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Old 06-10-2014, 02:40 AM   #1
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Location: Olympia wa, Washington
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Winter camping

Some of you in WA seem to camp all winter . How do you keep the trailer from freezing ? Is it winterized ? Or do unwinterize it when you camp ? Would be nice to do a little winter camping.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:59 AM   #2
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If you are close to the coast, the ocean moderates the climate. We have a fair number of weeks where it does not get below freezing in the winter. When it does go below freezing it doesn't usually go that far below or stay down there that long. The really cold part of the winter is shorter. That means a trailer does not need to be winterized for as many months as one in another part of the country.

I know a guy who camps one or two weekends every month all year. He normally only has his trailer winterized for a few months. Then he gets hookups so he has electricity for heat. He drinks bottled water and uses the campground restrooms/showers so he can leave the trailer winterized.

The other trick is to pick your destination and time carefully. Temperature decreases with altitude so camp low. Go when rain is predicted since a clear sky means a cold night. Avoid known cold spots. Don't go when high winds are predicted so you don't get a tree on your roof.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:51 AM   #3
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One reason I got a 15A was to keep it simple; not much winterizing needed, so I can get it out of storage and go any time the weather looks good. It would take more than a few nights at freezing temps to freeze the water supply in my heated trailer.

That being said, when my son decides to winter camp, he drains the anti-freeze, flushes the water lines, goes camping, and re-winterizes his trailer when he returns home.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
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We have camped in January and February in Washington State Parks when temperatures were below freezing. This was not a problem at all.
  • The trailer was winterized
  • We had a site with an electric hookup
  • We had a small electric heater
  • We kept water for drinking and washing in containers in the trailer
In April we camped in the high desert in Oregon and overnight temperatures were below freezing, but we had hookups and it warmed up during the day. No problem.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:40 PM   #5
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Hello Fox Hunt;
Winter camping is a big draw for us. We are using tents now but are looking forward to the luxury of an Escape for our future camping.

The plan - untried at this point - consists of:
1. Adding almost all the insulation upgrades that Escape offers.
2. Adding RV antifreeze to the grey & black tanks as they fill.
3. Keeping the furnace running enough to keep the water lines fluid.
4. Adding some plumbing to route hot water from the hot water heater back into the fresh water tank. I talked to Reace about this and he thinks it would be fairly simple to add a 3-way hand-operated valve and splice a line into the fresh water vent line. Run the pump for a few minutes and dump 6 gallons of 140 degree water back into the fresh water tank. Should be enough to keep it warm all night. Theory for now, of course.
5. Stay home when the weatherman calls for sub-zero F.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:08 PM   #6
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Hi Allen,
Nice to see a fellow winter camper on the site. We are betting that the Pex plumbing and fixtures will be resistant to breaking even if frozen--although my wife informs me we are not going to test that hypothesis. I think I am correct that all the plumbing is within the heated space of our 17b and should not be a problem so long as that space is heated. My plan for the gray and black tanks is to add a bit of pink stuff after dumping such that it settles in the exposed dump valve and keeps that from freezing solid.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:37 PM   #7
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It is my belief also that the pipes are all within the body. So, if we leave cabinets and bathroom door open at night, it will look the same as our home in Colorado! We probably have the same unpleasant winter low temperatures as you have in Vermont. It was 38 F. in Arvada Sunday night and we aren't even in the mountains. My wife and I intend to be camping all year, but now with a furnace and a mattress. See you out there when the bugs and crowds have gone home!
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:28 PM   #8
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I suspect the interior pex pipe is not the issue in colder weather, Things like the dump valves , exterior shower, city water connection one way valve are what concern me. typicaly when we here of a freeze related failure its not the pipes as much as its the faucettes and the toilet valves that fail. I personaly on our last trailer had the kitchen faucette burst.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
It is my belief also that the pipes are all within the body.
Almost, here's a shot of the underside of my 5.0TA before the foam insulation, as you see, both hot and cold cross below the trailer body.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Almost, here's a shot of the underside of my 5.0TA before the foam insulation, as you see, both hot and cold cross below the trailer body.
Yes, but once the foam insulation is applied, those lines will be within the heated space, assuming there is no insulation above the lines pictured.
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