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Old 10-14-2014, 10:00 PM   #1
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Question First AS Winter

Living in Ontario, our winters are cold and freezing. We plan to winterize this month but are travelling to Florida for January and February. What do we have to do the first night on the way? Do we have to watch where we stay so that it is not freezing at night? How do other snowbirds handle the transition in climate?
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:56 AM   #2
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Most likely you will not be able to get below freezing in one day so you need to think ahead a bit. We travel south same time frame from NJ. Here is what we've learned. I put water into my fresh tank but DO NOT pump it through the system. This is optional and you can always put the water in later. So now, if you plan to sleep in the trailer on the way, you can bring several gallons of bottled water to handle your immediate first night needs. The water in the fresh tank is sloshing around and will not freeze. If you pump it through your system it likely will. We found freezing temps one year when we Walmarted it in Roanoak, Va. No damage was done but the faucets were seized in the morning. Yes, I had pumped water through the system. Not a hard freeze but just enough to seize the faucet handles. We sometimes leave everything dry and stay at a roadside hotel. All depends on the conditions of the day.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:02 AM   #3
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If you use the furnace for an intermediate overnight stop along the way, your plumbing will be fine. If your trailer is warm enough for your comfort, it's warm enough for your plumbing as well.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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I'm with Pro-T on this ...
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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I'm a Yankee. I rough it without any heat. Actually I'm kidding. On our trip that I mentioned the faucets freezing I had used the heat for a short while before turning in for the night. Our batteries were marginal so didn't use any more heat that's why things were seized up overnight. I replaced the batteries later on that trip. Sorry I neglected to mention that.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:44 PM   #6
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You have to look at the weather in route before you leave. Weather bug is the best app if you have a smart phone. Weather above 40f during the day and a low above 25f at night you should be fine.

I generally leave Jersey winterized and a 1/4 tank in the fresh tank. As soon as we get below the above mentioned conditions we use the fresh water. Last year we left Jersey at 27f and an inch and a half of ice on the road in front of the house and it stayed at 27f all the way to Fl. That was a motel night. Also that trip we left with snow on the trailer and had snow on the trailer when we got to Fl..

Carry jugged water for the toilet.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:47 PM   #7
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Thanks for the information. We would like to overnight in our AS as we have two little dogs. Are you suggesting we can use the toilet by flushing with bottled water? The black tank will be ok?
Will parks be open with electrical along the way?
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:51 PM   #8
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Yes the black and gray will not have enough water it them to cause a problem even if they freeze. I would carry some antifreeze to put in the bowl itself if the interior of the trailer might freeze, unlikely but be safe.

Once you get to Fl. you can still freeze. The trip mentioned above we had hard freezes the first 2 nights. Disconnect you hose if the is the case because it will freeze quite fast.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:33 PM   #9
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We travel south from Fairbanks in late Feb to early March when it is much colder than you will have. We use the propane furnace and stay in the trailer regardless of the temp. We have no fresh water in the fresh tank until we hit temps that are above freezing during the day so carry water jugs for our use. When I winterize I add at least a gallon of RV antifreeze to the black and gray tanks so there will be antifreeze around the valves. We have a several gallons of RV antifreeze along that we use to flush the toilet. We do things like wash dishes and dump into the gray but I add more RV antifreeze to the trap afterward.
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:06 PM   #10
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Lots of good suggestions here. In our case we leave the rig winterized, pack all freezables like food, cleaning, bathroom in boxes and put in the morning of our trip even when it is freezing outside. 5 Gal jug of water for drinking and cooking and we use windshield washer fluid/RV anti-freeze for the toilet. We stop at an open campground in Wapakoneta (open year round or at the mother Ship in Jackson Center) use their electricity with two small micro furnaces plus help our 4 batteries run our propane furnace (without shore power and with only 1 or 2 batteries they will run down quickly especially when the furnace is used). Also take extra blankets AND snuggle up! We have even stayed at Flying J's overnight just relying on our furnace. We have the silver bubble wrap material cut and placed in each of the windows - good for keeping the heat in when it is cold and the cold in when it is hot outside - they store neatly under our mattresses when not used. Once down south you still need to watch for freezing weather as one year in Texarkana the water hose I put out was frozen solid in the morning and I needed to use my heat gun to warm up the faucet to get the hose off (put the two ends of the hose together and gently bent the hose in half and put it in the trailer to thaw). The only real concern we have are the road conditions when travelling and if you wait until towards noon the roads have had time to be cleared and reasonable for driving.
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:29 PM   #11
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If you run the propane furnace, all the plumbing and fresh/grey/black tanks should be fine. The furnace redirects a small amount of hot air into the underbelly for the tanks. Don't keep the interior too cold (e.g., below 55 or so) and the tanks will get plenty of heat. Even though the propane could be expensive it will be cheaper than a hotel. Your biggest issue will be finding an open campground (with electrical hookups) until you get far enough south for them to be open all year. You will need to plan carefully for this.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:20 PM   #12
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Antifreeze in both black and grey tanks. The furnace will not keep the dump valves from freezing. Since most are not in a heated space.
If the valves freeze and you have power. A hair dryer used with caution will thaw them. Don't force the frozen valve. You could damage the seal.


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Old 10-15-2014, 07:36 PM   #13
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We stayed at Top-of-Georgia A/S park several days over Xmas one year and they told us to open a coupla faucets so the water would FLOW and we had NO problem with the cold temps. Got up Xmas morning and my wife went outside and threw snowballs so you know it was COLD.
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