leave Colorado for the gulf coast. We won't leave until mid to late November. The weather can get pretty dicey by then. I haven't winterized for the last four or five years. All I do is run the furnace on low, set the thermostat to about 50 degrees and it keeps things from freezing. Since all the plumbing is in the basement which is heated by the furnace this works real good for me. I do have to turn on the water heater as it's not in a heated compartment. I bought a 100 lb cylinder propane tank and use it while the moho is stored next to the house. This way I don't have to take the motorhome out to get the main tank refilled. This tank usually last's until we are ready to leave so I only have to fill it at the beginning of each fall season.

While actually traveling this isn't an issue because we can keep the furnace on while driving, but usually we get out of the coldest weather before it's a problem.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skigramp View Post
... my jack pads froze to the ground and I had to crawl under the coach to jar them loose with my hammer...
Carry a hammer with you!
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #8
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There is a large community of cold weather RVers on the forum I am sure you will get a lot of good info. We use our rig all winter at the local ski resort (25+ weekends). We have spent a number of weekends with temps in the low single digits. Most class A rigs have the coach heat piped into the basement area. Like others mentioned we monitor the temps in the key compartments. On a few weekends I added a 100W light or a small heater on low to make sure we didn't freeze. if you are looking at temps in 20's or 30's just keep the coach heat on an you will not have any issues. I over 10 years of RVing I have never winterized and had no issues, just keep the heat on and enjoy your rig.
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