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Old 11-15-2012, 03:25 AM   #15
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I read somewhere that one family used a gym membership for showers. Never tried this, but sounds like it would work. However, most places we camp are nowhere near a gym or spa.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:24 AM   #16
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When folks come up here with that idea in the winter, I point out that the moving water in the streams and rivers around here freezes solid for the winter.

Lynn

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I lived in my Trade Wind one winter and this is easily solved by letting the water constantly run a trickle. The moving water won't let the hose freeze.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #17
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Hi all,
Thanks for all the good info. Bad road conditions are definitely something I would avoid. Down to the 20's at night is as low as I would probably want to go. I would look to early spring perhaps.
Also, I assume that newer trailers are probably a little better suited for the colder temps. We went to Oregon in April with 5 friends. Everyone was fighting over who got to stand with their backside against the catalytic heater. It was in the 30's and 40's day and night.
We're headed out tomorrow to Three Rivers, Ca. We will be staying at Sequoia Rv Ranch. It's a smaller park but we are a stones throw away from the Kaweah River. It's should get down into the low 30's at night. So this could give me a chance to ease into cold weather camping.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:01 AM   #18
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Hi all,

Also, I assume that newer trailers are probably a little better suited for the colder temps.
Nope. Other than maybe more efficient furnaces, there is only so much that can be done to insulate a < 2 inch space (inside to outside skin).

Purpose-built 4 season trailers resemble house-trailers in construction, and weigh about as much.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:12 PM   #19
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I camp in the winter every year. We spend Christmas in Pennsylvania, and this winter we'll be out in January again. I enjoy it, so don't let the naysayers stop you if you want to try it.

You do have to be careful - fill the freshwater tank and use that instead of the city connection. And if it gets REALLY cold (we usually camp around or just below freezing at night and just above freezing during the day), you'll need to take extra precautions against freezing of the tanks and all underneath. But I've camped in temperatures down to 17 degrees, and the single cold-related problem I had was when the dump valve froze shut - but that wouldn't happen on most Airstreams in the temperatures I was camping in, and could've been prevented with some RV antifreeze.

The biggest problem you run into is humidity inside the trailer from showering and all. Gotta use those exhaust fans, run the furnace, and run the heat strip in the A/C sometimes to fight it.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:30 PM   #20
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THank you. Just the kind of answer I would expect from someone living in Common Sense, TX.
I thought there was no common sense in Texas.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:07 PM   #21
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We've not snow-camped RVing, but we have done a fair bit of cold weather camping, and did inquire about it at the Can-Am dealership in London, Ontario, where we bought our Bambi. RVing in the snow is actually reasonably popular with skiers and snow-mobilers. We were told that snow-camping is entirely feasible provided you:

1. winterize the trailer. This means having the water system emptied and shut off, and pipes blown out. We're not notably handy, and have this work done by our local RV service center. Our RVing friends and neighbours winterize their rigs themselves, but then one of them ruined his water pipes last year, also.

You can still use water from portable jugs for your sink/s and manually flush the toilet via water bottles, provided you add a little RV antifreeze (or winter windshield washer fluid) with each use, to prevent freezing. This is a hassle, due mostly to the constant need to refill the water bottles, but it does work. Showers are kind of out of the question.

Then you can de-winterize your AS in the spring. After a few camping trips you won't even notice the lingering taste of the anti-freeze in your tap water. But hey, it beats risking wrecking your plumbing if you camp or live in winter country.

2. The big hassle with cold-weather camping is interior condensation on the walls and windows. You have to leave your hatch slightly open, and then keep the heat running. It is just a lot nicer if you have an electrical hook-up so you can plug in a space-heater. Of course, the propane furnace is an option but our dog usually sleeps right in front of our heating vent! In snow country I would make an extra effort to minimize the amount of snow tracked in or clinging to your clothes, because it just adds to the overall dampness.

3. If you have a particular park in mind, hopefully their website will tell you whether their campgrounds are open year-round. The Woodall's guide (but phone ahead, first!) also gives open dates for their listed RV parks.

4. I think a bigger issue is how far you wish to drive on potentially icy roads or unexpected blizzard conditions towing a trailer, notably if you wouldn't normally have beefy snow tires and 4WD on your tow vehicle.

We're heading down to Death Valley from BC in February, having said all this.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #22
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Dearest, it isn't the snowdiot drivers & ice that tempts fate...

Sodium Chloride
Calcium Chloride
Magnesium Chloride
Potassium Acetate
Calcium Magnesium Acetate

All the above are in use in snow belt states to keep roads open & safe.
All the above will corrupt any bare metal overnight with corrosion.
All the above are impossible to rinse away once they've wicked in. (belly pan/seams)
All the above persist in nooks and crannies to attract moisture out of the air and continue burning metals until every molecule has been expended.

Waiting until the thaw is on and retreating before road salts have been washed away by a good rain is about the equivalent of dashing down Daytona Beach in the surf just to say you've done it. Then the usual action is to sell the vehicle quick and let the next guy worry about it

Of things harmful to Airstreams only industrial fallout and agricultural fertilizers are harsher than road salts are . Would you spray your trailer down with Miracle-Grow?
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:26 PM   #23
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Good advice, wabbiteer (from Minnesota!)-- we'll keep it in mind during our trek south. Some states and provinces are a lot worse for road salt than others but then the ones that don't use so much seem to figure you're OK driving on snow-packed highways.

Just one more recommendation for anyone unused to serious winter but willing to try it: and that is to make sure you bring actual winter boots (not city boots) that have some insulation and parkas, along with ski-type or woolen socks, ski mitts, and real winter hats (such as skiers' toques). Buying these items at a ski shop or mountain shop (like REI) is better than your local department store, because the former shops sell stuff designed for people spending time in seriously cold weather. And then bring extras, because socks and mittens will get wet. If you have to spend your trip inside the AS because nobody is dressed for actual snow, it sort of defeats the purpose of camping.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:27 PM   #24
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Our first year with an AS too. We've done some cold weather camping (spring, now recently in the fall to the Washington coast). Was a ton of fun, but do be warned about condensation.

I'm going to avoid snow camping this year - still too much of a novice to be towing in icy conditions.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:16 PM   #25
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Lots of good advice already. Ease into it as there is lots to learn with enjoying snow conditions.

I have used my trailer as a studio/office last winter in central Colorado and have been living in it since the summer. I have been thinking about full timing for the winter in it. We've already had a couple of snow storms and temps have gotten into the single digits at night.

I think 4WD is a must with a trailer and a set of chains.

A good set of winter clothes is also a must. It is a safety issue as much as a comfort one. I could be fine without any heat with the clothing I have.

I use portable water jugs to avoid plumbing and freezing pipes. It may be less trouble to go that route and keep the tanks dry.

Condensation is a challenge. A pallet or some kind of raised platform (out of the snow) near the door is helpful.

Being cold at night is one thing. Being cold all day and all night is another. I would look make sure the weather is going to be mild before heading out. There is normally plenty of snow in the mountains in the spring yet conditions are quite mild. T-shirt weather is not uncommon. A sunny day makes all the difference in the world. Things will get wet with snow and the sun is the best way to dry them out.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
Dearest, it isn't the snowdiot drivers & ice that tempts fate...

Sodium Chloride
Calcium Chloride
Magnesium Chloride
Potassium Acetate
Calcium Magnesium Acetate

All the above are in use in snow belt states to keep roads open & safe.
All the above will corrupt any bare metal overnight with corrosion.
Wabbiteer,
Yes, thank you! Something I had not thought about at all! I'm not sure if much salt or the like is used here. But possible corrosion to my AS is not something I am willing to risk.

P.S. Here in Fresno, Ca, it snowed 3 inches in 1998. I was 15. The last time before that was circa 1961.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:04 AM   #27
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Mrs. Mod

I really admire your adventurous spirit.

I have camped for days at a time while skiing in West Virginia. I did not have to deal with snowy roads because I brought my trailer to the CG around Thanksgiving and did not bring it home until April.

There was a working bathroom at the CG so I dry camped. I really enjoyed this. I just kept bottles of water around, used paper plates and did dishes in a bowel and threw the water out the door.

I had electric power which helped a lot. I never did insulate the windows with plastic film or silver insulation but I thought about it. I heated the trailer with my furnace plus a small oil filled heater in the bedroom (84 Excella 31'). I also used an electric blanket covered by a down comforter. This really made it difficult getting out of bed in the morning. The eb was necessary when I arrived at the cold trailer late in the evening and I was ready to go to bed.

I really enjoyed the adventure and challenge.

Go for it and have fun.

Dan
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:41 AM   #28
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We are snow campers here in Montana ... but, we winterize and "dry" camp from late October until the spring "no freeze" / thaw. The larger AS propane tanks take away much of the uncertainty of the weather. It is, indeed, nice to be inside and toasty warm after a day out in the winter cold. We take water in bottled jugs and remove waste via plastic sacks inside of a bowl in the commode. In our avatar you will see that we are parked on about 3" of ice next to a mountain creek.
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