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Old 10-24-2014, 11:51 AM   #1
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Travel in winter

Hello all. This is our second winter with our 17B. The first we winterized the trailer and stored it during freezing temps in Seattle. This year, we'd like to travel some in the winter, going in and out of areas with freezing temps. Will be using the trailer, so can't winterize. What should we do to protect against freezing while on the road? Thanks! Jan and Peter
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:05 PM   #2
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We have contemplated the same thing. So much depends on how cold the temps are that you experience. We have camped when it has dropped into the high 20s F during the night and not had any problems other than freezing a water hose pressure reducer and water filter I forgot to disconnect from the spigot. It takes a while below freezing to get the fresh water tank cold enough to freeze and the inside of the trailer will take a bit to cool down and present danger to the inside pipes.

All that said, if we were going into areas where it could get quite cold, I would start out with a fully winterized water system and do the same before returning back through it. But I may well be over paranoid....
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #3
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I agree with Eric and I don;t think it's paranoid since any freezing damage can be big $$$ to fix.

What we plan to do this winter when we head south is just that. Escape Hatch is now winterized and when we get far enough south we shall dewinterize, then rewinterize it again before we head north. We're hoping to dry camp (Walmart, Cracker Barrel) on our way quick overnights and use the store facilities.

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Old 10-24-2014, 01:20 PM   #4
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You might review the posts on the thread "Cold Weather Camping" here in the forum.
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Old 10-24-2014, 02:33 PM   #5
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Cold weather travel

Thanks to you all! That is helpful. Happy travels. Jan and Peter
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Old 10-24-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
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You said going in and out of areas with freezing temps, do you mean for weekends, or weeks at a time? For just weekends I'd leave the water system winterized and just dry camp. I know that most snowbirds do as Adrian says, but it's a one time thing, not back and forth.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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I would carry drinking water in jugs, and avoid leaving water in the gray water tank. Perhaps one of the big blue or gray tanks that can be dragged to a dump station would be the way to go. At least if it freezes, no damage to the trailer. But I would think your decision has to be based upon the actual temperature expected. 30 or 31 degrees is a lot different from 15 degrees (sorry, I think in terms of Farenheit). Or -1 is a lot different from -20. Anything added to water will lover it's freezing temperature. A gallon of RV antifreeze in the gray or black tank may be adequate to keep your trailer functional. Unfortunately, you can't add antifreeze to the drinking water system and still use it. Even if you could, it would be quickly flushed out by flow.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
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We follow a process similar to Eric & Mary & Adrian. When we head south, it is usually still pretty cold in MN, so the first night may well be in a hotel. After we get south, we de-winterize and have fun. We re-winterize the trailer when we return to the north country.

But a couple of things I learned in the last two years:

1) If you have a dual-power hot water heater, make sure the electric switch is set to off, or the hot water tank is full before you plug in. My practice had been to leave the switch on so that it would automatically use electric power when plugged in. That worked well for the first summer. But when we hit a camp ground in Kansas, and I plugged in before connecting water, I burned out the electric element. The RV tech who replaced the element said that I wasn't the first person to do that. Now I make sure the switch is off when I winterize the trailer.

2) We left last year during a St. Paddy's day blizzard, driving about 300 miles in a snow storm. The first night, the trailer was pretty much covered with frozen slush. It was easier to camp at a Red Roof Inn than it would have been to get the door open. Most of our luggage was in the trailer. So it is always good to have a back up plan for that first night or two on the road, and to keep essentials in the car with you.
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:20 PM   #9
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Good advice Leon. I now try to remember to both turn off the switch on the heater AND switch off it's circuit breaker. Then if I forget one - hopefully the other will save me from a burned out element.
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Old 10-25-2014, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
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We have contemplated the same thing. So much depends on how cold the temps are that you experience. We have camped when it has dropped into the high 20s F during the night and not had any problems other than freezing a water hose pressure reducer and water filter.
We had freezing temps overnight while camping at my nephews home near Gallup NM. during this time last year.
Fortunately we had access to a sewer connection and we could leave the grey tank valve open. We allowed the city fresh water to trickle a small amount overnight keeping the city water hose from freezing. It pays to be a farm boy from away back.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:57 PM   #11
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Buy a heated water hose that plugs into the pedestal to keep your water source.
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:22 PM   #12
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I've camped many times over the years in Oregon during the shoulder season, never when it was expected to be below freezing for days on end. But, using bottled water (or filling bottles of water at a hose bib) has worked for me without charging the trailers pipes. RV Antifeeze can be purchased for cheap (where I live) and using it to flush the toilet, works. I think you only need to keep the gray/black water gates and valves from freezing up to allow dumping.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it....
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Old 10-25-2014, 05:27 PM   #13
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While I attempted to stay above freezing on my last long trip around the US & Canada, I did hit a couple of nights that went into the high 20F's. The only casualty was the gauge on my water pressure regulator. It froze, and now reads 20 PSI higher than normal.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
We follow a process similar to Eric & Mary & Adrian. When we head south, it is usually still pretty cold in MN, so the first night may well be in a hotel. After we get south, we de-winterize and have fun. We re-winterize the trailer when we return to the north country.

But a couple of things I learned in the last two years:

1) If you have a dual-power hot water heater, make sure the electric switch is set to off, or the hot water tank is full before you plug in. My practice had been to leave the switch on so that it would automatically use electric power when plugged in. That worked well for the first summer. But when we hit a camp ground in Kansas, and I plugged in before connecting water, I burned out the electric element. The RV tech who replaced the element said that I wasn't the first person to do that. Now I make sure the switch is off when I winterize the trailer.

2) We left last year during a St. Paddy's day blizzard, driving about 300 miles in a snow storm. The first night, the trailer was pretty much covered with frozen slush. It was easier to camp at a Red Roof Inn than it would have been to get the door open. Most of our luggage was in the trailer. So it is always good to have a back up plan for that first night or two on the road, and to keep essentials in the car with you.
Leon;;;Question the dual power reference.Is that eti calls a 2 way heater,on the build sheet
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:35 AM   #15
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Yes, the 2-way water heater is for electric and propane. We try to keep the water heater off most of the time.

Some people winterize and then take bottled water and a tub in the sink. They then dump water they used that is in the tub.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:13 PM   #16
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Leon;;;Question the dual power reference.Is that eti calls a 2 way heater,on the build sheet
yup. a gas/electric water heater.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:06 PM   #17
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Picked up our 15B yesterday and are camping at Sea Perch Resort on Oregon Coast. Its raining and winds are 10-13 miles per hour. It would be nice to have awning up but we're concerned awning could be damaged. Any opinions for these two newbies?
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:36 PM   #18
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Never put your awning out if its windy....
Hope your having fun with your new trailer. Don't forget to post some pictures for the rest of us that aren't camping.


Cheers Doug
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:42 PM   #19
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Yeah, keep the awning in and have a great time!

Oh... and post pictures when you can.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #20
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I pull in the awning when it's windy enough to make it start to rattle. Never leave it out when you're not going to be with the trailer in risky weather. Much too easy to roll up/roll out compared to other awnings I've had.
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