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Author Topic: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?  (Read 86786 times)

nash0098

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Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« on: August 08, 2012, 09:54:57 PM »
I am long haul driver and used to be living on the road. This year I planning to ditch my apartment and living in my Flagstaff 8524RLS 5th wheel full time when I am at home (since I am only in town a week out of the month, renting is a waste). So far so good living in my RV, it's summer and it's nice and the beer is flowing. Come this winter in northern Canada where temperature can drop below -30F every day, I am not sure. Heating is my biggest concern, how often do I have replace propane tanks at that temperature? Can I keep my RV comfortable at 70F (I like it hot  :)) As far as pipes and sewage is concern, I'll be using portable toilets and water since I am away 3 weeks at a time and don't want to deal with frozen tanks. Anybody thinks I am crazy living in RV at -30 in Canada, any brave souls have any experience and want to offer me some tips other than go south young man  ;D
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 09:57:05 PM by nash0098 »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 09:48:09 AM »
Yes, I think you are crazy!  RVs don't even fare well at +15 degrees. If you have the usual 30 lb propane tanks, I would expect to use nearly one a day and I doubt if the interior will be as much as 70 if its -30 outside. The walls of an RV are too think to have any reasonable amount of insulation, plus there are numerous windows and skylights. Much more of them on a per sq. ft. basis than any house, and the skylights aren't insulated (dual pane) either.
Gary
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SeilerBird

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 09:51:09 AM »
+1 to what Gary said. It would be cheaper to rent an apartment by the month than to use a propane heater in a 5er.
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nash0098

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 12:01:16 PM »
Since I'll be using the RV a week out of the month while i am in town, propane cost would not be an issue for the short duration as opposed to renting an apartment monthly (cost of renting $700-800 a month). Thinking of getting a 100lbs tank and have refill less. This RV do have dual pane windows and no skylight, I am thinking of skirting the RV and sealing the windows. As far as temperature, I lived in Calgary, AB ....  we do have nice days where temp can go above freezing when the chinook winds are blowing from the mountains. But, some nights it can dropped down to -30 but the average is around 10F. With the propane furnace running constantly and with the use of electric heaters could it be toasty inside the RV in the chilliest of the night?

Jeff

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 06:31:49 PM »
Remember that you will be asking a propane furnace designed for recreational use to run just about continuously for months. Sealing up everything might make it a little warmer but it certainly doesn't leave much chance for fresh air to enter the trailer.

dave61

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 05:01:51 PM »
Northern Canada, 30 below, unimaginable.

Getting from 30 below to 70 inside is 100 degree swing, can't see that happening. The furnace would never shut off and your gas expense would be huge.
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Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 05:57:13 PM »
Brrrr!!!!

We lived for a month in Taos, NM in late fall in our late model Class A motorhome, temps between 10 and 40, had an electric heater, heated mattress pad, and two cats and still froze our business off. Actually, we did not freeze, but were cold a lot, even with the sun heating the coach during the day. And we kept the coach at 58 at night and still burned 25 gallons of propane.

The amount of BTU's it takes to move the temp from way below zero to comfortable is pretty incredible and beyond most normal RV units as delivered and insulated.

This is one of those trick "can you do it?" questions - yeah, you can, but it might not make a lot of sense in the long run. I might not go so far as to call you crazy, but I would strongly recommend you talk to people who have and see if they liked that experience. It would not be for the faint of heart.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 06:11:41 PM »
It seems like every year there is a post similar to this one where someone is asking if they can live in an RV during the winter way up north with minus 0 temps every day. The replies are always a resounding no. But it seems like every time the OP declares he is going to do it any way. But they never return here in February to let us know just how comfortable they are. I am hoping the OP will let us know how he is doing next year so we can learn if it really is possible to survive in an RV in winter up north.
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garyb1st

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2012, 06:28:38 PM »
You may not be crazy but for sure you're a gluten for punishment.  Former Minnesotan here.  I've lived through my share of -30 nights and know the meaning of chilled to the bone.  Once you're cold, it's hard to warm up.  I would never spend a night in an RV when it's that cold.  Water hoses will freeze in temps 60 warmer.  I suspect at negative 30, the entire fresh water system and waste tanks could freeze.  Don't know if that would cause the tank to fail but I wouldn't be surprised.  You'll have to connect and disconnect your water hose every time you need water.  Just washing dishes and using the toilet is going to be a pain.  Leave the hose out even during the relative warmth of the day, say about 10, for an hour or two and it's going to freeze.   
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Chet18013

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2012, 11:23:48 AM »
There has been one 5th wheel maker that claimed their rig was livable in your conditions. If you could find a TETON with the "Arctic Insulation" package, it might be worth a try. Don't even try it unless you put a full skirt around the base to keep the cold air from flowing under the trailer. Put aluminum bubble "Refletex" insulation up on all the windows. Be prepared to be constantly COLD whenever you are home.
Chet18013
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34footer

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2012, 11:34:02 AM »
Since everything is mobile, pack it up and move south for the winter.
J
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MCFLYFYTER

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 11:52:57 PM »
I have live in my trailer in North Dakota for 3 years now, and it can be rough.  It would actually be kinda easy if you were not going to use your plumbing or holding tanks.  I skirted with 1 inch foam, put the plastic on my windows to imitate dual pane, and that is about it.  Fortunately, I have 90 amps available, so I only run propane when the power is out, or to warm it up faster.  I use 2 ceramic heaters under the trailer,and that would keep it above freezing when 28 below.  It could be freezing or colder on the dirt, but if your skirting is tight enough, the heat will rise up to the underbelly and keep you warm inside.  I use 3 ceramic heaters inside, bedroom, bathroom, and living area.  Propane would have no problem keeping you warm at night, and you would definitely not use more than 100 lbs. in a week, unless you tried to maintain 95 degrees inside.     

quaywe

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 12:06:21 AM »
Try this, it's a forum for "four season campers"...

They appear to have a strong following of diehard winter campers all with lots of advice.

I hope I not breaking any rules by linking to another forum, if so, please feel free to edit or delete.

http://www.4scf.com/viewforum.php

Cheers,
Geoff
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Roary60

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2012, 10:26:09 PM »
RV furnaces have a safety devise  (high temperature limit) that cause the furnace to cycle so at really cold temperatures it can only put out so much heat even if left on high 

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2012, 11:23:36 PM »
+1 to what Gary said. It would be cheaper to rent an apartment by the month than to use a propane heater in a 5er.

Down here in Texas, when I get a new customer that needs special attention, I get a weekly rate at a hotel.  They are usually about $200 a week and include, stocked kitchen, hot showers, cable TV, etc..  The one I use that is in many places in the US is Extended Stay Suites.  If you have anything like that where you are in Canada, that may be a better option. 
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coal

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2012, 05:10:01 PM »
I have been full timing in Ontario for the last  15 years.  Usually get a solid six weeks of minus 20 cold plus the wind chill.  Campground across the street from me has about 60 campers in there all winter long in every kind of Rv imaginable.

Best addition that I have made to my Rv for Canadian winters is a diesel fired air heater.  Rig is always one temperature, nice dry heat and saves me 300 per month on propane during the worst of the winter.  For the balance of the winter I just shut the furnace off. 

At minus 30 your Rv furnace is not putting out that much heat as the cold air going into the combustion chamber is just that, too cold.  Causing you too even use more propane just to maintain heat.

Each Rv is different and the only way too figure it out is to get out there winter camping, it won't take too long too find out the stuff you will need to do in order to stay warm at a economical cost.

Jim Godward

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 08:59:23 PM »
Best addition that I have made to my Rv for Canadian winters is a diesel fired air heater.  Rig is always one temperature, nice dry heat and saves me 300 per month on propane during the worst of the winter.  For the balance of the winter I just shut the furnace off. 

I'd like some information on your mod as I was looking at a diesel fired boiler and then convert to warm air with a heat exchanger.  Your mod sounds easier and fewer things to mess with.

You can send direct if you prefer.  ac7poatbresnandotnet
Jim
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99WinAdventurer37G

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coal

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 05:04:16 PM »
Jim  check out a espar diesel heater, also Snugger and webasto, quite common in the big trucks for heating the bunk.  Runs off diesel and 12 volts.
Super cheap on fuel, really low amp draw, I will send some pics to your email tomorrow am

kenz

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 05:50:20 PM »
That diesel fired air heater sounds like the way to go. The one thing with propane is that the colder it gets, the lower the pressure in the tank. It can get to the point where the pressure in the tank is so low, and the intake air so cold, that the furnace will run forever and not throw out much warm air at all. Found this out a few winters ago. At single digits I would use a 30lb tank per day (24 hours). But a 100lb tank would go 5-6 days at the same temps. Also you need to skirt the trailer to keep the cold out from underneath. I've seen a few that used straw bales which seemed to work well. Also seal up windows, slide out gaps, etc.

Yes it is very doable. More than likely not very comfy though. My vote is that you are crazy.  ;D
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99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2012, 09:12:59 PM »
Jim  check out a espar diesel heater, also Snugger and webasto, quite common in the big trucks for heating the bunk.  Runs off diesel and 12 volts.
Super cheap on fuel, really low amp draw, I will send some pics to your email tomorrow am

Yes we use those in big trucks and they are not only efficient, but reliable as well.

Here's a link to the one most of those I know use;  http://www.espar.com/
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Jim Godward

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2012, 10:32:36 PM »
Thanks, I am acquainted with the Espar line and am very interested in what Coal has done.  I have been very intrerested in the hydronic heater as a friend put one in his MH.  I haven't been able to get serious for a few years, almost 5 due to medical issues, but most of those are hopefully behind me so I am starting to look at changes to the MH.  Diesel heat is one of my priorities with the cold we have in MT.   :)

THe air heaters are "interesting" but I need about 30,000 btu as a minimum and only one gives this.  The difference between heating a cab and a 38' MH is significant.  The existing 30,000 Btu heater will barely heat the MH in the severe cold without a little help from some place, electric heaters, to make it shirt sleeve weather inside. 

The hydronic can also be used to pre-heat the engine and also heat the water so both the furnace and water heater can be removed.

Decisions, decisions, decisions!!! 
Jim
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vmax1

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2012, 10:45:37 AM »
Im just west of Calgary and its -3 C today, and I am freezing my butt off. Good luck to you when it gets to -40 C up here, please get an apartment for the winter.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 11:01:38 AM by Tom »

coal

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2012, 04:41:41 PM »
My rig is 40 feet four slide, sitting just outside Toronto, close to freezing last couple of nites  and windy.  My diesel heater 7200 btu is heating my rig, temp inside is 68 to 72 depends how many times the door gets opened as its right in the wind.  Have not had the propane furnace on yet.  The diesel heater does a pretty good job, another five degrees colder and the propane furnace will come on to top up the temp.  Difference is, it only comes on once in a great while, and there is no big swing of temps in the unit.  No noise either, they run quiet. 

I have a 2005 jayco designer legacy, it is well insulated, not the best out there but it does a good job. 40 feet with four large slides, so I have some 400 square feet here too heat.  Been full time here in Ontario for fifteen years, best thing I did for winter full timing.

LPETEET

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2012, 06:05:59 PM »
Hello:
I have a 35' 1998 Winnebago Adventurer and I spent a year in Minneapolis, Minnesota 3 years ago.  I am an independent consultant and travel a lot.
This time I am back in the Saint Paul, MN area with the same Motorhome.  I was fine last time and will be fine this time.
I leased a large Propane tank from Amerigas this time and Farrell gas last time.  They delivered it a couple of weeks ago.  I just call them 4 or 5 days in advance and they come refill it during the winter.  I put a skirt around the bottom of the RV and Heat-Tape on the Water and Sewage lines.  I was plenty warm last time and plan to be the same way this winter.  My furnace did fine 3 years ago and had it checked out recently.  Hopefully it will make it through this winter.  If not, then I will buy another and have it installed without a problem.  It's only money!


Many ways to seal the bottom of your RV or Trailer.  You can also box up your water and sewer area with wood, insulation and foam sealer.  If you want; you can put a heat producing light bulb in there to keep it acceptably warm.  It doesn't take a lot of heat to keep a small area from freezing anything within it.  Several campgrounds/RV Parks are open all year here in Minnesota.  Most of the ones that are not open during the Winter are closed because they don't have deep enough water lines to keep from freezing when it is very cold.  The place I am currently staying has heated Spigots just above the ground that will keep it from freezing on it's way to my connected water hose with Heat Tape surrounding it.


Let the Naysayers keep saying "NO!" or just do a reasonable job of sealing off what you want so you will be fine this winter.  Only issue I would  keep aware of is the condition of your furnace and where to get another one if yours happens to develop problems during your foray into the Great White North!


brndncrbtt

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2012, 01:33:51 PM »
LPETEET,
   I am in search of a site close to Minneapolis/St Paul that is open for the winter and not having much luck. Do you have any suggestions?


LPETEET

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2012, 05:38:07 PM »
Hello:
There are actually quite a few places to stay here.  Many are closed for the Winter as they don't have the ability to keep their water running during hard feezes.


Search the Internet and also particular sites for RV or Camping or even Trailer Parks in Minnesota and twin cities.


There is Lowry Grove in Saint Anthony (NE Minneapolis, up North on Central a couple of miles from downtown).  This place is really convenient with several bus lines very close.  Like many places it is mainly a Mobile Home Park but have quite a few RV spots.  There are only a few which they allow Winter Rentals on.  I stayed there 3 years ago and there are a lot of drunks there; which is not that unusual.  It is a fairly safe park and the Management seems to vary year by year.


There is also Landfall Terrace (City of Landfall) which is just East of Saint Paul and 3M on I-94.  Mainly a Mobile Home park but now has about 15 RV Spots.  The spots are sort of small but they put in brand new heated water spigots on all the lots which is nice.  Management is very friendly and they have cleaned up a lot of crime and other issues in the last 5 years I have been told by many people.  There are several spots still  open there to rent as of this writing.  Let me know if you end up checking it out.  There are two Park-N-Ride near there with the Guardian Angels Church one being very close and takes the 375 Line straight to downtown Minnie!  Also Harley and Indian Dealers right at the park.  Buy a new bike there for $20 Grand or store your own bike there for the Winter.


I found several others but they were a lot further away from Minneapolis, where I work, or didn't have great Transit Options.


Warmest Regards,
LarryP


FulltimerCalgary

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2014, 12:57:40 PM »
My husband and I have been fulltime rver's in Calgary,Ab for 2 years now.There are times that is is a bit chilly and frost on the walls( mostly around the windows) but all in all not bad at all.We live in an rv park with fullfacilities so no problem. It is much less expensive then renting in Calgary that's for sure.

Francina

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2014, 10:53:42 AM »
I'm planning on retiring within 4 - 7 yr and me and my sister will be rving fulltime. Although, I enjoy camping and the cold (only done tenting), she's not a camper and doesn't enjoy the cold.  Now I know I'm crazy because I would just get an arctic tent and sleeping bag for below zero and blanket and call it a day.  I am glad that there are other alternatives.

gralson

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2014, 09:15:13 PM »
I am long haul driver and used to be living on the road. This year I planning to ditch my apartment and living in my Flagstaff 8524RLS 5th wheel full time when I am at home (since I am only in town a week out of the month, renting is a waste). So far so good living in my RV, it's summer and it's nice and the beer is flowing. Come this winter in northern Canada where temperature can drop below -30F every day, I am not sure. Heating is my biggest concern, how often do I have replace propane tanks at that temperature? Can I keep my RV comfortable at 70F (I like it hot  :)) As far as pipes and sewage is concern, I'll be using portable toilets and water since I am away 3 weeks at a time and don't want to deal with frozen tanks. Anybody thinks I am crazy living in RV at -30 in Canada, any brave souls have any experience and want to offer me some tips other than go south young man  ;D
Nope! not crazy! I have modified a 85 winnebago cheiftan 22 and lived out of it for two winters while at work the worst stretch was a -40 stretch of about a week and a half where all heaters came out to keep it comfy and warm, but for the typical -15 to 20 stuff, my modified old girl got me through fine. I was at home last winter so she didn't go out, but I'm back on the road this year and looking forward to another winter living the loa dream:)
 I am not sure how you will compare having more space to heat and such, with a newer unit you should be set up with better insulation than I.
I paid pad power of 280 and about 140 on propane on average between nov and march. Make sure you have the propane tanks heat taped BTW. After reading through the posts, which jogged my memory. I also used a couple of oil heaters (garrison) from canadian tire to help keep the propane from running constantly. after setting those up my furnace would be lucky to cut in 6 times a day unless it was really windy.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 09:43:34 PM by gralson »
85 winnebago cheiftan w honda gen & solar array off grid full timing year round (except the 8 days a month at the sticks and bricks) western canada Ab,Sk,Mb. yes I do it in - 40!

gralson

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2014, 09:18:08 PM »
I'm planning on retiring within 4 - 7 yr and me and my sister will be rving fulltime. Although, I enjoy camping and the cold (only done tenting), she's not a camper and doesn't enjoy the cold.  Now I know I'm crazy because I would just get an arctic tent and sleeping bag for below zero and blanket and call it a day.  I am glad that there are other alternatives.
wow you and my wife  are both the same kind of crazy! :)
85 winnebago cheiftan w honda gen & solar array off grid full timing year round (except the 8 days a month at the sticks and bricks) western canada Ab,Sk,Mb. yes I do it in - 40!

ruthandken CDN

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2014, 09:21:00 PM »
I'm a Canadian living in southern Ontario.  Living in a sticks home in the winter here is bad enough.  In a RV????? yes I think you're a little crazy to even consider it....
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gralson

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2014, 09:21:40 PM »
Try this, it's a forum for "four season campers"...

They appear to have a strong following of diehard winter campers all with lots of advice.

I hope I not breaking any rules by linking to another forum, if so, please feel free to edit or delete.

http://www.4scf.com/viewforum.php

bad or not thanks for the link :)

Cheers,
Geoff
85 winnebago cheiftan w honda gen & solar array off grid full timing year round (except the 8 days a month at the sticks and bricks) western canada Ab,Sk,Mb. yes I do it in - 40!

gralson

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2014, 09:47:33 PM »
Yes we use those in big trucks and they are not only efficient, but reliable as well.

Here's a link to the one most of those I know use;  http://www.espar.com/

another option (if you're cheap like me is to visit the truck wrecking shops. before I moved up to my gas hog 454 I did a winter of minivan dwelling and picked up a working used one for under $400 and used it for 2 years with no problem
85 winnebago cheiftan w honda gen & solar array off grid full timing year round (except the 8 days a month at the sticks and bricks) western canada Ab,Sk,Mb. yes I do it in - 40!

ArdraF

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2014, 09:49:32 PM »
I hope you have a good friend who can check daily on your fifth wheel.  What will happen if your propane runs out mid-way through your three-week travel period?  Of what will happen if there's a really heavy snow fall and collapses the roof?  I know a lot of people think their apartments are a waste of money and that some kind of RV will be better but in northern Canada that could be very costly.  It's one thing to be there and be able to control heat, propane, freezing tanks, etc.  It's quite another to be thousands of miles away.  Of course, they say ignorance is bliss so maybe you can be blissful while on the road and worry about the other stuff when you get home.  If you said the southern U.S. I'd be more inclined to say go for it, but northern Canada?  Uh uh!

By the way, you aren't an Ice Road Trucker are you?  I watch the show regularly and I'm not sure if those truckers are for real or just plain missing a screw!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

crazywomanranch

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2014, 12:06:09 PM »
I don't think you're crazy Nash0098, I've been living in a 34' fifth wheel for 8 years, in interior Alaska.  I bought 20 acres and parked the fifth wheel, intending to build a cabin but haven't got that far yet.  Yup, it's a challenge.  Seems only time problems arise is in the winter. Recently lost power to all of one side, 12V and 110 both.  Turned out to be a low voltage issue.  It killed the circuit board on the water heater needed for running it on propane,  but after replacing the electric element in it; draining it was a treat at 9 degrees outside temp,  and repairing the low voltage issue, it's all good.  Will deal with the WH brain next summer.  I installed a toyo heater, don't use the propane furnace at all, in fact never. Stays a comfy 70 degrees inside even when it's -40 outside.  I have clear plastic window covering both inside and out, insulated curtains, 6 inches of insul board behind t1-11 skirting, 500 gallon freestanding, insulated and heat taped water tank, pump and pressure tank stowed in the"basement" compartment that is plumbed into the on board system. Have done a LOT of other, what I like to call upgrades, added insulation, etc.,  don't see the point of the cabin anymore and have moved on to the barn instead for the horses.  Love the "tiny house" concept and the lack of additional property taxes for a structure.

RoyM

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2014, 06:17:25 PM »
Ardra, those guys are a whole different breed. ;D
Ram 2500 diesel
Prowler fifth wheel
Urge to travel

ArdraF

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2014, 09:46:45 PM »
They definitely are!  I cannot imagine doing what they do.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

garyb1st

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2014, 10:13:51 AM »
I get cold just reading this thread.   :)
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2014, 02:19:56 PM »
Hi!
I'm new on the forums but happened upon your post by chance. We are looking at becoming full time RV'ers and full time WINTERING in Alberta and Saskatchewan territory. So far everything I found was with people with great big RVs and fancy pants 40k rigs - we're looking at winne's and vanguards in the 80s-90s, so your post seems like you know exactly what we might be coming up against. Any tips for immediate things to modify on an old motorhome for our harsh winters before we hit the road forever??

tgif

  • Posts: 1
Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2014, 07:34:52 PM »
A friend and I lived in our trailer & fifth wheel one winter in Montana.My trailer was only 24 ft.& had double pane windows.We stayed in a mobile home park & heated with electric.The trailer was boxed in with rigid Styrofoam,heater under the trailer(never used),heat taped and insulated a rigid plastic water line and sewer line & foam in the vents.I was working in Butte(very cold sometimes -20)and my wife stayed with me(no slides very cozy).We were pretty comfortable as long as you did not lean on the walls.We even had a built in thermometer.You could tell how cold it was by how high the frost went up the door.I was working many hours a week so the size of the trailer was not an issue.All in all we would say that it was a good experience but that was when electricity was cheap ,15 yrs ago.Now that we have a 30 footer with three slides it maybe not as easy to do.

ervinglobal

  • Posts: 1
Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2015, 07:46:00 PM »
I am long haul driver and used to be living on the road. This year I planning to ditch my apartment and living in my Flagstaff 8524RLS 5th wheel full time when I am at home (since I am only in town a week out of the month, renting is a waste). So far so good living in my RV, it's summer and it's nice and the beer is flowing. Come this winter in northern Canada where temperature can drop below -30F every day, I am not sure. Heating is my biggest concern, how often do I have replace propane tanks at that temperature? Can I keep my RV comfortable at 70F (I like it hot  :)) As far as pipes and sewage is concern, I'll be using portable toilets and water since I am away 3 weeks at a time and don't want to deal with frozen tanks. Anybody thinks I am crazy living in RV at -30 in Canada, any brave souls have any experience and want to offer me some tips other than go south young man  ;D

I lived in my fifth wheel in BC in 2007 we had -26 C I had a Fleetwood 2000 year built Avian well insulated unit. The only problem I had freezing waterline even I had a heat rap installed on my fresh water line outside. I could heat my unit up to comfortable level with one heater and the furnace kicking in every 15-20 minutes or so. My propane bill was about 150 a month (went 24/7). They do not make trailers like that anymore! I traded in for a new one made by Dynamax it would freeze in -5 C they have no insulation in the underbelly (heated tanks that's all) and the heat just goes right out(although it is very fancy looking inside) .  Arctic insulation is a must, if you willing to live in your trailer, skirting at around with insulation and put a heater underneath will help some. 
Happy camping

MicheleF

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2015, 11:57:31 AM »
My husband spent about 50% of his time last winter in our RV, which is parked on our property in Brighton, Ontario.  The Ontario-Quebec-Maritimes winter was BRUTAL last year. 

He skirted the 5ver with plywood, turned off the water, brought in the drinking water - and USED the toilet.  He flushed with anti-freeze, and had the port-a-potty folks come in for cleanout a few times over the winter (not sure how often..)

He dressed warmly, used a space heater - not the tanks - and he was fine.  As a caveat however, he was pretty much only in the trailer to sleep, as he was working onsite in a heated shop most of the time.
~Michele
+++++++++++++
5Wheelers from Ontario, Canada
2010 Keystone
2008 F-350 Diesel Dually SuperDuty

canehdianeh

  • Posts: 2
Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2015, 08:58:25 AM »
Hi coal: thanks for your helpful posts on this forum. I am interested in living in an RV outside of an RV park, in Ontario. Having trouble finding a municipality where this is allowed. I noticed that you live across the road from an RV park, so wonder if your municipality allows living in an RV on your own property (ie, not in an RV park)? Thanks for any help you can provide.

johnandcarol

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2015, 10:39:43 AM »
The boiling point of propane is around -42. Approaching that temp the vapor pressure gets very low. You would need to install an electric tank heater.  I just think your plan doesn't make sense.

Hinterland

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2015, 03:11:33 PM »
Hi!
I'm new on the forums but happened upon your post by chance. We are looking at becoming full time RV'ers and full time WINTERING in Alberta and Saskatchewan territory. So far everything I found was with people with great big RVs and fancy pants 40k rigs - we're looking at winne's and vanguards in the 80s-90s, so your post seems like you know exactly what we might be coming up against. Any tips for immediate things to modify on an old motorhome for our harsh winters before we hit the road forever??

Hi There,
Just wondering if you went ahead with the Full Time in AB and SK?  We are in BC but will be heading back to AB in March.  We used to have a Vanguard, but now have an Okanagan. How did you make out? 
Life is always Beyond Ordinary in an RV!

kjansen

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2015, 07:36:10 AM »
This comes up frequently, and it can be done.  My Grandpa and Grandma lived in an Airstream in the 50's, 60's and early 70's in Mpls Mn. Temps in the winter could get -20 to -30.  This was their year around home.  Todays units are better insulated than their's was I'm sure.  Atleast the windows are better than their louvered windows.

My son lives in Grand Marais Mn about 20 miles south of the Canadian border and he has friends living in yurts.  These are nothing more than canvas tents. 

It can be done, but I'm not one that's going to try it.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

Hinterland

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #47 on: December 12, 2015, 09:30:39 AM »
This comes up frequently, and it can be done.  My Grandpa and Grandma lived in an Airstream in the 50's, 60's and early 70's in Mpls Mn. Temps in the winter could get -20 to -30.  This was their year around home.  Todays units are better insulated than their's was I'm sure.  Atleast the windows are better than their louvered windows.

My son lives in Grand Marais Mn about 20 miles south of the Canadian border and he has friends living in yurts.  These are nothing more than canvas tents. 

It can be done, but I'm not one that's going to try it.

Hi there ,
Great reading your post.  There are so many that say it can't be done in the cold, and I think back to those wagon trains heading west and not quite out of the cold nasty weather yet.  How did they ever do it?  Not suggesting we are in wagon train structures, but I've seen all types of RV's up north with all kinds of skirting, porches and what not.  They just make it work!
Life is always Beyond Ordinary in an RV!

gralson

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2015, 09:54:59 PM »
The boiling point of propane is around -42. Approaching that temp the vapor pressure gets very low. You would need to install an electric tank heater.  I just think your plan doesn't make sense.
Just enclose your tank with aluminum insulation and a heat tape wrapped around the line and tank. If it get's to -35, plug it in and all will be well.
85 winnebago cheiftan w honda gen & solar array off grid full timing year round (except the 8 days a month at the sticks and bricks) western canada Ab,Sk,Mb. yes I do it in - 40!

gralson

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #49 on: December 17, 2015, 10:07:37 PM »
Hi There,
Just wondering if you went ahead with the Full Time in AB and SK?  We are in BC but will be heading back to AB in March.  We used to have a Vanguard, but now have an Okanagan. How did you make out?
Still at it.... I have become quite fond of poly covered windows, and ( if you can handle the lack of light) foil insulation.
Although after five years in the old girl I must admit I am watching the dual pane/insulated diesel pushers like a hawk right now! $40/barrel oil does tend to have a rather sobering affect for those with financed toys.
85 winnebago cheiftan w honda gen & solar array off grid full timing year round (except the 8 days a month at the sticks and bricks) western canada Ab,Sk,Mb. yes I do it in - 40!

Hinterland

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2016, 03:51:31 PM »
So much enjoyed your posting, almost could picture it in our mind.  Sounds like bliss!   What brand of fifth wheel did you live in?


I don't think you're crazy Nash0098, I've been living in a 34' fifth wheel for 8 years, in interior Alaska.  I bought 20 acres and parked the fifth wheel, intending to build a cabin but haven't got that far yet.  Yup, it's a challenge.  Seems only time problems arise is in the winter. Recently lost power to all of one side, 12V and 110 both.  Turned out to be a low voltage issue.  It killed the circuit board on the water heater needed for running it on propane,  but after replacing the electric element in it; draining it was a treat at 9 degrees outside temp,  and repairing the low voltage issue, it's all good.  Will deal with the WH brain next summer.  I installed a toyo heater, don't use the propane furnace at all, in fact never. Stays a comfy 70 degrees inside even when it's -40 outside.  I have clear plastic window covering both inside and out, insulated curtains, 6 inches of insul board behind t1-11 skirting, 500 gallon freestanding, insulated and heat taped water tank, pump and pressure tank stowed in the"basement" compartment that is plumbed into the on board system. Have done a LOT of other, what I like to call upgrades, added insulation, etc.,  don't see the point of the cabin anymore and have moved on to the barn instead for the horses.  Love the "tiny house" concept and the lack of additional property taxes for a structure.
Life is always Beyond Ordinary in an RV!

Hinterland

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2016, 03:57:27 PM »
Hi There,
Just chiming in to say, yes it can be done, and yes, dozens of people do it.  In British Columbia and In Alberta, as well as Ontario.
It takes a well built unit to start with, and dual pane windows are a must.  Heated basement, with enclosed tanks and gate valves, skirting and aux heaters.
We are quite comfortable with our Okanagan Eclipse 5th Wheel.  We have neighbours in our park, around 30 of them with all types of RV and the other 2 parks in town are also full.  Minus 13 some nights, that is in Celsius.  Up in Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray Alberta, they are living all winter in Citation Supremes, Corsair Excella and Travel Supreme.  Even saw some Heartland, Arctic Fox and Cedar Creek.  I say go for it, but do your homework, and you will be fine.  There is so much info on the web about this, and tips for heat underneath, and managing condensation inside the unit.


It seems like every year there is a post similar to this one where someone is asking if they can live in an RV during the winter way up north with minus 0 temps every day. The replies are always a resounding no. But it seems like every time the OP declares he is going to do it any way. But they never return here in February to let us know just how comfortable they are. I am hoping the OP will let us know how he is doing next year so we can learn if it really is possible to survive in an RV in winter up north.
Life is always Beyond Ordinary in an RV!

irishtom29

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  • Posts: 55
Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2016, 03:11:12 PM »
Many boomers in my trade who came to Chicago to work out of our hall stayed the winter in their campers in campgrounds out in the boonies, Will County and such; evidently they did just fine. Some put light stringers under their campers for heat and then skirted the bottoms.

Of course people who work outside in the winter are somewhat inured to discomfort.

grassy

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  • Posts: 560
Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2016, 01:48:31 PM »
It is Doable.

I was parked beside a guy in PEI this summer that was from northern Ontario. He is a full timer.  He said at neg 38 he and his wife were absolutely comfy and said the Mobile Suite unit he had could handle much colder temps.

He said the tough part was finding a camp ground that would allow him to stay all year.

Not my idea of fun.


2001 Freightliner FL60 Sport Chassis, 3126b, Jake, Air... Brakes, Cab & Rear Suspension, Ultra Shift
2010 Northwood Arctic Fox 29-5T (Silver Fox Edition)

Hinterland

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Re: Living in a 5th wheel full time in Canada!! in winter?
« Reply #54 on: February 29, 2016, 02:39:16 PM »
Mobile Suites are an amazing quality built RV. 
Life is always Beyond Ordinary in an RV!

 

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