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Old 02-23-2015, 06:36 AM   #1
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Camping In The Cold - How Does Your Coach Do?

Hi Fellow Newmar Owners,
It is that time of year, it seems no matter where one is, it is cold. If you spend time in your Newmar coach during cold weather, can you share the experience?

I have spent several brief periods (less than a week at a time) at Camp Newmar, during the winter months. The coach systems have operated as advertised. The entire coach has stayed warm. There is no moisture on the windows or walls. Heat is provided by 2 small electric heaters and the coach's propane fueled furnace. The only problem I've had is the entry/exit steps do not always deploy when the door is open. After they do deploy, for some mysterious reason they will retract, during the night. The night time temps were in the single digits.

How about everyone else?
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:46 AM   #2
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Our coach is our "fallback" position when we loose power due to ice storms. Last time was about a month ago for 4 days with freezing rain and ice with no power. Temps were moderate that time....low 20's, wind chill in the teens. Looks like we may be there again today....Freezing rain and sleet, low 20's wind chill barely above 0 and dropping. We live way out in the sticks with a small electric co-op that goes down if a heavy bird lands on the lines Luckily the coach is in the barn right outside our back gate....back it out, slides out, level, fire up the generator and kick back. We do have the arctic pack insulation, wet bay heat pads and the Oasis keeps things nice and toasty. I don't winterize since the coach is plugged in to 50 amps in the barn with the Oasis set on 50 to keep everything from freezing. Only thing I don't like is driving it in the winter mess! Glad I took it to the local Flying J, yesterday, to dump the tanks and fill up water and fuel.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:23 AM   #3
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I have spent this winter in a 2014 dutchstar and have been very happy with all the systems with temperatures in the low 20's. No air leaks. A small ceramic heater is all we use at night and coach will stay 63 or 64 then in the morning turn on the furnace if below 40 OAT, if above one heat pump will do the job. The fireplace will really add some heat is another option that works great. The bays have stayed above 45 degrees with radiant heat as well as the oasis heater which we really like. You should not have a problem unless you are in Boston. If the temperture was going to get say 10 degrees for a week I think the coach would be OK but filling with water or dumping tanks would be the limiting factor. meaning hoses would be frozen or brittle. Good luck
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:34 AM   #4
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lee, You could also run most of your house (not 220 volt well hot water etc, unless your genset can do 220volt) from your genset in the MH, with the proper electrical connections. since you have a 50amp line to the barn. An electrician could give you a safe, up to code set up. Pull it out hook it up.
I have done so a nmber of times. Mine is winterized and sits outside.
Good to know the heat can be maintained, and I realize that was the issue addressed.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:57 AM   #5
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GaryKD, glad you asked this question. Will be watching this post to see how everyone stays warm. We will be spending two weeks at HWH (Iowa), and Camp Newmar, in middle of March. Hopefully the temps will increase more closely to normal, from what they have been lately. Oasis will get a performance test.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:21 AM   #6
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We've had ours below zero and below 30 for extended amounts of time. Inside is always 72, if we're plugged in to Oasis burner and both electric elements are on.

When on the road, just the burner does fine. When boondocking I always run the genny over night. There are no surprises or unexpected electrical "things" to worry about. Ex: running the batteries to low to start the genny.

We had a Fleetwood Providence before this Dutch Star. To keep everything safe at those temps I had to insulate the basement, mounted a cube heater in the basement and put a heat lamp in the wet bay. Plus I had to run the genny all the time. I've never had to turn on the tank heaters, but I do keep a remote thermometer in to there, has yet to drop below 45.

In the Dutch Star, I turn the thermostat on. That's it, I love it.

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Old 02-23-2015, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillboy View Post
lee, You could also run most of your house (not 220 volt well hot water etc, unless your genset can do 220volt) from your genset in the MH, with the proper electrical connections. since you have a 50amp line to the barn. An electrician could give you a safe, up to code set up. Pull it out hook it up.
I have done so a nmber of times. Mine is winterized and sits outside.
Good to know the heat can be maintained, and I realize that was the issue addressed.
It's a great idea, unfortunately it won't work in our case. Our place has 400 amp electric service....yes, 400 amp. Our home is all electric (no gas available where we live, right in the middle of the Permian Basin gas fields...go figure) Home is 4400 sq ft. Barn is 3000 sq ft. Three heat pump/AC units, two water wells and it goes on and on..... I would need a LOT more than the "little" 8.5kW geneset in the coach. It's easier to just move out to the coach for a few days....besides, it's almost like being on vacation
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:29 PM   #8
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There must be more Newmar Owners who use their coach in cold weather. I'd really like to hear your story.
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:50 PM   #9
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We've camped in Winter extensively in our Canyon Star, almost always at campsites or ski areas with no utilities. I've modified our coach quite a bit so we have a big inverter, lots of battery power and can use our water no matter what the temperature is. Some details of what we've done are here.

Just last week we camped at a ski area parking lot in northern New Hampshire in a blizzard with lows in the -10F range and 33MPH winds. The coach performed very well, we were able to have the slides out even with the high winds without too much worry about the slide toppers, the gas furnace alone kept us very comfortable, and my mods to the compartments kept the water usable as well.

We have an auto gen start which starts automatically when we reach about 20% charge (400AH of LiFeO4 batteries), and the genny started once per day around 4PM when we returned from skiing.

One issue we had was the fridge stopped working during the blizzard. I found a thread on iRV2 that said to tape up all but the bottom slot on the fridge vent, that didn't solve the problem but the drive home on bumpy New Hampshire roads did!

Another memorable, but less dramatic campout in cold temps was when we camped at Osceola Vista in the White Mountains a few years ago during Thanksgiving. We were the only people there, and had about 40 miles of trails to hike on. Temps were much more moderate with lows at +17F and highs in the 40's.

We've winter camped at ski resorts, state parks, USFS and COE campgrounds in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

We don't winterize the coach, I keep an eye on the temps while it is at home with several wireless thermometers and a couple of apps including heyu and emoncms.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:57 PM   #10
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We have spent a week and some weekends in temps down to the single digits. We run the Oasis with both electric elements on at night and only turn on the burner in the morning to warm up the coach and water for showers. The Mountain Aire does great I unhook the water and sewer at night and drain the gray tank after showers. The water bay has not had any problems with freezing the heater in the water bay works fine. When we get the urge to go the cold temps don`t worry us we just go and worry about the roads.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:00 PM   #11
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Gary...I haven't got a story. But it saved our skin last December 2013 ice storm. Parked in the barn, mental clothes dryer vents run out for hydro-hot and gennie, life is good. Ya, should have been south, stuff happens. in cold weather, she's in the barn. I try not to get salt on her. Under belly is very thin.
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Old 02-23-2015, 07:12 PM   #12
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Before we left Texas, we experienced temps down into the low 20's and were able to stay quite warm running the floor heat only. I feel comfortable going quite a bit below that ambient, since the Oasis would then keep us warm along with floor heat. But I really don't worry, since we headed to Florida to spend the rest of the winter....and the floor heat even works well here! 😜. But I gotta admit I'm a little chilly tonight....the DW has the A/C set a bit to low for my tastes.

Now what was the question?
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:43 PM   #13
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Camping In The Cold - How Does Your Coach Do?

We fulltime. We like to have four real seasons, so we tend to winter in places a little atypical. Seattle, Kentucky last winter until Christmas, this year Boston until about Thanksgiving , then Raleigh. We do try to avoid arctic conditions. Thus, we've seen a lot of nights in the 20s, a fair number of single digits, and a few snow or sleet/ice storms. The Dutch has taken it all in stride. We find it to be very well insulated.

We use the heat pumps down to the mid 30s, the propane furnace below that, both systems augmented by a couple of small electric units. But we DO allow the propane to run enough to feed the belly heat. We also use an electrically heated water hose that has been great for three winters.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:45 PM   #14
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I thank all who took the time to post. I appreciate the information.
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