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Old 10-28-2016, 11:15 AM   #1
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Unhappy To Winterize or Not-Winterize Before Heading South

We are considering our first snowbird trip to Arizona and live in an area in BC where it rarely goes below zero all winter long. Leaving likely in early December.

We can't decide whether we should winterize the trailer before we go down. We need to stay in the unit for the drive and it seems it would be a bit tricky to have no water the entire 5 days drive!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thx!
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:32 AM   #2
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If you do decide to winterize your water system, just carry jugs of bottled water for drinking, and a few jugs of plumbers antifreeze, for flushing the toilet, while your traveling.
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Old 10-28-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
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If you do decide to winterize your water system, just carry jugs of bottled water for drinking, and a few jugs of plumbers antifreeze, for flushing the toilet, while your traveling.
Thanks for the tip. So the umm, you know what, can stay in the holding tank with the plumbers antifreeze until you get to the final spot and hook up the black water drain? I guess one just keeps meals simple to avoid dishes that would require cleaning? Or eat out? (I'm sorry if these are stupid questions...)
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:46 PM   #4
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Check the weather forecast for your route. I go from Victoria BC to S. Call each February, down I-5, and have not seen freezing temps that caused problems.

If you have heat on, you are probably OK. At bedtime I shut off water to unit, drain hose and store if it is predicted to go below freezing. I have an incandescent trouble light in the wet bay, but never needed to use it. Which route are you taking? There are threads here in the forum on winter camping that have good tips.


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Old 10-28-2016, 10:25 PM   #5
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Check the weather forecast for your route. I go from Victoria BC to S. Call each February, down I-5, and have not seen freezing temps that caused problems.

If you have heat on, you are probably OK. At bedtime I shut off water to unit, drain hose and store if it is predicted to go below freezing. I have an incandescent trouble light in the wet bay, but never needed to use it. Which route are you taking? There are threads here in the forum on winter camping that have good tips.


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Thanks. I think we will be taking the I5 most of the way down going to Seven Feathers in Canyonville, then Corning, CA, then Rosedale (Orange Grove Casino RV park near Bakersfield), then on into Yuma, if we can get there in one day.
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip. So the umm, you know what, can stay in the holding tank with the plumbers antifreeze until you get to the final spot and hook up the black water drain? I guess one just keeps meals simple to avoid dishes that would require cleaning? Or eat out? (I'm sorry if these are stupid questions...)
Correct on all
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:51 AM   #7
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This is one of those posts where it would be helpful if the OP had their RV and location information in their signature.

Based upon the "an area in BC where it rarely goes below zero all winter long" I assume you are from Vancouver Island or the Vancouver lower mainland area so going down I-5 or the Oregon coast are viable routes. If you're from further east, where it freezes more often, then you would have to take other routes.

You're described routes don't get below freezing often in early December though we've had freezing temps some years when heading south in January. For us, freezing temps are not a big deal as your coach basement is heated, our holding tanks have heating pads and none of our water lines are exposed. We de-winterize as soon as we start our trip and all is good even with temps well below freezing. If you have exposed water lines (fresh or holding) then you have to compensate for those. The suggestions of carrying fresh water for drinking and some RV antifreeze for flushing are good. If you need to eat in the RV then paper plates and bowls help make that easier to manage. Once you reach Redding, CA you should be fine for weather even if it's colder further north.

There is also the option of taking the Oregon coast route, which is always warmer, but considerably longer and slower as we.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:48 AM   #8
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Thanks. I think we will be taking the I5 most of the way down going to Seven Feathers in Canyonville, then Corning, CA, then Rosedale (Orange Grove Casino RV park near Bakersfield), then on into Yuma, if we can get there in one day.
Corning to Bakersfield is doable in a long day but we split it up...Santa Nella is a popular mid point (check out Andersons Pea Soup)

Same thing for Bakersfield to Yuma...We like to arrive early afternoon not after dark. There are a couple of Casinos in Indio that allow overnight parking for RV's.

Keep in mind that towing on the I5 in California is limited to 55 MPH.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ron_H View Post
This is one of those posts where it would be helpful if the OP had their RV and location information in their signature.

Based upon the "an area in BC where it rarely goes below zero all winter long" I assume you are from Vancouver Island or the Vancouver lower mainland area so going down I-5 or the Oregon coast are viable routes. If you're from further east, where it freezes more often, then you would have to take other routes.

You're described routes don't get below freezing often in early December though we've had freezing temps some years when heading south in January. For us, freezing temps are not a big deal as your coach basement is heated, our holding tanks have heating pads and none of our water lines are exposed. We de-winterize as soon as we start our trip and all is good even with temps well below freezing. If you have exposed water lines (fresh or holding) then you have to compensate for those. The suggestions of carrying fresh water for drinking and some RV antifreeze for flushing are good. If you need to eat in the RV then paper plates and bowls help make that easier to manage. Once you reach Redding, CA you should be fine for weather even if it's colder further north.

There is also the option of taking the Oregon coast route, which is always warmer, but considerably longer and slower as we.
Thanks for your reply. We live in the Fraser Valley.

We will be heading out in early December. Interesting idea to dewinterize right before leaving. Our trailer is fully sealed on the bottom so the tanks and lines are all enclosed.
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:14 AM   #10
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Thanks. I think we will be taking the I5 most of the way down going to Seven Feathers in Canyonville, then Corning, CA, then Rosedale (Orange Grove Casino RV park near Bakersfield), then on into Yuma, if we can get there in one day.
We typically take a similar route. After taking the ferry to the Tsawassen, we make it to Centralia, WA for the first night, then Seven Feathers. Our next stop is Durango RV Park in Red Bluff (nice park and walking distance to shopping and Verizon store to set up our US cell phone). We stay there two nights. I stop worrying about freezing. Our next stop is Kit Fox RV Park in Patterson, CA. It is just off I-5. Small park, nothing fancy, but walking distance to several restaurants. Our next stop is Bakersfield RV for two nights (a short walk to Camping World), and then head to Indio (Outdoor Resort Indio) for a month. We prefer to break up the travel into shorter days, stop early, and relax. If the weather is looking like snow for the Oregon to Norther California area, we have the slower but much more scenic alternate route down the coast.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:07 AM   #11
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We typically take a similar route. After taking the ferry to the Tsawassen, we make it to Centralia, WA for the first night, then Seven Feathers. Our next stop is Durango RV Park in Red Bluff (nice park and walking distance to shopping and Verizon store to set up our US cell phone). We stay there two nights. I stop worrying about freezing. Our next stop is Kit Fox RV Park in Patterson, CA. It is just off I-5. Small park, nothing fancy, but walking distance to several restaurants. Our next stop is Bakersfield RV for two nights (a short walk to Camping World), and then head to Indio (Outdoor Resort Indio) for a month. We prefer to break up the travel into shorter days, stop early, and relax. If the weather is looking like snow for the Oregon to Norther California area, we have the slower but much more scenic alternate route down the coast.
Thanks! Do you reserve the parks for the route down or just wing it? With someone else suggesting a stop in Indio between Bakersfield and Yuma, I saw the Outdoor Resort in Indio had great ratings. A little pricey for one night, tho. I think it was $63 for one night. Having said that, if we are tired and cranky and ready to relax, it may very well be worth it! LOL
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:09 AM   #12
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Thanks for your reply. We live in the Fraser Valley.

We will be heading out in early December. Interesting idea to dewinterize right before leaving. Our trailer is fully sealed on the bottom so the tanks and lines are all enclosed.
Check the weather forecast ahead of time and as long as there are no bad weather fronts heading toward I-5 between the border and Cali, you should be good to go.

Don't try to do too many miles per day. If you are snowbirding, there is no big rush. We try to travel by the 2-30 travel philosophy. We try to park for the day after 230 miles or at about 2:30 in the afternoon, whichever comes first.

We only make reservations a day ahead for most places so we still have maximum flexibility. The exception to this might be Seven Feathers and possibly Orange Grove as they are popular locations for others heading south.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:08 AM   #13
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Thanks! Do you reserve the parks for the route down or just wing it? With someone else suggesting a stop in Indio between Bakersfield and Yuma, I saw the Outdoor Resort in Indio had great ratings. A little pricey for one night, tho. I think it was $63 for one night. Having said that, if we are tired and cranky and ready to relax, it may very well be worth it! LOL
We have sometimes reserved and sometimes not. This year we have reservations all the way down. The Kit Fox park is small and fills up. By the way, Outdoor Resort Indio is Class A only. There are many other parks in the general area. Happy travels.


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Old 10-30-2016, 09:42 AM   #14
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Thanks for your reply. We live in the Fraser Valley.

We will be heading out in early December. Interesting idea to dewinterize right before leaving. Our trailer is fully sealed on the bottom so the tanks and lines are all enclosed.
Unless you keep the trailer warm you might have issues. Motor homes stay warm while driving. If it gets real cold you might have to run you trailer furnace.
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