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Old 10-27-2017, 09:12 AM   #41
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Dave, I doubt if anyone camping in those conditions would have many neighbors to worry about offending, and if so, they just might be jealous instead! If you're worried about offending, just throw a tarp over them. Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, there was a time we were proud just to have an outhouse - to heck with what others thought. For those who have never had the pleasure of using an outhouse when it's 20 below with a 30 mph wind whirling through the slab-board siding (including the "underside"), you don't dawdle or waste any time daydreaming! Oh, the childhood memories.....
Great perspective my friend. All of these ideas are great if even just for brainstorming. It makes us smarter users as we learn from each other in different climates and with different habits the limits of these fine little trailers...and sometimes how to push beyond perceived limits with innovative ideas.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:34 AM   #42
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I think you just turned off most of the potential winter camping crowd from ever considering using the black water system in really cold temperatures. "Hey, what are all those totes over there?". "Oh, never mind those, just some frozen waste."
I agree. I would just camp where there is an outhouse or other facilities. If you are out hunting, just do like the bears and hunters do in the woods. You could use a 5 gallon can like we do on our boat as well, I think they make a seat to fit a 5 gallon can. you could put some -50 or -100 antifreeze int the bucket and have a simple port-a-poty. I think if you want to camp in extreme tempatures it would be best to leave your trailer winterized and just rough it. Besides, what would happen if you had water in your lines and your furnace went out or something like that. Just use it like a shelter and be happy to have a place to stay warm.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:47 AM   #43
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I boondocked in my 17B in cold weather (15F at nights, 40F during days) without problems. I tried to drain the tanks on one trip in the morning but nothing came out and had to wait until it warmed up.
I recently bought a Bigfoot and it is much more '4 season ready' than the Escape. All tanks, including the dump valve, is in a heated enclosure (heated when you are running the inside heater). The insulation is much thicker and is all the way around (including the floor). Also, the heater is 30,000 BTUs.
But as it has been said, the trailer is much heavier than an Escape; nothing is for free.
I am anxious to try it out this winter.

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Old 10-27-2017, 11:59 AM   #44
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For those who have never had the pleasure of using an outhouse when it's 20 below with a 30 mph wind whirling through the slab-board siding (including the "underside"), you don't dawdle or waste any time daydreaming! Oh, the childhood memories.....
That's where the saying "freezing your (...) bum off" comes from.
I still remember using those outhouses. The first visit I made at my parents in law to be.
Didn't take me long....
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:13 PM   #45
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Yes and do you remember that best selling book at that time? FIFTY STEPS TO THE OUTHOUSE by Willy Makeit. Haha
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:26 PM   #46
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Porti potties r pretty cheap and more comfortable than a 5 gallon can-even with a seat, if u want to go that route.
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:58 PM   #47
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Porti potties r pretty cheap and more comfortable than a 5 gallon can-even with a seat, if u want to go that route.
True, but a porti pottie is always a porta pottie, but a 5 gallon bucket is a wash bucket a step stool and possibly a tool tote in the off season. We use our 5 gallon bucket/pottie for a bait bucket after washing out while out on the boat. PS, my wife does not even bother with the bucket seat while out on the boat anyway.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:32 PM   #48
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True, but a porti pottie is always a porta pottie, but a 5 gallon bucket is a wash bucket a step stool and possibly a tool tote in the off season. We use our 5 gallon bucket/pottie for a bait bucket after washing out while out on the boat. PS, my wife does not even bother with the bucket seat while out on the boat anyway.
Bass Pro Shop will sell you a little comfy seat and "duty bags" made to fit your 5-gallon bucket, if that would make you appear more refined and genteel to your neighbors.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:07 PM   #49
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Bass Pro Shop will sell you a little comfy seat and "duty bags" made to fit your 5-gallon bucket, if that would make you appear more refined and genteel to your neighbors.
You mean the “Double Doodie”?
Reliance Double Doodie Waste Bags with Bio-Gel - 6 Pack | Bass Pro Shops
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:11 AM   #50
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We use our Escape toilet in this fashion as the waste bags we use fit ok in the toilet bowl and are secured with some gaffer's tape. We store the used bags in a covered 5 gal. bucket stored in the truck.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:49 AM   #51
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And oh, the miracle of styrofoam seats.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:52 AM   #52
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And oh, the miracle of styrofoam seats.
Absolutely. Everyone scoffed at me doing this in our outhouse instead of a real seat, that is until they sat on it in very cold weather and their behinds warmed up immediately.
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Old 10-28-2017, 02:51 PM   #53
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Yes and do you remember that best selling book at that time? FIFTY STEPS TO THE OUTHOUSE by Willy Makeit. Haha
Truth be known, in the middle of the night, one might not take all 50 of those steps to the outhouse. Just quickly do what you have to do and cover it with snow. It will freeze shortly anyway, and you can deal with it in the morning. That may have been the basis for another sage rule of thumb for winter survival - "Don't eat yellow snow"!
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:56 PM   #54
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We live in the foothills of the California Sierra at about 2200 feet. I’m holding off winterizing our new 17B (extra insulation, foamed, insulated windows, no electric pads) as like the comfort of all systems go when going down to the Bay area for weekends. But sure don’t want busted pipes. So, would you ol’ hands consider that it’d be relatively safe to hold off winterizing as long as no sustained night time temps down in the low teens Fahrenheit and it does get above freezing during the day, or am I pushing too hard? What sustained temps push you to fully winterize and camp dry?
Thanks for your advice,
Jonathan


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Old 11-11-2017, 04:09 AM   #55
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If it were me I'd winterize, maybe just blown out and the wh drained, especially if it's unheated.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:53 AM   #56
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But sure don’t want busted pipes. So, would you ol’ hands consider that it’d be relatively safe...
That is the risk. A busted pipe. The worse would be a busted pipe inside a wall space or some other hard to reach area.

Water freezes at 32F/0C period. All it takes is a very small section of section of water in just the wrong place, overnight in the teens and it could cause a problem.

If you leave the trailer hooked to electric in the driveway, you could keep it heated inside with a small electric heater, leave all the cupboards open so air circulates. Then you have greatly reduced the exposure to just those pipes on the outside/underside. Water in the fresh tank and grey/black tanks is not a problem (its acceptable to freeze) since you are not using it actively and you only intend to dump in warmer climate. Plus freezing in the tanks themselves doesn't cause bursting.
Leaving faucets opens (not running water) leaves a space for the still water in the pipes to expand as well.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:59 AM   #57
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Thanks Padlin. So, where you are, when you get a few nights beginning to light freeze, you go ahead and winterize?

I forgot to ask: what trailer parts besides the outside water hook up and the tank drain valve are outside the areas that could be kept warm by an internal heater?
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #58
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Thanks Padlin. So, where you are, when you get a few nights beginning to light freeze, you go ahead and winterize?

I forgot to ask: what trailer parts besides the outside water hook up and the tank drain valve are outside the areas that could be kept warm by an internal heater?
Jonathan
If it's going down to low 30's or upper 20's at night, followed by day temps in the 40s and 50's and was using it I wouldn't bother. If not in use but planned on still using the trailer I'd drain the tanks and blow out the lines, only takes a minute or 2 if you have a compressor. I'd do the same if temps were dropping below what I just mentioned.

We don't have the weather like you where one can run down to the beach to get out of the cold, our beaches are cold too. I'd have to drive 1000 miles south for that warmer weekend.

On my trailer there is one crossover of the water lines right above the rear axle, it's buried in the foam.

The fresh water line from the bottom of the fresh holding tank up to the pump.

Outside shower if you have such.

In the fifth wheel's landing gear compartment is the line to the toilet.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:11 AM   #59
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... Water freezes at 32F/0C period. ...
For pure water at sea level - yes. Impurities (and what tap water doesn't have some) and barometric pressure can have some effects. But from a practical standpoint, I wouldn't let either of those determine when to winterize. If our local TV weatherman says it's going to freeze, and I can't plug in a heater, I'm getting all things water out of the camper. Ounce of prevention thing....
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:39 AM   #60
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I will add my vote to winterize. If you don't have one, get an air compressor and use it to blow out the lines, and make sure you run the water pump briefly to make sure that the pump head has air in it. Once you are set up to blow things out, it will only take a few minutes, and may save you huge headaches if something freezes.

As someone else mentioned, the tanks themselves are very unlikely to be damaged by freezing, but if there is liquid in the tank, there will be liquid in the drain valve/hose, and that may be vulnerable even if the main body of the tank isn't. If I were you, I would be quite careful about this if you consider leaving tanks partially full. Definitely do not leave them completely full, that would put the main tank containers at risk.
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