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Old 10-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #1
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New Member planning 3 month adventure with 2 young kids...

Hi everyone. Been lurking around here for the past 5 months or so collecting info and researching. We are a couple in our mid 30s with a 3.5 year old and about to have a newborn.

We plan on embarking on a 3 month journey 'interviewing' cities to resettle and plan on doing this by airstream. If all goes as planned, we plan to push off in Mid january - early february and spend 2 weeks in and around the following 6 cities:

Boulder, CO
SLC, UT
Boise, ID
Seattle, WA
Reno, NV
and lastly
Bay Area, CA

Having the same place to call home along our travels inspired the idea to use a travel trailer on our adventure. We like the idea of routine as parents and thought that the consistency of a trailer would be a good idea rather than Airbnbs and repeatedly packing and unpacking each time we moved. We are thinking of purchasing a 2015+ 25FB and selling it in a year or perhaps keeping it to continue to adventure once we relocate.

Just wanted to make an introduction and welcome any input (both positive and negative) as we continue to plan our journey. Thank you to all community members who have shared all of the valuable information here.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:03 AM   #2
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Sounds awesome. Just watch freezing weather in some of those places.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SCOTTinNJ View Post
Sounds awesome. Just watch freezing weather in some of those places.
Yeah. I have been reading through many of the winter camping threads here. From the sounds of it, oversize LP tanks, a heated water hose, and a dehumidifier, I should be ok.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:12 AM   #4
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What's your camping/rv experience? What you are suggesting is doable, but will be a big learning curve. Start in warm weather.

And I'd skip the heated hose. Just fill your tank in the daytime and disconnect.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:38 AM   #5
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What's your camping/rv experience? What you are suggesting is doable, but will be a big learning curve. Start in warm weather.

And I'd skip the heated hose. Just fill your tank in the daytime and disconnect.
I've camped a fair amount throughout my life. Id consider myself the 'outdoorsy' type. RV experience is NIL. I am mechanically inclined and handy, however. In terms of my interests, I believe this to be right up my alley. That said, I am anticipating hiccups, as always.

I am unfortunately unable to embark in warmer weather due to timing restrictions. I realize that this is sub optimal but I've read its possible.

Thanks for the advice on the heated hose. Keeping the tank topped off sounds like a reasonable alternative.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:10 AM   #6
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If you are new to RV’ing, heading way north with two very small children during winter months might not be the best plan.

Managing extreme cold, snow, ice, storms, etc, is challenging for seasoned RV'ers.

Aside from the possibility of freezing up, roads close regularly, and have you checked on availability of open campgrounds?

It may be what you want to do, but is it safe for the very vulnerable little ones?

I advise against doing those northern states during winter months.

Maggie
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:22 AM   #7
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I live in Denver and have a couple of warnings:

Once you make it here, and Boulder is very pricey to live, you have 2 choices on routes to get to SLC. I've done both. Go the flat route and head north to I-80. Don't even think about it. Wind and black ice are not your friends.

I-70 over the mountains. 2 11,000 ft passes you need to wait for good weather. If you haven't towed before these can be challenging. It's all about the downhills. Gear down, and use your trailer brakes.

Me - I don't travel with my Airstream in the winter except to head south on I-25 to warmer weather. I can't recommend your plan with 2 small children but there are campgrounds with hookups open in the winter. You just need to research well. And carry a Mr. Buddy ceramic heater for backup.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:50 AM   #8
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Warning -- inclement parade weather ahead . . .

For most of this trip, due to weather and altitude, you may be towing around an aluminum tent, without running water and toilet facilities. If you are lucky when you hit freezing weather, you will have already drained the plumbing, and will not have to repair broken pipes inside the walls and floors.

Is this "dry-camping aluminum tent" picture consistent with the dreams in your heads?

Just one of many factors which, in my personal opinion, make your proposal seem unrealistic for Feb/Mar/April. Ditto to recent comments, and others sure to follow IMO.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but there has to be a better way to find work, at least during the winter.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
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Just about everywhere it is possible to travel from one Full Hook Up park to the next if you pick a weather window and hit it on both ends. The problem here is that travel on a schedule is a very dangerous way to travel as you get sucked into traveling when you should be parking.

Travel with a plan. As stated prior, verify the parks will be open and have at least one back up in the plan. Keep reservations to minimum to allow flexibility in travel plans. Travel with no less than half fuel states - propane and TV fuel. Regular stops are a good plan.

If you have not towed before, you have a lot to learn. Pick your route carefully. Go to fuel stops without tight pump islands. Wait for a good one to open. Watch for holes, drop offs, blocked exits - folks park in the most inconvenient places. Travel slow. Wait for black ice to clear. Stop early for the night. Transition Metros outside commute hours. Travel early when you can. Expect 200 miles to be a good day.

Towing is a full contact sport. You need to drive 10/10s with full concentration and situational awareness all the time. Navigator is as important a function as driving. It's a partnership. A second set of eyes, a second brain to solve route selection in poorly marked interchanges, and identification of lane change requirements all help to reduce stress, improve safety and improve the process. Get a GPS with lane requirements shown. A heads up display on your TV is a very big help. Keep a paper map close at hand as well as the campground information resource.

Consider having a generator as a backup plan. Given a good fuel management program it will fill in park availability short falls.

Carry chains - it's an insurance policy you don't want to cash in on, but as a last resort, it can get you through to a safe location. Storms do come up without warning and forecasts can be wrong - see below.

There is a lot of noise about tires. The 2015 GYMs are likely not flawed as earlier ones may have been. However you are going to travel many miles.
Do it on new tires and maybe new brakes/bearing repack. Research well before you buy and install a TPMS. Do it!

An Airstream is a great coach. However, it is not a four season design. If you were not traveling so much, I'd suggest a four season design. If you settle North, you may wish you had. Be prepared for using that dehumidifier and lots of fuel. An electric quartz heater is likely a good addition to the Buddy.

Metro areas often do not have great RV Parks. A plan (reservations) is the key, but even so, you may get to experience the traffic and commute options. Brother has developed an approach where he reserves a couple of days and if he can't extend they will dry camp for a short period. Considering cold weather threat, that could get you into a bind. In warmer areas it works well.

Winter roads get treated with sand and chemicals to maintain traction in bad weather. Not always good for the life of a trailer and tow vehicle. Certainly, a negative for a coach you want to resell. Plan on lots of washing the undercarriage. Hitch wear surfaces will need more frequent cleaning and lubrication. Caution, brakes may grab a bit after a wash. Treat umbilical contacts with dielectric grease.

I would use a good car and hotels. Money ahead, more time on task, less work, and safer too. That could be a very special trip for the family too.

Good luck with your plan. Research is great - do a lot. Pat
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:22 PM   #10
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Are there rv parks open in the winter out west? I see you are from florida, do you hgave any experience incold weather?
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:37 PM   #11
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PS - The Winter Living forum would be a good place to research that aspect of your plans. Being aware of the weakest link in the chain is always a good idea.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462/

Also, the new search function above with the blue border works great.

Winter Living: https://www.google.com/search?q=Wint...=airforums.com

The AccuWeather.com monthly forecast charts have a helpful line graph at the bottom, with the average high/low, and forecasted temps, which have proven to be fairly accurate IMO. For instance Denver for January:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/de...monyr=1/1/2018

[scroll down to bottom of page]

COLD!

You can change locations fairly easily at the top of the page. Months later than January will be available as they get closer in time.

Good luck.

Peter
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:47 PM   #12
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Hi

Freezing weather does not just impact your trailer. It also impacts the water and sewer setups at campgrounds and dump stations. Up here, they start shutting down water and sewer at this time of year. They start re-opening those facilities in the spring. Exactly when what is shut down or opens is highly variable. They may be open through December at one place. At another location a bit further up in the mountains, the end date may be the first week of November.

Having blown up a transmission on I-70 west of Denver in the middle of the winter, I can indeed attest that "stuff happens". Trips do not always go as planned. Stuck by the side of the road in the middle of Ohio with a frozen engine, a 6 month old, and heavy snow also was not much fun (toss in that this was before the cell phone era as well - you got out and walked a couple of miles for help). You need to plan with some margin for issues.

One can never predict a winter in advance. In parts of the country you are talking about, March can be a heavy snow month. It may be rain down low, but you can't always stay low. You can't always be sure of what the split between rain and snow will be altitude wise. The weather man often is wrong. Planning to get through here or there can be tricky. As mentioned above, snow and freeze are not the only issues. High winds are also a very big deal.

Is this un-doable? Nobody knows at this point. The odds improve if departure is in mid March compared to mid February. Odds improve a little if you stay south for as long as possible. Altitude generally works against you, but not always.

Do have chains for your TV and trailer. You are likely to run into areas where they could require them.

Lots of fun !!!

Bob
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:39 PM   #13
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Well said, Bob.

" . . . before the cell phone era . . . ?"

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Old 10-24-2017, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avionstream View Post
Are there rv parks open in the winter out west? I see you are from florida, do you hgave any experience incold weather?
Im actually born and raised in Ontario(Canada) and have spent most of my life there. That said, I am no stranger to colder weather and more importantly winter driving conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Do have chains for your TV and trailer. You are likely to run into areas where they could require them.
I will certainly have chains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
PS - The Winter Living forum would be a good place to research that aspect of your plans. Being aware of the weakest link in the chain is always a good idea.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f462/

Also, the new search function above with the blue border works great.

Winter Living: https://www.google.com/search?q=Wint...=airforums.com

The AccuWeather.com monthly forecast charts have a helpful line graph at the bottom, with the average high/low, and forecasted temps, which have proven to be fairly accurate IMO. For instance Denver for January:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/de...monyr=1/1/2018
Thanks, ive seen the above posts and a few more. Seemingly there are airstreamers out there that are successfully using late model trailers without winterizing them as long as they're kept warm the entire time. LP consumption is high. Was thinking to retrofit with larger LP tanks. Regarding average high/low temps in the areas I plan to visit, I've looked at historical data. Its the cold snaps you have to look out for, it seems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Just about everywhere it is possible to travel from one Full Hook Up park to the next if you pick a weather window and hit it on both ends. The problem here is that travel on a schedule is a very dangerous way to travel as you get sucked into traveling when you should be parking.

Travel with a plan. As stated prior, verify the parks will be open and have at least one back up in the plan. Keep reservations to minimum to allow flexibility in travel plans. Travel with no less than half fuel states - propane and TV fuel. Regular stops are a good plan.

If you have not towed before, you have a lot to learn. Pick your route carefully. Go to fuel stops without tight pump islands. Wait for a good one to open. Watch for holes, drop offs, blocked exits - folks park in the most inconvenient places. Travel slow. Wait for black ice to clear. Stop early for the night. Transition Metros outside commute hours. Travel early when you can. Expect 200 miles to be a good day.

Towing is a full contact sport. You need to drive 10/10s with full concentration and situational awareness all the time. Navigator is as important a function as driving. It's a partnership. A second set of eyes, a second brain to solve route selection in poorly marked interchanges, and identification of lane change requirements all help to reduce stress, improve safety and improve the process. Get a GPS with lane requirements shown. A heads up display on your TV is a very big help. Keep a paper map close at hand as well as the campground information resource.

Consider having a generator as a backup plan. Given a good fuel management program it will fill in park availability short falls.

Carry chains - it's an insurance policy you don't want to cash in on, but as a last resort, it can get you through to a safe location. Storms do come up without warning and forecasts can be wrong - see below.

There is a lot of noise about tires. The 2015 GYMs are likely not flawed as earlier ones may have been. However you are going to travel many miles.
Do it on new tires and maybe new brakes/bearing repack. Research well before you buy and install a TPMS. Do it!

An Airstream is a great coach. However, it is not a four season design. If you were not traveling so much, I'd suggest a four season design. If you settle North, you may wish you had. Be prepared for using that dehumidifier and lots of fuel. An electric quartz heater is likely a good addition to the Buddy.

Metro areas often do not have great RV Parks. A plan (reservations) is the key, but even so, you may get to experience the traffic and commute options. Brother has developed an approach where he reserves a couple of days and if he can't extend they will dry camp for a short period. Considering cold weather threat, that could get you into a bind. In warmer areas it works well.

Winter roads get treated with sand and chemicals to maintain traction in bad weather. Not always good for the life of a trailer and tow vehicle. Certainly, a negative for a coach you want to resell. Plan on lots of washing the undercarriage. Hitch wear surfaces will need more frequent cleaning and lubrication. Caution, brakes may grab a bit after a wash. Treat umbilical contacts with dielectric grease.

I would use a good car and hotels. Money ahead, more time on task, less work, and safer too. That could be a very special trip for the family too.

Good luck with your plan. Research is great - do a lot. Pat
Great post, thanks, Pat. My research continues. Will look into the remote TPMS. Good idea. Though I have no experience towing travel trailers, I have been towing boats and utility trailers most of my adult life.

Do they treat roads in the areas I plan to travel as they do in the salt belt? I was under the impression that they didn't.

I am about to begin to look at travel parks in the areas of interest that offer winter camping with hookups. Does anyone have a recommended resource for this or am I best to pick up the phone and call around? I checked with goodsamclub.com and unsurprisingly, their search feature doesn't allow me to query 'winter' camp sites exclusively.

Thanks to all for the continued input. Its appreciated.
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