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Old 09-06-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
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Cold weather use?

We have had our 2014.5 AI since spring this year and have only used it in warm weather (i.e. above freezing) to date. Has anyone traveled with your AI in cold weather (i.e. below freezing)? If yes, do you have any tips to recommend? The owner's manual notes that the tank heaters will draw down the house batteries in just 4 hours, so it doesn't appear that you can be off shore power overnight (or for any extended period of time) during cold weather?

We are considering a trip in Nov which would take us over the mountain passes in CO as well as stops in UT, most of which could have overnight freezing temps by that time of year.

Any other input, including how the AI handles in snow/ice/slush conditions? We are not looking to drive in these conditions, but one never knows when going over a mountain pass at this time of year.

Or would we be better to put the AI into storage for the winter and wait until temps are consistently above freezing?
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
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Traveling over passes in Colorado

I travel on I70 from Colorado to Utah in the winter. You now have to have chains, 4 wheel drive, or snow tires to go over the passes. Be sure to put an additive in the diesel fluel tank to prevent freezing if you are staying any length of time. I70 can really get congested due to the ski traffic. Give yourself extra time to go through the ski country.

Happy traveling!
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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I think there is a couple of threads that go over using it in below freezing temps.. From what I read, if you're going to sleep in the coach and will be plugged into shore power you can use the tank heaters to keep the tanks from freezing.. You will need to run some antifreeze through the macerator and get something to cover the outside shower outlet as there could be residual water in it.. As long as you're going to have shore power it really shouldn't be a problem..
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:48 AM   #4
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My suggestion would be to stay off mountain passes in Colorado in November, especially if you are not experienced driving it in snow, slush, ice, etc. Winter comes very early up in there, and this sounds like a recipe for disaster, to me.

Just sayin'. Think this thru carefully.

We/I have traveled now thru 8 cold and freezing winters, getting from here to warmer climes and getting thru cold snaps in the south. We have done just fine, but there is a bit of an art to it, and a learning curve. There are some threads on this issue, if you get on the BVan forum here, which will give you lots of information.

My husband could drive anything, anywhere, and did, particularly when heading south from here in January. We never went off the road, did get stuck in snow in a campground in Missouri once, and had to wait for a thaw to get out.

Never drive on ice or black ice, of course, and if you have not driven in freezing weather, I would suggest that mountains are not the place to learn. We simply would not do it.

Boondocking in seriously cold temps is not for the faint of heart, nor for newbies, either, in my opinion. We have had temps in the teens when Boondocking, nothing froze and we lived to tell the tale, but it is not comfortable.

It is much easier and much more comfortable to plug into electric and run your furnace and a little space heater, then just keep yourself comfortable. Microfleece is a great invention.

It can be done, but it is something to do only when unavoidable, IMO. Just because your Interstate can do it doesn't mean you necessarily should.

However, if you must go and do, get on the BVan sub forum here, there is lots more info and experience shared there.

Enjoy.


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Old 09-06-2015, 04:20 PM   #5
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I spent a week in Minnesota once in February, but had the entire coach winterized. We used RV antifreeze to flush the toilet on our drive north from Maryland. We didn't sleep in the van, just used it as a travel coach. It was below zero every day and we drove north right after a major snow storm. The van handled the snow very well, but we were not in the mountains. The rest areas in Ohio had not been plowed yet when we drove through. The dual rear wheels gave me enough traction to drive through about 6-8 inches of snow with ease.

I don't think the Interstate is really designed for camping in freezing temps unless you can get it plugged in every night to run the tank heaters. The batteries alone just won't do the job overnight. We have stayed in camp grounds during our winter trips to Florida when the temps would get to about 20deg F overnight during stops in North Carolina. We had shore power in campground so we could run the tank heaters overnight. Same was true during our trip to the Grand Canyon last Spring.


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Old 09-06-2015, 05:35 PM   #6
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Probably will wait...

Thanks for all of the feedback. We had originally planned to do this trip early October, but other commitments here in late October pushed it into November, which we are now realizing is just too late to make the trip, especially with the mountain passes.

Given that we are relative newbies and are currently facing issues with our generator/batteries (see my other thread), we will probably wait until late spring after the thaw to make this trip. It puts us on a different schedule (heading west early in the year, then back east later in the year), but I guess we just need to be flexible.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:15 PM   #7
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Good thinking, Brian

Very late spring. Winter comes early, spring thaws come late.

Check the weather before you go, and see what's going on.


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Old 09-06-2015, 10:08 PM   #8
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Cold weather use?

Weather - plug in the cities you want to know about. This is the site that everyone else uses to make their guesses.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick...7#.Vez8-pm9Kc1
Colorado Road Conditions - pretty accurate.
http://www.cotrip.org/home.htm
I'm a Colorado native. They're really good about keeping the roads, and especially the interstates, plowed. Ski traffic is mainly a weekend thing. In the 12 years I've had it, I've never used diesel additive in my F250. Take it easy if you end up driving in snowy conditions. We hate harvesting SUVs and other vehicles from the side of the road for careless driving.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:12 AM   #9
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Late late spring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Good thinking, Brian

Very late spring. Winter comes early, spring thaws come late.

Check the weather before you go, and see what's going on.

Maggie
Yep, now I'm even thinking of doing the two trips in opposite order so that we cross the pass in NM in the spring and wait until the fall trip back to cross in CO. How late is too late to plan the fall trip? We were thinking of maybe a long, slow trip in September 2016, which would mean crossing the pass in mid- to late-September. Is that still an OK time to plan in advance for no-snow/no-freezing-temps?

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Old 09-07-2015, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianKrueger View Post
We were thinking of maybe a long, slow trip in September 2016, which would mean crossing the pass in mid- to late-September. Is that still an OK time to plan in advance for no-snow/no-freezing-temps?
Weather Channel online has a "monthly" tab on the webpage, that will let you take a look at the daily average daytime high and average overnight low for any given month of the year. On the monthly display, if you scroll down, you'll see a graph that will let you display both the average and the record high and record low for each day of the month in question, which is a better predictor.
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