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Old 02-05-2023, 06:41 PM   #1
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2022 16' Basecamp
Mesilla , New Mexico
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When is it safe to de-winterize

I will be picking up my new Basecamp 16 RV sometime in the next month. I am new to rv-ing, so I'm wondering when it is really safe to de-winterize it. I live in southern New Mexico in the desert. We can get freezing nights on and off well into March. I will not be living in it but will be doing weekend and vacation travel. So should I wait until we get past the "official" last day of frost (March 20)?

Thanks for your advice!
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Old 02-05-2023, 07:27 PM   #2
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First, congrats on your new Basecamp. Weíre in ABQ now and will head up to Santa Fe in a couple weeks. We full-time and generally try to stay where itís warmest, but my wife is an avid skier so we end up in cold locales every year. Living in it actually makes things easy. We donít hook up a water hose, but fill the fresh tank and use that. We set the furnace to 55 at night and it works well.

Before we were full-time, we lived in DC and still camped year round. When we finished a winter trip we would drain the fresh tank, open the low point drains as well as the water heater drain, and then use our air compressor to blow the lines of most of the water that may have been left behind. We never used antifreeze and always camped 12 months a year.
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Old 02-08-2023, 11:34 AM   #3
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We camp fall, winter, and spring. Trailer is in storage when not I use so we winterize with compressed air only. We donít dewinterize for short trips alone. Use five-gallon water jugs plus a one gallon at the toilet. If going on a short trip with a grandchild we use the fresh water system and winterize again. While camping in freezing temps on longer trips we use the fresh water system and keep the furnace set to 50*F or higher.
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Old 02-08-2023, 11:57 AM   #4
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The general rule of thumb I've always heard is that it takes around 24 hours at 32 degrees for water to freeze in a pipe. When it gets into the 20s, it can happen in 6 hours or less and in the single digits/teens, in 3 hours or less.

If you don't have plans to use your trailer, definitely wait until April to de-winterize. If you do plan to use it, make sure you're full up on propane, de-winterize, and keep an eye on the projected overnight temps. If it looks risky, plan on running your furnace until it warms up. Just be aware that if you run out of propane, you could have an expensive disaster on your hands.
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Old 02-08-2023, 12:40 PM   #5
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When is it safe to de-winterize

Safest time to d-winterize is after the last frost, during shouldering periods and your trailer is nearby and you have access to it and electric or solar is available to replenish your battery bank then monitor the temperatures and use your propane to keep it above freezing.
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