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Author Topic: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?  (Read 2014 times)

ChaplainBobRetired

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How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« on: July 05, 2015, 03:37:08 PM »
My wife and I are seriously considering taking the plunge to fulltiming.  One scenario we have worked out is to change an already existing travel plan to begin our adventure.  Our original plan was to drive from Oregon to Virginia to visit family for Christmas and then head south to spend some time in the warmer clime (sounds strange to say when we have been having record breaking heat in Oregon, our home).  One question that comes to mind since must of the route will take us through winter weather, is this:  is a MH equipped to keep us comfortable in that kind of weather?  I generally think of living in a MH in temperate to warm temperatures.   

Also, if we were to make that journey, I assume we should plan to take a slower pace.  By car we would normally drive 400-450 miles a day.  I assume about 100 miles less each day would be more reasonable in a MH.

SeilerBird

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2015, 04:07:54 PM »
Motorhomes do not do very well in cold weather. Terrible in fact. They have very thin walls, very little insulation and no attic. Lots of holes in the walls for windows, doors and pipes. If it gets below freezing you will need to make sure that your pipes don't freeze. Not only the pipes inside the RV but the pipes connecting it to the outside world. It will take a lot of propane to keep it warm at night and usually an electric heater also.

300-350 miles in a day is a lot in a motorhome. Some can do it but I limit myself to 200. 500 a day in a car is easy for me.
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John Beard

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 04:20:32 PM »
I agree with Tom, when we travel I really make an effort to limit my driving days to 200-250 miles per day. Our exception is when we leave Las Vegas we usually do Las Vegas to Fernley, NV which is 400 miles. I prefer to cut my days to 5-6 hours of driving whenever possible.

 I would not want to winter in cold country in a motor home, it would not be comfortable or enjoyable.
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SargeW

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2015, 04:22:54 PM »
It depends on the quality of the RV. Some towables often don't have much insulation as manufacturers try to hold down the weight by keeping the wall panels thinner. Motorhomes tend to be able to carry a bit more weight, so there is more wiggle room there for the manufactures.  We have been down to 32-29 degrees and still been comfortable by running 2 1500 watt space heaters all day. Tom is right about the plumbing issues though, so be aware. There is also your propane heat available in the rig most of the time, as long as you keep the propane filled and are plugged in to allow the heater fan to operate as needed. 

For long term camping, it can be challenging to stay too long in very cold weather though. A good heating blanket for the bed also helps quite a bit at night. For shorter duration stays it's doable.
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ChaplainBobRetired

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 04:26:30 PM »
Thanks for all three of these posts.  Very helpful to a newbie.

ChaplainBobRetired

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 04:35:07 PM »
What do you do to keep pipes from freezing?  In my home I know what to do:  insulate, drip the water, turn off the water supply. 

SargeW

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 07:13:16 PM »
Similar in an RV, but it depends on just how cold you are talking about. At around freezing you would want to have the outside water hose disconnected and stored. Just add water to the on board water tank. Many RV's have insulated underbelly's  to  help guard against freezing pipes while the rig is in use. Storing a rig in freezing weather requires draining all pipes and putting  special antifreeze solution in them. A process known as "winterizing". 

While the rig is being used there is often a vent from your heater system that will keep the tanks warm enough to prevent problems.  You need to know this before cold weather camping though.
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legrandnormand

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 07:31:45 PM »
Thanks for all three of these posts.  Very helpful to a newbie.

Don't anyone forget that the insulation works both ways ! For cold or hot weather, it is the same cheap insulation that we can have installed in our 2-3" thick walls or our 6" ceiling !
If your coach gets really hot in high summer temperatures, don't expect to be confortable in cold winter months !

RV'S are made for 3 seasons temperatures... forget about using it in freezing temperatures !
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 07:34:29 PM by legrandnormand »
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Howard R

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 02:07:33 AM »
Tell us what RV you have and you might get more specific info ... for example most Fleetwoods are set up to handle some low temps.  You can put that information in your signature line below which will be helpful when you have further questions.

We have a 2001 Fleetwood Southwind and have used it in temps down to the mid teens ... takes a lot of propane ... without many issues.  Colder it gets to be a challenge at times ... although we have been there and done that as they say.   ;D

Howard
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John From Detroit

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 09:26:11 AM »
Generally if you have enclosed and heated tanks you are good to around 20F.  Lower than that you need auxillary heat in the wet places.

If you do not have heated and enclosed tanks.. Well,, You know where water freezes.
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zmotorsports

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Re: How do MHs do in seasonal weather?
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 12:19:56 PM »
I guess we have been the exception here.  We have always used our coaches for winter use to support our snowmobiling addiction.  The first motorhome was a 30' gasser and we simply didn't use the domestic water system until late winter/early spring when the temps crept up to around freezing at nights.

Our first DP, a 1991 38' Beaver Contessa was much better as it was better insulated and had a larger furnace.  We used that coach for seven years and routinely down into the mid-upper teens as far as nightime lows.  We ran our full domestic water system and in 7-years only froze up one time when the temps dipped down to around 10*.  The coach handled our 24' enclosed trailer fantasticly and we spent many nights in Island Park, ID in early February for a week of snowmobiling.

Our current coach is even much better at cold temperatures than our previous one.  The better insulation and Aqua-Hot being the biggest contributor to our cold weather enjoyment.  Even though we sold our sleds a few years ago, we routinely start our RVing season in early to mid February to get the most enjoyment from our coach.  We have spent many nights in our current coach with temperatures in the single digits.  This past February we were in Park City, Utah for President's weekend and it was quite comfortable.

On a side note, these have also been weekend and extended weekend outings.  My feelings may be different if we were full-timing in these conditions.  Also, now that we are out of snowmobiling I would much rather spend my time in warmer climates but we do spend time in colder temperartures to get the most enjoyment and use from our RV. 

Mike.
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2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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