Cold weather RV'ing?

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Questor

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Posts
7
I live in Minnesota and will likely want to do some RV camping in sub-zero temperatures. What kinds of issues do I need to be aware of with a class A or C motor home under these conditions? I assume I'll have to take special precautions with the water and septic tanks, but don't know what precautions they should be.

Another scenario I expect to encounter cold weather in is in hunting trips to, say, Wyoming, where the nights are typically below freezing and can get below zero during the hunting seasons.

Thanks in advance.
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,732
Water tanks and basement plumbing are certainly a concern in sub-zero temperatures. Some RVs come with an electric basement heater (in our case, they call it "systems heat") which comes on automatically thanks to a thermostat down there. Some folks use light bulbs to achieve the same result.

Insulation helps and, in our case, the water systems bay is insulated below with expanding spray foam in addition to having insulation in the bay door. Seeing what was done at the factory, I'd think you could spray the same stuff on the underside of the RV yourself; Use the expanding foam, but be prepared for a bit of a mess.
 

Jim Godward

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Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Posts
5,906
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
I'll start with a question.  Do you already have an RV.  If so which one?

Some RVs are better than others in hot or cold because of how they are built.  Also some can be ordered with additional insulation for even better use in temperature extremes.

I have a file "someplace" on things we have learned traveling in cold weather.  The fresh water and the tanks are only a part of the concerns.  Air brakes present a special problem as can a parking brake on a gas MH.  I'll try to find my file and post it.
 

Tom

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48,732
James Godward said:
I have a file "someplace" on things we have learned traveling in cold weather.

Hi Jim, if you could find and share that file, I'd sure love to put it in the forum library for future reference by others. If it's bits and pieces, I'd gladly put it all together.
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,732
Ouch, Jim. I've had my share of those. Hope you get it put back together.
 

Questor

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Posts
7
Thank you. I was only concerned about the water, but now I'll be more aware of other problems. I just got a couple of books on RV'ing and see if they say anything about cold weather RVing. I'll post here if anything seems worthwhile.

I don't have an RV now and if I do get one it will be from a Minnesota dealer that knows cold weather RVing issues and options.
 

in2adventure

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Joined
Mar 10, 2010
Posts
256
Location
WY
Nice pics Bill  ;D Been there, done that...LOL! Such a challenge. I just bought a new heated water line from Pira. Can't wait to try it  ;)

I have a heated "crawl space" but my outside compartments are not heated. The waterlines can freeze from the outside in. I've had it happen a couple times. I have a small box heater for each side to keep it from freezing. DON"T run these if you aren't in the RV. They could easily start a fire if they get too hot.
 

PancakeBill

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Posts
5,935
Location
Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
The overnights here aren't bad right now.  I can control the utility bay temp pretty well with the outlawed 100w lightbulb.  I also have a bay heater I can turn on from the dash if needed.  That hose is fantastic, If I didn't already have a home made vewrsion I would have bought one.  Saw them in Quartzsite. 

 
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