rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Tips and Tricks for living in 2017 Forest River FQ Travel Trailer this winter...  (Read 461 times)


  • Posts: 1
I am going to give it a shot.

I have a friend who is dying and I want to be close to help take care of him but I don't want to live in the daughter’s house where he is.

My Travel Trailer is in the driveway....hooked up to the electricity. I will be placing SKIRTING around whole bottom with small heater underneath to keep bottom of trailer warm-ish. Worried about AC Vent on top (which I won’t need or use) and the Fantastic Fan Bubble top (open or close manually). Worried about Hot water heater on side/back.....yes, as you may have guessed I am a newbie. Parked in Massachusetts just below Boston/Bridgewater area. Can anyone offer info? Thank you!


  • ---
  • Posts: 6332
The skirting is paramount. The a/c vent is nothing to worry about. If the water heater is on, that's nothing to worry about. Use vent pillows in the vents to help there. You want something removable, as you may have to use one for humidity control. Humidity can be one of your biggest headaches. A dehumidifier maibe a big help. You may have to block some of your lower vents for your fridge so it will operate correctly. Or use a small incandescent light in the lower section. You can get the kits to put a layer of plastic on the inside of your windows. They're available at about any hardware store. Some tout using some type of reflection insulation, but from what I've read, it has to be installed with an air gap. Personally, I like being able to see out my windows.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant

2012 Redwood 36RL
2016 Leprechaun 319DS


  • ---
  • Posts: 1303
Good advise above.

Sorry to hear your friend is dying.   :'(

Some of the advice might be valid or not valid depending on how long you stay there.
A week is way different than 3 months or more.

Are you parked in the driveway where you plan to stay?
Is this at a house?  Most houses don't have a 30amp outlet for electric and most won't have water and sewer hookups either.
Since you mentioned a water heater I assume you want or need water,  but what about a drain?  It would be a lot of work to remove
skirting and drive to a dump station, right?  Also most of the time a water line would need to be insulated to keep it from freezing.

What are you going to do about heating?  Most furnaces are propane and it takes a lot to keep an RV of any type warm during the Winter
in the North part of the country.  Heating with electric is expensive and draws a lot of power and you already plan to have one underneath.

I would recommend a electric mattress pad or electric blanket for night time sleeping.

Make sure you have Winter clothes with you as you may need a few extra layers to be somewhat comfortable.  But that will depend
on what kind of Winter you have in your area, as we all know some years are worse than others.

Good luck - and let us know how you make out during the Winter.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp
West MI Summer   Central FL Winter


  • ---
  • Posts: 560
    • Work Camper
Electric water hose, to keep the fresh water moving.  There is a forum sponsor up above, Camping world, and Amazon also have them.  As a minimum you will need heat strips and hose insulation, all depends on your wallet and level of work involved.
2007 Coachman Aurora 36FWS
2017 Equinox
2006 Mini Cooper S


  • ---
  • Posts: 801
I think you are taking an awful chance of a freeze up unless you have solid skirting with some sort of heat under the trailer.
 I was born and brought up in Boston and lived in Plymouth before moving south and I have a 2018 Forest River 39 foot TT and I wouldn't do it.
 How will you handle the city water feed and the gray and black dumping ?

Jack L

Lou Schneider

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 9013
I'm sorry to hear that your friend's dying, but it's good that you're there to help.

Many RVs run their water lines through the cabinets inside the house.  Open yours up, and if you see water or drain lines, leave the doors open a crack so warm air can circulate through there and help keep the lines warm.

Or drain and winterize your water lines and use the facilities inside the house.  For the occasional late night emergency you can "flush" your toilet with a water spray bottle, which also cuts down the amount of water you're putting into the black tank to the point you may not need to dump it for the duration.

If your trailer is plugged into a standard household outlet in your friend's garage, you will be limited to 15 or 20 amps of electricity.  That's enough for your lights, the TV and one electric space heater if everything else is turned off.  Make sure the water heater and refrigerator are set to run on propane with their electric sides turned off.  Or empty the fridge and turn it off for the duration.

If you're going to be there for a while, you might want to have an electrician to install a 30 or 50 amp RV outlet in the garage.  It won't cost too much if the house's main electrical panel is nearby.  This will give you more electricity to use in the trailer for heating, etc.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 03:12:32 PM by Lou Schneider »


  • ---
  • Posts: 10339
I'm glad you're able to spend some time with your friend.  You won't regret it!

Many houses have a sewer access out in the yard.  You might see if there's one near your trailer that you could use to dump.  We did that at our previous home when we got back from a trip.  That would eliminate one huge problem.

Don't leave water hoses outside in freezing weather!  Take it out and hook it up when you need to fill the water tank, otherwise, empty it and put it inside wherever you normally store it.  Our water hose froze once and we had to take it into the shower to thaw out.  And that was just one night, not an extended stay.

:D :D

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 22261
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
One suggestion... IF you have an electrician install an outlet have him put in a 50. You can have him put in 30 amp breakers but make the outlet a 50.. WHY

They hardly ever mess up a 50... But the number of "I had an electrician put in a 30 and now all the magic smoke escaped from all my expensive electronics" threads on all the forums is .. SHOCKING.

In fact I know of only one electrician who has done it right. and that's because I got to him before he started pulling wire.. I'm not kidding. they look at it and ASSUME and that Assumption is WRONG.. So have 'em put in a 50.. They still assume but on a 50 it's right.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Rene T

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 13253
  • Every day is payday and every payday I have off
1st, welcome to the forum. Hope we can help.
IMHO, I think you should take a second look at staying in the house no matter what the situation may be.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL


  • ---
  • Posts: 5746
  • Western KY for now.
Welcome to the Forum!

Sorry about your friend.  Glad you are able to be there.  Understand wanting your own space.

1.  As Ardra said, fill your fresh water tank, drain and store the hose and use the internal pump for your water needs.  When the tank runs dry, refill.  Do not worry about frozen hoses.

2.  Hot water does not freeze.  Water heater is fine when it is hot.

3.  Skirting and heat underneath is a MUST!!
4.  Figure out tank draining issues.

5.  Windows are a MAJOR source of heat loss.  Compared to a house, the percentage of the walls covered with windows is MUCH higher.  As much as is reasonable, cover with plastic (sealed / taped) or heavy drapes or other forms of insulation.  Fill ceiling vent openings with foam - foam pillows made for this or cut your own from rigid foam or soft foam.

6.  Humidity is often a problem.  Opening a vent or window may be necessary to reduce condensation.  Dehumidifiers may also help.  Reducing steam from cooking and showers also helps.

Best of luck, and ask more questions as issues arise.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.


  • ---
  • Posts: 13575
  • Good things are illegal immoral or over 1000 watts
1st, welcome to the forum. Hope we can help.
IMHO, I think you should take a second look at staying in the house no matter what the situation may be.
I agree with Rene. Living in an RV in Massachusetts in the winter would be torture and very expensive. You will use a lot of propane and electricity in a desperate attempt to warm the place up. Keeping all the heat inside is a poor idea because you end up rebreathing the air and that is not healthy. If you can't live with the other person consider renting an apartment in the neighborhood. You will hate living in the RV. They are not built for cold weather, which is why all the RV parks in New England are closed in the winter.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2018 shots:
My portfolio:
My Grand Canyon shots: