Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Travel Trailer Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-10-2022, 10:02 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Evans, GA
Posts: 19
Using TT in winter, not storing.

I purchased a TT a few months ago and have been enjoying it thoroughly. I'm taking a travel nursing position in Roanoke VA that starts at the end of November and ideally would like to live in the TT for the duration of the 13 week assignment.

I'm not very family with the weather in Roanoke but I've researched average low temps by month and the numbers I'm seeing for that area appear to be low enough to cause me some potential problems.

I've never winterized for storage, let alone tried to live in a TT in freezing temps. That said I am very handy and more than capable of doing any required maintenance or preparation. Most of the information I've found online focuses on winterizing for storage, but I will be living in the TT. I'm wondering what I need to do to make this possible and not break/burst anything and cause major damage. Staying warm enough is not a concern- my gas heater is more than adequate and there's always electric blankets and down sleeping bags, I just want to know if I am getting in over my head trying to stay in the trailer during the coldest part of the year with possible stretches of freezing weather.

I know heated city water hoses are going to be necessary. From what I've read, antifreeze can be added to the gray/black tanks. What do I need to do to prevent freezing of the lines inside the TT? Running an electric or gas heater while I'm at the hospital for 12 hours isn't something I want to do, so what is required?

I appreciate any advice forum members can offer. If it helps direct advice, the TT is a Primetime (Forest River) Avenger LT 16FQ.
Jabberwock is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-10-2022, 10:41 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Bobby F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: MN
Posts: 2,466
If I were you, I'd drain and blow out my water input system, not hook up to city water at all, and put a 5-gal water jug inside, from which I'd take out water to drink and clean and flush as needed. Stovetop sponge baths. Output tanks will be fine to use.

But I've had to repair too many burst lines here in MN and so will go to great lengths to avoid them. YMMV.

(Note: I don't know your temp numbers. If you mean it might hit 28 a few nights in a row, what I'm recommending is overkill. I think our forecast high tomorrow is 32, just for comparison.)
__________________
------------------------------------

1993 Rockwood 28' Class C - Ford E-350 7.5L
Bobby F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2022, 11:17 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Salem, OR
Posts: 600
I have lived in an RV over the freezing winter. It can be done with proper preparations as long as you have shore power and extra propane. I looked at the setup your trailer has and see a couple issues for you to consider.

The pictures I saw only show one 5 gallon propane jug on the tongue. You will need a spare and automatic changeover valve. This will keep you from running out at night or when you are working. No propane, no heat and pipes break. You could check on renting a large propane tank. They would deliver it and keep full. You wouldn't have to buy anything.

The pictures also show exposed sewer lines below the trailer. I suspect the tanks may be exposed as well. Freezing hazards. You can hold heat under the trailer by skirting with plywood. Trailer looks like it would be easy to skirt. May need some heat underneath as well. Have an access to drain your tanks as needed. Do not hookup the sewer continuously, it will freeze.

You can have water hookup. They make heated water hose that plugs in at power post. You will need to know length needed at your campsite.

Just keep the furnace as low as you wish so it never freezes inside. keep inside doors open, under sink cabinets open.

If anything does freeze, do not use fire to warm anything. A blow dryer is safer. Best luck.
code2e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 07:29 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Posts: 3,771
Roanoke VA that starts at the end of November and ideally would like to live in the TT for the duration of the 13 week assignment.

I'm not very family with the weather in Roanoke but I've researched average low temps by month and the numbers I'm seeing for that area appear to be low enough to cause me some potential problems.


Definitely be more specific. Track weather forecasts daily. When water freezes it expands. If it expands while trapped in a plumbing space it will burst the space. What ever advice you get. What ever you choose to do, the laws of physics apply.

I'm wondering what I need to do to make this possible and not break/burst anything and cause major damage. ... I just want to know if I am getting in over my head trying to stay in the trailer during the coldest part of the year with possible stretches of freezing weather.

Many people live in travel trailers through much worse winters than Roanoke VA.

I know heated city water hoses are going to be necessary.

Not necessary, but it is an option. In this case you also need to keep the pedestal water, drain pipes, and drain valves under the TT lines thawed.

Fill fresh water tank and stow hose in warm place when overnight will be below freezing. Use built in 12 volt pump to pressurize system.

Different trailers are designed differently. Even the same models with different floor plans can behave differently. Any water lines, fittings, tanks, and valves underneath the trailer are at risk. This includes waste water drain pipes and valves.

Skirting and heaters done well can provide the necessary protection. Wrapping with heat tape designed for that purpose and stick on tank heaters are all possibilities. Space must be sealed against wind.

From what I've read, antifreeze can be added to the gray/black tanks.

RV antifreeze in waste tanks is not effective. Even a small amount of dilution defeats RV antifreeze. Automotive antifreeze is not recommended for RV waste tanks, pipes, and valves. Even if you do use it, diluting more than 50% will defeat it. Keep them warm or keep them dry.

What do I need to do to prevent freezing of the lines inside the TT? Running an electric or gas heater while I'm at the hospital for 12 hours isn't something I want to do, so what is required?

Some travel trailers have heat from a propane furnace duct-ed to the under belly to keep spaces above freezing. In this case the furnace must remain "on" when ever freezing weather is present. Portable electric heaters can keep you warm and toasty, but they will not keep the under belly above freezing.

Use electric in cold weather. Use propane heat in freezing weather.

Plumbing that is inside the TT, but in closed spaces may freeze. Open doors, drawers, or cut vents into these spaces to allow heat into them.

Thermometers are cheap. Get some and put them in vulnerable spaces. Monitor them in freezing weather so you can take action before damage occurs.

I appreciate any advice forum members can offer. If it helps direct advice, the TT is a Primetime (Forest River) Avenger LT 16FQ.

I do not have experience with that model TT. I do have experience with my Dutchman Kodiak Cub. It cost about $3000 and three years of both professional and DIY work to make mine winter proof in Wisconsin. The Cub was advertised as "All Season" with heated enclosed underbelly. One water line and the water pump froze in about 4 hours at 29 degrees F.

Water pump replacement = $200
Seal and insulate belly cover = $2000
Add heat duct to belly (factory installed heat duct was fake) = a few months of DIY part time effort.
Remote thermostat to monitor improvements = $20
A year of DIY work to keep drain pipes and valve above freezing.
Lots of miscellaneous materials.
Lots of experimenting.
Keep RV antifreeze handy to quickly winterize plumbing in an emergency.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Kodiak Cub 176RD
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
Persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 12:07 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 146
With minor precautions you should be OK. Having shore power will be critical, and an extra propane tank with auto switchover is a good idea. Buy a few small electric heaters, heat tape and an electric blanket. Keep cabinet doors open when it goes below 30 so the pipes get some heat. Check if the underbelly has any insulation or a belly pan. But honestly as long as it is over 30 you should be OK. You will be cold at night and plan to take showers at work. Campers are drafty and do not hold heat like a building. If it gets into the 20s for a few days things will freeze but I doubt that.
__________________
Evergreen Ascend 19 ERD
04 silverado 1500
hobie tandem island, electric recumbent trikes
MCCOHENS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 01:01 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
tuffr2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Coast Florida
Posts: 11,400
I agree with getting both an electric blanket plus a electric heating pad. Or at least get a 0 degree sleeping bag. Not a mummy bag but one you can use as a top blanket. I almost moved to Roanoke but did not. The weather there does not get bitter cold which is good.

Travel trailers (IMHO) are not really insulated very well. The best place I have found to buy propane is Tractor Supply.

People stay in campers in much colder temps then you will get in Roanoke. People stay in campers in Ohio. Maybe buy a bigger propane tank to save trips to buy propane.
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 01:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Marine359's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 1,231
Minnesota in winter is cold. Too cold for people or RVs. . But Virginia is not.
There will be a few cold days when ambients drop into the twenties at night. But most daytime ambients will be above or slightly below freezing.

If you’re staying at a CG with full hookups, you can either get a heated hose, or eschew hooking up city water, and opt for a 5-7 gal jug inside which is enough for daily use. Use the shower when it’s warm enough for city water hookup, or use the CG shower. It’s not difficult or expensive to have tank heaters installed. If your TT has exposed unheated underbelly tank heaters will be a must. I’d recommend them if you have hookups, then you have no worries.

You will, however, use a lot of propane to stay warm. Your TT is small enough that it will be much easier to heat than large trailers. Recommend you get a small ceramic heater, three speed fan, and heat selection 500/1000/1500w. We travel a lot in shoulder season, and when we have hookups, that little ceramic heater keeps us warm and the furnace hardly comes on. If your TT has 2x 20# propane tanks, buy another one. 3 tanks makes it easy to swap out to refill without worry of running out. Also know that when you cook, the trailer will heat up quickly, and you have to be mindful to vent gases, and just as important, vent moisture. Moisture build-up will cause mold.

If you’re going to be in the same spot for the entire 13 weeks, you may want to buy or fabricate a skirt. Before installing the skirt, hang a 60w incandescent light under the frame near the tanks. You can put a remote switch on it and plug the wire into your exterior ac outlet. The light bulb will be enough to prevent freezing if you have a skirt.
__________________
Jim. 2021 Canyon Denali 4x4 3.6L, Husky C-Line
2021b Micro Mini 2108DS, 170AH LiFePo4, Xantrex XC2000, 110w Solar Suitcase, Champion 2500w df
Marine359 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:15 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Evans, GA
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby F View Post
If I were you, I'd drain and blow out my water input system, not hook up to city water at all, and put a 5-gal water jug inside, from which I'd take out water to drink and clean and flush as needed. Stovetop sponge baths. Output tanks will be fine to use.

But I've had to repair too many burst lines here in MN and so will go to great lengths to avoid them. YMMV.

(Note: I don't know your temp numbers. If you mean it might hit 28 a few nights in a row, what I'm recommending is overkill. I think our forecast high tomorrow is 32, just for comparison.)
Yeah I do not anticipate it getting anywhere near as cold as MN! Thanks for the advice.
Jabberwock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:34 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Evans, GA
Posts: 19
Very helpful advice from everyone! Greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to help educate me on the issue.

I'm originally from CA and live in GA so I'm not used to especially cold winters. I know Roanoke is not very far north, but its further north than I have lived before and I want to know what to expect and what I can do to prevent and damage to lines, tanks, etc!

My holding tanks are completely exposed. Will the stick on tank heaters be enough sans insulation? I will probably set up a skirt as mentioned with a high watt bulb running at all times.

All the supply lines are PEX and are inside the trailer. I plan on buying a heated city water hose.

It sounds like I need to insulate the ABS up to the waste gate valve? What is the best way to do this?

I only have one propane tank now- great advice to pick up at least one more along with a changeover valve.

As far as heating when I'm not there, what is the safest option? Running the propane heater at a low setting or using an electric heater? Using an electric heater while I'm not there is something I would never do at home, and I always turn my propane off at the tank whenever I leave the trailer but that seems like a safer option. So wondering what the safest yet effective method would be.
Jabberwock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:40 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Bobby F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: MN
Posts: 2,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine359 View Post
Minnesota in winter is cold. Too cold for people or RVs.
Yeah, today's high turned out to be 28. Probably done with above-freezing temps until March. Arizona, here I come.
__________________
------------------------------------

1993 Rockwood 28' Class C - Ford E-350 7.5L
Bobby F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 04:44 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 401
I just looked at the historical weather for Roanoke during Nov-Jan and the overnight lows barely dip into the upper 20's on average. So as long as that norm holds you shouldn't have too much to worry about with the minimal precautions.

However we are still in a La Nina weather pattern so that means temps in your area may be cooler than average due to the reduction in winter moisture.

Run your furnace. Electric heaters or roughing in under a bunch of blankets does not keep your water lines from freezing. Usually the heat ducts are run in the same spaces as the water lines in an RV, which will help keep them from freezing. A space heater and blanket can't do that.

Open cabinets or remove drawers where water lines are present but keep others closed where there are no water lines.

Watch moisture/condensation and ventilate accordingly

If you have tank heaters, just leave them on as they are temp controlled. If you don't have them consider adding them to the tanks and the outlet pipes up to the drain valves

If you are going to keep water in your FWT, keep it as full as possible as the more mass of water you have the longer it takes to cool and freeze.

If you don't use a heated water hose, just use the regular hose to fill the FWT and then disconnect and drain the regular hose and use your FWT

If you are going to be parked at the same spot all 13 weeks, consider some sort of skirting if the campground will allow it.

More propane. Consider upgrading to dual 30lb tanks with auto changeover valve if you don't have one. That will get you a 2-4 days of continuous furnace running (its about 18 hours of continuous use per 30lb with a typical 35k BTU furnace). The other option would be renting a larger tank, but I suspect you only need to worry about the overnights and using an electric heater during the day will be fine as the highs will be well above freezing.
__________________
2021 Flagstaff 21DS behind a 2015 Silverado 2500HD
Renogy bits: 3000W Inverter/Charger, 400Ah LiFePo4, 40A DC-to-DC. Rich Solar bits: 400W of panels, 40A MPPT. Misc bits: LevelMatePro+, SolidRemote based wireless controlled LED storage lighting
TravelSolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 05:29 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
BayRunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 105
I would also suggest an online RV monitoring system. So if your working a long or overnight shift, the system could alert you if the power drops or the temperature inside drops below a certain level. The Waggle system is good for this and does not cost much.

A boat monitoring system actually saved a boat of mine once. Had anti freeze heaters in it and one night when the temp outside was 10 digress, the main pedestal breaker flipped and all the heaters went out. Was alerted immediately and was able to resolve it before damage was done.
__________________
--------------------------------
2022 Newmar Ventana 4369
2017 Toyota Tundra Custom Overlander (for the serious primitive off grid)
BayRunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 05:52 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 401
and remember, running an electric space heater can trick your thermostat into not running your main furnace, so be sure to set the various temps accordingly so the furnace does most of the heating overnight if it will be below freezing for more than a couple hours.
__________________
2021 Flagstaff 21DS behind a 2015 Silverado 2500HD
Renogy bits: 3000W Inverter/Charger, 400Ah LiFePo4, 40A DC-to-DC. Rich Solar bits: 400W of panels, 40A MPPT. Misc bits: LevelMatePro+, SolidRemote based wireless controlled LED storage lighting
TravelSolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2022, 06:25 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Meshoppen, PA
Posts: 1,595
I couldnt find details on that TT in reference to the plumbing and belly design..

But that RV is not a winter style, plain windows etc.. smaller heater,one tank,,

It can be done,, check routing of plumbing,, anything fot in a compartment needs to be dealt with,,
city water ,, urg,, better to store water inside.. .. Dump tanks hopefull are inside above floor..

You can open or add a heat source for these storage places...

You can insulate windows a few ways...

I have spent a few 25-30 degree nites with days above freezing many times without too much issues other than propane heat and maybe electric here and there..
My old 1977 wilderness we used all year for a while. I added 220V electric heaters ( 5 , 24 - 36") .. It worked awesome never used propane.. BUT we limited water,, ,, Propane kept ot warm..
Grey water I set to just drain out with a heat tape/insulated pipe,, worked fine even under snow.. We DID not us potty in deep cold, used a porta pot, that I would empty.. PIA but worked,, I did many nature walks as we had a 15 acre spot/

good luck
sibe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
winter



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Storing MH for winter in high alltitude Nxkharra Class A Motorhome Discussions 1 08-07-2014 09:55 AM
using hydraulic stands while storing fishnfool66 Monaco Owner's Forum 3 06-07-2013 02:33 PM
"Winter Storing" Prep cathjasp Class A Motorhome Discussions 1 11-20-2012 05:10 PM
Storing Class A outdoors for Michigan Winter gmccausland Newmar Owner's Forum 31 11-28-2010 03:53 PM
Storing the trailer for the winter marcv Travel Trailer Discussion 5 09-09-2010 06:53 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.