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Old 11-17-2022, 03:39 AM   #41
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I am from Canada, Full time. I have a 19' Bambi. . I get very cold weather sometimes when I drive down to the USA in November or December. Not hooked up, all camping closed. I run the furnace day and night. I put it around 62F during the day, when I drive. I like that the trailer is warm if I stop for a meal and nap. I upgraded my two batteries to Lithium and have 240 W of solar on the roof. My furnace does not have holes to keep the tanks warm. I know where my pipes run through the trailer and am careful they get heat. If 32F and less I leave the cupboard doors open at night. I put the furnace at 68 (for my comfort but I have to keep the batteries alive too). My pipes run under the shower and the shower faucet is installed on the exterior wall, I have to be careful about those, make sure I don't store stuff in the shower and isolate them to the exterior. I did freeze them once having done that. I empty the grey water tank before the temperature drops below 24F because the handle will freeze (before bed). I putut antifreeze in the black tank and use a portable toilet. I was hooked up one winter in Victoria BC. No problem with the heaters, two small Honeywell 245W - one in the bathroom, and one 1500 W standard. I set them according to the outside cold. Whe it was 26F and less I unhooked the pipes-sewer-and water and put them away and used them as needed. I did not use a skirt but put reflective and a carper on tom to the floor. That set up worked fine, I did not experience any colder than 19F in Victoria, and -4F on the road one night (That when I froze my pipes having stored stuff on the shower floor) but I had no damage. I had 2 x 6 V AGM back then. Batteries go quickly with the furnace on, I have to drive at least two to three hours to keep everything topped up. Depending on sun and battery type. Lithium is the best.
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:17 AM   #42
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Rosemere , Quebec
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I am from Quebec, Canada, Full time. I have a 19' Bambi. . I get very cold weather sometimes when I drive down to the USA in November or December. Not hooked up, all camping closed. I run the furnace day and night. I put it around 62F during the day, when I drive. I like that the trailer is warm if I stop for a meal and nap. I upgraded my two batteries to Lithium and have 240 W of solar on the roof. My furnace does not have holes to keep the tanks warm. I know where my pipes run through the trailer and am careful they get heat. If 32F and less I leave the cupboard doors open at night. I put the furnace at 68 (for my comfort but I have to keep the batteries alive too). My pipes run under the shower and the shower faucet is installed on the exterior wall, I have to be careful about those, make sure I don't store stuff in the shower and isolate them to the exterior. I did freeze them once having done that. I empty the grey water tank before the temperature drops below 24F because the handle will freeze (before bed). I put antifreeze in the black tank and use a portable toilet. I have a Portable Buddy, Mr heater, I use that one during the day when I am in the trailer (not hooked up)
I was hooked up one winter in Victoria BC. No problem with the electric heaters, two small Honeywell Heatbud - one in the bathroom, and one 1500 W standard. I set them according to the outside cold. Whe it was 26F and less I unhooked the pipes-sewer-and water and put them away and used them as needed. I did not use a skirt but put reflective and a carper on tom to the floor. That set up worked fine, I did not experience any colder than 19F in Victoria, and -4F on the road one night (That when I froze my pipes having stored stuff on the shower floor) but I had no damage. I had 2 x 6 V AGM back then. Batteries go quickly with the furnace on, I have to drive at least two to three hours to keep everything topped up. Depending on sun and battery type. Lithium batteries keep me warm. I do not have a Dc to Dc charger. Also when camping in cold weather, keep your propane more full. Don't let it go empty. a matter of condensation and freeze.
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:24 AM   #43
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Just accept that it's going to suck far more than warm weather camping - perhaps not having water to shower, no flush toilets, sleeping in a marginally insulated trailer. Think of it as a dry tent with a more comfortable bed. Also, don't try to keep the interior at 75 degrees - you'll blow through your propane quickly - dress like you were outside in 60 degree weather and lots of cozy blankets at night. And monitor that propane - the lack of insulation can mean that the AS will get really cold really fast if you run out. Lastly, if you do end up using your water tank and grey/black tanks, protect the outside drains and valves from snow and ice or you might be carrying that stuff around for a while...
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Old 11-17-2022, 09:01 AM   #44
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Update: Day 4 of camping.

Day 1 high temperature was 29F and the low temperature was 15F.

Days 2 and 3 were similar at 22F for the low and 41F for the high temperature.

Day 4 was at 19F for the low temperature this morning and the high temperature forecast is for 44F.

Tomorrow's forecast is for 12F for low and 28F for the high temperature with occasional snow.

So far, we have burned 5/8th of one 30lb tank of propane keeping the trailer at 64F at night using the propane heater to keep the underbelly warm too. This consumption includes using the oven and stovetop to cook 3 meals per day. This level of propane consumption is not bad at all.

We have been comfortable at all times in the trailer.

We only hook up shore water when the temperature is above freezing and stow all exterior fresh water stuff (hoses, filters, pressure reduction valve, etc). Wardrobe, shower, bathroom vanity and kitchen drawers are left open overnight and when temperature is below freezing (probably not necessary, but it is cheap insurance).

Pipes have been fine. Nothing has been damaged by the low temperatures.

We were initially worried about camping in these conditions in our new Airstream (this was our 3rd campout and our first extended stay anywhere) but I am not worried about camping in freezing weather anymore. And winterization under temperatures at least down to 15F is clearly not necessary as long as we take some reasonable steps to protect the trailer. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-17-2022, 09:19 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
We were initially worried about camping in these conditions in our new Airstream (this was our 3rd campout and our first extended stay anywhere) but I am not worried about camping in freezing weather anymore. And winterization under temperatures at least down to 15F is clearly not necessary as long as we take some reasonable steps to protect the trailer. Attachment 425500Attachment 425501
Yes.

Many of us routinely travel and camp in below freezing temps, without being winterized and using reasonable precautions.

A bit of a leap of faith, but in the end, using common sense your systems will work the way they are supposed to.

Maggie
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Old 11-17-2022, 06:21 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Yes.



Many of us routinely travel and camp in below freezing temps, without being winterized and using reasonable precautions.



A bit of a leap of faith, but in the end, using common sense your systems will work the way they are supposed to.



Maggie
Makes sense Maggie, thanks.
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Old 11-21-2022, 06:06 PM   #47
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A Summing Up...

...with thanks to Somerset Maugham for the Title line.

First - this full thread is an invaluable compendium of information that should be useful to anyone venturing into the cold without prior experience of doing it. I again thank everyone who has contributed.

The trip covered slightly over 2000 miles round trip from Central Texas (Wimberley) to Pagosa Springs CO, and back through Taos. Total of eight days out. All eight nights were below freezing, with six of them in the 12-15 degree range. Daytime temperatures were above freezing.

We were NOT boondocking - even in the boondocks I had a 30 Amp power connection.

I chickened out on the water system for this first trip, and drained the tanks before we hit the high country. We were on private property most of the time and used mother nature (all guys, as you might have figured) for #1, and my brother had a composting potty inside a work trailer for #2. Some nights we had access to showers, and some we went without. It was not a problem.

Even though I have the manuals, I realized that I don't know what "turn on/run the furnace" means. I hope this admission of stupidity will result in a new information flow that adds additional enlightenment for me and others.

I left with two brand-new propane tanks, which I used to power the fridge when the power was disconnected. (Including, yes, when traveling. I am aware of the debates on whether that is a good idea, but after conversing with a friend who has vast amounts of experience with RVs, I have concluded that for me the theoretical added risk of traveling with the gas on is outweighed by the convenience of having a fridge that is stable.) I turned one of them off and ran with only one operational, and returned home with that one still showing some green. So I used less than one tank of gas during the eight day period.

From time to time I ran the Dometic rooftop heater, though most of the time I used a little Honeywell 360 degree heater which was MUCH quieter and which kept the Bambi toasty throughout the night. Two people - me in the "master bedroom" and my brother on the settee. I slept under light cover with minimal bedclothing and was warm as toast every night. There were no condensation issues.

If there were any pipe breakages from the cold, I have not yet discovered them, and haven't seen any evidence inside or outside the trailer that suggests that any occurred. If I find that I'm wrong, I'll report that.

It was an absolutely wonderful trip, inspiring confidence in and affection for the Bambi. The place I spent most of the week was spectacular. When the moon rose, it was shining right through the "master bedroom" window, providing a view of the valley below from my 7,500 foot perch.

Wow! Thanks all...
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Old 11-21-2022, 06:39 PM   #48
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I agree. Excellent thread. I learned a lot and gained confidence re camping in subfreezing temps. Weíve had multiple nights of mid 20s here but day temps have risen above freezing. Tanks not empty. Water from the FW tank. Cabinets open at night. Furnace set to 56-58F. I figured out the path of forced air from the furnace: into the floor near the pump, coming out under the galley sink, then into the lav.

I still may pursue skirting to prepare for continuous subfreezing temps. At some point maybe even internally controlled low point valves. Fortunately the low point valves and the FW drain have small orifices.

Last night it was cold enough to break out the custom cut foil-backed window coverings for the bedroom that I fashioned months ago. HUGE difference in furnace cycling and bedroom comfort.
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Old 11-22-2022, 05:51 AM   #49
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Nice thread and I very much enjoyed reading how you're learning to RV in your AS. BTW - the furnace heating option is one of your settings on your thermostat. It will say "FURN." The heat will come out of the vents near the floor versus the ceiling. One of them is under the dinette table and that lovely warm propane heat on cold feet is the best. Congrats on your journey. You did good.
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Old 11-22-2022, 08:40 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Fungus View Post
I agree. Excellent thread. I learned a lot and gained confidence re camping in subfreezing temps. Weíve had multiple nights of mid 20s here but day temps have risen above freezing. Tanks not empty. Water from the FW tank. Cabinets open at night. Furnace set to 56-58F. I figured out the path of forced air from the furnace: into the floor near the pump, coming out under the galley sink, then into the lav.

I still may pursue skirting to prepare for continuous subfreezing temps. At some point maybe even internally controlled low point valves. Fortunately the low point valves and the FW drain have small orifices.

Last night it was cold enough to break out the custom cut foil-backed window coverings for the bedroom that I fashioned months ago. HUGE difference in furnace cycling and bedroom comfort.
We have camped with light snowy weather, temps in the teens in Teton and West Yellowstone without any issues using the furnace while boondocking few times. The AS is not a 4 season camper, thats for sure. When back in Austin, I used to keep my 25' AS's plugged in all winter at my place (1.75 Acres), using just a portable heater with the doors open under sink but with fresh water drained; never blew lines out or winterized; just left the faucets open is all. But Austin never used to stay that cold for extended periods and would warm during the day...or I was just lucky. Then one year, I had 3 different lines break when I went to use the AS in February...what a pain to fix the one in the shower wall, the line behind the toilet, and the line under the kitchen sink.

Thats when I switched to using the AS furnace set to 40 and watching the propane level every few days. No more water freezing issues with the furnace running, but what a pain, especially after I moved to Sun City and had to put the AS in storage with power. I started winterizing last year, blowing out the lines and little antifreeze in each drain. Takes about an hour to get it all done at my storage facility. I have not winterized yet, even though we did have the temps dip down into the low 30s week or so back...I have the temp set at 40. I plan to use the AS sometime end of December and head to Florida for a week or so, but then I will winterize when we get back. Camping in icy conditions not something I will seek out for sure.
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:48 AM   #51
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Fungus,

When you used your "custom cut foil-backed window coverings for the bedroom" was there condensation build up on the windows and window ledges in the bedroom when you removed the coverings in the morning?

Thanks.

Cheers,
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:01 PM   #52
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Fungus,

When you used your "custom cut foil-backed window coverings for the bedroom" was there condensation build up on the windows and window ledges in the bedroom when you removed the coverings in the morning?

Thanks.

Cheers,
It seems there is a little condensation on the window at the head of the queen bed but no where else IIRC. The desiccant dehumidifier set to 35% keeps the trailer dry. Iíll make note of it this week as we head into cold and wet weather. Itís too dry here now to test.
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:24 AM   #53
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Fungus,

When you used your "custom cut foil-backed window coverings for the bedroom" was there condensation build up on the windows and window ledges in the bedroom when you removed the coverings in the morning?

Thanks.

Cheers,
Finally tested this...

The desiccant dehumidifier prevents condensation from forming behind the reflectix, curtains, and shades.

Without the dehumidifier running, condensation forms behind the reflectix just like it forms behind the curtains and shades. No difference.
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Old 12-03-2022, 11:11 AM   #54
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Finally tested this...

The desiccant dehumidifier prevents condensation from forming behind the reflectix, curtains, and shades.

Without the dehumidifier running, condensation forms behind the reflectix just like it forms behind the curtains and shades. No difference.

OK, good info. Thx.

Cheers,
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Old 12-04-2022, 08:07 AM   #55
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Moisture from temp changes can/does form under your mattress.

Many know this, but many may not. Moisture can/does form under your mattress due to the temp difference inside/outside. When we change out our mattress' recently, wife noticed bottom of mine had some evidence of staining, due to moisture. There are threads on this subject, but have not seen in sometime. At any rate, good to understand this happens and take preventative action. When we replaced our mattress few months back, we also ordered/installed the Hypervent Aire-Flow Moisture Barrier pads under each mattress, from Mattress Insider. There are other options out there, but cold weather and humid weather/temp changes can cause mold/mildew build up under the mattress. Elevating allowing airflow between mattress and wood support will help prevent this from occurring.
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