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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > New rig, Winter camping, everything has gone wrong

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RoyB

King George, VA

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Posted: 12/10/16 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have camped alot in the winter months with our OFF-ROAD POPUP camper off grid and this indeed makes for much more planning and having different PLAN Bs. If we just showed up and hoped for the best it usually fails for us somewhere along the way... Camping at sites with hook-ups should makes this a bit easier you would think...

Also jumping into something that is brand new to one's use and heading out into the camping environment would be another bad idea for us.... It always takes awhile to learn how the things work and what PLAN Bs you need to establish to be successful...

Look at what you have experienced so far... Camping at home or at some local camping place would have been very valuable operating information for you guys...

We have learned a long time ago alot of planning and good PLAN Bs is what makes it all work for us...

We have never had a large trailer with all the toys and bells and whistles that come with them. Can't even imagine the learning curve involved with one of those monsters...

Hoping the best for you guys... Sounds like some good PLAN Bs have already got established out of your adventure.

Roy Ken


My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - Words in CAPS does not mean I am shouting
Roy - Carolyn
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ncrowley

Utah

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Posted: 12/10/16 06:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As stated, when it gets below 40 degrees you need to turn on the propane heater. I also use electric heaters. The combination of the two of them work well. Also check to see if you have a switch that will blow hot air from the propane heater into the bays below the coach. If you do, you will want to turn that on.


Nancy
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RVER

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Posted: 12/10/16 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DO not use your water system when it is below freezing. You can buy some windshield washer solution to pour in toilet to flush but do not use water in rig at all when it is freezing out. NOW if you can thaw out your pipes, get a thing that screws into your city water inlet in the rig, and use a compressor and blow out your pipes of water with a faucet turned on and when no more water comes out go to the next faucet but at no time close one before you open the next. Do that to the toilet and shower as well. Pull your low point drains to drain out what you can before blowing out the pipes. Drain your hot water heater and your grey and black water tanks. You should be ok. MOST trailers and Motorhomes are NOT made to live in 24/7 and some actually will void the warranty if they find out you are living in it. IF you have a stick house than that is good, you just say you are traveling extensively now. HOPE it all works!!


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jnharley

Anywhere, U.S.A.

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Posted: 12/10/16 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As long as you keep your furnace on (we set ours at 55 degrees when it is forecast to be freezing) and you have a heated underbelly you can use the water in your rig. We however, fill our fresh water tank and use the pump. Full timers deal with this stuff all the time. Heat pumps work great if the temp is above 40 degrees but when you are more comfortable with your systems, experiment and you will find how low your can use your heat pumps. Our bedroom one will routinely work down to freezing but our main one only works down to around 40 degrees. You may not have damaged anything at all if you did not have sustained freezing temps. When it is too low for our heat pumps, we put the furnace on 55 degrees and use a spac e heater. Closing off the rest of the TV from the sleeping area and using a space heater is freezing temps keeps us nice an warm overnight. Then we kick up the furnace in the mornin g to warm the rest of the rig up.

* This post was edited 12/10/16 09:23am by jnharley *


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allen8106

Burrton. KS

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Posted: 12/10/16 10:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Scottiemom wrote:

If you were heating with electric heat pumps, that could be the problem. Heat pumps only work till about 40 degrees. Then they just blow cold air. Nothing wrong with them, that is how they work by design.

Always keep propane when it's cold out.

Dale


I work for an HVAC manufacturer, we design heat pumps to operate down to minus 20f.


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LarryJM

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Posted: 12/11/16 12:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

allen8106 wrote:

Scottiemom wrote:

If you were heating with electric heat pumps, that could be the problem. Heat pumps only work till about 40 degrees. Then they just blow cold air. Nothing wrong with them, that is how they work by design.

Always keep propane when it's cold out.

Dale


I work for an HVAC manufacturer, we design heat pumps to operate down to minus 20f.


I think that's because those have an electric supplemental unit to augment when temps get too low, something RV units don't have because of electrical limitations.

Larry


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Y-Guy

Tri-Cities, WA

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Posted: 12/11/16 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I always carry a couple (2-3) small ceramic space heaters, since they are much quieter then the propane furnace, and I can heat the motorhome with them set on low. If it gets super cold the LP furnace supplements them, I rarely run them on high.


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doxiemom11

Mississippi

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Posted: 12/11/16 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When it's cold out, keep your shades down, put something in the vent/fan openings as warm air goes thru those little plastic covers easily. We have also noticed that floor is cold and if sitting with your feet down, makes you feel colder. Put an extra layer on the floor where you sit. You will feel warmer. We also use electric heaters to supplement the propane furnace, but we do use the furnace to make sure our water stays good. Do NOT leave your grey tank valve open as you will end up with an ice chunk in your hose. Let your holding tanks fill and them empty, the black first, then the grey to rinse the hose. You can also put bubble wrap on the inside of the windows to help insulate. If a motorhome - keep drapes closed on the windshield. That lets a lot of cold in.

Scottiemom

South Dakota/Indiana

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Posted: 12/12/16 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No Stress Express wrote:

Everything else works. We also ran out of propane. Filling the tank this morning, hoping that will work.

Do you have any clue what would make both stop working suddenly?


The best resource DH and I can think of is RV Boot Camp. It is run by the Escapees RV Club. They are in Livingston, Texas, but they hold the boot camp at most/all of their rallies. You can go to their website and look up info on it. One of their members, Mark Nemeth, is very knowledgeable and writes a column in their magazine. Their boot camp, which covers 3 days I think, covers everything and all the systems you have.

Take a good look and see if you could squeeze something like that in.

Happy Trails!

Dale


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Scottiemom

South Dakota/Indiana

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Posted: 12/12/16 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LarryJM wrote:

allen8106 wrote:

Scottiemom wrote:

If you were heating with electric heat pumps, that could be the problem. Heat pumps only work till about 40 degrees. Then they just blow cold air. Nothing wrong with them, that is how they work by design.

Always keep propane when it's cold out.

Dale


I work for an HVAC manufacturer, we design heat pumps to operate down to minus 20f.


I think that's because those have an electric supplemental unit to augment when temps get too low, something RV units don't have because of electrical limitations.

Larry


Quite possibly, Larry. Ours specifically say 40* and at that point, it's like flipping a switch and then the cold air starts!

Dale

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