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Old 01-23-2014, 09:03 PM   #1
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Puzzled about winter camping

I'm a lifelong Southern California boy and don't have a clue about winter camping. We're headed to the Arizona desert in Feb which will be 50-70's but want to take a detour for 4 nights to the Utah high desert where we expect the weather to dip into the high 20's at night. Will this be ok? Anything I should do in advance of or when we're there?

Greatly appreciate any help.

Greg
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:27 PM   #2
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What will be the daytime temps? I don't think you need worry about a few hours of a few degrees below freezing at night, especially since I presume you'll be keeping the trailer comfortable for yourself.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:28 PM   #3
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Hi Greg,
Prolonged high 20's may be an issue with a fully charged water and drain system. I would be nervous about freeze damage. Especially anything outside such as the black & grey water drain piping, outdoor shower, and maybe your freshwater drain valve and water hose connection. You should be able to keep inside plumbing thawed with a heated trailer. Can you drain everything and dry camp with water containers and use camp restrooms during your high desert stay?
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:40 PM   #4
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We have camped when nights dipped into the mid to upper twenties with no problems. Also, during early and late season storage outside our garage, I have not had any problems when night temps dipped into the 20's as long as I kept the interior above freezing. This in a trailer without thermal windows and extra insulation.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:42 PM   #5
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Thanks all. Daytime temps will be 50's. How about I drain the freshwater tank and leave the water heater on at night? I'll have hookups and can keep both valves open to drain away from the trailer. I should also shut off the incoming freshwater and drain the hose at night?

I travel with a small plug in heater. So I should use it at night to keep things above freezing??

Greg
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:50 PM   #6
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Found this on the web, so consider the source:
Colder than you would experience. Just keep the heat on in the trailer and you should be fine.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:01 PM   #7
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Draining tanks won't help, BTW, since those would take forever to freeze solid. It's small amounts of water in small spaces that you have to worry about ( water lines and valves ).
Given daytime temps in the 50s, a heated trailer and short periods below freezing you should be fine. But, if you aren't satisfied with "should", then you really have to drain the entire system and charge it with RV anti-freeze.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:45 AM   #8
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Winter camping

We winterize our trailer when it is cold, including blowing out all lines and draining the hot water tank. Draining the hot water tank is the biggest job so we do this only once each year.

When we want to camp and it is below freezing we bring some water in plastic containers. Grasser's Lagoon with ice | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

In our most recent trip January 20-23, 2014 the temperature was just above freezing. We hooked up to the water supply at the campsite but left the hot water tank on bypass. We did use the sink. Our electric kettle produced hot water for coffee and for washing dishes.

Since we may get freezing temperatures again I'll blow out the water lines and put RV antifreeze in the trap under the sink. Easy.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:43 AM   #9
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During the recent holidays we spent a week at Big Bend NP with a few night time temps in the mid 20s. Disconnecting the water hose was the only outside precaution I took but I did keep the water heater on all night and of course ran a small cube heater. No problems at all. Also note that my fresh water tank is inside under the bed.

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Old 01-24-2014, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjnuss View Post
During the recent holidays we spent a week at Big Bend NP with a few night time temps in the mid 20s. Disconnecting the water hose was the only outside precaution I took but I did keep the water heater on all night and of course ran a small cube heater. No problems at all. Also note that my fresh water tank is inside under the bed.

Steve
Hi Steve

We also had Reace put our fresh water tank under the bed. What a great winter camping option you can pour a jug of RV antifreeze down the black and grey tanks and it camping as usual.
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