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Old 10-14-2020, 09:05 AM   #1
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Entegra Owners Club
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Winter outdoors

This is going to be the coach's first winter in a place that gets winter. I was wondering what advice fellow northerners might have for me. Of course I know to winterize, but what else could or should I do for a MH that's going to spend the entire winter outside, uncovered, on a gravel pad?
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schad View Post
This is going to be the coach's first winter in a place that gets winter. I was wondering what advice fellow northerners might have for me. Of course I know to winterize, but what else could or should I do for a MH that's going to spend the entire winter outside, uncovered, on a gravel pad?


Put a vapor barrier (plywood or thick plastic ) between your tires and the gravel. Moisture will build up inside so if you have vent covers crack your roof vents to allow some air movement or use a moisture absorbing product inside. If you have critter problems make sure to block as many exterior openings as possible. Mouse traps baited with peanut butter in the basement in the event some get in. Some people use dryer sheets in drawers or other areas. Fresh Cab is another scented product that many use. Exercise the generator once a month with a 50% load on it. Donít start your engine unless you can drive it to operating temperature.
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerfan1 View Post
Put a vapor barrier (plywood or thick plastic ) between your tires and the gravel. Moisture will build up inside so if you have vent covers crack your roof vents to allow some air movement or use a moisture absorbing product inside. If you have critter problems make sure to block as many exterior openings as possible. Mouse traps baited with peanut butter in the basement in the event some get in. Some people use dryer sheets in drawers or other areas. Fresh Cab is another scented product that many use. Exercise the generator once a month with a 50% load on it. Donít start your engine unless you can drive it to operating temperature.
Are you able to plug it in to keep the house and chassis batteries charged? If not you can plan on running the gen for two hours every two weeks to keep the batteries reasonably charged. I have found the house batteries can go three weeks if every thing is off but I have fairly new Lifeline AGMs for the house. With the original batteries you can only go two weeks. Especially as the winter progresses as you cannot top the batteries off with only a two hour run. If they do go dead they can freeze and split the cases and cause a real mess...

When you park it turn all the breakers off to minimize parasitic losses. I also turn the inverters off. Turn off the chassis battery breaker in the right ear panel. This does not completely disconnect them but it does minimize parasitic loss.

you might want to put a battery charger on the chassis batteries with an extension cord so you can charge them while you run the gen. The house batteries will not come up enough with a two hour run every two weeks to get enough charge to the chassis batteries thru the BIRD. You can power the battery charger off the receptacle in the engine compartment. Be sure you turn on the main and inverter breakers when you run the gen.

Remember to turn the 12 house switch when the gen runs.

Obviously turn breakers and 12v switch off after charging.

I put mouse traps in the engine compartment and in each of the basement storage areas. Put mouse traps every where inside the coach... I have found the mice in our storage lot can lick the peanut butter off he trap trip lever without it trapping them. I also put glue traps strategically through the whole coach as they are pretty fail proof from my experience. They will smell the peanut butter so the downside to traps is attracting them unwittingly hence the glue traps for the clever ones who can lick the trip lever clean of peanut butter without getting caught.

I buy several boxes of moth balls and throw them on the ground under the coach to establish a bit of a perimeter. I hate the way they smell so I don't recommend putting them inside the coach just rip open the bags they come in and scatter them under the coach. Reapply each time you run the gen to charge.

Make sure you have antifreeze in the windshield wiper bottle and run the wipers and pump the fresh fluid thru the windshield washer lines. If you have put water in the washer bottle.

I do put two bags of moth balls in the engine compartment as hat area is isolated enough from the coach so the smell doesn't filter into the coach.

Forget the dryer sheets or the Irish spring soap old wive's tales. I had mice in the engine compartment making a nest out of dryer sheets and they gnaw on the irish spring soap bars.

If you park it the entire winter when spring comes watch the awning and slide topper covers for bird nests. The winged friends get a start in the spring pretty early sometimes (before you realize it) and they love the owning and topper covers at the end where there is a gap to start nest building.

I hate constantly having to visit the coach in the winter but unless you can plug in it is a necessity.

Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:57 AM   #4
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I bought a 100' extension cord and I've got it running to an outlet in the garage. So we have enough power to keep the fridge running and the batteries charged. Our standard practice is to leave the inverter disabled and the 12V salesman switch off. I'll make sure the fridge is emptied and the ice cubes dumped out.

I'm glad you mentioned the chassis batteries. We always assumed that the alternator would charge the house and that shore power would charge the chassis, but never knew for sure. I'd never heard of "the BIRD" -- I apologize if that's now stuck in anyone's head; I'm suffering with you, if so -- but Google had.

Critters worry me. We have never seen any in the MH, but there were mice in the house when we moved here in the spring. And there are at least a half-dozen chipmunk holes in the ground not five feet from the MH's door. So they are there for sure. They just haven't found the MH yet. We have a pest control service for ticks, but because rodents are a major transmission vector for ticks, they also put out traps. I may have them put a few around the RV.

I need to get to roughly 30A (technically 33.3A) to hit 50% load on my generator. Would it be enough to boil water on the induction cooktop and in the microwave at the same time? I can bring out a space heater but I'd rather not; it feels dangerous to run a space heater with the slides in since it's such close quarters, even if I'm there to monitor.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:05 PM   #5
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Since you can plug in things are much easier. Leave the inverters on (and the inverter breakers.) That will keep the house batteries topped off.

Instead of the battery charger I mentioned get a 12 volt battery tender. Leave the basement breaker on and plug the tender in the receptacle for the block heater and run the tender wires to the chassis batteries. A battery tender will keep the chassis batteries charged without any risk of overcharging them like a battery charger might if left on constantly.
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