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Old 10-22-2007, 03:21 PM   #1
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We are planning a trip south this winter and I would like to know if I will have any problems while in route with freezing temps. The waste tanks and fresh water tank on our 01 DS seem to be enclosed but still not sure, hoping to get a few good tips on cold weather travel.I see some venting in compartments will this keep us from freezing up?
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Old 10-23-2007, 04:42 AM   #2
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Have made trips in Febuary after the coach was winterized months before. I would add water in fresh water tank and have furnace going as its done. You may have the winter option for that period coach and on your water connection wall there will be a switch to put on. When your furnace cycles off and on a 12v fan will operate on same cycle and force hot air thru out your holding tank areas. Look in compartment area and you will see foil tube 4" that will have fan in it from furnace.
The only thing I wouldn't use is the ice maker in refer if you have one. I would disconnect the line off the water valve behind fridge and allow water to drop out of line when you lift the wire switch. you can blow out line and valve of water.
Your holding tanks are about 50 gal each so will not have to dump until you arrive in warmer weather.
Make sure all water and hose access holes are closed do not need cold air coming up into compartments. We have been in Maine 1* in Dec and have never had a freezeup.
With the heater running you should have a trouble free trip.
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Old 11-23-2007, 04:46 AM   #3
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Well, this thread is a little cold (pun intentional) but I thought I'd add a comment in case anyone else is out there wondering about cold-weather camping. This may be old information to most of you, but I suspect that there are newbies like us out there who wonder about cold-weather camping.

We recently purchased our '03 KSDP 3905 and decided we wanted to spend a few days in it before winterizing. We're currently sitting at the FamCamp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs not far from our home. We've been here about 10 days and plan to winterize next Monday. I was nervous about using the coach in cold weather but my fears have turned out to be unwarranted.

We arrived to 50 daytime and 30 nighttime temps. No problem. I unhooked the water at night just in case it got colder than expected, but nothing else. Then, a couple of days ago, the cold hit. We've had daytime highs in the low 20's and night lows in the low teens. In preparation, I decided I needed to understand the basement heating system so I traced the duct coming from the furnace in the basement into the wet bay/holding tank compartment. I then discovered that the return air path is through the vent under the shower. So, with the furnace running and the basement heat switch on, we get a loop of warm air from the furnace to the water closet and then back under the shower into the coach.

I liked what I was seeing but to be better informed about what was going on, I bought an indoor/outdoor thermometer and put the wireless remote in what I considered the coldest place in the wet bay. We've kept the thermostat set on 63 during the day and 60 at night, which gives us actual temps of 66 and 62, respectively, in the coach. The nice thing is, the lowest temp I've seen in the water closet is 37 degrees, and that was with an outside air temp of about 12. So, I figure that as long as the furnace runs, we can probably survive fine down to zero or even less. If the furnace dies, I scurry around and winterize--fast!

I should also mention that we're using a lot less LP than I expected. I topped off before arriving and we're sitting at about 65-70% right now. I figure we'd be easily okay for another week. So, if cold weather camping is on your mind, go for it.

I'll close with a "Thanks!" to everyone on this forum. I've lurked here for about a year while we searched for our motorhome, picking up a ton of good information that convinced us to buy a Newmar. Now, I'll be a more regular contributor--we're in the process of selling out and going fulltime early next spring.

See you on the road.
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:09 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

As you noted, there is SO much good information to be had, and good times (and bad ) to share. We look forward to hearing more of your adventures.

Mark
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:49 AM   #5
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Thanks Viper Good first hand info!!! From what I can see my '05 KS is set up the same, We are headed to Florida in March and the first day and a half will or could likely be in freezing temps. I was also somewhat concerned about freezing. We likely won't have to stop more than one night before we get into 'Milder' temps to de-witerize!!

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Old 11-23-2007, 07:22 AM   #6
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A couple of things we learned from many years of weekends spent in the parking lots at ski areas in our 89 Safari is at night when real cold temps are expected, pump off, bleed pressure off of lines by leaving a faucet open. This will allow water a place for H2O to expand if line does decide to freeze and lower freeze point. Also most H2O lines run along outside walls at floor level, so crack open cabinet doors under vanities and washer cabinets at night before you retire, this will allow air to circulate into cabinets and piping runs, especially for fixtures that are at the end of the line. Only had 1 freeze up problem in all the years that we skied, (every week-end from Dec to Mar), that was under the shower. But this was before they started putting the air crates that allow air to circulate under our shower floors to prevent this from happening.

Moving cold air is less likely to cause freezing than the same stagnant cold air!

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Old 11-23-2007, 07:55 AM   #7
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Thanks for the first hand knowlege of winter camping ViperDriver its one of the best write ups I have read.
I will add this to the Quick Tips thread for any doubters we may still have.
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:34 PM   #8
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Just returned from 2 weeks in southwest montana where we were elk hunting.Based camp at my friends ranch where temps ranged from 30-40daytime temps to 10-20 nite time. no problems. when we ordered our 04 DSDP i ordered heat strips on all tanks plus the heat vent and fan in the water compartment and we had no problems. I have been there when temps never got above 20 day or nite. i believe the secret is to be prepared and then just go and have a good time. my motorhome is made to be used 12 months a year not just in fair weather.i intend to use it just that way. God bless...Don
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:08 PM   #9
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A quick update to my earlier post. After a long, dark, snowy day-after-Thanksgiving with a high in the low teens, it hit a low of 4 degrees early this morning. With that, the wet bay temp finally dropped to freezing. No problem--I have a small electric heater that fits in the bay. I turned it on low and watched the temp quickly rise into the 40's.

The lesson learned is that after a lengthy cold period in the low teens and single digits, the wet bay will finally drop to freezing temps so you need to be prepared to provide some supplemental heat. I hope my experiences are of value to someone out there.
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Old 11-24-2007, 03:14 PM   #10
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To those that posted, . Cold weather RVing is an area where I have no experience or skill. We recently left Branson, MO and it got down to 39F the last night we were there. That was too cold for this South Florida fellow. Y'all can have my share of cold weather RVing. These are good posts with some good thought going into authoring them.
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:13 AM   #11
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Hey Gary I wish I had your location!! But the "W" thing 'work' is still getting in the way, LOL So our first day to day and a half travel south is going to be cool or cold depending on what Mother Nature sends us!!
That's just part of the "Adventure" when you live in the 'Great White North'

Rick
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:34 AM   #12
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Hi Latitude, I have no problem sympathizing with you!Both work & the "great white north" should not be things we have to deal with for six plus mths a year!!!!!! As for winter camping, we've had so much trouble with hydro-hot & basement heat not working (it is now) that I will never ever trust it. Colleen.
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:04 AM   #13
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Colleen, Your HH problems, were they leaks or electronic?

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Old 11-25-2007, 04:16 PM   #14
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Hi Peter, Our innitial problem started with the computor & dealer tech was able to get zone one working, so he then decided to rewire to fans in zone four with no success.His next bright idea was to disassemble the HH & "fix" it!! This was over a period of several months. Finally HH techs came from Colarado to repair it & found it leaking diesel & internal parts coated in soot, so they replaced the unit.Sorry I'm not up on all the technical terms! Colleen
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