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Old 10-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
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Extreme Winterization

I was recently informed that I will be moving to Alaska and the wife and I have determined that we will be taking our beast and toad to make the trip up from Georga.

I am familiar with basic winterization of an RV, but is there any real difference between zero and -70 degree temperatures?

My rig is a 2000 Kountry Star and during basic maintenance I noticed what seems to be (unconfirmed) an engine block heater plug head, but what about the gennie? At -70 degree temperatures how will the gennie hold up?

Any input and comments will be greatly appreciated~!!!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:46 AM   #2
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Are you going to be using the coach in the Alaska winter? At -70 most engines are a bit sluggish wanting to start. In my opinion, even though you have a block heater, don't leave it on unless you are going to start the engine and drive off somewhere to see the beauty supplied in abundance in Alaska.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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I'd say you have a lot more grace with 0 as opposed to -70!

I'd be worrying about ALL your water lines, sewer drain lines and tanks!

At that temperature, nothing is safe!
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saw4980 View Post
I was recently informed that I will be moving to Alaska and the wife and I have determined that we will be taking our beast and toad to make the trip up from Georga.

I am familiar with basic winterization of an RV, but is there any real difference between zero and -70 degree temperatures?
As far as storing, not really. If you winterize with anti-freeze, you just want to make sure it's good down to those temps. Using compressed air may be a better idea though. You should check your electronics for temperature tolerance. I believe the LED/LCD TVs are only good down to -20.

Quote:
My rig is a 2000 Kountry Star and during basic maintenance I noticed what seems to be (unconfirmed) an engine block heater plug head, but what about the gennie? At -70 degree temperatures how will the gennie hold up?

Any input and comments will be greatly appreciated~!!!
You aren't really considering using it in Alaska in the winter are you? You probably do have a block heater for the engine. Assuming a diesel generator, it *may* have one, but doubtful. You would certainly need to switch to much thinner oil for the engines. *IF* you got the genny started in those temps, I would certainly keep any load off of it until it warmed up.

Living in Mich all my life, I have encountered -35 temps. I can tell you as crazy as I am, I wouldn't even consider camping out in those temps. Water lines running along walls would freeze up regardless of indoor temp. Batteries will lose half their capacity or more and a dead battery in those conditions is a death sentence. Your propane tank wouldn't last a day and at -70 with any wind, it's doubtful the furnace could keep it at 55 degrees.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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Having lived in Alaska a 'short 42 years' you will not be doing much 'camping' at -70! While there are places that do get that cold, there are a lot of places that are alittle warmer. While I have been camping at -50 (not in a motor home) it is not for the faint of heart or the unprepared.
About the coldest we have used our MH was +15 or there abouts. We have the generator running all of the time, the bay heater on kept the temp inside 65 or a little warmer. We did not have any issues but than we were only out of 9-10 days.
There are abunch of people that use their MH during the 'Arctic Man' event but they prep them well before hand.
Are you talking about staying in your MH in the winters in Alaska or just getting it up here? While there are some that have wintered over in their MH's it is not with out more then their fair share of issues. For us, when we put ours away for the winter it is just the normal prep, drain all tanks, put RV antifreeze in the water system, fill the propane and diesel tanks. We also ensure that we have extra cloths and dry food stored in there.
Good luck on your journey up here and be safe!
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:43 PM   #6
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Just a thought, Check where you are going to at and check the average monthly temps on line. Anchorage is much warmer in winter than Fairbanks or Barrow.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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thanks for the immediate replies... sorry I couldn't answer sooner... was camping and I left the computer at home...

to clear things up, we will be traveling cross country from GA to AK next year during the month of July. we do not plan on camping in the RV during the winter months... I was merely looking for winterization advice for the extreme cold weather...

what I get so far is to winterize the RV as normal, top off all of the LP and gasoline, charge and disconnect the battery and run the generator with a load for two hours per month... anything else?
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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thanks for the immediate replies... sorry I couldn't answer sooner... was camping and I left the computer at home...

to clear things up, we will be traveling cross country from GA to AK next year during the month of July. we do not plan on camping in the RV during the winter months... I was merely looking for winterization advice for the extreme cold weather...

what I get so far is to winterize the RV as normal, top off all of the LP and gasoline, charge and disconnect the battery and run the generator with a load for two hours per month... anything else?
I am sure that you will have enough time to find local RV'ers that will guide you through the winterizing. They will be the best to ask. Just be sure to treat your gas and have the tank full during the winter months.
What part of Alaska are you headed for?
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:11 PM   #9
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We will be heading to Fairbanks...
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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We plan to do some skiing in New Mexico in February. We only have a "3 Season" 5th wheel. One of the campgrounds we're considering has rules that say we need an "on-board heating system." Is that something different from our propane furnace? Or is it something special to keep pipes and tanks from freezing? We're still newbies and have owned our 5ver and towing vehicle since March.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saw4980 View Post
thanks for the immediate replies... sorry I couldn't answer sooner... was camping and I left the computer at home...

to clear things up, we will be traveling cross country from GA to AK next year during the month of July. we do not plan on camping in the RV during the winter months... I was merely looking for winterization advice for the extreme cold weather...

what I get so far is to winterize the RV as normal, top off all of the LP and gasoline, charge and disconnect the battery and run the generator with a load for two hours per month... anything else?
If the battery is not being charged at all, I wouldn't let it sit outside in temperatures like that. If it loses its charge, it will freeze up, and that will destroy the battery. I would take the battery out and put it somewhere that will be free of frost.

I wouldn't try starting the generator in really cold weather like that. It will probably harm the generator more than help it.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:37 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of your comments, but now I wish to ask another question about Good Sam Road Side Assistance.

If you get a blow out while on the road, how do they replace your tire? Do they bring one to sight and change it right there, placing the new tire on your old rim? What if I carry a spare tire, will they replace that one on the spot to my old rim?
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:03 AM   #13
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When you call, just give them all the info on your situation. If there is an option to get you going, tell them which one you want. They do whatever it takes to get you going. I haven't used mind yet, but that's what they told me.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:54 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of your comments, but now I wish to ask another question about Good Sam Road Side Assistance.

If you get a blow out while on the road, how do they replace your tire? Do they bring one to sight and change it right there, placing the new tire on your old rim? What if I carry a spare tire, will they replace that one on the spot to my old rim?
GS will pay for the removal and remounting of your tire, including your spare. They will not pay for a new tire or repair of an old tire.
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