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Old 10-04-2013, 01:49 PM   #29
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Goldberg (Gringo)..,

Just spent the last four hours of my life on your amazing blog. Why in the world is an Island Man like you trying to figure out how to camp in cold weather?

Poppy
Thank you for the kind words. Glad you like the blog. And you are wondering why we'd trade views like this...






For things like this:








(these photos are from two trips back, our AS, rented truck, in Lakeside KOA near Fort Collins)


and that's probably a good question.

The answer, in this case, is that for the past 8 years we have brought some combination of our five sons in the US, along with various friends, down here for the holidays. This year, my oldest stepson in Colorado is expecting "our" first grandson, due the first week of January. They weren't going to travel. We had already decided that we could use a break, and were already planning to spend the holidays in the Rockies. Then this grand kid thing cropped up. Its' turned into a pretty big deal for us. We got one kid coming from California, two from Massachusetts, and us all converging in CO.

And while talking about our need to finally get our own tow vehicle, La Gringa got this bug up her blanket about using the Airstream for the two of us. With me seeing this as an unexplained justification to go buy a new toy ( Excursion), it's snowballed, as the phrase goes.

And there we are.

My stepson just skyped us this morning, with views of his back yard in Highlands Ranch CO. Two inches of fresh snow. Today. ouch.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:55 PM   #30
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A new grandchild would pry me loose from even Eden - every time.

Poppy
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:38 PM   #31
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This one is our first, and the first of his generation in the family.

I am amazed at the quality of the ultrasound these days. Nice processing.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:45 PM   #32
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A new grandchild would pry me loose from even Eden - every time. Poppy
Yup.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:57 PM   #33
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This one is our first, and the first of his generation in the family.
Awesome.

Just so you know, Poppy is already taken. Maybe Grandpa Gringo? I like it.

Poppy
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:58 AM   #34
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well, technically, I'm not his grandpa. Step-grandpa. He has two natural grandpas, so whatever I end up being in his world, it will be something different than grandpa.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:50 AM   #35
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We've camped in winter months in sub-freezing temperatures, though thankfully without snow. We don't mind snow per se, but we just don't want to tow a trailer in it.

We always winterize till we're think we're not going to encounter any seriously freezing weather. We use water bottles for manual flushes and sink use, but we put windshield washer fluid down as a chaser to prevent freezing of waste-water.

The big problem mentioned above is interior condensation. If you keep the roof vent slightly open and your heat source on, that helps a lot. We also try not to store anything damp in the Bambi: wet jackets and towels go in the truck to dry out.

If we have a plug-in, we use a small space heater-- but only when someone is inside with it. Ditto for the propane furnace. It works pretty well.

Once we were de-winterized and didn't reaize how cold it might get outside at out campsite. We forgot a plastic dish tub on the picnic table with a little water in it overnight, and when we found it in the morning it had half an inch of ice on it! The furnace kept the lines toasty, however. We would definitely use the furnace instead of a space heater if there were any danger of frozen lines, and leave cupboard doors open if any pipes/lines are behind them.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:03 AM   #36
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The big problem mentioned above is interior condensation. If you keep the roof vent slightly open and your heat source on, that helps a lot.
That is kind of counter-intuitive, to keep a roof vent open. I'd keep a window cracked open instead, and the roof vent closed. Since heat rises, keeping the roof vent open causes the loss of a lot of heat.

Another thing that might help is a canvas cover over the rooftop A/C unit, and/or plastic sheeting taped over the air conditioner vents inside. You can lose a lot of heat through the a/c plenum.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:34 AM   #37
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Would be nice to just put a big knitted cozy on top of the whole thing, wouldn't it.

Can you walk on the top of these things? I'm 230 lbs. I have this mental image of stepping on a Coors can....

So, you don't use the heat strip in the ac unit as additional fan/heating?
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:35 AM   #38
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. Buy a porta potty from camping world to use. If you do not want to use the trailer water then keep a wash bowl in the bathroom and kitchen. You can fill these with melted snow. Keep a good battery or battery's at all times. A generater is useful. Watch your propane use carefully to not run out. This way the trailer can be fully winterized, no outside water usage, by draining the water tank. I am assuming you have an outside water source such as at a campground. Jim
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:31 AM   #39
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Well, we do have a 39 gallon fresh water tank, insulated and tucked up under a pan. I was wondering about dumping something like five gallons of antifreeze in there, as we don't use that water for drinking anyhow. We do use it for showers, normally, but that's the kind of thing it might make sense to use the campground facilities for during winter camping. That also helps some of the wet towel issues with humidity. Just don't take them back into the trailer wet. Things dry quickly up there outside, anyhow.

With antifreeze in the base trailer supply, then antifreeze would also be going into the gray and black water tanks. Would this be workable? Wal Mart has plenty antifreeze.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:28 AM   #40
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Winter is similar to summer....

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I camp during the week of deer season in Wisconsin every year in late-November. There's no electricity and it get's cold, but it's some of the most enjoyable camping of the year. There's something magical about sitting in a cozy trailer and watching the snow fall.

Adding extra insulation makes a huge difference. I bought a roll of Reflectix from Home Depot and cut it to fit the windows on my North and West sides and I park so my largest windows soak up the sun.

Covering the roof vents with foam works wonders. Notice there is condensation on the wall next to the window. That's a big problem in the winter needs to be controlled with ventilation. It may sound counterintuitive, but cracking the window over the bed and cracking one of the roof vents helps prevent condensation accumulation at night.

I've camped right down to 5 degrees comfortably, and without frozen pipes.
I do all of this for the SW Summer, too (except leaving the big windows clear for sun exposure...that is winter only). I take the reflectix out of windows for April/May, September/October. I generally leave the kitchen window uncovered, and use it to vent when more than the bath vent is needed. The bath vent has a vent cover, so I don't worry about rain/snow (although not much snow here, at 4500'. Budget for propane! Someone said in a later post to cover the AC Unit, but if you have nicer afternoons that reach upwards of 40, that would limit the use of the heat pump. I don't know anything about the heat strips. I don't recommend getting on the roof unless you can see the rivets for the ribs...the safer places to step. Do not use the lengthwise rivet lines to step.

Have fun! Philip
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:54 AM   #41
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Who was it that had their picture on The Weather Channel yesterday (6 October)....Spearfish, South Dakota.....under two feet of snow and stuck because all the roads were closed by Hi-way Dept. and Hi-way Patrol. It was a great reminder to be aware of your surroundings and situation. Wonder if they were ready....REALLY ready.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #42
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That is kind of counter-intuitive, to keep a roof vent open. I'd keep a window cracked open instead, and the roof vent closed. Since heat rises, keeping the roof vent open causes the loss of a lot of heat.

Another thing that might help is a canvas cover over the rooftop A/C unit, and/or plastic sheeting taped over the air conditioner vents inside. You can lose a lot of heat through the a/c plenum.
I think you're right, but the trouble is, in the 16 footer, the only windows that open are right by the beds, which gets really drafty. (Neither one of us is comfortable sleeping on the inside of the fixed east-west bed.) We don't keep the vent open more than a crack, but one thing the up-draft does well enough is to remove damp air. I've experimented leaving the bathroom vent only open, but it doesn't ventilate well and that toilet seat sure gets cold at 3:00 a.m.
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