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Old 11-28-2021, 09:31 AM   #1
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Going into the Cold

Heading to Wisconsin for late Dec. It expect it to be very cold. I need help from my Alpine community. What are some of the most important things that I would need to do in order to come back to Texas in 1 piece and without any RV drama?

Ernie O.
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Old 11-28-2021, 09:46 AM   #2
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Rent a hotel room. Just kidding.

I use mine on day trips until the salt hits the road then she gets put away. With that said, you are probably going to be somewhere other than a campground at that time of year. Make sure the power is good, 50amp would be great to run the heat pumps on non freezing days. Make sure you have a place nearby to fill the propane because when it drops below 50 you won’t be using heat pumps. The propane will go fast, especially with a 30gallon tank.

You could get some rigid foam insulation and line behind the cabinets and drawers if you want to go full Monty. Even that foil covered stuff people use in their windshields to block sun will work behind cabinets and drawers.

You need to keep your basement above freezing to protect the tanks. I use bilge heaters I had left over from my boat. In short they are safe for confined spaces and won’t ignite any fuel vapors.

Have a plan if you get snowed in and need to leave. You don’t have 4wd so be careful. Carry a snow shovel and plenty of ice melt in case you need to unstuck yourself.
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Old 11-28-2021, 09:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernieo View Post
Heading to Wisconsin for late Dec. It expect it to be very cold. I need help from my Alpine community. What are some of the most important things that I would need to do in order to come back to Texas in 1 piece and without any RV drama?

Ernie O.
I lived in MN until last November. I would never drive my previous coaches, nor would I drive my existing one during the winter up there. The salt, sand and chemicals that are put on the roadway are very hard on vehicles, roadways and bridges. You would be better off not taking the coach up there unless you have to, or already have done it and are ok with the rust and corrosion that will occur. Another thing is bad roads during snowstorms or ice storms that time of year. If you do not have experience driving in them, and decide to go, drive slow. It is your coach so you have to decide....
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:01 AM   #4
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Besides making sure all of your heating sources (propane/electric) are working good, I would empty my water tanks, hot water tank, and drain the water lines, as well as put some RV antifreeze in all the drains. You must determine the risk of freezing, as well as if they freeze, then what am I going to do? Once pipes are cracked/etc, it is quite an adventure to get them thawed and fixed again. As long as your black/gray holding tanks are not full, they can freeze, and not be destroyed. Just stay warm..
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:15 AM   #5
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Seriously, I would stay in Texas until it was warmer up north. If you have to be up north, rent an extended stay studio. If you have never been in such cold for an extended period of time, it is one heck of a learning experience.

As noted, you will burn through lots of propane and should have an external propane tank attached. I would not plan to stay hooked to fresh water, but only operate from your freshwater tank if you have a heated tank and basement area. Same goes for the waste tanks. Use the water fill hose and waste hoses only for filling and emptying the tanks; otherwise keep them in a heated basement. Many parks shut off the water system in the winter.

You may wind up having to put light bulbs or small heaters in the basement. It would probably be wise to skirt the bottom of the RV to keep the breeze from under the RV. Additionally, condensation will need to be considered, especially without dual pane windows. The large windshield will be a big source of heat loss.

Driving up and back out in winter conditions will possibly not be a pleasant experience. Roas conditions plus salt will not be much fun for an RV.


Ken
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Old 11-28-2021, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernieo View Post
Heading to Wisconsin for late Dec. It expect it to be very cold.
I donít believe southern states use Ďwinterizedí fuel, so if youíre leaving a warm area for cold, you may have to treat the fuel with an anti gel agent before you get far enough north where the fuel is already treated (or cut) for winter, in case you find yourself in freezing conditions before you fill up again. Something like Power Service anti gel, which says itís Cummins approved on the label, and which I added to my summer fuel not long ago since weíll be leaving in January (even though itís a M-B diesel ).

https://powerservice.com/psp_product...-cetane-boost/
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Old 11-28-2021, 04:57 PM   #7
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I live in the salt lands of New England. Between the brine and salt, that crap isnít really off the roads until May/June. It takes a few road cleanings and rain storms to get it off. Anyone who drives in New England or the Midwest during March-June will expose their coach to salt. Maybe not the degree like a snow storm, but itís there. I baby my rig, but she has some rust from life. I start using her in May typically and can still see the white in the roads from the salt. Sure I am not caking salt laced snow balls up in the wheel wells, but after the first few trips my coach is coated in that white salt haze. Itís life up here.

I am planning on making a February run to Disney in 2022 for the kids. I am expecting snow on the ground and salt everywhere. Once I get to Florida I will give her a good douche then proceed to FT Wilderness. I didnít buy a time capsule, I bought a depreciating assets that is supposed to provide fun for the family. If I have to drive it in snow to have that fun then so be it. My only concern about winter use is getting back up my driveway.

My advice is be prepared, go slow, and enjoy the trip.
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:42 PM   #8
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Do you have any experience driving on: snow covered, slushy wet snow, ice covered or 'black ice' (can look like dry pavement but actually a thin layer of ice, no traction. Even here the accident rate skyrockets during the first snow storm of the season, and we are used to it.
Good information in all the other posts, but also important to watch the weather forecasts in the areas that you will be driving in. You may have to wait it out for a while before continuing. Hopefully your schedule has extra days built in.

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Old 11-28-2021, 10:01 PM   #9
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If it snows, park it until the roads are clean and dry. If you're not an experienced ice/snow driver of big vehicles, you'll be amazed at how scary it can get.

I've been driving in Minnesota for 50 years, and I park my 30' C when it snows.
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Old 11-29-2021, 06:54 AM   #10
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Well, I think we have decided to fly instead. All of your responses are well appreciated. Frankly, without the experience on snow covered roads and limited time for this trip, I don't want to put my Lovely through any scenarios that might cause her or I more stress.

Flying won't be as exciting, maybe I'll surprise her with 1st class.

Have a wonderful Holidays my RV family!
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:23 AM   #11
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Just a side note - December up here in Wisconsin is not 'very cold'. It's just the first taste of what's to come in Jan/Feb when temps can drop to -20F or less.

Agree on the anti-gel in your fuel. A few years ago we bought a step van from down south and had it shipped. It arrived in mid-January and wouldn't run at all. Had to bring it inside for a couple of days to thaw out the fuel system.

Things freeze very quickly up here when temps get down around zero and stay there. The days are short and not much warmth from the sun. Be sure that all your wet bays are properly heated and that the heat reaches all the plumbing bits.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:09 PM   #12
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January Camping in Michigan - Minus 20 at night

We stayed in Michigan through mid-January in 2017 due to a new grand child. We lived in the coach during our stay experiencing 10" of snow and a couple of nights down to 20 below. I drove the coach on to a plastic tarp and wrapped it around bales of hay that I packed close to the coach all the way around. I left a small opening for the Aqua Hot exhaust that we ran on diesel at night. We ran an additional ceramic heater in the coach and one in the basement. I put a string of Christmas lights in septic area. We put throw pillows in all the vent openings inside and taped foil insulation into all the window openings.
Nothing froze and we stayed reasonably warm. If I had it to do over again (which I hope I never will) I'd leave the big slide closed.
If you have a propane heater I'd follow the suggestions already posted regarding propane. With the Aqua Hot I had already parked with a full tank, so not a problem.
Good luck!!
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Old 12-07-2021, 10:58 PM   #13
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We stayed in our 36í for two winters in Indy. We did not skirt it and left the single slide out. We did however have a 100 gallon propane tank delivered.
We operate only off the coach water so never had a hose freeze. Drained blk and gray tanks as suggested above.
Got down to -16 for a few days at the coldest. Those nights added a very small 200 watt space heater in the wet bay. Coach stayed warm. We did keep remotes in the basement to monitor temps.
The Alpine is a pretty good 4 season coach. Not as good as our bus, but definitely doable!
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Old 12-07-2021, 11:28 PM   #14
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This is what I used on my last MH Once a week I refill the low 20# or 35# as needed with the CRV , I did not have to move or fill the coach tank all winter.


MB Sturgis Sturgi-Stay T-Fitting for POL Valve - 2 Model 250 Quick Disconnect Ports

Connects in-line between your tank valve and your pressure regulator
Use the auxiliary cylinder as your propane supply to power your appliances


T-fitting makes camping easier by letting you use an auxiliary propane cylinder to power appliances so that you won't deplete your RV's tank. Quick-disconnect ports allow for tool-free hookup of quick-disconnect hoses
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