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Old 10-13-2020, 09:21 PM   #1
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Cold Weather Advice - 2nd time

Heading to Dakotas this weekend and temps will be from teens to 40 looks like. We have a 2020 Ventana and am quite concerned about the freezing possibilities. So far I have us booked into campgrounds with 50 amp but may be away from coach for a couple days at a time. I have been reading about using small space heaters in the water bays and in the coach as well as just using the fresh water tanks. Questions are:

Is the water bay heated sufficiently to keep fresh water tank and pipes from freezing?

Is black/gray water tank heated as well to keep from freezing?


I have had great advice from previous post (thanks Bushy) but anything else I might need to know would be much appreciated. Thanks
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:50 PM   #2
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Don't know much about your build but this is what most cold weather MH's have.
1. Heated tanks, fresh, gray and black. You should have some sort of switch that turns this on. Our's is right near the water tanks level gage.
2. Your black and gray tank area may have extra insulation and a heating duct from your coaches heating system. Our's has hydronic heat and one of the radiators are in this bay.
3. All of your plumbing is in the heated space. No exposed plumbing under the coach. Our fresh water tanks are under the bed and all plumbing is run above the floor. Be cautious of plumbing with insulation under the coach.
4. Dual pane windows.
If this describes your coach you should have no problems but if not you will need a back up plan. On our old coach we had tank heater pads but I still put a small ceramic heater in the wet bay as a back up. I also had exposed plumbing under the coach with foam insulation wrap. I never trusted this so I added a resistance tape for really cold <32 degrees weather. We didn't camp often in these temps, the additions just added some piece of mind. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-14-2020, 06:44 AM   #3
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Living in Minnesota I have done extensive cold weather camping. I have been down below zero many times over the years with my coach. However, the one thing I would say is, I would not recommend leaving your coach for any length of time over several hours in below freezing temperatures. The colder it is the less time I would spend away from the coach.
Last winter while my coach was in my driveway loading it for the trip south to Florida the Oasis system went out at some point during the night. Luckily, for me it must not have been out long but, my water was extremely cold and I can’t imagine it would have taken much longer to start freezing pipes as it was close to zero. I have also had random power outages at campgrounds.
While these coaches are well insulated and have great equipment to ward off the cold, things can go wrong and you need backup plans to avoid expensive repairs.
I have had to dump my water and tanks so I could winterize on the spot as it got down to -30F and the system just couldn’t keep up. The water came out in ice crystals as I was blowing it out and I had to keep a heat gun near my low point drain until the water was completely drained.
I love winter camping and while rare, things can go wrong. Be prepared to fix the problem.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:30 AM   #4
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This video covers cargo bay heat plus a backup heater (small) that will fit in the wet bay. Start watching at the 4 minute mark.
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastern1 View Post
Heading to Dakotas this weekend and temps will be from teens to 40 looks like. We have a 2020 Ventana and am quite concerned about the freezing possibilities. So far I have us booked into campgrounds with 50 amp but may be away from coach for a couple days at a time. I have been reading about using small space heaters in the water bays and in the coach as well as just using the fresh water tanks. Questions are:

Is the water bay heated sufficiently to keep fresh water tank and pipes from freezing?

Is black/gray water tank heated as well to keep from freezing?


I have had great advice from previous post (thanks Bushy) but anything else I might need to know would be much appreciated. Thanks
Couple of notes that might just be better understood - Heat only requires a 15-20 amp plug to run - Both HH and Propane will function when just hooked to a Good Extension cord, so 50 Amps is only needed if you are planning on using supplemental Electric for heat, which many of us who winter do - Propane will run out quickly in the Cold - so always keep your tank as full as possible, if hooked to 50 amp use the electric to heat the coach - remembering it is the furnace that heats the Basement.

Your Generator is your friend - Auto start feature is included with many - check to see if yours is.

Remote temperature gauges will help keep your mind at ease, My advice is to set them to say 36-38 to send you an alarm to give you time to get everything reset/heated. Generally it will take a long period of sustained Freezing temperatures to actually Freeze the water - a 40 degree day and the Sunshine will generally give you a large mass of heat to the Coach and while it will feel cold it will not usually freeze as the body mass is generally above freezing.

Do not leave water and sewer hooked up - work out of the tank with the onboard pump - takes less to heat the warmer water from your tank and prevents a possible line freeze and no water.

Last is to get a roll of Reflex Bubble insulation for the front windshield - most heat is lost there - https://www.amazon.com/MWS-Reflectiv...2680592&sr=8-4 - this single item will save you a lot of heat loss every night - if you are smart you will try to face the south to Maximize the suns energy in the Morning to heat the coach through that same windshield. As for your freezing Grey and Black tanks - they are usually in the same space as your Water so that entire thermal mass will usually stay at the same temperature - meaning if one freezes they will all freeze - - so the often used light bulb will work to keep them from freezing - I have used a 250 watt work light and even at lows of 15 it will stay close to 40 degrees - https://www.amazon.com/Woods-L878-Co...681074&sr=8-11

Enjoy your trip - freezing cold temperature will usually need to be sustained for well over 24 hours before anything freezes in the Coach - as everything is much warmer than you may think and it takes a lot of cold to actually freeze things.

Best of Luck,

edit - much of my experience was from spending a few winters in Golden Colorado - where one year we sustained -15 for every night for 10 nights in a row - there were only two coaches that did not freeze in the RV park - - so as they say - Been There - Done That.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:33 PM   #6
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Eastern1, just for reference:

I own a 2019VTDP 4369. I live at the foot of the black hills. I will be pulling my coach out of storage Friday and it will be in my driveway until Wednesday when we take a trip to Colorado. The coach will be plugged into 15amp power. It is not winterized, which is why we are moving to driveway before the cold hits.

I done this several times before and have never had a problem. If you have the oasis burner on with AGS to turn on if you lose power, the system will be good as long as you have diesel fuel. If you give the camp ground your phone number then they can call you to return to your coach if power will be off for any time.

Enjoy your time in free state, South Dakota.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:39 PM   #7
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Also, BTW if temps are consistently below 20 degrees (as daily highs) for a couple days, you can put holding tank antifreeze in if your concerned. Don’t expect those temps during your trip.

At -17 degrees with highs of -5, our tanks never got close to freezing. YMMV.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:02 PM   #8
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Also, BTW if temps are consistently below 20 degrees (as daily highs) for a couple days, you can put holding tank antifreeze in if your concerned. Don’t expect those temps during your trip.

At -17 degrees with highs of -5, our tanks never got close to freezing. YMMV.
Thanks very much. Looks like lows of 20 and highs in 30's between Taylor ND and Gregory SD our final destination.Being new to this and going into cold weather I am trying to get myself educated as best I can BEFORE I mess up. Lot's of great advice from everyone and much appreciated!
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:55 PM   #9
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Well, my comment on lies, damn lies, and weather forecasts again rings true. We have now went from cool temps to a week long series of snow squalls. Our “light rain” today resulted in about an inch of snow on the ground tonight. Probably ice on everything by morning.

So, safe trip to you. But don’t plan your travel day more than 24 hours out and always assume travel days are half what you plan on.

Our coach is back in storage, just missing the snow (and winterized).

Our coaches are great parked in cold weather. Driving on ice, not so much.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:08 PM   #10
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I love 6,600' up to mid-Oct, dry camping in the Tetons before the CG closes. At 16 degrees overnight, the fresh water tank heater keeps it at 40 degrees, the furnace at 55 degrees cycles on about 6 minutes and off 15 minutes, while heating the wet bay & tanks up to 86 degrees when on. It feels sinfully delightful when it is still above 100 degrees in So. Calif. My Bay Star's 880AH Lifeline battery bank and MS2812 inverter handles the power, top off the propane after Labor Day. The solar panels limit gen run time to less than 1.5 hrs to return to 90% SOC. Newmar coaches can keep you comfortable in the Fall & Winter.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:16 AM   #11
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Just a follow up for those traveling in the black hills this week. Long range forecast had us in the 50s and dry today.

Reality: -5 and 10 inches of snow on my deck. Right off the I90 in Black Hawk.

Now would I be worried if I was out in my Newmar today; no. Just would honker down until the roads cleared.

Bottom line. When you travel here always bank a travel day or two just in case. And enjoy our beautiful state, it is actually pretty seeing the snow on the black hills spruce.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:19 AM   #12
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Here’s the pic

Click image for larger version

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Old 10-26-2020, 11:36 AM   #13
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Here’s the pic

Attachment 306003
Yep stuck in Columbia MO with freezing rain and snow. Not going to try to make it through KC today. Have the coach plugged in and the Oasis on. Hopefully can get out of here tomorrow.
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