Back early. Miserable trip (while driving), but nights in the Sovereign
First, the conditions: 3,375 miles, 10 long days of driving, not one day without significant road ice. Night time lows down to -5, daytime highs usually 26 or so, but we saw 36 on two days. Worst weather in the NW in 30 years.
The trip was planned for coastal Oregon and Seattle, so we expected lows of 30 degrees, with maybe an excursion or two down to 15. Highs typically are mid-40s. Actual temperatures never got this high. So the challenge was what to do about the sub-freezing daytime temperatures while driving. With some trepidation I decided that the heater had to run pretty much all day (had to keep the canned goods and drinks from freezing, and keep the fridge from freezing the veggies). The beauty of a catalytic heater is that there is no flame and it won't "blow out" due to a big bump.
The Olympic Wave 6 heater worked great. For days when the outside temperature was in the 20s, I ran the Olympic at low. When the temps were below 10, I ran it at max. The trailer remained above freezing despite being in a continuous 45-65 mph gale with a not-so-good door seal. The other drafty source were the holes under the kitchen cabinet
for the water drain lines. Neither of these were fixed during the trip due to the extreme cold--caulk doesn't like to be applied below 40 degrees and the weather stripping adheasive won't stick.
The only significant problem was condensation. When the heater was at max all day, there was enough to wet the floor under the windows in the front of the trailer (the heater is up front). If you've seen my other thread on the Sovereign
and all the window modifications I'm doing, you may recall that one of the windows (next to the door) is only single pane. It collected roughly half of all the condensation, sometimes as frost and sometimes a water that would run off immediately.
Due to the extreme conditions, we hooked up to electrical every night, sometimes with 20 amps, but mostly with 30. Surprisingly, once the trailer was warm (like 50 degrees), two 1500
Watt ceramic heaters were sufficient to maintain comfort all night, even when it was 5-10 degrees ouside. On the coldest night (it actually got colder than -5 most of the night) we used the Olympic and one ceramic heater, with a Buddy heater for a few hours.
I haven't refilled the propane yet, but I ran the heater pretty much on medium or max for 85 hours straight and then another 35 hours on low and used less than what I estimate to be 10 gal of propane.
In summary, the Olympic made the trip possible, but due to the length of the Sovereign
you need some heat source in the rear. We were surprised that a ceramic heater was sufficient back there, but I think that's a testament to the fact that there weren't any air leaks in the aft part of the trailer. For boondocking, I think that a Buddy heater in the back on low would do fine. I just need to get the door seal fixed and other leaks blocked to see if I'm right about this. I can't emphasize enough how significant the draft was from the holes under the kitchen cabinet and they're only 1" in diameter with a 5/8" pipe in them!