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Old 11-13-2015, 06:38 AM   #1
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Heading south in the dead of winter

Will be heading to FL the first week of February for a month, which means below freezing and probably snow at home. A couple questions for anyone who has done the same.

Do you not bring anything that can freeze with you? meaning food, bath items and such, and purchase such once you get south of the cold?

Figuring we'll have to hotel it in VA unless it's unusually warm, then a couple nights camping in GA, hopefully. Will dewinterize at that point or wait till we get to FL.

Any other issues to be aware of?
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:57 AM   #2
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Hi Bob,
We left in February twice from Nova Scotia. I watched for 3 "clear" days of weather, then left....driving 7 hrs or so each day- you probably only have one or two days to worry about.
The things you mention that would freeze - we put in a car wash bucket that I take with us anyway and took the bucket in the hotel room.
We stay in Hotels until the weather is good for "our" camping - we like warm weather camping.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:01 AM   #3
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Forgot to mention, we have run into "freezing" rain in Virginia for the past three years, traveling in February and in December, so we try to make it to a point in North Carolina that instead of freezing rain, they get rain.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:22 AM   #4
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Thanks Chapitre
You drive from NS to NC in one day? or make your 2nd night in NC as opposed to VA? I could make NC in 10 or so, depending on traffic and weather. It's about 600 miles on I-95.

On edit. Can't be 1 day, it's 1200-1300 miles so it must be your 2nd.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:47 AM   #5
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When we leave MN we keep anything that freezes in the car until we get far enough south that we don't have to worry about it freezing during the day. Then, at some point we take a day off traveling and de-winterize the trailer, stock up on food etc. and begin to live the life of Riley
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:11 AM   #6
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So many variables on items left in the trailer but if daytime temperatures allowed it I would not hesitate to turn the furnace on overnight while staying in a motel. Opening cupboards and bins to allow circulation, with a low thermostat setting and unless you are sub zero everything should be OK. If you are sub zero the issue will be daytime.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:31 AM   #7
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I was camping in Northern Georgia a month ago, on the mornings of Oct 17 and 18, it was 38 and 36 degrees F respectively. It can get very cold in Georgia and somewhat cold in Northern Florida in February.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:33 AM   #8
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Normally, once you get to North Carolina you will be be okay from freezing to points south. NC is about 6 hours south of Baltimore and one should avoid I95 south from Philadelphia to Richmond,Va between 3-9 pm for traffic reasons.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:04 AM   #9
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I would normally go I-81 and skip NY-Wash it but it's 5-10 degrees colder up in the mts., figured there would be less chance for ice or snow on 95. I'm about 8 hrs from DC, suppose I could leave at 4 or 5am. Would still run into the DC to Richmond traffic, but I'd be by DC. Something to think about.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:07 PM   #10
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Thanks Chapitre
You drive from NS to NC in one day? or make your 2nd night in NC as opposed to VA? I could make NC in 10 or so, depending on traffic and weather. It's about 600 miles on I-95.

On edit. Can't be 1 day, it's 1200-1300 miles so it must be your 2nd.
No we wouldn't arrive there until the third day or so, that's why I watch for a 3 day window....
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:24 PM   #11
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The last three years, we've departed Ohio in late January, picking a day when we can sneak out between snow and ice. We typically stay in hotels until past Atlanta on the way down. We visit family southwest of Atlanta on the way down in January and on the way back at the end of February or very early March. Last year, just west of Atlanta around March 1st, the temps got well down into the twenties at night while we sat there waiting for safe highways in Tennessee. We try to minimize carrying things that could freeze and cause problems, but typically carry canned goods, liquid soaps, etc. contained in something in case a can or jar bursts. So far, no real problems. When camped in the 20s, we bring in the water hose and use on-board water. When to re-winterize just depends on the weather forecasts, but we usually have to do it before arriving home.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:47 PM   #12
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Good point, better bring along a gallon of antifreeze.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:36 PM   #13
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Definitely. It can sometimes be hard to find in the south, and too cold to risk picking it up on the way home as you get into colder climes.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:36 PM   #14
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Definitely. It can sometimes be hard to find in the south, and too cold to risk picking it up on the way home as you get into colder climes.
Seriously? I see RV antifreeze in just about every Walmart, Camping World, Home Depot, and RV Supply Store. It's as easy to find in Florida as finding snow in Colorado during February.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:43 PM   #15
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Well, then I guess I misspoke. We stay at Big Pine Key, and when we're ready to head home I haven't wanted to worry about finding RV antifreeze along the way. It seemed much easier to pack a gallon along with us, which I will do again this year....but I appreciate knowing that it's generally available. My apologies if I misrepresented the shopping opportunities in Florida!
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:58 PM   #16
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No apology necessary, Parker. Probably not a bad idea to bring a gallon with you so you have it readily at hand for going back north. But if you forget to bring it you don't have to worry about not being able to get it. And if you get in a bind, I have 6 or 7 gallons of it which I bought it during a seasonal clearance. I don't use it unless I'm visiting my son in Huntsville, AL during the winter months and I bring a gallon with me in the event I want to pour some in the traps. Moved into my current house 12 years ago this month. In that time, the coldest temperature I've seen was 31 degrees, one morning just before the sun rose. I haven't winterized a trailer since I lived in NH 30 years ago!
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