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 > Rookie questions about the cold

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Joined: 01/26/2004

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Posted: 01/12/18 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife and I are going to be touring Arizona and New Mexico next month. We live in Southern California and dry camp a lot in our deserts during the winter. It's not unusual for our camping temps to be in the 40s during the day and 20s at night. We've never given a second thought to anything freezing except for the dog's water bowl. (Seriously, there will be a half inch of ice on the dog's water bowl in the morning, but it's always nice and toasty inside the trailer.)

We have NEVER winterized. The joke with our friends is that "winterizing" means taking the trailers out of storage and going camping, because the summer heat is finally over.

So my question is, do we need to be concerned about the winter temps overnight in Arizona and New Mexico? I'm looking at the weather at some of the places we want to visit in New Mexico, and it looks like it will be in the teens overnight.

We keep the trailer warm enough at night for us humans and our dogs. We have an enclosed belly and there was a sticker showing a snowflake being vanquished by the beefy all-weatherness of our trailer when we bought it.

We're obviously venturing into uncharted territories for us though.

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Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 01/12/18 08:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have never winterized in Tucson.

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Posted: 01/12/18 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where in NM. Up north in Feb you will get freezing temps. Down south not as likely.

Most of the time by mid Feb southern NM is seeing above freezing temps at night and 60-70 in the day. Here Altitude is the difference between freezing and above freezing.



Cambria, CA

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Posted: 01/12/18 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Because of the possible repair expense I get nervous and take preventive action when temps are estimated to be below 28 without wind. Don’t push your luck into the teens IMO.

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Joined: 06/27/2004

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Posted: 01/12/18 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i've been to "Q" three times and never had to worry about freezing

but if your going to Grand canyon / flagstaff, anyplace with altitude

i suggest you bite the bullet, use the LP run the furnace, and keep the Fiver warm
don't let the dog dish freeze and your tanks and pipes should be OK

there should be some heat ducts and warm air circulation into those areas
as long as you "use the furnace" and keep the interior in the 50's or warmer

you can do for this trip, don't play Eskimo and you should be OK

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would watch actual temps where when/where you camp and be prepared to winterize if it becomes required. A mild freeze overnight is not going to do any damage to stuff unless it continues for part of the day also. With that said read up on all the unprepared campers across the US right now posting about freezing their "4 season" rigs. I know nothing about the area your headed...but freezing is freezing and damage will happen to rigs that are not suited for harsh temps if they stick around long enough.


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Oregon (pronounced Or e gun)

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Posted: 01/12/18 10:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

here in Oregon we do get cold snaps but come elk season we get real cold. I've never worried about freezing any of the pipes in my TT. just keep the thermostat on 60 or more and you should be OK. you might run low on propane if you are out very long


Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 01/12/18 10:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure to have enough battery to get you through the night with the furnace running. It just needs to blow enough air into the underbelly to keep things from freezing. Leave cabinet doors open so the plumbing underneath them gets some warm air circulation.

Don't make the mistake of using electric heaters to the extent that your furnace won't come on. The electric heat won't do the underbelly any good.

If you have water hookups, only use your hose to fill the tank and don't leave it connected. Disconnect and drain it well after every use.

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Posted: 01/13/18 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


Please don't give the poster a false since of security about his underbelly having heat ducts going into it. THEY ALL DON'T !!!!
Including those that have labels at the door indicating they do.
I know from first hand experience.
Also a dealer told me the same as well.

PS: This applies to insulation in the underbelly. They all DO NOT have it, even when they are "supposed to have".

M Jones
American and Texan by birth
Christian by the Grace of God
Retired and enjoying Traveling and Camping
Spending part of summers in South Fork, Co


ummm, where are we again..

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Posted: 01/13/18 08:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We don't boondock so its not an issue to run the furnace at night and use an electric heated water hose to prevent it from freezing. Our Itasca has an enclosed under belly and heat ducts for warming down there. I still have a wireless out side thermometer that I leave in the wet bays to check the temps down there at night. Never gets below about 36 even with outside temps in the 15 - 20's range.


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