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Old 07-14-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
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Winter camping

I have read the winterizing procedures and have the basic idea of what is involved prior to storage for winter. But what about winter camping?

We live in and plan to camp in places where the winter temperatures can go (well) below freezing.
How do people deal with the winter camping in places where the temperatures can be below freezing for part or all of the day? I assume one will try to stay in campgrounds with electric hookups, but not sure if that prevents freezing and one may be traveling to and from the campground and pass through a cold area.

What are the strategies people use? I have seen the term dry camping. Have an inkling but not totally certain about what it entails. Does it mean not using toilet, shower and sink inside the trailer? Something else?

Thanks for your response!
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:37 PM   #2
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You are correct, no water in the tanks so not sink, toilet, or shower.
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:13 PM   #3
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Thanks! Understood.

Seems like we will need to get real familiar with the winterizing procedures - particularly if we travel across the warmer climates where it is OK to use water and colder climates where freezing might be a risk.

Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:26 PM   #4
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Did you get the foam undercoat?


On Edit, are you getting the foam?
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:38 PM   #5
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Definitely! The only open question is with or without heat pad. The heatpad is only interesting if it helps the water from freezing. We are made of tougher stuff
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:45 PM   #6
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Just my take...

The heat pads are only viable if you have access to power, they use a lot of juice. You'd also need a heated hose if you want water hookups, that needs 120vac. You can still have frozen waste valves.

With the foam you can handle sub freezing temps if it doesn't last too long, like over night in the 20's. Personally if I'm running into prolonged freezing temps I blow out the lines and drain the tanks. You can do it on the road if you have a good tire compressor along, or you could drain the tanks and pump in rv antifreeze.
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thank you very much!

This is the sort of advice I was looking for. We will try to avoid using water in the winter anyway but with our South being warm and North/East/West being cold in winter - I suspect we will have some transition situations. So, trying to inform myself about this topic.

Will likely skip the heat pads. The feedback I recall seeing doesn't seem to justify the extra $400 expense. That said, we'd most likely try to stay with electric hookups if it is a sub-freezing situation.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-14-2020, 01:59 PM   #8
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We have camped year around down to single digits. If there is electric, our electric heater supplements the propane furnace. Some cg also offer heated pedestals, so I have
a heated water supply hose. With heat on the inside the lines will not freeze. We have the foam also. I had the pads on my first Escape, but they are 12v and require hookups to maintain. But we found with hookups and the electric and propane heat, pads were not needed. We use the cg bath facilities and only the toilet for the mid nite trips. If you bring your own water for drinking and coffee, you really do not need water in the lines unless you need to wash dishes. You can also flush the toilet with antifreeze or leave the "e-z winerteizing" set up in place with antifreeze for toilet use.
We found winter campgrounds were relatively empty and with electric quite cozy inside and warm around the campfire outside. A crockpot heating up previously made chili or beef stew makes coming inside a nice experience.
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Old 07-14-2020, 02:55 PM   #9
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Thanks, cpaharley2008! This is very good to know that with heat on the inside the lines will not freeze. I will definitely look into heated water supply hose when the time comes!
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:46 PM   #10
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kavm, be aware that even with heated tanks you will still be at risk for a freeze up in below freezing temps as the gray and black water discharge valves are outside the heated space and will freeze up in extended below freezing even with lots of anti freeze mixed in. Also, escape does not offer larger heating units with its bigger trailers. The furnace is fine with our 17 b but I doubt it will be adequate in the 5th wheel. We have camped in winter for several seasons. Look at Oliver or possibly LANCE campers if you want true 4 season rig.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:50 PM   #11
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kavm, be aware that even with heated tanks you will still be at risk for a freeze up in below freezing temps as the gray and black water discharge valves are outside the heated space and will freeze up in extended below freezing even with lots of anti freeze mixed in. Also, escape does not offer larger heating units with its bigger trailers. The furnace is fine with our 17 b but I doubt it will be adequate in the 5th wheel. We have camped in winter for several seasons. Look at Oliver or possibly LANCE campers if you want true 4 season rig.
Pretty cold winter weather we traveled in last year in our 5.0TA, we had no problem being warm.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:10 PM   #12
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Ronn, did you have any condensation issues on the cold nights? I heard that can be a problem.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:03 PM   #13
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Anybody try skirting their trailer?
Here is a sample for straight walls.
https://ezsnapdirect.com/products/rv-skirting/
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:53 PM   #14
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Ronn, did you have any condensation issues on the cold nights? I heard that can be a problem.
We've only noticed moisture in our trailer once, that was at the head of the bed where it was touching. We try to keep the matress pulled down. Someone on the forum posted they put a pool noodle there. I put in 2" pool noodle. We are camping on Lake Superior so I just checked it, it's doing it's job gapping the mattress from the wall.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:56 PM   #15
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Anybody try skirting their trailer?
Here is a sample for straight walls.
https://ezsnapdirect.com/products/rv-skirting/
At this point, that's what we would do if we wanted to use our water system in the winter.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:57 PM   #16
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Pretty cold winter weather we traveled in last year in our 5.0TA, we had no problem being warm.
\\

How cold and for how long? Did you use your water systems?
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:26 PM   #17
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kavm, be aware that even with heated tanks you will still be at risk for a freeze up in below freezing temps as the gray and black water discharge valves are outside the heated space and will freeze up in extended below freezing even with lots of anti freeze mixed in. Also, escape does not offer larger heating units with its bigger trailers. The furnace is fine with our 17 b but I doubt it will be adequate in the 5th wheel. We have camped in winter for several seasons. Look at Oliver or possibly LANCE campers if you want true 4 season rig.
Anyone know how Lance, Oliver (and Bigfoot?) deal with the dump valve freeze problem of our Escapes?
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:18 PM   #18
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Anyone know how Lance, Oliver (and Bigfoot?) deal with the dump valve freeze problem of our Escapes?
When I studied the particulars of Oliver’s in the past I believe they used motorized waste valves located within the double shell void. No wastewater outside to freeze. Something like this...
https://www.barkermfg.com/auto-drains.html
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:28 PM   #19
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When I studied the particulars of Oliver’s in the past I believe they used motorized waste valves located within the double shell void. No wastewater outside to freeze. Something like this...
https://www.barkermfg.com/auto-drains.html
Thanks, Dave! I have pondered that frequently, but never asked before.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:11 AM   #20
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kavm, be aware that even with heated tanks you will still be at risk for a freeze up in below freezing temps as the gray and black water discharge valves are outside the heated space and will freeze up in extended below freezing even with lots of anti freeze mixed in. Also, escape does not offer larger heating units with its bigger trailers. The furnace is fine with our 17 b but I doubt it will be adequate in the 5th wheel. We have camped in winter for several seasons. Look at Oliver or possibly LANCE campers if you want true 4 season rig.
Is this your experience? What 5.0 owner told you about the inadequate furnace? Yes we've had sail switch problems in our first 100 nights, but the 200 since replacing the sail switch have been trouble free.

We camp in the shoulder seasons and winter. Easily have now spent 30 nights or more below freezing and ten or more nights below 20 degrees. Most of the time we have water in our system, and if you keep the furnace on, that 60 degrees easily keeps your camper from freezing.

If we are traveling home, I empty the fresh water, blow the lines clear, fill the lines with antifreeze, and then blow the antifreeze out of the lines. We then put about 1/2 gallon of antifreeze in the black water tank and use the toilet by having water in jugs to flush with. I'm not worrying about the black water valve freezing, and so far it hasn't, even when we came home in March with temps slightly below zero.

We camped in front of my son's home in Marshall, MN the night that had zero temps and the furnace in our 5.0 TA had no problem keeping the camper toasty, until the sail switch crapped out at 8 am. I drained the black water after we had driven 250 miles home. That 1/2 gallon of antifreeze did it's job with the little bit of black water.

Enjoy,

Perry
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