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Old 11-27-2014, 07:14 AM   #1
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Winter Travel

This years early cold spell got me thinking about my plans for next year when we'll be heading home from the SW in mid/late November and maybe back again late Feb.

Sure would like to avoid a stone cold trailer at the end of the days travels. I've read over on rvdotnet that it's safe to travel with the heat on during the winter, sounds like most that do so set the travel temp to 50F/10C while they head south. Other then high propane use they report no issues. Anyone have experience doing so with their fiberglass camper?

Winter Towing. While I have as much experience driving in the snow as anyone, I've never towed in it, nor have I driven the Rockies in Nov. Does towing a trailer, in my case the 5th wheel, require any special precautions?

Blowing out the lines. If one needed to do so while traveling, will one of the small 12 vdc compressors have the oomph to do the job?
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Old 11-27-2014, 08:02 AM   #2
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Hi: padlin... Last Jan. we towed our 5.0 to Florida. First we watched the Weather Network I75 Conditions/Forecasts and when every city from the north to the south showed sunny... at 6am we made a run for the border!!! The trailer was winterized so we didn't use it for meals but slept in it at Cracker Barrel Restaurants. Put the furnace on before going in for dinner and leaving it on all night. They open at 6am and the coffee is hot!!!
First night Georgetown Ky...second night Macon Ga. We summerized the trailer in Sarasota Fl on the third day. The only hitch in this plan was the memo foam mattress. When cold it's rock hard, and the food we took in a cooler froze solid!!! What can you do with 12 frozen hard boiled eggs?
In Sarasota we met a wonderful couple& family who bought the 5.0 when we ordered the 5.0TA. In May we delivered the 5.0 to Manitoba on the way west to take delivery of the 5.0TA...Everybody wins!!! Can't be better than that!!! Alf
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Bob,
When I camped in the winter I found some campgrounds with heated water lines. I bought a heated supply hose and went camping, in New York as well as West Virginia, all with snow covered roads. Stopping takes longer and more caution for the other drivers. As long as I have electric and water I'm good to go. Alf's idea of heating the trailer while going to eat upon arrival is a good one. I plan on stopping at Cracker Barrels on my way to Osoyoos and plan my route accordingly.
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the warning, just a little late Alf
QUOTE: Escape Artist - The only hitch in this plan was the memo foam mattress. When cold it's rock hard!

We traveled from home to KS last Thursday, and once here, got the electric heater going for a few hours before I tried getting into bed. Only minus 4 here this morning, much better than at home.

Back on topic to please Jim. When we return here in Jan to head to southern TX we also plan the Cracker Barrel stop, will take Alf's advice and start the furnace before we eat, but since we'll be in Dallas area hopefully won't be too cold.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Old 12-07-2014, 05:10 AM   #5
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My wife and I have had a 17ft Casita since 1997 and have spent a lot of time in it. We are planning to spend more time on the road beginning in about a year, and are looking for something a little bigger and much better insulated. We've been considering both the Escape (21 or 5.0TA) and Bigfoot (25B25RQ).

We have lots of questions, but for starters, can anyone give us some guidance on insulation in the Escape vs the Bigfoot? We definitely like the idea of heated tanks in the Bigfoot.

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Old 12-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #6
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Hi Josh, welcome to the forum.

Just my opinion. The Escape is a 3 season trailer, even with it's version of extra insulation, the extra insulated Escape is what I'm talking about here. Like the Casita, it's single wall construction whereas the BF is double wall. The BF has 1.5" of foam insulation (R8) compared to something like .5" (no idea of the R value) on the Escape. While both retain heat better then the Casita, the BF would do it better then the Escape. That's part of what you pay the extra $10k for. I believe the Olivers are double wall too, so if you don't mind spending the money, they would be worth a look too. They were too small for us.

You can get pads on the Escape.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:01 AM   #7
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Years ago when fuel was cheap, insulation was unheard of. The colder you got, the higher the thermostat setting. With adequate heaters, electric and propane you can keep warm. So it's a trade off, you may pay more for thicker walls but use less fuel to keep it warm.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:40 AM   #8
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Hi Josh, welcome.

The Bigfoot is built to better withstand a colder winter than Escape, but you do pay for it in the weight, plus (IMHO) unless you go to the 21 or 25 foot model, the layout is terrible. I wish they would just put a smaller wet bath in them. I did look at them very closely when first looking for a trailer. Build quality of the Escape is just as good though.

Seeing that you are in Arizona, I think the Escapes extra insulation would work great for you. It would help on the hot end of things, and for the colder nights you can experience down there. Just don't plan to bring it up here during the coldest parts of winter.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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Hi Bob we have traveled with the furnace and the fridge running on propane with no problems. It sure is nice to pull in somewhere and its nice and warm in the trailer.

As for the water lines your 12 volt compressor won't have enough air volume to blow them out. I would just winterize with antifreeze and flush the system out once it gets warm.

Cheers Doug
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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Thanks Doug, I didn't think one of the little air pumps would have the umph to do the job, would have been nice though.
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