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Old 11-07-2018, 01:54 PM   #1
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Texans picking up a new rig in Indiana in winter

Subject line sounds like the setup of a joke, but....

We've ordered a Palomino Columbus, should be picking it up in northern Indiana (like, you can see Michigan from here) about the end of the month. I knew it would be freezing at night up there at that time of year, we've camped in freezing temps before for 3-4 days so not too worried about it.

Then I found out that all the campgrounds in the area are closed November to March because, well, it's winter. There is a Walmart in the area that allows overnight parking, but I'd like at least electrical hookups, not worried so much about water or sewer.

We will of course be checking weather and precipitation, not going to try to drive on ice. If that looks likely, we'll delay the trip.

Any comments, ideas, thoughts on OTHER stuff I haven't thought of?
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:58 PM   #2
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There are campgrounds in the state that are open all winter. Prophetstown State Park near Lafayette comes to mind. I've never camped in the winter that far north. One of my patient's familys loves to camp in their TT through the fall/winter/spring, so I know there are places in the state to do so. My only comment about picking up a rig in winter is to be sure to wash the underside off really well once you get to warmer climates. I have a friend from Louisiana who bought his rig in winter and had it transported down. He complains to this day about all the rust from the salt on the roads even though the dealership that received it washed it.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:46 PM   #3
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Be sure to keep an eye on the weather. In Northern Indiana lake effect snow is always a possibility in winter. Iíve seen it where you are driving in sunshine one minute, then all of a sudden you are in white out conditions. I would suggest checking the radar on a weather app.
We traveled to Northern Indiana to get our 5er as well. It was a much shorter drive for us - only 4 hours. Just out of curiosity, are you headed to Wana RV in Shipshewana?
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:51 PM   #4
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Avoid Salt!!

If the roads have already been salted up there - good chance - wait until ALL the roads on your return route are dry ALL the way out of the salt belt.

If you pull that rig through wet salted roads, your asking for some premature -maybe quick - rusting. Salt water will get all over your new rig, and into areas that it will be impossible to remove it from. Dry salted roads will give you a powder coat instead which is better to clean off, but still not ideal.

Truly, your best option and I know this is extreme, but if they have salted the roads already, wait till spring (or a warm up that will cause rain that will wash off the salt) to pick it up. If thats not possible or practical, wait for a day when your path out of the salt belt is COMPLETELY DRY.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #5
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Keep your furnace stocked with propane and on all the time. 50 while driving. And of course comfortable while using the rig.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:02 PM   #6
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You didn't say just where in northern IN you were headed, but if it's in the Elkhart area, Potato Creek SP just south of South Bend off US-31 is open year around. I built a mock reservation on ReservAmerica for the end of November for a 30a electric site to accommodate a 40 trailer, and it gave me (8) available sites in the Family Campground loop. Site fee was $23/day.

Obviously, there will be not water available at that time, but it's a place to hole up, y'all! Good advice on the weather watch. I live in Holland, MI a couple hours to the north and we do get lake affect snow. It usually doesn't extend too far inland, and you can navigate around it most of the time.

We are preparing to pull out on Sunday, and will be driving south right past Potato Creek on our way down to invade your neck o' the woods! Should be hanging around the Austin/SA area for the Christmas holiday.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:18 PM   #7
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Wow! Talk about a bunch of worry warts.

First off the likelihood of snow in Nov is not high.

Is it possible to stay overnight at the place you are buying?? Most have hookups and that way you can check things out before leaving.

And when you head south it is not that far to where you will find parks open.

Finally, salt while not being something you want on your rig it won't be in it if at all for very long.

So pick it up, check it out and give it a bath shortly. Here's hoping all goes well.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:40 PM   #8
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I going to Elkhard in the middle of the month I hope that the weather will don't be to tough.I hope for 1-2 in of snow they don't use salt on the road.What the locals think?
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:20 AM   #9
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Depends on how warm it is before it snows, but for 1-2 inches if it starts when below freezing (snow sticks right away) they will probably dump salt. If it starts above freezing, it will depend on traffic conditions. I don't know exactly how Indiana is, but in Illinois, they like to keep a nice 1-inch layer of salt from November through April
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite77 View Post
Be sure to keep an eye on the weather.

....

Just out of curiosity, are you headed to Wana RV in Shipshewana?
Some of my friends kind of see me as a weather junkie -- have a weather station on my house, all sorts of sensors and clients, and the weather is the last thing I look at before I go to sleep and first thing I check in the morning. Ride motorcycles, too, and being surprised is not fun. So ----- year.

And, yes. Know of them?
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:34 AM   #11
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Check out the goshen fairgrounds. They have full hookups with 50 amps.
I have wintered there previously.



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Old 11-08-2018, 12:52 PM   #12
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Thanks for the several notes on salt. No, something I have no interest in having the bottom coated with. I'll pay proper attention.

Do they salt for snow and ice, or just ice?
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Check out the goshen fairgrounds. They have full hookups with 50 amps.
I have wintered there previously.
That looks VERY nice! Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds. Added to the list.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:08 PM   #14
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Salt for ice but melting snow on a warm road turns to ice. A lot of places salt preemptively for that reason.

The other issue is warmish days and freezing nights with precipitation. If they salt for the school buses and rush hour traffic and it does not stay below freezing they probably will not salt again during daylight. By 10 o'clock or so the roads will be clear of salt if they are clear of water.
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