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 > Camping in cold temps, bad idea?

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richclover

WY

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Posted: 09/19/20 04:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NErunner wrote:

Hi all, I realize there's a recent post about camping in the winter, but it talks about a better insulated fifth wheeler camping in NM subfreezing temps, my situation is different.

My travel trailer (Prime Tracer 24DBS) comes with what the manufacturer calls an extended season camping that includes:

Roof (R-14) Double Layer Fiberglass
Floor (R-14) Extra Thick Bead Foam
Front Cap (R-14) Double Layer Fiberglass Insulation
Enclosed And Heated Underbelly
Enclosed And Heated Holding Tanks

I take it I can probably delay winterization until late fall and use it normally? I'm asking because we are planning our last trip of the season for the end of November (Thanksgiving), hoping to camp in the white mountains in NH. It gets pretty cold above tree line on the 4000 footers but in the valleys where the campsites are located the averages for that time of the year are 27F at night to 45F during the day.

I wonder, will it be too late into the season for camping with my unit without taken any precautions? If so, what I should worry about to avoid a catastrophe? Thanks in advance!


Mid-20’s night and 40’s daytime wouldn’t bother me. Especially if your days are sunny. “Heated underbelly” ... My last bumper pull and current 5’er had the same and heat is provided by the furnace ducting through the floor area, front and rear, to the furnace floor vents. If yours is the same I would be running the propane heat. 55-60 degrees nighttime on the thermostat works for me. Throw a “log” on when you roll out to fire up the coffee. 65 degrees daytime.

If you depend on electric space heaters you may well freeze the plumbing in the underbelly/basement. An extra propane tank would be a good thing.

Disconnect the city water and drain the hose after filling your tank for a couple of days needs.

I never run my furnace while towing. It takes time for a rig to cold soak.

Have fun!


Rich
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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/19/20 05:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

richclover,

not if you get a twindow fan to replace the cold air return grill.


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jaycocamprs

Ringgold Georgia

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Posted: 09/19/20 06:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

27F at night to 45F during the day. No problem, just fill the tank and run the pump. Use a small heater to take some of the load of the furnace, during the day. But you still want it to run some as the temps drop at night. Take some RV antifreeze with you and winterize before you leave.


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patperry2766

Saginaw Texas

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Posted: 09/20/20 06:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

wa8yxm wrote:

True Story. This was around 1971 give or take a year.> Temps in Lower Lower MI hit -40 and then some (past -40 in the negative direction) Propane would not vaporize. Fuel oil gelled.. Many people .. Er.. Froze their... you know what.

One gentleman in I think Wisconsin had made a bet.. He claimed (in advance) that on what by coincidence turned out to be the coldest night in a long time He'd be comfortable in a sleeping bag in a pup tent on the xx Green at the local golf course.. And he had the most comfortable night's sleep of anyone in that town... (He had the proper bag you see.. artic grade).

As for me.. Well we had heat (natural gas) where I was so it was not too bad but then I went to Church, where the sign said "For your health and comfort the FUEL fund deserves your generous support" It was Fr's annual State of the Parish financial sermon...

He explained how the parish had had to invest in a physical (heat) plant due to the closure of the commercial steam plant that used to serve Downtown Battle Creek (MI) and how for the first time in the Parish history they had to borrow money to do it.. But Greyhound had decided some land the parish owned that was not good for much other than wearing out lawn mowers (Land there is terraced and the parish owned land on 2 levels. this was the lower level and a fairly narrow strip) was the perfect palce for a new Bus Station.

So the boilers are paid for
They don't work... but they are paid for.

MAN was it cold in church.
Hmmmm. I grew up in MI (closer to Bay City, a ways north of Battle Creek) and I don’t recall any -40F or anything close to that, in any winter. As an 8th grader on a farm, I had to get up well before dawn to feed the cattle in ‘71; I think I would have noticed temps that low. Are you sure this isn’t one of those fish stories, like where the fish gets bigger over time? [emoticon]


coldest recorded temps per state

My dad worked in the oilfields of ND for a few years before we moved to Texas. He said that life takes on a special level of suck working there in the winter. Up to almost the day he retired, during the winter he always kept several blankets and about a weeks worth of non-perishable food in the trunk of his work car. He said that was instilled in him for survival training during winter work ther because that was pre-cell phones and if you broke down somewhere in the sticks, you might not see another person for a while


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Lantley

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Posted: 09/20/20 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Camping in cold weather is not a bad idea as long as temps go above freezing during the day.
However when temps remain below freezing for prolong periods, multiple days cold weather camping is a bad idea.
Camping than becomes more of a survival mission which takes the fun out of camping.


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richclover

WY

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Posted: 09/20/20 07:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

richclover,

not if you get a twindow fan to replace the cold air return grill.


Agreed and a good idea.

That’ll take electricity, 12 or 110v. Generator or plugged in, shore power. Gotta pay for the heat one way or another [emoticon]

NErunner

Arlington

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Posted: 09/20/20 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all, thank you very much for all suggestions, very helpful as usual.

It looks like I should also be watching the weather prior to the Thanksgiving camping trip since my camper is stored in my unprotected driveway near Boston, usually we can get a few days below freezing in Nov, who knows what the weather will look like, I need to be prepared for the worst. All tanks are empty on storage except the water heater, should I still hook my camper to house power and have the furnace running during below freezing nights?

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 09/20/20 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

richclover,

The fans use a scant 27 watts when on high. Ideal use of a small inverter.

jaycocamprs

Ringgold Georgia

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Posted: 09/20/20 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NErunner wrote:

Hi all, thank you very much for all suggestions, very helpful as usual.

It looks like I should also be watching the weather prior to the Thanksgiving camping trip since my camper is stored in my unprotected driveway near Boston, usually we can get a few days below freezing in Nov, who knows what the weather will look like, I need to be prepared for the worst. All tanks are empty on storage except the water heater, should I still hook my camper to house power and have the furnace running during below freezing nights?
.
I'd drain the WH & blow the lines. Heat works if you just dip below freezing. But you could see a real cold snap up there. In Georgia it's what I do, but here in Nov thats COLD.

spoon059

Just north of D.C.

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Posted: 09/20/20 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, the wife and I used to cold weather camp all the time before kids. You'll be fine. Put water in your tank, don't use city water. Upper 20's at night and 40's in the day, that water won't freeze solid.

Propane will be expensive and I find that the furnace in an RV isn't consistent heat. You'll be blasted out of the bedroom while the main cabin is slower to heat up, then it'll cool off before it blasts you out again. I would recommend a nice electric space heater. Leave your cabinet doors open so that your lines get that warmer air. Electric is free and the thermostats are more precise.

You'll be fine, enjoy the trip!


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