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Old 10-09-2016, 07:11 AM   #1
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Winter Heating

I'm heading to Tennessee with my Redwood 39Fl for the winter…first time there and I understand it can get quite cold a few days out of the winter. Being new to the lifestyle Im trying to determine the best way to preserve heat in the fifth wheel. Ive seen a number of videos by owners using reflectix on the windows during cold weather and warm for that matter. I have a portable electric heater that works well for the living room and kitchen. But I understand that the only way to keep the pipes heated is by running the propane furnace which should force warm air thru the floor and the rest of the heating system. Any help here would be greatly appreciated. This will be my first winter in the Redwood and I want to do it right. I do have a separate heating system for all three tanks so thats just a matter of flipping a switch on a panel.

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Old 10-09-2016, 08:33 AM   #2
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We spent a few winters in TN living in our motor home. Be very careful with sealing everything up very tight. We did so, sealed the windows with plastic and seed a big buddy for heat inside with a window cracked. Huge mistake. You must control humidity and not make it too tight. Believe me i learned this the hard way.

Depending what part of TN i would wrap the pipes as best you can, we did use heat tape on the outside hose, wait until a nice day and dump. I suspect a few electric space heaters and your propane heater should be enough. Take advantage of sunny days by opening all blinds. Use your heat pump if you have one as much as you can to help control humidity. Good luck.

2014 Itasca Sunova 33C
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:46 AM   #3
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We have a plug in heated hose that we fill the tank from for overnight and disconnect the sewer hose when below freezing. We too have furnace heat to the water bay, but I felt more comfortable putting a small electric heater into it too on cold nights. Others use a light bulb.
Shell Bleiweiss
2014 1/2 Thor Challenger 37KT
Sedona, AZ
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:01 AM   #4
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I live in East TN not far from Pigeon Forge. The weather fluctuates from mild to cold with some chance of snow. With preparation you can full time in a 5th wheel without too much problem.

In March of 2011 I accepted a new job up in Northern Michigan and decided to take our motorhome to live in until we could find a decent place to rent. When I arrived in Ironwood there was still snow on the ground and the temps were dipping in the low teens, we got 2' of snow in April. Since I was going to be traveling quite a bit I didn't want to rely just on my propane furnace. This issue was compounded by the fact that I did not have full hookups and only 20 amp outlets to plug into. I monitored power consumption often to confirmed consumption.

Here is what I did to try and survive.

I ran one extension cord into the basement for power and hooked up my house power to the other.

I did not leave my water or sewer connected. I took advantage of the campground shower to limit water consumption in the coach.

I got a remote temp monitor for my basement so I could monitor the temps.

I ran a small cube heater in the basement, I used a thermostatic plug to control the on/off
Shop EasyHeat Roof Heat Cable Controller at Lowes.com
These can also be used on water line heat strips.

I sealed up any openings in my basement to prevent air infiltration.

I stuffed a pillow in my fantastic vent opening and sealed the Coolmatic fan as best I could.

I have dual pane windows which do a pretty good job and limiting cold infiltration. My front windshield was a huge problem. I did have some large sun screens that fit the front window, I put some blankets across the front, then the sun screens, and then closed the curtains. It did help with cold infiltration, the reflextix would probably be a good option where you can use them.

I slept under heavy blankest since the cube heater running in the LR wasn't large enough to heat the entire coach, the bedroom would be in the low 30's sometimes in the AM. Most days the temps in the coach were in the 50's, if it got too cold I'd run the furnace to take the chill off. I grew up in Northern Wisconsin so these conditions were familiar to me.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Theres a lot more to keeping this rig comfortable than I ever imagined. Learning something new about the lifestyle every day it seems.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:52 AM   #6
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Location: Olympia, Wa
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If I were spending the winter in a cold climate I would consider an add on electric heater to the exiting RV furnace.


2004 Clss C 31' Winnebgo
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heat, heating, winter

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