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Author Topic: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions  (Read 867 times)

Redrockerstl55

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Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« on: December 13, 2017, 05:50:35 PM »
Hey Guys,

We are heading to northern Indiana for the Holidays in a couple weeks.

Temps are going to be around 17 for the lows and uppers 20's for the highs.

We have the 4 seasons package on this travel trailer and the manufacturer claims it's tested in temps as low as 0 degrees and it will maintain heat. She's made by Highland Ridge and the specific model is a Mesa Ridge 328 BHS.

Her name is Rosalita.   

Looking for any suggestions on how to make this work as best as possible. We are camping in my parents driveway. Headed there with no fluids (although arriving not winterized) and will top off the fresh water tank from my fathers hose then disconnect it. The trip up the temps will be under zero unless the forecast changes.

Rosalita is sitting in our driveway right now with the heat on. We are definitely going through a decent amount of propane so I run electric heaters during the day if the outside temps are above 32 in order to save trips to buy propane.

I know we will burn through a ton of propane with temps under 32 degrees. I have 2 30 lb propane tanks and I plan on topping one of those off each day.

Just looking for any random tips, warnings or suggestions to make this trip as easy as possible. We are only staying 4 days.

In the meantime, check out our intro video for our Adventures.

https://youtu.be/2Sw62UyVbPY


Tow vehicle:  2017 F250 6.7 PSD CCSB

RV: 2017 Mesa Ridge 328 BHS TT
Meet Rosalita...our TT
https://youtu.be/rldE075eK24

Adventuring Today intro:

https://youtu.be/2Sw62UyVbPY

grashley

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 07:03:46 PM »
Reading between the lines, you already know that it does not hold much heat in cold weather.  Dad's driveway will not change that. I assume most of your time will be spent in Dad's house, not the camper.

 A few things to help retain heat include:
Cut styrofoam blocks to fit tightly into fan housings and skylight housings.
Place insulating foam or similar products over the windows.  Our houses have a relatively small per centavo of wall space occupied by windows compared to a camper.
Use as many electric heaters as you can find separate circuits to power.
Pack extra blankets or sleeping bags.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
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OLDRACER

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 07:31:21 PM »
Any friendly local propane dealer who would set you up with a larger exterior tank? It might make it easier and less expensive.

Redrockerstl55

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 07:15:22 AM »
Hey Guys...Thank you for the suggestions.  Those are great. 

I have added the Camco insulating inserts for the fan housings.  They fit great and look like they will work in cold but also reflect heat on hot summer days. 

Great suggestions for the windows.  I never thought about it that way...as a percentage of space compared to a home.  Good stuff.

Thank you also for the suggestions on the propane tank rental.  That might save quite a few trips and would be much easier. 

Thanks again!

Tow vehicle:  2017 F250 6.7 PSD CCSB

RV: 2017 Mesa Ridge 328 BHS TT
Meet Rosalita...our TT
https://youtu.be/rldE075eK24

Adventuring Today intro:

https://youtu.be/2Sw62UyVbPY

kjansen

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 07:34:57 AM »
I've camped in temps at about that temp, a little warmer.  If you are there for only 4 days, i don't think you will much of a problem and really not use that much propane.   My guess is you won't have a lot of electrical power sitting in the driveway, perhaps 20amp at most, so you can only run 1 electric heater, maybe 2.  Turn your heat down some during the day as you will most likely be in the house.  Maybe hang and extra blanket over windows and a an extra layer of insulation.  You'll electricity to power converter to recharge batteries as furnace fan will draw 12v, but I don't think you will use even 30# of propane daily based upon my use.
Keven Jansen
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Alexandria, Mn

Rene T

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 07:46:26 AM »
Why go through all those headaches. Why not just buy sleeping bags and air mattresses and sleep on the floor in the house. It sounds like you'll be spending most of your time in there anyway. To me it would much more convenient.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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Gizmo

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 08:15:33 AM »
If it were me, especially considering the short stay and if sleeping and spending your days in the house I would not worry about it.  Except for your plumbing system, so I would set your thermostat to the lowest setting to protect the plumbing from freezing.  If you do decide to go this route and considering propane creates moisture, the death knell for RV's, I would leave a vent open, crack a window and if you can maybe set-up a dehumidifier.
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rvannie23

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 11:53:54 AM »
Agree with others also maybe get a heating pad or a heated blanket if you want. I put an electric heater in my bathroom to preheat before I shower since I use the navy shower method for hair washing...makes it less painful. Last, get some warm slippers or thick socks since you’re going to be walking around before going to bed. The camper may be warm but my floor stays cold even with the furnace running. Slippers are key to preventing frozen feet.
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beaverfever

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 02:24:08 PM »
motel it or stay with your dad. the wear and tear on the frozen hiways plus the rock salt on the under carriage is not worth it plus the danger of dragging it on iced roads.
 

Kevin Means

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 03:08:58 PM »
Another option is to buy a catalytic propane heater - especially if you're going to be boondocking. They don't emit as much heat as your RV furnace is capable of putting out, but you often don't need that much heat. They're indoor safe (just leave a vent and/or window cracked) they only sip propane compared to your RV's furnace and they use no 12 volt power from your RV's batteries.

Our coach has an Aqua Hot furnace, but other than testing it, we haven't had to use it in years since getting a catalytic heater. We have the Mr. Heater Big Buddy (link below) which can run off those little disposable propane bottles, or it can be plumbed to run off an RV's propane tank with an optional hose. That's how ours is set up. It also has a little built in 6 volt fan to disperse the heat. The fan is normally powered by four D cell batteries, but you can buy an optional A/C adapter to power it. I wired ours to run off a 12 volt cigarette lighter, which is connected to our RV's house batteries, and it doesn't put a dent in them.

Admittedly, we haven't camped in sub-freezing temps in a few years, so all we ever use is our Big Buddy heater. It can be set to 4000, 9000 or 18,000 BTU, and at full power, it puts out a lot of heat. One side affect of catalytic LP heaters is that they emit a fair amount of moisture when operating - especially at full power. I leave two vents and two windows cracked open for ventilation and I've never had any moisture-related problems. It's a great boondocking device, because it really cuts down on battery and propane consumption.

Kev

http://www.cabelas.com/category/Portable-Heaters-Accessories/104382180.uts?WT.srch=1&WT.tsrc=PPC&rid=20&WT.mc_id=GOOGLE%7ccam_Camp+Essentials_Heaters+Accessories%7cUSA&WT.z_mc_id1=43700005641581640&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpvKdk66K2AIVk8BkCh2UZgX7EAAYASAAEgJSJ_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
« Last Edit: December 14, 2017, 04:21:41 PM by Kevin Means »
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Old Blevins

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 08:17:02 PM »
The only thing I would add to all those very good suggestions is that, if you’re planning on using an electric space heater and you need an extension cord to plug Rosalina in, get a heavy duty extension cord that is not much longer than you need to plug in there.  I tried running our small space heater with a “heavy duty” 100’ extension cord and my power protection shut it down for low voltage.  I switched to a 50’ heavier cord and that worked okay.
Jim
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Redrockerstl55

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2017, 08:12:13 AM »
Wow.  Thank you EVERYONE for all the great ideas and suggestions.  This has been a huge help! 

My parents have a 1 1/2 bath house and there will be 13 of us there for the holidays at the same time.  So bringing a RV/Travel Trailer helps provide more sleeping options plus another shower.  The kids LOVE it also and that's just an added bonus.

Of course the responsibility is on me to make sure this works without a hitch and nothing breaks (like pipes) and nobody is unreasonably cold, etc. 

My father has a 15 AMP hookup for us.  So it's not much but I think we can make it work.

Thank you again for all the ideas and suggestions.  I will be using them for sure! 

Dan
Tow vehicle:  2017 F250 6.7 PSD CCSB

RV: 2017 Mesa Ridge 328 BHS TT
Meet Rosalita...our TT
https://youtu.be/rldE075eK24

Adventuring Today intro:

https://youtu.be/2Sw62UyVbPY

RVRAC

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2017, 07:37:50 PM »
You haven't mentioned the windchill temps.  As someone from WI, I can tell you it would not be fun.  You are brave.  Wish you well!
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muskoka guy

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 08:32:03 AM »
You might consider putting rv anti freeze into the fresh water tank to help protect it and the lines. Dump a half gallon in each waste tank as well. Do this before you head up to Indiana. Cant hurt. Can be expensive to find out the hard way that your trailer isnt good for well below freezing. Good luck.

Larry N.

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2017, 10:07:39 AM »
Quote
You might consider putting rv anti freeze into the fresh water tank to help protect it and the lines.
That basically makes the water system winterized, thus unusable until cleaned up, if you use pure antifreeze, and if you don't then you certainly won't get much protection in the fresh water tank if that tank has a lot of water in it (and the taste would be horrible, too). And if the rig has the "4 season" package then the water lines should be heated too, or at least enclosed in a somewhat heated area. So if they're actually using the rig, there'd be no need to winterize.

So since the OP "will top off the fresh water tank from my fathers hose then disconnect it" that antifreeze would be counterproductive.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Redrockerstl55

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2017, 07:49:33 AM »
Thank you everyone for all the great suggestions and ideas.  Here is the forecast for where we are headed, Northern Indiana (where Indiana and Michigan and Lake Michigan meet.  We are staying in my parents driveway. 

There is a winter storm warning that begins tonight at 6 PM and lasts until 6 PM on Monday.  Snow accumulations of 5 - 9 Inches.  This area of the country is as good as any at removing snow from the roads.  The storm is focused mainly on 2-3 counties as it's mainly lake effect snow.  So for 95% of our drive we will have clear highways. 

Temperatures we will face:  Lows will range from 10 to 14 degrees.  Highs will range from 12 to 23 degrees for our stay. 

Right now our TT (Rosalita) is nice and warm 50 degrees in our driveway even though it's only 29 degrees outside.  These will be the warmest conditions she sees for the next 7-10  days. 

Our TT does have a winter package installed with heated tanks.  The hot air from the furnace goes to the tanks first then the rest of the trailer.  Yet with the potential of single digit temps and wind chills that will likely be near zero I'm going to play it safe. 

2 days ago I blew out all the water lines using about 25 lbs of compressed air via the city water connection.  I spread a gallon of RV antifreeze into all the sink traps and made sure a few cups got into each of the 4 grey and black water holding tanks. 

When we arrive I have decided NOT to fill the fresh water tank and we will just be brushing teeth and flushing toilets using 1 gallon water jugs.  My plan is to measure how much fresh water is entering into the tanks via how much of the gallon jugs are used and maintain a 3 to 1 ratio of water to antifreeze. 

This will allow us to rely more on our 3 small electric heaters (They consume about 9 amps), our two 75 watt light bulbs running and heating the outdoor kitchen and the under storage and if all the lights are on along with the furnace running we will only hit about 13-13.5 amps.  Giving us a measure of cushion against the 15 amp (dedicated) hook up we will have. 

Wish us luck.  This should be a fun Adventure and a great learning experience. 

Thank you again! 







Tow vehicle:  2017 F250 6.7 PSD CCSB

RV: 2017 Mesa Ridge 328 BHS TT
Meet Rosalita...our TT
https://youtu.be/rldE075eK24

Adventuring Today intro:

https://youtu.be/2Sw62UyVbPY

lynnmor

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2017, 08:28:36 AM »
Never heard of a 3 amp electric heater.  3 amps will produce very little heat.
I would never tow a trailer on salted roads, there is no way to remove all the salt.

Redrockerstl55

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Re: Travel Trailer in below freezing conditions
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2017, 03:22:26 PM »
Never heard of a 3 amp electric heater.  3 amps will produce very little heat.
I would never tow a trailer on salted roads, there is no way to remove all the salt.

2 of them are small personal electric heaters.  You are correct these 2 cannot product much heat.  I do have a third one which is larger that we are keeping on the lower setting where it uses about 4 AMPs by itself.  I am not trying to heat the trailer with these heaters in order to replace the use of propane...not at all.  Their mission is to assist the trailer heater (and delay my propane refills) as I need it to run to keep the underbelly warm. 

The underbelly of my trailer is completely enclosed and insulated...getting salt off the bottom will not be much of an issue.  It's completely covered in stiff plastic except for the 2, small, low point drains and the 2 large grey/black water drain pipes.  All the valves are enclosed and heated.   

Tow vehicle:  2017 F250 6.7 PSD CCSB

RV: 2017 Mesa Ridge 328 BHS TT
Meet Rosalita...our TT
https://youtu.be/rldE075eK24

Adventuring Today intro:

https://youtu.be/2Sw62UyVbPY

 

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