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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Waterton Park Alberta

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Photomike

Southern Alberta or where the camper is parked!

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Posted: 01/01/11 10:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well I had to teach a class on December 27 in Waterton National Park (south western part of Alberta) and decided that I may as well head out a day early and take the TC. Weather was not to bad, was -14C with 20 - 40 KPH winds, headed out later in the afternoon on the 26th and just took my time. The closer that I got to Waterton the windier that it got, as I pulled into the park the wind stopped and the snow started. This trip I took along a cat heater and a 110V Lasko electric heater. My TC furnace has been making a loud squeal and I wanted something that was a little quieter and thought that I would give the electric heater a try. Found a perfect campsite that was plowed and had electricity and for a great price - FREE!! Was shocked to see the campground plowed and I hope this is a sign that Parks Canada is starting to realize that some people like to camp in the winter. Got in my site just as the snow stopped and the wind picked up. Wanted to do some Astro photography but soon realized that the weather was not going to cooperate. So I turned on the furnace and got some dinner. After a nice dinner decided that I would listen to some music and have a nap, soon found out that with the electric heater the furnace never had to come on once the TC was up to temp. Woke up around 11pm, still hoping to get in some night photography but when I heard the wind I knew that it was not going to happen. Watched part of a movie and turned in around midnight. I was woke up a few times through the night by the wind, then at 6am it really woke me up. I thought that the truck was going to blow over. Decided that I would move to a more sheltered spot across the park, pulled in the next spot around 6:30am and not a breeze there. Cranked on the furnace and was back to sleep till 8:30am. Headed out to teach my course and had a great time.

A couple things that I realized on this trip;

1 - The $30.00 I spent on plexiglass to add a storm window to the dining table window was VERY well spent. So today I added plexi to all the windows, except the cabover as I use the bubble pack material there.

2 - The electric heater was an amazing addition. Does take up floor space, but I love that it takes the air from the floor and heats it and shoots it out the top. When the wind was down (that was not a lot) this kept the TC warm by its self. In the strong wind it struggled as the wind was coming in the other three windows without the storms. Tonight I was working in the TCer and it is -5C and with the windows all having storms it got too hot in there and that was with just the electric heater.

3 - The cover I put in the exhaust vent over the stove works great. I cut a piece of the reflective bubble pack and drop the screen and put the bubble material in with the screen holding it. Cuts out all drafts from here.

4 - Weather stripping from last year helped a lot. In the 120KPH winds I did find one place that I had to fix, but what a difference.

5 - Tried the idea of heating the TCer up before I left home, made no difference in the temp when I got down there as the wind was blowing through the cracks in the windows. May try this again now that I have the storm windows in. I am thinking if I got a remote thermostat that I can turn the heater on in the TCer as I am nearing my destination that this would be better.

6 - As usual I opened all the cupboards when I arrived to get the cool spots warmed up, but I also pulled the sheets back on the bed - was a lot warmer when I went to get than other times.

7 - I do need to get inserts for the roof vents, they don't feel cold but I am sure that it will make a huge difference.

Well it was a good learning experience if nothing else. As far as the course went we got some nice weather after all and some good pictures as well.

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DAS26miles

SoCal

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Posted: 01/01/11 11:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were up there mid-September and the place was closing down for the winter. The hotel had closed the weekend before we arrived. It was beautiful and we stayed in the CG at the far end of town. While in the village, we talked with the sporting goods shop owner who stays with about 5-10 others for the winter. She said they get snowed in for the winter. How were you able to get in? I'm sure the CG was closed for the season. We weren't happy about having to pay $10 per person per day for being in the National Park. Didn't stay long enough to make the annual pass worthwhile. The towns residents were very nice like all Canadians, except the agent at Chief Mountain port of entry. Gave us a very hard time because my wife took a photo at the crossing.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/01/11 11:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi photomike,

Thanks for the great pictures!

For the furnace--just add a switch in series with the thermostat in the cab. Another series switch can be added in the TC in parallel with the one in the cab, so that the thermostat can be activated from either location.

When I bought my vent cushions I left them in the plastic--they work well--and it keeps they clean and dry.

Try a blanket over the entry door to cut down on heat losses!

I'm jealous of your trip!


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 01/02/11 06:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You are a much braver person than me, that or you just have much warmer clothing.

Wonderful pics. Especially like the one of the frozen rock on the lake.

120KPH winds would be something. Defintely help you find any drafts, no matter how small normally.

I discovered the trick on the bed sheets three trips ago when it was starting to get cold. Then this last trip, I put flannel sheets on, that helped even more.

Would be interested in your plexi-glass window more. I think that would be helpful for my large window.

Have you put plastic on your screen door yet?


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
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billtex

RI

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Posted: 01/02/11 08:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice...thanx for sharing...

How much did you pay that buck to get him to pose like that?

Bill


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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 01/02/11 09:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike, amazing photos -- would you consider posting a link to your gallery in your signature? Thanks!


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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 01/02/11 10:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful wildlife photos - you are living up to your name. I also love the frozen waterfall - I certainly don't see a lot of that in my part of the world!

Many thanks,

Steve.


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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 01/02/11 10:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All those pictures, especially the frozen waterfall, are all frigidly beautiful. Thanks for posting them...I guess you could say the buck stops there?

Dave1131

Edmonton,AB

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Posted: 01/02/11 11:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW!

Love that area.
Have never winter camped there.

Thanks for sharing
Dave


2012 GMC Denali Dually,6.6 Duramax,Firestone air bags with wireless remote,2007 Lance 1131,2 Trojan T-145's,270 watts Kyocera solar, Morningstar Dual 25 Amp Battery Charge Controller.


~DJ~

Boise, Idaho

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Posted: 01/02/11 11:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Always enjoy TR's from one of our Master Photographers!!!!

Nice Buck!!!

I love winter camping. But last weekend got to -20F and I need a bigger heater and more insulation!!!! [emoticon]


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