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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Camping in sub freezing weather

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JimK-NY

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Posted: 09/05/20 11:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

memtb wrote:

..It takes a pretty good RV to live comfortably in those temps. Ours was a 1990 Teton with a -20 or -30 F guarantee...... memtb


I suspect this is why we have so many differing opinions. I can say for sure that my RV was not designed to handle low temps. It does sort of OK down to a bit below freezing. Below that it will be drafty inside and the furnace will need to run frequently.

In cool damp weather frost on the exterior will show the RV construction. The walls are braced with 1x3 slats. Between the slats there is cheap 3/4" rigid foam.

2oldman

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Posted: 09/05/20 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

memtb wrote:

It takes a pretty good RV to live comfortably in those temps.
It does, and it's not just the temperature, it's the WIND! My rig, I found out the hard way, is really drafty, especially around the front door. Even the door latch leaks.

There's nothing quite as uncomfortable for me to be in the 20s with a nice 15-20mph wind trying to force its way inside. No thanks.

memtb

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Posted: 09/05/20 12:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

memtb wrote:

It takes a pretty good RV to live comfortably in those temps.
It does, and it's not just the temperature, it's the WIND! My rig, I found out the hard way, is really drafty, especially around the front door. Even the door latch leaks.

There's nothing quite as uncomfortable for me to be in the 20s with a nice 15-20mph wind trying to force its way inside. No thanks.



We discovered the truth in that statement last November. We were in a campground (believe it or not), parked with the refrigerator side to the east. A winter storm came through, hard winds from the east, with morning temperatures @-10 F. This was the first experience of this nature in this new ( to us) camper! The wind was blowing into the camper around the refrigerator.....low 40’s in the camper. I think that the wind was coming through bad enough to blow out a candle if put close to the refrigerator. We ended-up completely blocking the refrigerator vent with a plastic garbage bag. This unit was supposed to be good (warranted) to a minus 20F ....but, that didn’t take into consideration a massive leak!

When we got home and the weather was a bit warmer, I found that the gap between the refrigerator and the space built for it had a gap of approximately 1 to 1 1/2” all the way around. Apparently, the previous owner had the refrigerator removed for repair and no insulation/wind block was put into the gap. This has since been remedied.....we’re looking forward to a test this winter! Though, we’re not looking forward to a “repeat performance” last November! memtb

* This post was edited 09/05/20 01:06pm by memtb *


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bikendan

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Posted: 09/05/20 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimK-NY wrote:

memtb wrote:

..It takes a pretty good RV to live comfortably in those temps. Ours was a 1990 Teton with a -20 or -30 F guarantee...... memtb


I suspect this is why we have so many differing opinions. I can say for sure that my RV was not designed to handle low temps. It does sort of OK down to a bit below freezing. Below that it will be drafty inside and the furnace will need to run frequently.

In cool damp weather frost on the exterior will show the RV construction. The walls are braced with 1x3 slats. Between the slats there is cheap 3/4" rigid foam.


Yep, the OP needs to get a higher end trailer built for cold weather camping, like Arctic Fox or Outdoors RV, made in Oregon.
Marketing BS like "Arctic Package" or "Thermal Package" are fancy terms for heated underbelly or holding tanks. They aren't going to make a 3 season RV into something for the temps the OP is talking about.


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2oldman

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Posted: 09/05/20 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

memtb wrote:

I think that the wind was coming through bad enough to blow out a candle if put close to the refrigerator. We ended-up completely blocking the refrigerator vent with a plastic garbage bag.
Yikes.. and trying to do that when the wind is blowing?

Not cold, but the worst wind I've been in was Lake Mead. Strong enough to lift my big slide, breaking the top seal and letting all that wind and dirt in. It was not easy closing it. It got so bad I thought the whole rig was going over.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 09/05/20 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we ski up at Schwitzer in northern Idaho. The lower parking lot is usually filled with a dozen or so trailers/motorhomes. Temps get down around 0F at night, seldom above freezing in the daytime. There are NO hookups at any kind in the parking lots, just dry camping. We often are there for a week or more, and the trailers seem to stay quite a while, often as long as we are their.

Based on my experience camping near freezing or below which we have done:
1) expect to use lots of propane
2) bring plenty of gas for the generator to power stuff in the trailer in case you can't hook to electric
3) make sure you can duct some hot air into the underbelly to keep tanks from freezing.
4) If you don't have thermopane windows, get some of the heat shrink film that adheres to the windows to make them somewhat thermopane. You WILL be adding lots of moisture into the trailer with the ski clothing etc. no matter how carefull you are.
5) if you have electric hookup, get a portable dehumidifier and run it to keep the humidity down with all the extra water you'll likely be dragging into the trailer.


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Trekkar

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Posted: 09/06/20 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, you're going for the skiing, not the camping, yes? You have temperature history at this location, but you previously stayed indoors instead of camping, yes?

As stated in previous posts, at the very least you'll go through lots of propane to keep everything warm. At worst something fails and you have freeze ups.

We winter camp all season in Michigan (U.P. and L.P.), but we always winterize. Too many possible points that can still freeze, and equipment seems to fail easier in cold weather. Insulated H20 container, portapotti arrangements, and warm sleeping bags let you concentrate on your outdoor winter entertainment and worry less about your equipment.

Have a good trip. Hope all goes well with you.


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richclover

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Posted: 09/06/20 01:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I still have this heater from my airplane days. Worked nicely for pre-heating the cabin in my unheated T-hangar. My new Chaparral 5’er sports a “heated”, enclosed underbelly. In fact, the basement area containing lotsa plumbing and the hot water heater includes the furnace and ducting. The area is open, over the top, to the pass through basement storage where there is a 110-v plug. I’m thinking of using this heater, with plenty of space around it, any time the camper is plugged into shore power or generator this winter. Might be a way to safely supplement the heat in the basement.

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General Aviation aircraft cockpit heater
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Extremely safe HALT Technology
High Airflow Low Temperature
Patented Stainless Steel heating modules can not overheat
5" x 5.25" x 3.625" housing
120 volts standard (220/240V AC available)
700 watts
40' Premium extreme weather cord rated at -40° C
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Model H7MIJ1-700


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time2roll

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Posted: 09/06/20 01:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been down to -10F in my Summer trailer. A few issues but it was mostly fine. Then like memtb improvements are made and out you go again. That is part of the fun for some of us.


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2oldman

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Posted: 09/07/20 01:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I guess he has his answer. I do not.

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