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RE: How cold can you go?

And one more thought -- we are not hijacking the thread here. This is all relevant to "how cold can you go," the OP's topic. How does one cope with winter weather? It's not really relevant to what I was asking, but I certainly don't mind :-). As long as it's cold enough to not be DAMP, down is the way to go for sleeping bags and jackets. The old adage of layers, layers, layers. No cotton anything. Wool baselayers. Insulated boots. Good gloves and hats. When we're "still" I'll wear my knee length down coat. When doing physical activity I wear very little - base layers with a thin pair of insulated pants (biking, cross-country skiing gear). Usually a wool shortsleeve over a technical long sleeve with a thin windproof vest and a thin jacket over. Depending on how much exertion I'll be putting out in the beginning might also have on my Patagonia Nanopuff, but I usually get hot pretty quickly in that. Basically I try to stay slightly on the cool side the whole time so I don't sweat a lot so stops aren't brutal. In the tent sleeping days (hopefully in a few years we'll be back with the kids doing some of that) we'd dig down into the snow some to create a wind barrier. Fill thermos bottles with hot water before bed and throw them in the bottom of the sleeping bag. Always wear a thin hat to bed and layer from there depending on how good your sleeping bag is. I find 800-fill down is good for me into the teens at night in a tent. Marmot is my go-to brand for down sleeping bags.
campbikemom 10/25/19 06:24am Travel Trailers
RE: How cold can you go?

A member just PMed me to ask about the wiper blades in that photo. I move them away from the glass when snow is in the forecast. That way, they don't freeze to the windshield. You can imagine how I learned about that trick. Yep -- one time, I froze 'em, and then saw that other folks had pivoted them away from the glass. (Bear in mind that I am a Californian, not used to freezing weather. My guess is that small children in North Dakota learn about how to avoid "wiper freeze" before they start kindergarten.) It's funny to me being in the snowiest city in North America to even think that people don't know that purpose. I need to remember at one point I also lived in the high desert where when it snows it melts within 12 hours. I've lived in SW MN all my life. It is quite cold and snowy here. I've never seen anyone do this. I'm not sure why you would ? What does it hurt if they freeze to the windshield? You have to chip the ice and snow off of the glass as the car warms up anyway. While doing that you just bump the wiper with the ice scraper and it comes loose from the glass. SW MN gets about 3' of snow a year. Where I live averages 12', and just north of me over 300" a year. Not even comparable. Repeated (as in daily) snowfall chunks of ice that don't want to melt away and ruin your wiperblades quickly get built up. Keeping your wipers out saves you a step of having to pull them out when you're scraping your windshield and the lower portion where your hood and windshield meet. Also, when you are warming your car with that much snow on it the snow starts to melt underneath, but it stays cold enough on the top layer so it just starts turning to ice. Unless you have the encapsulated wiper blades they loose flexibility and don't clear as well.
campbikemom 10/25/19 06:13am Travel Trailers
RE: How cold can you go?

A member just PMed me to ask about the wiper blades in that photo. I move them away from the glass when snow is in the forecast. That way, they don't freeze to the windshield. You can imagine how I learned about that trick. Yep -- one time, I froze 'em, and then saw that other folks had pivoted them away from the glass. (Bear in mind that I am a Californian, not used to freezing weather. My guess is that small children in North Dakota learn about how to avoid "wiper freeze" before they start kindergarten.) It's funny to me being in the snowiest city in North America to even think that people don't know that purpose. I need to remember at one point I also lived in the high desert where when it snows it melts within 12 hours.
campbikemom 10/21/19 06:06am Travel Trailers
RE: Trying to find this floorplan

I am new here, and not really a "weight police" member. However, our tow vehicle used to be a mid-size unibody SUV with a towing capacity of 5000 pounds. Similar to the Atlas. Our camper has a dry weight of about 3200 pounds and a GVWR of 4500 (Starcraft BH19.... a lot smaller than the trailer you are looking at). We never towed it with water and always packed very light, but it was still pretty darn close to that towing limit. I would recommend not going over 2800 pounds or so and keep it to a 7' wide trailer with an egg design.....IF you are planning on keeping this car. The mid-size unibody SUV's are not meant to really tow, and do not underestimate the added drag that a hardside trailer. Our car really got pushed around and struggled horribly with inclines. We always stuck to camping within a few hours of home. We did it, but went into the situation with our eyes wide open. We were willing to suffer with what we had because we had a distinct plan to live with it for a couple camping seasons and then trade our car in for something bigger. Something like this would get you a bed and a couch; you'd just need to put the bed up and down each day if you planned to use the couch. Check out video of some of the Forest River murphy beds. I am not sure about this particular lines, but all the ones I've seen have a great non-folding system that is easy peasey. We are leaning towards a murphy for our new trailer and I've tried them out myself on the Rockwood Mini-Lites and they are a breeze. https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/travel-trailers/flagstaff-e-pro/E19FD/3557 Something like this is probably pushing the weight, but with the eggshell design and a much smaller footprint you'd be in a better spot. The u-shaped dinettes are very roomy. https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/travel-trailers/r-pod/RP-195/4588 This Jayco has the layout you like with the bed in the back, but just a standard booth dinette. 7' wide though and under 3000 lbs. https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2020-jay-flight-slx-7/195rb/ Also, think about what shortcuts in quality of materials are being made to get a trailer THAT big down to that weight considering almost every other 25' trailer with a slide you will find is going to be at least 1200 pounds heavier.
campbikemom 10/18/19 10:48am Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

Murphy bed all the way. There is no substitute for the added floor space. Especially if there's no bumps. You'll appreciate that extra room on the occasional rainy day or when packing lots of family. For us, it was either a murphy or the unit we have that pops out the back like a pez dispenser. We have as much floor space as a 30 footer wrapped in a 25 footer. I have seen those - what made you decide on your pez dispenser vs. a murphy? 1) Floor space/floor plan, 2) front bunk space to house the dogs, 3) price. We'd been looking for over a year and when we walked into it, we knew "this is it". It was laid out perfectly for our needs. Interesting about the price because I feel like it is the same or more as a lot of the murphy bed options that we have looked at. It also appears your particular model has been discontinued. That's too bad, because I think that is my favorite "pez dispenser" model that I've seen yet. I really like any models that have the "garage" although I have yet to see one that had windows on bunks like that, which is a big negative. I also wanted to have a "walk around" bed, but a big king might be a trade-off I'm willing to do!
campbikemom 10/18/19 05:17am Travel Trailers
RE: How cold can you go?

Just a thought. If your RV is stowed on your property could you do your 4 year old’s birthday “camping trip” there, instead of venturing off with all the concerns and parameters that freezing temp camping entails? Keep the propane furnace running, cart needed supplies in and out of the house, spend the night, and have fun. The little tyke is on the short side of 4, and I’ll bet those memories will stick just about as well as if you went far afield and maybe ended up with frozen pipes out in the country. Back in the day it worked when mine turned 3, and he still talks about it. He’ll be 30 on his next birthday. Just a thought. Good suggestion. We do that at least once a year already. Exploring the wild is what makes it exciting for him so another driveway adventure wouldn't have the same appeal. BUT we did talk about worst-case just hooking up the camper, driving to a state or county park with no camping and set up in the parking lot for the day and then going home at night. At the end of the day, though a cake, some presents, and a banner would probably appease him! We really actually like camping that time of year because it's dead everywhere. It's not so much if we will go it's how we'll manage it. We already don't use the toilet in the camper and we could go without showers for 2 nights. I DO like having hot running water for dishes and washing my face, but we've done probably hundreds of nights in the wilderness without those luxuries so it's definitely not a deal-breaker.
campbikemom 10/17/19 11:35am Travel Trailers
RE: How cold can you go?

Guys, my question was strictly related to whether the pipes and tanks would survive if we camped with water. There are plenty of campgrounds open in NY at that time and I've backpacked into the teens at night, so a heated and insulated (as wimpy as the insulation might be) will be dreamy. Thanks for the suggestions. We will keep an eye on the weather and see what it looks like when we get closer. If it appears it might be a dicey temperature then we'll plan on dry camping with jugs of water like the tent and 1980's Jayco popup days.
campbikemom 10/17/19 11:28am Travel Trailers
How cold can you go?

This is the time of year that we usually embark on our last camping trip. We were planning on making the trip last weekend our last of the year, but my 3 (soon to be 4) year old asked if we could go camping for his birthday after he saw another kid having a "camping birthday party." His birthday in mid-November. I think it's a GREAT idea - save for the fact that we live in Central NY and we can have temperatures below freezing. Our current camper does not have an enclosed and heated underbelly. So, how cold can we reasonably expect to camp without disaster striking? Would high 20's/low 30's be OK or is anything close to freezing too risky? Also, we could be crazy and camp in the trailer for a nice dry, heated placed to sleep and just not fill the water tanks. However, the camper hasn't been winterized so not sure that would even be OK.
campbikemom 10/16/19 11:14am Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

Murphy bed all the way. There is no substitute for the added floor space. Especially if there's no bumps. You'll appreciate that extra room on the occasional rainy day or when packing lots of family. For us, it was either a murphy or the unit we have that pops out the back like a pez dispenser. We have as much floor space as a 30 footer wrapped in a 25 footer. I have seen those - what made you decide on your pez dispenser vs. a murphy?
campbikemom 10/16/19 11:05am Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

Man I have to do an eye roll at some of you. I grew up backpacking and living large in a popup and in my adulthood have continued to backpack, tent it at drive-up sites, had my own popup, and now have a single-room travel trailer. Never would "mommy and daddy time" for the 30 nights a year we camp even be remotely entertained in the decision on what type of camper to get. Thanks for the input from those of you that have one. It sounds like 90% of the people out there who have a murphy bed appreciate the pros of having one vs. the potential cons. Especially with the type of campers that we are I think it will be the best bang for our desired footprint. We did a walk through of a couple Rockwood 2509S models the other day (a 2019 and 2020) and I really like them. 25', a u-shaped dinette, and two pantries is amazing. I really wish you could order campers without an "entertainment center." They are so much wasted space. In the case of the 2509 there is no upper cabinets in the kitchen in lieu of a space for a big TV. Annoying considering we'll never use a TV.
campbikemom 10/16/19 11:04am Travel Trailers
RE: Organized Obie Installs

Thanks for the awesome replies! The issues about tearing the walls is a new one! I have some strong "outdoor rated" command hooks mounted around the camper, but they are all on the side of cabinetry so tearing the wall isn't an issue.
campbikemom 10/09/19 08:05pm Travel Trailers
RE: Organized Obie Installs

I have never understood why people have to be condescending even with the most basic questions on forums. Yes, I am sure I want these (really not that expensive in the grand scheme of owning a travel trailer) products. Or similar. We have had a trailer for 6 years, and we are on our 3rd season with this particular one. If you have a suggestion for a similar "less expensive" cargo net for books, small stuffed animals, etc. for bedside feel free to suggest them. Based on your response you would have thought I was suggesting some outlandish $5000 change to the trailer.
campbikemom 10/09/19 05:59am Travel Trailers
Organized Obie Installs

I was wondering if anyone has used the Organized Obie products? For some reason it makes me nervous to screw things into the walls of the camper for the bunks and bed. Some of their products attach with 3M adhesive "snaps" and I am intrigued. As an aside, if I decide not to use the adhesive products, would the small screws that come with these products be a bad idea? How careful do I need to be to where I am screwing? Does a stud need to be involved? https://www.organizedobie.com/about
campbikemom 10/08/19 07:13pm Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

We have three slides and do just fine in cold weather (full-timers). It all depends on how well the RV is built. We just had a conversation with a couple who have a Murphy bed in their TT. The rig was fairly new and the mattress was already developing a crease and breaking down as a result of being folded. I would vote against a Murphy. Rob To clarify, we DEFINITELY are not considering a murphy that folds - only the ones that tip up into place while made and that you can put a topper on.
campbikemom 10/06/19 05:38am Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

Found a few, Jay feather Several in Pa, if that isnt too far. No, PA wouldn't be too far, however, we are just in the "starting to look" phase and wouldn't be purchasing until next year sometime so I am sure they will be long gone by then. We wanted to try and get another season out of our current camper and continue to haul with our new TV to get a feel for it's capabilities before we switched things up.
campbikemom 10/06/19 05:37am Travel Trailers
RE: TT Upgrade Suggestions: TV: 2019 Nissan Armada

Campina, thanks so much for the input on the murphy bed. I'm especially keen on reading that you can have a 5" topper on top of the existing mattress. After thinking about it that might actually be the perfect solution. 75% of the time when we are camping the bed would probably never get put up and then when we are taking it to bike races for the day the bed can stay up and won't be in the way. Still leaning towards a slide, though just for the extra floor space. My kids are still at the age where the floor is the primary play area - whether it's indoors or outdoors.
campbikemom 10/06/19 05:31am Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

We bought the Rockwood Mini Light 2507s with Murphy bed this year, and have spent about 30 nights in it this Summer. We love it!!! Mattress is travel trailer standard but with a foam toppper it is just fine. As stated above the bed doesn't fold it is a true Murphy bed and stands up against the wall. When closed all you see is a finished wall and cabinet. With the bed up and the slide out there is a huge amount of room for a small trailer.and lots of kitchen counter space!!! Down side: The bed stows down into the pass through area that is common in most TT and uses up a lot of that space, this worried me during the "gonna buy" stage but decided it could be lived with. As it turned out it is fine, plenty of storage. Speaking of storage we were amazed at the amount available in this small trailer, our old trailer was 2 foot longer and we were crowded for storage. We took everything out of the old TT and placed it in the new and we found we have empty cabinets, kind of a strange. I would also recommend that you look at the Rockwood Mini Lite 2509s (with bunk beds) We found the brand to be much better built especially in the fit and finish than most other brands we looked at, and we looked at a lot of them. Tinbender Thank you so much for the information! This is great information. I checked it out and it literally has all the things that I want. Not just one, but TWO pantries. A window in the slide. Windows in the bunk. Cabinet doors on the dinette ends. I would prefer one big sink but I'll settle for two.
campbikemom 10/05/19 07:41pm Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

I have no personal experience with a Murphy bed, but I talked to a couple who had one. I was told that it can be folded when completely made up, and deploying it and folding it was very easy. They seemed to like it. I do have some experience with sofas and u shaped dinettes. U dinettes don't comfortably sit as many people as you might think. Two people sitting near a corner will be knocking knees. I suggest you sit all the people who will travel with you at any dinettes you are considering before you commit. I would give high priority to a sofa. No matter how much time you intend to spend outside, you'll have to deal with an occasional rain day and a comfortable sofa will make a big difference. Dinettes are fine for a meal or playing game, but they're just not comfortable for reading or watching TV. Do happen to know what camper brand/model they had? I agree about the u-shaped dinettes. They are much better than standard dinettes, however. My dream is one big couch that has chaise legs coming off the two ends and then a folding table you can move in front of it when you need to eat at it. I have yet to find that setup yet, though!
campbikemom 10/05/19 06:58pm Travel Trailers
RE: TT Upgrade Suggestions: TV: 2019 Nissan Armada

camperbikermom, as you can see, the "weight cop" vultures are circling hard already at your mere mention of towing a mid size trailer with a full size SUV. Even though your post and questions did not even allude to wanting anyone's opinion. All I can offer is don't get too caught up in that and maybe you'll get some good info on the type of camper to buy. Keep the weight reasonable and ignore the folks that meter out how many paper plates they put in the pantry based on their sherline scale reading! So, are you saying that anyone that is trying to match their TV to a trailer should not understand or do the basic math? What is the problem with making sure you are within the specs for your vehicle? When determining the type of camper somebody wants, isn’t making sure that the TV is not being overloaded by that choice somewhat important? I really don’t care what the TV is, as long as people are informed and know the capabilities and the limitations of said TV. Same goes for the camper. A lot of wasted time looking at campers that are not a good fit with a certain TV can be avoided. Grit dog can correct me if I'm wrong, but the "basic math" still leaves a pretty big range. Some people insist you need to stay on one end of the spectrum, and others like to live dangerously. In my case, it's an almost 2500 lb range that would leave us within the recommendations.
campbikemom 10/05/19 10:42am Travel Trailers
RE: Murphy Bed vs. Separate Bedroom

Hi, If you were to full time a Murphy bed might be a bit of a pain. I'm not a fan of slides, because I cold weather camp. I would buy a used RV over a brand new unit as there are often multiple problems direct from the factory (it's not a bug it's a feature). Five years old is ideal age. Definitely not full-timing it - probably 30-40 nights a year. Could you elaborate on the slides and cold weather? We've definitely talked about the downsides of slides with added weight and the potential for leaks, but I have not heard anything about limitations on cold weather camping. A friend of mine has a 5th wheel with a slide and uses it a lot in Central NY weather so it's not something I've considered. We don't get as cold as you, but our winters are nothing to scoff at.
campbikemom 10/05/19 09:44am Travel Trailers
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