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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Camping at 27 degrees.

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Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 11/09/22 04:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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We have ducted heat,2 furnaces,with supposed basement heat so say's owners manual. I am going to disconnect from shore water and just use fresh tank,keep heat on 70,leave luggage lights on (1156) in wet storage,leave gray water open as always & empty black then shut and add antifreeze.Should that be good enough ?


My $0.02 is that will work, but it's WAY overkill. I'm basing my advice on what I do with our 36' Class A. You'll waste a ton of propane keeping the inside at 70*F. If you have electricity and electric heat as an option, I would use that, and only to keep it comfortable in your bedroom and bathroom overnight. During the day, you can put the furnace on to take the chill off, then use electric heaters during the day.

Disconnecting from shore water is a good idea. The fresh water tank will take A LONG time to freeze and won't do it at all at the temps you mentioned.

The 1156 luggage light bulbs do not put out enough heat to make any difference. IF you were going to be in colder temps (25*F or lower for 8 hours or more) I'd recommend a small 150W portable electric heater to put in the bay with the water pump. That'll keep things flowing down into the low 20's, and probably into the high to mid teens.

I NEVER leave my gray tank open. I think that's a bad practice as your rig now becomes a sewer vent for the campground septic/sewer system. But in cold weather, the gray water that flows into the drain hose will freeze. Plastic gets brittle as it is in cold temps, let alone having ice in it. If you go to move it with ice in it, you probably run a high risk of the hose cracking. Like someone else said, keep the drain hose in a bin, protected from the elements and ice.

I'd only dump the gray or black tanks when they need it. Let them fill until it's convenient to dump them. Convenient based upon your schedule and above freezing weather. The MORE liquid you have in the tank, the LONGER it will take to freeze the liquid in them at any given temperature.

Antifreeze won't be needed at all. UNLESS you're talking about winterizing the rig at the end of the camping trip. But I wouldn't add it in until you put the RV to bed for the winter. If you put the antifreeze in the traps before you leave, it might slosh out of the P-traps while you travel.

We've camped in our rig down into the single digits. For that, we went through about 20 lbs. of propane in less than 24 hours AND we used 3 electric heaters, 2 inside and 2 small (150W) outside (one in the bay with the water pump, one in a bay near the water tank). We were nice and cozy, the kids were comfy. The water kept flowing. But that was COLD for us, though I know there are those on here that have braved even lower temps.

Have fun & Good Luck,

~Rick


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Rick, Gail, 1 girl (26-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (21), 2 boys (22 & 19).
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BarabooBob

Baraboo, WI

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Posted: 11/09/22 04:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At night we turn our furnace down to the lowest setting. That is 52 degrees with an old school honeywell thermostat (non-digital). If you are camping with electric hookups, turn on a couple of electric heaters. Our 17' camper only needed one heater and it stayed nice and warm. Our furnace never turned on.
Last month we dry camped for 9 days with highs in the 50's and lows around 15 degrees. We just installed new golf cart batteries and did not have any problems running our of battery juice. We just ran the generator for a couple of hours in the morning to top off the batteries. Great camping week.


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Retired JSO

North Georgia Mountains

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Posted: 11/09/22 06:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were living in our fifthwheel while our home was being built. I plugged up the wet bay opening with a rag, turned on a 40 watt light and let the water flow with a pencil lead size flow. Several days @15 degrees. We used 2 electric heaters on low over night and would turn on the furnace when we woke up every morning.





time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 11/09/22 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

27 is easy. Keep the furnace on and have a jacket for going outside. Monitor propane or heat source daily.


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Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 11/09/22 06:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shannon,
A lot of good advice here, but one from experience....
If you are planning on going anywhere, disconnect both ends of the water hose and "walk it out.
Pick up on of the disconnected ends and hold it high. Keep walking to the other end.
If you try to bend a hose with ice in it, it will often crack....
Matt


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valhalla360

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Posted: 11/10/22 02:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have it under control. A low temp of 27F is not a big deal.

As you indicated, disconnect the fresh water hose and drain the tanks. While I normally keep them closed when not actively draining, in this situation on sewer, I leave them both open. This assumes a day or two not several weeks. Yeah, a #2 will stick to the bottom but if you return to normal usage once you start moving (keep valves closed until 3/4 full), it will break up given a bit of time.

We camp in those conditions pretty regularly and don't sweat it.

While we prefer it cooler at night, no harm in keeping it at 70F if that's what you like. You will use a bit more propane but nothing excessive. Keep in mind, typically if the low is 27F, the high is likely somewhere around 45-50F, so during the day you won't burn much.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 11/10/22 04:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What people say about how long it would take to freeze in the tank is true. But the lines out of tank can freeze pretty quick, and if the line is full of ice your better off with MT tank. You can't use the water anyway.

I camp in a pop-up camper, and have stayed out when day-time highs where in 30s, nights in teens. My tank is under floor, right at axle. I have 3 pieces of line about 20 feet long with half of 1 of the cheap space blankets secured near the end of each. Throw line under trailer, then pull blanket under. Use magnetic clips to hook to frame, so I have a triangle shaped space between ground and tank. Hang a heat lamp, like what they sell for chickens, (200? watts) on the water line. Cover the end with 1 of the things sold to put on windshield to keep inside of car cooler

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 11/10/22 05:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What works for your rv may not work on others all depending how well its insulated...water lines protected/etc and the biggy around here is the wind when temps hit 32 degrees.

Most folks know what heat soak is.

We also need to know what cold soak can do when temps hit that magic freeze number.....and high constant winds.

I would suggest surveying other full timers in your area/campground/rv park how they have coped with below freezing winter temps.


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

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MFL

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Posted: 11/10/22 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

What people say about how long it would take to freeze in the tank is true. But the lines out of tank can freeze pretty quick, and if the line is full of ice your better off with MT tank. You can't use the water anyway.

I camp in a pop-up camper, and have stayed out when day-time highs where in 30s, nights in teens. My tank is under floor, right at axle. I have 3 pieces of line about 20 feet long with half of 1 of the cheap space blankets secured near the end of each. Throw line under trailer, then pull blanket under. Use magnetic clips to hook to frame, so I have a triangle shaped space between ground and tank. Hang a heat lamp, like what they sell for chickens, (200? watts) on the water line. Cover the end with 1 of the things sold to put on windshield to keep inside of car cooler


JIMNLIN said: "What works for your rv may not work on others all depending how well its insulated...water lines protected/etc and the biggy around here is the wind when temps hit 32 degrees."

^^This is very true!!

The OP will do just fine, in the conditions he describes!

In the case of the poor fellow trying to make do, with a pop up, temps in the teens, daytime 30s, it is foolish to continue trying to use water supply. A tent, or canvas sided tent on wheels is not suited to well below freezing temp camping.

Jerry





ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 11/10/22 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skills worth learning.
In the western mountains in can be 27 F at night in August.

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