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Old 03-08-2020, 09:19 AM   #1
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How do people prepare for cold weather camping.

Picking our new 5.0 up in about 60 days. Since I live in Colorado and try to camp in the marginal months of the year. We got the full insulation and the heat strips. Here is what I am trying to learn about.


How low of temperatures will you take your camper out in?


Is freezing weather a concern if you encounter it while out?


What if the temperature drops drastically below freezing while out camping?


Are there any special precautions I should be aware of for the marginal months?


As always, thank you for helping me gain an understanding.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:29 AM   #2
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We have camped do to -0-to 5 degrees without any issues as long as you have electric hook ups. I always have installed a 500-750 watt wall heater in my Escapes and with the propane furnace it is not hard to keep the interior comfortable down to those temperatures. We winterize the trailer and use the cg rest facilities. During the shoulder seasons with a dewinterized unit you should be fine as long as the furnace is operating.
You do not mention the foam underneath, we always get that option with the full insulation and thermal window packages.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:52 AM   #3
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When we camp in the shoulder season / colder weather , we winterize our trailer’s plumbing system , camp at sites where electricity is available , take along a 1500 watt electric heater as a backup to the furnace and carry extra blankets , sleeping bags and warm clothes as a precautionary measure
Condensation can also be an issue in cold weather
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:25 AM   #4
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Last year it was -19°C (-2°F)at our stop in Butte, Montana. The heater worked a fair bit but kept us warm. We left the cold and snow early in the morning heading south.

20190113_080736.jpg

That said, that is a rarity, but here in Alberta you often see it going a short ways below freezing while out camping. Just part of camping life around here, you either accept it and have good fun, or sit at home.
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:46 AM   #5
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One persons shoulder season can be totally different from another. We now live 15 miles from the Iowa border. My daughter lives in Duluth and we visit frends in Bagley, Minnesota. Both places are much colder in November than southern Minnesota.

Cold weather can mean at least two things: it freezes at night, but is above freezing during the day, or it is below freezing all the time.

Then there's the situation where, do you have electrical hookups or not. Your battery will only last so long using the heated tank pads. We bought ours for emergency purposes only since we usually camp at sites without electricity. We love camping in November in Northern Minnesota!

We've had no problems with water in the camper when down as low as about 12 degrees and the day temperatures went up to above freezing for most of the daylight hours. We've had this happen for days in a row many times.

We have been in continuous freezing weather where the low is less than 15 degrees and the high was 25 degrees when without electrical hookups. Our grey tank is drained and I also drain the fresh water, but don't winterize the camper because we have the furnace running during the days. The black water on Escape campers is in the camper, so we pour in a gallon of antifreeze for the valve.

We have heating pads for the tanks and would use them if hooked to electricity for extended days and still use water in the camper. Haven't had that happen yet. You do need to remember that eventually the valves will freeze. It's in that situation you need to decide how low of continuous temperatures you're willing gamble.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 03-08-2020, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You do not mention the foam underneath, we always get that option with the full insulation and thermal window packages.

We have the foam too.



This information is really helpful.

-Tim
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:14 AM   #7
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Couple more thoughts. A heated hose is rarely needed but can be very useful in the right set of circumstances. And give consideration to your exterior shower, if so equipped. I installed shutoff valves on ours so we can winterize just the outside shower fittings while still using the rest of the system.
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:06 PM   #8
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Yes, good advice as the o/s shower is exposed more than the rest of the plumbing lines.
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:08 PM   #9
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Perryb67,
We have been in continuous freezing weather where the low is less than 15 degrees and the high was 25 degrees when without electrical hookups. Our grey tank is drained and I also drain the fresh water, but don't winterize the camper because we have the furnace running during the days. The black water on Escape campers is in the camper, so we pour in a gallon of antifreeze for the valve.
I'm confused, if you tanks are empty why isn't your camper winterized? Do you still have water in your lines?
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Old 03-08-2020, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Perryb67,
We have been in continuous freezing weather where the low is less than 15 degrees and the high was 25 degrees when without electrical hookups. Our grey tank is drained and I also drain the fresh water, but don't winterize the camper because we have the furnace running during the days. The black water on Escape campers is in the camper, so we pour in a gallon of antifreeze for the valve.
I'm confused, if you tanks are empty why isn't your camper winterized? Do you still have water in your lines?
Yes, there is water in the system. That's why we keep the furnace running. We winterize on the way home, when all we're doing is sleeping in the camper at night. On the way home we pour water from a jug to use the toilet and then drain the black water In Rochester, 40 miles from home.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 03-09-2020, 01:25 AM   #11
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I've camped down to 2F even without plugins (except a couple hours every day or two), though that's with a significantly upgraded battery bank. The tank heaters didn't seem to run a whole lot in less-cold temperatures like 20-30F, but below that they might be too much for a single car battery. It does go through a lot of propane at really low temperatures, though - expect to fill a tank every 2-3 days when lows are in the single digits unless you have plugins and an electric heater running as well.

I did run across a bit of a dumping problem: the dump valves are basically uninsulated. On one trip I poured a bit of antifreeze (or in one case, -40F rated windshield fluid) into the gray and black tanks after dumping. A subsequent trip I didn't do that and had to thaw the valve to dump.
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:34 AM   #12
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I think you will have to need a heater because an RV heater basically keeps your motorhome warm, therefore preventing you and your family from freezing up in cold climates. Maintaining warmth inside is also important to keep your trailer and other appliances from being ruined by the cold and the condensation.
Hi: emma... We carry an imitation chamois in a zip-loc bag incase we do run into condensation. We also leave the MaxxFan open with the heat on to let off some of it. Winter nights in Florida can get chilly!!! I try not to breathe so much... but it's hard not to. Alf
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:20 AM   #13
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How do the heating pads actually work?

We have them but I do not understand exactly how they work. Do they come on if you are not hooked up to shore power? Is it thermostat driven?

As far as I know there is no switch for them. How do you know when they are on?
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:25 AM   #14
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There is a switch for them, probably under dinette seat, once "on" they are thermostatically controlled, like on at 30 and off at 40. The draw an inordinate amount of battery juice (picture a 12v toaster) thus the need to be hooked up. If you have electric then you have an electric heater inside and your trailer heat will keep the tanks from freezing. I had the pads on #1 Escape, and never repeated on #2/#3/#4 because of this. As long as you are using your Escape with heat on inside, your tanks will not freeze, with the foam option. We have camped down to single digits without any issues.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:18 AM   #15
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We remove all food items , clean out the refrigerator / cupboards & prop open the doors , strip the beds , remove toiletries , sweep - clean interior surfaces , pull battery from smoke detector , wash and wax exterior , disconnect batteries , turn off propane tanks , take weight off axles , drain black & gray tank leaving drain valves open , remove A/C cover and clean inside unit . winterize potable water system with -75 below RV antifreeze , place mouse repellant in all areas of trailer
We put our trailer into storage in our pole barn in the first part of October and it comes out of
storage in late April / early May .
Our Escape is designed to be a 3 season trailer and we use it as intended

We camped at -27 deg F one winter when heading South with our Casita so travel is possible in cold weather but I don’t see it as practical. Most things on a travel trailer are not designed / built for COLD weather. IMHO
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:40 AM   #16
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We remove all food items , clean out the refrigerator / cupboards & prop open the doors , strip the beds , remove toiletries , sweep - clean interior surfaces , pull battery from smoke detector , wash and wax exterior , disconnect batteries , turn off propane tanks , take weight off axles , drain black & gray tank leaving drain valves open , remove A/C cover and clean inside unit . winterize potable water system with -75 below RV antifreeze , place mouse repellant in all areas of trailer
We put our trailer into storage in our pole barn in the first part of October and it comes out of
storage in late April / early May .
Our Escape is designed to be a 3 season trailer and we use it as intended

We camped at -27 deg F one winter when heading South with our Casita so travel is possible in cold weather but I don’t see it as practical. Most things on a travel trailer are not designed / built for COLD weather. IMHO
Hi: steve dunham... That amount of work would take you until "Beer o'clock"!!! Alf
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:16 PM   #17
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Thanks Jim.
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