Cold nights-bedding advice please!

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camprgrl

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Nov 27, 2006
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Hi!
We just trialed our new fleetwood graphite for the first time in our backyard with our 2 year old. What a cold and sleepless night it was. We had about 5 blankets on us that we brought in from the house. Needless to say we could hardly breathe because they were so heavy and we were still chilled to the bone. Any suggestions on good blankets to outfit our trailer with? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
Stacy
 

Bob Buchanan

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camprgrl said:
We just trialed our new fleetwood graphite for the first time in our backyard with our 2 year old. What a cold and sleepless night it was. We had about 5 blankets on us that we brought in from the house. Needless to say we could hardly breathe because they were so heavy and we were still chilled to the bone. Any suggestions on good blankets to outfit our trailer with? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some thoughts, Stacy -- from my experience over the past ten years full-timing.

o If you are hooked up to shore power, use an electric blanket. I keep one on my bed all during the cold months - especially in the Northern states.

o They do make DC electric blankets. I am looking into that as an alternative when boon docking.

o Run your propane furnace during the night while boon docking. Without a DC blanket that's what I do. I set the thermostat down to 55 -- or whatever you need to sleep without so many blankets. The furnace fan "will" tend to run down your batteries so this will take some experimenting to see what amount of battery level you have vs. the temperature you are OK with. You must also have some means of restoring the batteries the next AM. Again, this is when boon docking w/o shore power. When I pulled a trailer, I had to start my truck a few AMs to start my genset. W/o a genset to recharge the batteries will leave you with fewer alternatives -- such as using the tow truck to recharge.

o When I was a skier, I used a good sleeping bag -- and that allowed me to sleep during some very cold high Sierra nites with windows open in varous ski cabins and lodges.

o They also make propane heaters to install inside the rig. I don't like the idea -- but I understand they are safe and many forum members here use them.

Hope this helps -- and am sure you will get other comments. Not being able to sleep as a result of being too cold is not good, but you "can" overcome the problem with the help of our members here.
 

Clay L

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X Full Timer Now Palisade CO
We have found the ideal solution for us -  a down comforter. Very light weight and very warm.

My wife is chronically cold, her interior thermostat is way of whack compared to mine and she sleeps warm under the down when the temp in the coach gets down to 50'F which it does a lot while we visit relatives in CO (we turn the therostat down to save propane).
I forgot to turn the furnace on one night and it got down to 38'F inside the coach and she didn't even notice.

We use a king size for our queensize bed. That gives plenty of comforter to hang over on the sides , so we turn it crosswise and get hang over on the ends and sides.

We got the first one four years ago on sale at Pennys for about $100 and a new one lately at Sams Club. It is bigger, has more down and is even warmer.
It cost about $100 also I think.
 

Karl

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Unless I'm mistaken, your Graphite doesn't have a furnace. I like Bob's idea of the electric blanket, but I use an electric mattress pad instead. Less hassle straightening them out and nobody can hog it! Mine is a standard 120V unit, but beware, the electronic controls on them don't like the modified sine wave put out by many inverters, so I bought a 600watt pure sinewave inverter for $246. Of course, you need at least a couple of golf cart batteries to power the inverter. An alternative would be a small inverter-type generator such as the Honda EU1000i or EU2000i, but you wouldn't want to run it all night; therefore the batteries. The generator would be used to charge them up (and make coffee, run other 120V devices, etc.), then the batteries and inverter to power stuff during quiet times.

There are two different types of propane heaters; the open flame and the catalytic. The catalytic heater can be used inside with minimal outside ventilation, the open flame version cannot (or should not).  I have a 12,000 btu cat. heater and love it.
 

Wendy

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Down comforters are great. Also, good down backpacking sleeping bags will keep you warm in just about any temperature. We have a fiber-filled comforter that we bought at Linens n Things that keeps us toasty and we turn the thermostat down to 50 at night. I think it was $35 with a 20% off coupon (in almost every Sunday paper).

Wendy
Blanding, Utah (currently 36 degrees)
 

cuts_up

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Texas
We use a down comforter.  I recently ordered flannel sheets but I don't have them yet.  I have an electric blanket in the house that we don't use, so it may find a new home in the motorhome if we need more heat than the furnace will give us.

 

Jackliz

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Hondo, TX
camprgrl said:
Hi!
We just trialed our new fleetwood graphite for the first time in our backyard with our 2 year old. What a cold and sleepless night it was. We had about 5 blankets on us that we brought in from the house. Needless to say we could hardly breathe because they were so heavy and we were still chilled to the bone. Any suggestions on good blankets to outfit our trailer with? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
Stacy

Howdy, Stacy.
In addition to the good ideas you have received from other people, flannel sheets on the bed will help a lot. I like the idea of an electric mattress pad, also. I have never tried that, though.

Your message is really timely because we are supposed to get a Arctic cold front coming through here(Hondo, TX) on Thursday. The temp is forcast to go down to 29 degrees. Hmm. Should be interesting.

Regards,
Liz Pearce
 

Shayne

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Gosh  I better bundle up for the evening cause its going to get cold here in AZ tonight.  Supposed to drop all the way down to 50    Now that's  cold.  LOL
 

Carl L

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camprgrl said:
Hi!
We just trialed our new fleetwood graphite for the first time in our backyard with our 2 year old. What a cold and sleepless night it was. We had about 5 blankets on us that we brought in from the house. Needless to say we could hardly breathe because they were so heavy and we were still chilled to the bone. Any suggestions on good blankets to outfit our trailer with? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
Stacy

You could do what the folks in the Old Country do, get a down comforter.? For the LL Bean selection, click HERE. ?

A better bet tho might be using sleeping bags. ? What you have is a tent mounted on a trailer, not an insulated and heated house. ? A sleeping bag is going to keep you a lot warmer than any house style bedding. ? Check out the bags at REI, a good mail order outfit by clicking HERE. ? Look for the warm weather bags. ? The fitted shape will keep you a lot warmer than a square shaped unit. ? In a tent trailer you can use a sleeping bag with bag sheets and pillows on the bed for comfort.

Sleeping bags really do work. ?I have slept on snow on the side of an 11,000 foot mountain in a sleeping bag.

Another trick is to use a nightcap. ?Not the kind you drink, the kind you wear. ? About 30% of your body's blood supply is in your head and you loose a tremendous amount of heat thru it. ? A naval watch cap works just fine, the best being wool. ?

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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What were the outside temps when you did your trial run? Do you expect those temps or colder when you are camping?

Down comforters or sleep sacks are terrific but pricey.

Modern sleeping bags are inexpensive and very effective.  Walmart (etc) should have ones good down to the 30's for reasonable prices, under $20 each. If you want one rated for serious cold (zero or less), it will be quite a bit more expensive. Camping World is another source.

Walmart Sleeping Bags
 

Karl

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Gander Mountain too. Coleman used to make, maybe still does, large sleeping bags that you could zip together to make one huge bag. Perfect for two people; maybe more. Don't forget about good long underwear or even a pair of sweatpants and top.
 

Carl L

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RV Roamer said:
Modern sleeping bags are inexpensive and very effective. Walmart (etc) should have ones good down to the 30's for reasonable prices, under $20 each. If you want one rated for serious cold (zero or less), it will be quite a bit more expensive. Camping World is another source.

Walmart Sleeping Bags

Those Wal Mart bags look like a good deal -- especially the mummy bag.  Cheap bags work just fine in a tent or tent trailer as long as the temps stay above freezing. 
 

Bob Buchanan

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Shayne said:
Snuggle a little closer

Shayne, I have to depend on my electric blanket -- unless I get lucky. ;)

Shane the gunfighter was a loner too. He helped dig up the tree stump, killed the bad guy, saved the town for the homesteaders, and all the while they made him sleep in the barn. :(  No wonder he wouldn't come back . . .
 

N Smock

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Long Branch, NJ
I looked and found that your model does not come standard with a heater. If you plan on cool weather camping a lot you might consider having the dealer install the optional heater. In a pop up the heater is usually a simple convection heater, it helps but with all the canvas sides it it a futile effort. You will wake in the mornings with ice on the inside over your head, even if you crack a window. We used sleeping bags that zipped together. You need to look for cold weather bags not summer bags. The bags usually have a rating of how cold the bag will work and keep you warm. You will gain a little when the bags are zipped together and sharing body heat. But be assured it will be cold when it's time to tum on the coffee.


Nelson

Nelson
 

Shayne

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Bob  That was me in my previous being on earth.    Got too lonely and took up family life LOL  But not sure it slowed me down.
 

rbell

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Jackson, Michigan
I didn't read all the posts so this may have been mentioned. We had a Trailmanor where the King bed bottom was about 1/2 outside underneath so when it was cold that part of the bed was cold. My wife got an electric mattress pad somewhere with controls for both sides. It worked so well we use it on our bed at home now to warm up when it's real cold, my feet really like it. Also we can turn down the heat more at night and our dog likes to curl up on it when it's on.
 

Bob Maxwell

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Only one comment to all the good ones here.

While an Explorer Socut in AK I learnd to sleep outdoors comfortably on 3' of ice.
The key as mentione here is:
1 The right sleeping bag & a head covering or mummy bag.
2. Keeping the next days clothes in th bottom of the bag. They'll be warm in the morning
3. What the bag is on top of as insulation or a source of warmth. On ice that was 2-3' of fresh pine boughs layered like a twin bed shape.

I love the idea of a heated mattress pad on bottom. With elec blankets that's toasty! without a heater in the camper, still keep fresh clothes inside the bottom of the bedding for warm clothing in the morning.

With no electricity I'd have 2 or 3 layers of insulated foam like for backpacking underneath the mattress and maybe an egg carton type foam to sleep on top of.

I pulled a poptop while living in the Lake Michigan area all the way to Nova Scotia and back and I'd try to add that propane heater as an add on if possible or trade up to one in a year or two. I had two young sons , wife and Old English sheep dog in ours for a month.  ;D
 

Carl L

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With no electricity I'd have 2 or 3 layers of insulated foam like for backpacking underneath the mattress and maybe an egg carton type foam to sleep on top of.

Overkill.  With the closed cell plastic foam called Ensolite, a single 3/4" pad would keep me toasty warm in a down bag on snow in the Sierra Nevada in winter.
 

willjm3931

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Pennsylvania
I have the same situation and I was thinking about go the route of the electric mattress pad.  I priced them and they are about $75 for a queen.  I am going to take a gamble and wait until the end of the winter selling season and get them on sale.  They make the most sense to me since there is nothing underneath you the mattress pad will form a nice warm barrier. 
 

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