Heating an RV in winter

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Ricker

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Joined
Oct 2, 2012
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3
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Maple Ridge, BC Canada
I have read lots of posts and cannot find out any information on heating your RV during the winter months. I park my small 18' RV in my drive way and have access to ac power. Is there a down side (other than electricity cost) to putting a a/c heater in my trailer to keep any moisture out and keep everything dry for the winter months.
 

wincom6

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Dec 10, 2009
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308
Location
Robinson Township,Pittsburgh, PA
I have always used a small electric space heater in the coldest part of the winter. I winterize but I feel the small amount of heat will keep the dampness down and perhaps it will keep wallpaper from separating. On the really coldest nights I will turn the propane furnace on at the lowest setting.  I?m not sure this helps but it sure makes me feel better.   
 

mnmnutswer

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Nov 14, 2010
Posts
593
Location
Dixon, MO
This will be our first winter in our MH in Missouri. We are planing to stay here till late Jan. I have two electric heaters as well as two propane furnaces on board as well as heat strips in the AC units. I also have installed the "Stay A While" T into my main propane tank to add on the extra tanks I will use and not use my main tank. We have an extra generater for back up power in case the power goes off. I have started adding insulation as well as foam pipe wrap to my water supply lines. Also have a 25 foot heated water supply line and will also wrap and cover it as well, bails of stray covered with plastic bags will help skirt the out side to slow the wind down. Lots to get done yet. New roof and vents in two weeks.
 

Alfa38User

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Oct 4, 2007
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6,676
Many who store (not live in) an RV over the winter do nothing special except winterize (drain all fluids and tanks) and add RV antifreeze to the sink traps and/or piping. Most do nothing about heating during this period. If humidity is a problem, perhaps a 100watt light bulb would keep any dampness at bay.  (I assume you are located in the Canadian west here (Telus) ...)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,969
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The only reason NOT to heat is the cost. You can run an electric space heater, us the propane furnace, or just some light bulbs as Stu suggests (try an infrared bulb for more heat).

On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be any strong reason for doing it either. Dampness will dissipate when the RV is opened up and we seldom hear reports of damage just from wintertime moisture. Some people find it desirable to ventilate by leaving a ceiling vent or window open a bit, though.

At one time my wife tried placing a moisture absorbing desiccant (the Damp-Rid product) in our rig to reduce moisture, but it was hopeless. The RV leaked so much air that they canisters had to be emptied or replaced every couple of days. We were essentially trying to dehumidify the entire outdoors! We decided not to worry about it.
 

Northern Rambler

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Joined
May 14, 2011
Posts
207
Location
Atikokan ,North Western Ontario , Canada
I wouldn't worry about condensation . I live in Northwestern Ontario and the winters swing from 40 below to above 0 and I have my motorhome covered with a tarp .
I have had no problems with condensation . I also had a trillium trailer all fiberglass  inside and out . Just let the vent open a crack . No Problem .  I think there would be more problems caused with just a little bit of heat rather then no heat at all as the heat and cold would cause the condensation.

Just my 2 cents worth .

Bill
 

DearMissMermaid

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Dec 26, 2009
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2,572
Location
on the move, USA
mnmnutswer said:
This will be our first winter in our MH in Missouri. We are planing to stay here till late Jan. I have two electric heaters as well as two propane furnaces on board as well as heat strips in the AC units. I also have installed the "Stay A While" T into my main propane tank to add on the extra tanks I will use and not use my main tank. We have an extra generater for back up power in case the power goes off. I have started adding insulation as well as foam pipe wrap to my water supply lines. Also have a 25 foot heated water supply line and will also wrap and cover it as well, bails of stray covered with plastic bags will help skirt the out side to slow the wind down. Lots to get done yet. New roof and vents in two weeks.

Might be cheaper all around to head south...  ;D  That being said... consider an electric mattress warmer. Those things do absolute magic!  Then at night you can turn the heat down and still be oh so cozy.

Also, I have two 200 watt ceramic heaters. Marvelous invention!  Yes only 200 watts... one is  perfect for keeping my bathroom toasty warm at night, when I turn the heat down due to the electric mattress warmer. The 2nd one is  great for warming up cold feet (and defrosting the freezer when needed.)

I bought both of mine at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XDTWN2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003XDTWN2&linkCode=as2&tag=recreationalvehicles-20
 

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DearMissMermaid

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Dec 26, 2009
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on the move, USA
Oh cool.

My bad.  I don't know what Walmart carries since Amazon delivers most stuff for free in 2 days, I've become hooked on them.  They have no problem shipping to me at numerous campgrounds.  ;D  So Walmart has rarely ever seen my face.

Last night the temps suddenly dropped in Florida, my furnace wouldn't come on and I was too sleepy to figure out why.  The little  Lasko 200 watt was in a drawer, so I got it out,  turned it on in the bedroom and whew, what a difference it made. Tomorrow I am going to excavate my 1500 watt ceramic heater from the basement to keep around just in case these crazy temps continue.  :eek:
 

Jim Godward

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Mar 6, 2005
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5,906
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
Sometimes we haveto get stuff and thus a trip to W/M.  I always look around to compare prices as very ocassionally local is cheaper than the internet, not often but just enough to keep up on the local prices not only at W/M but the other stores too.  :)
 

taoshum

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May 21, 2009
Posts
2,679
Location
Taos, NM
Seems like there is a large difference between temperatures of 25deg and -40deg... RV's have lots of plastics, hydrocarbon fuels, glass, and polymers, etc and at -40deg, strange things can start to happen... differences in thermal expansion effects can easily crack glass or whatever.  If it were me, I'd try to keep the RV from the extreme cold, just like extreme heat, BTW...  even at the risk of attracting some varmints.
 

wincom6

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Dec 10, 2009
Posts
308
Location
Robinson Township,Pittsburgh, PA
I agree with Taoshum,  if the temperature is very low the pests are already in a warm place or frozen.  I don?t see any benefit to heating a stored RV until the temp drops into the teens or lower. 
 
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