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Author Topic: Wintering in an RV  (Read 422 times)

Flyingpiper59

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Wintering in an RV
« on: September 23, 2017, 11:26:44 PM »
Hello Forum Chums,
Gotta question regarding trying to reside this winter in my Pace Arrow 1985 that I recently acquired....aside from looking forward to fixing up this old beauty, I am breaking ground on a retirement home in the mountains in PA....If I leave the heat on and and open the access panels, will I still be subject to freeze ups...Being new to the game, I don't know how well they are insulated...anyone who has done a winter in a rig have any insight?...Thought maybe some hay bales around the perimeter might help....any thoughts!

Cheers, Ed

Sun2Retire

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Re: wintering in an RV
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 02:35:11 AM »
Generally speaking RVs are poorly insulated. While it is theoretically possible to live in it over the the winter in PA, to do so will require significant planning. You'll need external propane tanks (because you'll be using a lot of propane) and the fittings to hook them up, skirting around the perimeter as you suggest, auxiliary heat sources both under and in the rig, including the wet basement and holding tank bays, provisions for dumping holding tanks weekly, and provisions for a water supply that won't freeze. You'll also need a full 30A source of power.


(Your duplicate posts on this topic were removed.)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 02:42:42 AM by Sun2Retire »
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kdbgoat

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 06:04:04 AM »
Yes, it's very possible that freezing could be an issue. Skirting will be a big help, but hay bales may attract rodents. What are you planning on heating the coach with? Built in furnace, electric heaters, portable propane units?
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Memtb

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 07:27:58 AM »
     Flyingpiper59,  I know near nothing about a Pace Arrow ( maybe a Pierce Arrow  ;) ), but it really boils down to original construction and/or how much are you willing to pay to keep her warm! Some units are simply not designed for extended cold weather use....and will subsequently require a great deal more heat/expense to stay warm. Thicker insulated walls, enclosed - heat ducted basement, dual pane windows (not a necessity,but helpful), the amount of insulation in the roof, and the btu value of your forced air heat to the basement, and of course heat pads and heat trace on piping would be beneficial if you do experience a freeze issue. As previously mentioned...skirting will also help. And then of course are the challenges of providing continued water to the coach. It is very doable,but you have to be a little creative and will need a heat traced/ insulated ( to below frost line) water faucet, and heat trace and insulate your water hose (faucet to coach)! The sewer is another issue to address, but is easier than your water supply.

  In Wyoming we have many oil field and construction workers than spend the winter, in at best a three season unit. They survive, even do pretty well, but it's not the most pleasant existence!

    We lived in our 5th wheel for two Wyoming winters, seeing numerous negative 30's and cooler, and never froze a water line.....but, the unit was designed and guaranteed to a -30 F. It's really much easier if it's designed for extreme conditions.


   I realize this "did not" address your specific unit... but gives you some incite into what is required to handle the cold weather.

      Best wishes in your endeavor!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 07:39:11 AM by Memtb »
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Alfa38User

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 07:32:46 AM »
As you will be using a great deal of propane, you should arrange to rent a very large tank (100 gal or so) set outside your RV and use that for a propane supply in addition to the built-in tank. You will need every bit of it and likely a refill or two over time.
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QZ

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 09:43:05 AM »
I had a large TT and spent a month or so where it had gotten down to 6 degrees at night. I was burning 30 pounds of propane a day and running an electric heater all the time. The widows were covered with reflexit and the door had a blanket draped over it at night.  I also boxed in under the tank area and ran another elec heater under there on the coldest nights. I also had a couple gallons of RV antifreeze on hand just in case the furnace quit.  Never again.

RedandSilver

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 09:53:02 AM »
Hello Forum Chums,
Gotta question regarding trying to reside this winter in my Pace Arrow 1985 that I recently acquired....aside from looking forward to fixing up this old beauty, I am breaking ground on a retirement home in the mountains in PA....If I leave the heat on and and open the access panels, will I still be subject to freeze ups...Being new to the game, I don't know how well they are insulated...anyone who has done a winter in a rig have any insight?...Thought maybe some hay bales around the perimeter might help....any thoughts!

Cheers, Ed

Can you reside in it during the Winter - YES but it won't be easy or cheap.  Leaving the heat on will cost a lot of money.
You need to fix it up?  How so?

You SHOULD have a backup plan for when the power goes out.  IF you have a generator you can get by, but they get noisy and it
would probably need to be run 24 hours a day until power is restored.

Generally speaking the inside of a RV is only going to be a couple of degrees above the outside temp without any heat.
So even if it's 50° outside 52° inside is bone chilling after a very short time.  My point is you have to have the heat on most all the time.
That gets expensive.

Now where your planning on parking it - do you have power and water and sewer hookups?  The water and sewer lines will
need to be insulated and the holding tanks may need a heat source too to keep them from freezing.

Sure you can winter in the North in your RV, but there is a reason so many head South during the Winter.

Good luck.
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johnaye

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 02:35:10 PM »
Skirting will help.  Use heat tape on the water hose. 
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Gypsy Nurse

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 03:21:47 PM »
I too will be spending my first winter in the RV. At my last assignment, when the temps dropped in to the 30's at night, it got pretty cold inside the Beast. I used the furnace a couple of times and it worked well since I don't like it too warm. I saw a video on how to use the heat tape and aluminum foil on the water hose and the RV park has their hook-up well insulated so I should be good there. I need to build some skirting and was thinking about getting some sheets of that foam insulation to put around the undercarriage. Do you think that would work or should I add some sort of thin plywood and make a sort of sandwich out of it? That might make it easier to stand up against the sides of the Beast. I'll use insulated curtains over the windows and doors if I have too as well. I'm pretty crafty, if not handy, so I'm hoping for the best this winter. Also, how would you keep the skirting from blowing away? I'm trying to think portable here and not just throw-a-way. I thought with the plywood sandwich I could maybe hinge some of the pieces together and fold them away for storage later. Any ideas?

Another thought occurred to me, what about the tanks in a class C? I think I can insulate the sewer hose easily but will the tanks be fairly safe? I'll be in the mid-west until December and nights may get pretty cold. I don't really use the fresh or gray water tanks since I'm hooked up but the black seems pretty exposed under there. Skirting will help I'm sure but is there a product out there to put under the belly of the Beast that would maybe help out? I was thinking maybe like one of those hanging lights they use to work on cars or some such.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 03:14:28 PM by Gypsy Nurse »
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Memtb

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Re: Wintering in an RV
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2017, 09:26:09 PM »
    Though will cost a bit... you can get custom made heavy vinyl skirting made that just snaps on. Then when you're ready to "travel", unsnap, fold or roll, store, and you're ready for the next cool camping spot. We had them on a 5er we had before our present 5er, though never used them as we didn't camp for long periods of time ( 2 or 3 weeks), and we rarely saw it very cold ( -20 F a few times)


    I've just about talked myself into looking into the snap-on skirting for our class c....we'll be doing some ice fishing in a few months. It will probably be a little cool!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 09:37:12 PM by Memtb »
Todd and Marianne
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