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Old 12-23-2010, 07:05 AM   #1
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5th Wheel Travel in Cold Weather

We are new to the RV world.

We purchased our 5th wheel the end of August and were able to take 4 long weekend trips before winterizing the unit. With each trip we learned many things and know there is so much more that we will learn to make our trips easier.

We live in Minnesota and would like to make a trip to Orlando to watch our 2 granddaughters in college play in a 10-day softball tournament. The tournament begins March 4.

This is a 1500 mile trek. In good weather it would probably take 3-4 days as we prefer not to drive in the dark. However we are going to leave earlier in case we run into any winter storms.

As the 5th wheel is winterized, we are looking for any information that will help us on this journey. Should we even attempt such a long haul this time of year? We have a 30 foot X-lite Cougar which is being pulled by a Ĺ ton Chevy Silverado. We donít have much leeway as far as weight, so we havenít carried water with us while driving.

Our current thoughts are to overnight in a hotel(s) until we reach a state that will not go into freezing temperatures so we can de-winterize and feel comfortable.

We are looking for suggestions/recommendations on our first outing of 2011.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:46 AM   #2
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My opinion is go for it ! As long as you leave a few days early, if the weather gets bad just pull over and stop for the day.

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Old 12-23-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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hi my dw and i just travled from mass to tampa fl last week we sleep in our winterised cougar 5er parked at 2 diffren,t cracker barrel,s that worked ok for us our unit is still winterised as we have a block house here planning a trip next month so will de winterise it then. when we stoped we were parked we were bondocking and the 2 deepcycle batterys ran the heat and both a c,pap for the dw and a bi,pap for me lee
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:57 PM   #4
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First, . We're glad you're here.

My advice is to leave the coach winterized until you get far enough south & out of the freezing weather (if that's possible with the winter we're having this year!). Plan your trip,as best you can, to avoid bad driving conditions & allow extra days if the forecast is "iffy" along your route. Make sure your propane tank is full so you'll have plenty of heat when you need it. Take advantage by overnighting at Wal-Marts, Cracker Barrels, Rest Areas...etc. with access to restrooms to eliminate using your winterized RV facilities.

Safe travels & I hope your grandaughters's teams win their tournaments.

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Old 12-23-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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Hi fanparent,
Welcome to iRV2. I'm going to be a bit more liberal with my recommendation than those who have posted. First is to call the manufacturer and determine what their insulation ratings are for your coach and basement where the holding tanks and fresh water tank are located. If you have any concern about plumbing freezing with water in the pipes or tanks, consider putting a small saucer of water in the area of the holding tanks and near the fresh water tank. No more than 1/4" deep. If the water is not frozen, the tanks and pipes should be okay. For me, I'd put about 1/8 to 1/4 water in the fresh water tank. During the travel day the sloshing of the water should keep it nice and cold, but not frozen. At night you'll be in the coach with the heat on. The same goes for the holding tanks. I don't know about you but the middle of the night trips to the toilet are necessary. My brain may not be working well enough to pour a jug of water into the toilet so it can be flushed. If you remain concerned about freezing put some RV anti freeze into the holding tank(s).

The Orlando area is pretty full in March. Call now for reservations. If you'd like suggestions on where to stay, post here or PM me. If this is a Disney tournament, they might be holding some sites at Ft. Wilderness. If you've never stayed there, it is a nice place to stay once. I say once because it is really high priced. There is value for the money spent if you use Disney facilities. There are other very nice slightly less expensive CGs near Disney.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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5th Wheel Travel in Cold Weather

Thank you everyone for your input.

We were afraid we may be discouraged from travling in March.

Our trip is a "GO". We'll leave extra early to ensure we are in Orlando at the start of the tournament.

Coming home is no problem. We're both retired and don't need to get back to go to work.

Happy travels!
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:56 PM   #7
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While your 5er is winterized you might consider using windshield washer fluid (it is alcohol-based) for flushing the commode. The cheap stuff does not freeze until about 10*F, and isn't much costlier than a gallon jug of water if you catch it on sale. Lori offered good advice for traveling. If you plan to dry camp overnight, be sure your house batteries are in good condition. The furnace can deplete one battery before day-break.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:36 PM   #8
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  1. I suggest that you buy three gallons of the purple windshield wiper fluid ... it has a lower freezing point .. pour one into black tank before you leave, one into the gray tank, and save one for flushing the commode while underway
  2. Take along a couple of gallons of water per person in jugs for cooking, we store it in the shower stall
  3. Take along a case of bottled water ...
  4. Use paper plates
  5. Check the level of your LP tank daily
  6. Dump your holding tanks when you get a chance ... stow the hose ... try to stow a frozen hose is a not fun ... don't ask how I know this ...
  7. Check the pressure on your tires as you get to warmer weather ... the pressure will go up
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