Author Topic: Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.  (Read 871 times)

ron

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Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.
« on: September 19, 2016, 12:36:21 PM »
Hey all, Ron, aka Dogband here.

It is still ripping hot and muggy in East TN, but we are going out this week anyways, dehumidifier on board.  We will see if the dehumidifier and a/c combination works.  

This is only our third season of RV campging, having come from the backpacking world.  We have tons of cold weather clothing.

Last year we put the camper away too early.  Due to this factor, and the fact that we have not been out much this hot summer, and the fact that winter camping is wonderful, I want to camp at least until early December, perhaps all winter long.  We have a beautiful local SP that stays open all year round [new small heated bathhouse] , and have found a few more that do, and we can always pull to a bit warmer climate.

So, I have these thoughts.
-We will take the dehumidifier, which should help the cold weather condensation inside a Camplite 14dbs, and provide some heat too.
-Keep a full propane tank, in case our small electric heaters will not do the job, we will use the furnace.
-Purchase a small TV and DVD player, for watching a movie at night.  Per our request, ours did not come with a TV.  When it gets dark at 5 pm, one can only keep a fire going for so long, and I can't go to bed at 8pm, so  TV might be nice, plus a good book.
-In freezing temperatures, we will have drained and winterized our water system, so for 2am bathroom visits, I was thinking of keeping a gallon jug of diluted antifreeze in the shower for flushing the toilet--mainly for my sweet wife.  I'll use the trees outside.  This would hopefully keep our black tank from freezing.   Any experience with this/is this accurate?

Questions:
--I thought about a trailer skirt, with a heater underneath, but if we are not even using water, having drained our water, why bother?
--When exactly does water freeze and cause damage to a camper?  Yes it freezes at 32, but if it dips to say 28 for a few hours during the night, will I have damage?  I just do not know the parameters.  We want to keep water in it as long as possible, just for laziness.
--Has anyone drained and blow out their system with lightly compressed air while on the road?  My compressor at home has a pressure regulator, most on the road do not.  I guess, worst case, I could just use my water pump and suck 2-3 gallons of antifreeze thru the system, after bypassing and draining the water heater.  [We have been out with predicted lows of 40, only to suddenly have a cold front come thru and get us in the mid 20s.]  

Any additional thoughts or suggestions about cold weather  camping most welcome

Thanks to a great bunch of people. Be safe out there. ron, nete, and reilly.

joanne

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Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2016, 08:41:16 PM »
Quote from: @ron" timestamp="1474299381" source="/post/24724/thread

So, I have these thoughts.

Here's my[a href="http://livinlite-owners.com/thread/816/winter-camping-16bhb-6deg-52deg"] thread on the topic[/a]. Why quit in December. :)  

[quote timestamp="1474299381" source="/post/24724/thread" author="@ron"]
-We will take the dehumidifier, which should help the cold weather condensation inside a Camplite 14dbs, and provide some heat too.
[/quote]
Dehumidifier isn't normally needed around here (MN). But the camper might have condensation inside because of the cold outside. Mine doesn't condense until either it's pretty cold, or until we've been inside overnight with the windows and vents closed. I just open the door and windows in th morning and let the moisture out (and the cold in...).

[quote timestamp="1474299381" source="/post/24724/thread" author="@ron"]
-Keep a full propane tank, in case our small electric heaters will not do the job, we will use the furnace.
[/quote]
The furnace will work well. It's noisy though. For electric heat, I get approx 30F of temperature rise for each 1500w electric space heater. Sometimes I need two. :)  

[quote source="/post/24724/thread" author="@ron" timestamp="1474299381"]
-Purchase a small TV and DVD player, for watching a movie at night.  Per our request, ours did not come with a TV.  When it gets dark at 5 pm, one can only keep a fire going for so long, and I can't go to bed at 8pm, so  TV might be nice, plus a good book.
[/quote]
In winter, I crash early (and catch up on reading).  I agree, it's hard to keep a fire going until 10pm when it get dark so early.

[quote source="/post/24724/thread" author="@ron" timestamp="1474299381"]
In freezing temperatures, we will have drained and winterized our water system, so for 2am bathroom visits, I was thinking of keeping a gallon jug of diluted antifreeze in the shower for flushing the toilet--mainly for my sweet wife.  I'll use the trees outside.  This would hopefully keep our black tank from freezing.   Any experience with this/is this accurate?
[/quote]
Like you are planning, I camp dry in winter, leave the trailer winterized, and I dump RV antifreeze into the toilet as a flush fluid. As long as the ratio of liquid to antifreeze is reasonable, it will be OK.

[quote source="/post/24724/thread" timestamp="1474299381" author="@ron"]
--I thought about a trailer skirt, with a heater underneath, but if we are not even using water, having drained our water, why bother?
[/quote]
I don't skirt. If you were camping wet, a skirt with a heater under the trailer might help though. But if dry, why bother?

The floor will be cold no matter what though. Can't fix that. In the trailer, I wear heavy wool socks that have leather soles sewn in to them.

[quote timestamp="1474299381" author="@ron" source="/post/24724/thread"]
--When exactly does water freeze and cause damage to a camper?  Yes it freezes at 32, but if it dips to say 28 for a few hours during the night, will I have damage?  I just do not know the parameters.  We want to keep water in it as long as possible, just for laziness.
[/quote]
I'm not sure. I'd expect exposed plumbing to be the first thing to freeze.

Quote from: @ron" timestamp="1474299381" source="/post/24724/thread

-Has anyone drained and blow out their system with lightly compressed air while on the road?  My compressor at home has a pressure regulator, most on the road do not.  I guess, worst case, I could just use my water pump and suck 2-3 gallons of antifreeze thru the system, after bypassing and draining the water heater.  [We have been out with predicted lows of 40, only to suddenly have a cold front come thru and get us in the mid 20s.]  

I don't see why you can't use an unregulated compressor, so long as it has a gauge that you can watch.

Here's a few more posts on the topic:

[a href="http://livinlite-owners.com/post/17348/thread"]http://livinlite-owners.com/post/17348/thread[/a]
[a href="http://livinlite-owners.com/thread/1417/cold-weather-camping-setup-21rbs"]http://livinlite-owners.com/thread/1417/cold-weather-camping-setup-21rbs[/a]

Quote from: @michael" timestamp="1451192327" source="/post/17348/thread
[quote timestamp="1450746040" author="@sandroad" source="/post/17274/thread"]With the coming of the Winter Solstice tomorrow and in reading posts about folks still camping below the 35th parallel, Iím beginning to lose my resolve to not tow in the winter (snow/salt/ice/stuff).  Maybe still not this winter, but I suspect winter towing is in my future, despite my best intentions to avoid it so far. Iíd love to hear from those who have done it. How did you clean the salt off the trailer to avoid corrosion? None of our local carwashes are large enough for our Camplite. If you were ever caught on icy-snowy roads, how did it work out? Any tips or tricks for winter towing? I realize winterizing and de-winterizing plumbing are part of the deal but maybe there are ways to avoid other problems (frozen doors/locks, etc.).  Any adjustment of brake controllers needed for slippery roads? Anyway, too many questions for one thread, but maybe itís a start.
I've camped regularly in winter in MN, but have avoided towing on snow covered roads. I've watched the weather & picked the campgrounds and roads carefully.



ron

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Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 11:05:45 PM »
As I thanked mike for this in a pm, how cool is it to share such detailed info with a complete stranger.  What a great forum and group of people !!!!!

leslie

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Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 01:18:19 AM »
Do what we do - head south before the freezing weather hits!
Located in Kentucky and Florida at present

uscg

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Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 08:41:52 AM »
I camped last winter a few times in east TN and it was COLD one night.  I have a small electric space heater that has a thermostat in it and I will run you out of the camper if you set it too high.  With that said, the floor will be freezing, so make sure you put something down on the floor or wear slippers.

One night I did drain the water lines, I didnít have any problems the next day, I donít think a skirt is needed because as you know, normally in the south, during the day the temps are back above freezing.
Depending on where you are on TN, you might be able to get HD TV over the airwaves.  

My land is near Tellico Plains and I get a few stations there.  I do like to stay outside as long as possible, but eventually the warm trailer, 8 inch memory foam mattress; and TV calls my name.  ;)

pygrydr

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Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2016, 12:14:05 PM »
[quote timestamp="1474458112" source="/post/24800/thread" author="@uscg"]I camped last winter a few times in east TN and it was COLD one night.  I have a small electric space heater that has a thermostat in it and I will run you out of the camper if you set it too high.  With that said, the floor will be freezing, so make sure you put something down on the floor or wear slippers.

One night I did drain the water lines, I didnít have any problems the next day, I donít think a skirt is needed because as you know, normally in the south, during the day the temps are back above freezing.
Depending on where you are on TN, you might be able to get HD TV over the airwaves.  

My land is near Tellico Plains and I get a few stations there.  I do like to stay outside as long as possible, but eventually the warm trailer, 8 inch memory foam mattress; and TV calls my name.  ;)  
[/quote]Cool!  8-)

So when using your electric space heater are you running a generator or connected to electric power?

TIA

Galen

uscg

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Winter camping advice sought, we may try to camp all winter.
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2016, 05:35:31 PM »
I do both, it depends on where I am, the night that was really cold I happened to be on hookups, but I have used it on my Honda EU2000 with no problem as well.  As I have stated before on the forum, I saw some fellow campers die at a NASCAR Race in Talladega two years ago during the October Race weekend, Carbon Monoxide poisoning. I don't mind using my campers furnace while I am awake (and it works GREAT!!!), but when I go to sleep I turn it off and go to electric.  I don't blame anyone for using the furnace, I am SURE it is safe to do so, it was just a bad experience for us to see that, so my wife and I just prefer to do it this way now.