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Old 06-20-2018, 08:27 AM   #1
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Can the Cold-natured Stay Warm in a MH?

We are moving closer to going full-time in Washington state and will buy our 38-40' motorhome (used Newmar or Tiffin most likely) and my DW is concerned about the potential for her being cold in the winter throughout our new home on wheels, this coming winter.

Here's our usage case and I'd like to hear that it's doable for the cold-natured and how.

We aren't going to be bedding down in place for months, and will be moving from windy coastal campground to windy coastal campground every 14 days or so within a 60 mile radius of work for the last two years before retirement. So no skirting around the base of the motorhome.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:09 AM   #2
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I think you have nothing to worry about if your systems are functioning. We have been in temps well below freezing and have always been toasty inside. Make sure you furnace is working and get a space heater or two just in case.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake21 View Post
I think you have nothing to worry about if your systems are functioning. We have been in temps well below freezing and have always been toasty inside. Make sure you furnace is working and get a space heater or two just in case.
I agree with this.

Regarding the space heater, I prefer an oil-filled heater. We got ours at lowes. It is a deLonghi that is thermostat controlled. It has a remote control as well as controls on the unit. I set it for the desired temperature and let it do its thing. The model I have also has a timer built-in.

I prefer the oil-filled heater to the heaters that have bright coils showing. They can get things too hot in front of them. I consider them a potential fire hazard if not used carefully. Both types are electric, so you will need to be hooked up to an electric source (e.g., campground pedestal), run the generator, or run it off the house batteries.

Good luck on finding your new-to-you coach.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:31 AM   #4
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I would get the heated tile floors option ! Newmar and Entegra — possibly others have this feature
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:33 AM   #5
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I would get the heated tile floors option ! Newmar and Entegra — possibly others have this feature
I didn't even know heated floors was an option in RVs now. Wow. That's awesome.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:06 AM   #6
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Portable electric fireplace.....
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:32 AM   #7
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With an AquaHot or Oasis boiler system for coach/shower water heating combined with dual pane windows should be a "non issue" for staying warm/cool. (as long as you have a Quality built coach.)

Another aspect is slide outs.. the fewer you have, the easier it becomes to heat & cool a coach.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:36 AM   #8
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If heated floors are not an option 5’x7’ area rugs and a runner for the hallway, my DW hates the cold. Just to give you an idea, in the summer she keeps the pool so warm you have to get out to cool off.
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:52 AM   #9
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You should be OK here on the Washington coast in the winter as far as the cold goes. It rarely gets below freezing and if it does, it is for a short time. Flooding is a real concern at some campgrounds during a winter storm. Grayland SP is an example where several sites are flooded out during winter and early spring. Wind is also a concern as 60-80 MPH winds are not unheard of on the coast. Even with all that, the coast is an amazing place to be in the winter time.

If you are thinking of staying not on the Pacific coast but inland off the Straits of Juan de Fuca or off Puget Sound, It can and often will get a lot colder than on the ocean. A week or two of temps in the 20's is not unusual. High damaging winds in winter are not unheard of in Bellingham or the San Juans nor are much colder temps.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:53 PM   #10
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Canyonlands.... yes, it’s doable. You’re looking at Newmar or Tiffin. As long as you stay with a high quality coach the quality of construction and wall insulation will serve you well.
We have been fulltiming for six years, have never skirted the coach, and have experienced real winter weather at times (temps 10-15*F). We spent two winters volunteering at a State Park on Puget Sound in Port Hadlock, and never had a problem.

We find our DutchStar to be very well insulated and quite easy to keep both warm and cool, even in rather windy conditions. [when you start talking about hurricane force winds all bets are off. I exempt myself from that debate.]. This is not to say that you won’t use some energy, but it is not a major battle to stay comfortable. We have a couple of small 1KW/1.5KW ceramic heaters to supplement if necessary.
One point to keep in mind: your roof heat pumps will work quite well, but they lose efficiency below about 40 degrees, so be prepared to use the propane furnace. Also, because the heat pumps are roof mounted the output air tends to stratify quite easily up high. This is not a problem with the furnace, which in most cases is floor ducted. And finally, the propane furnace is the only coach system that sends warmed air to the water bay. If you anticipate temps lower than 28-29 or so for several hours, you must get some heat into your water bay. It doesn’t need to be 60*, just keep it above freezing.

All in all you shouldn’t have any problems. My DW takes a few meds that leave her with a temp tolerance about 3 degrees wide but we manage nicely. I’m sure you’ll be fine.
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:37 PM   #11
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Like has been said, if you don't buy at the lower end of the scale you should be fine. We take our Discovery motorhome out every winter to go snow skiing and she has kept us warm down to -5 degrees outside temperatures. We use a Vornado floor space heater since it is soooooo quiet, distributes the heat well and it shuts down it falls over.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:35 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone!

Some great insight for us and validation of the quality DP for use in winter, here in the PNW. We can deal with a small space heater.
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:52 AM   #13
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We use a Mr. Heater and had a propane line run into the coach. It really throws off a lot of heat. We also bought the electric fan wire so we can run the fan or not for better heat control.


Also buy an electric blanket and mattress pad..............Pure luxury.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:09 PM   #14
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I spent a winter in Tacoma a few years ago, and always felt cold because it was damp and dreary. It can be 30 degrees colder but yet feel warmer in Denver because it's dry and sunny.

I have an Alfa DP, which is well insulated and has double-pane windows, but the windows are huge and radiate cold. Units without such big windows may be better in that respect, especially in the PNW because you won't be getting any sunshine anyway. (If the sun is shining on those windows in the winter, it can really bake this box.)

I hate the propane furnace because it pumps super-hot air out, but as soon as it turns off, the living space immediately starts cooling off, until the furnace comes on again and pumps more super-hot air out. It's entirely possible to keep this thing warm even in -15 degrees (I've done it), but to me, there's a difference between warm and being comfortable, and it has a lot to do with draftiness. Your wife might be the same.

In the temperatures you'll be facing, I would use a couple of electric space heaters instead of the furnace, plus one on LOW in the basement to keep the water lines and pump from freezing if it gets that cold (since I wouldn't be using the furnace to heat the basement). Since you're moving every two weeks, you won't have to pay for electricity, and the space heaters can run constantly, or almost constantly, maybe even on low when it's not that cold outside, which will provide more even heat than a really hot furnace cycling on and off.

If using more than one space heater, you'll have to manage which circuits they're on (there will be a limit on how many amps the inverter circuit can handle, for example), but it's easily doable if you know which plug is on what circuit.

I think heated floors would be really nice (I had them once in a ski-town apartment, and they were AMAZING), but my knowledge about them in RVs is limited. I do know that the sound and exhaust from a diesel Aqua Hot or whatever is annoying--I had a neighbor at Lake Pleasant RV Park north of Seattle, where the spaces are really close together, whose Aqua Hot or whatever exhaust was pointed right at my door. It was loud and it smelled.

And I know a guy who has it who has said he is always mindful of how close neighbors are before he'll use his, so I think it's just the nature of the product.
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