Need help with first winter trip

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Clyncher

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Posts
6
Location
Gurnee, Il
Greetings! We're fairly new to RVing. This'll be our 5th trip in our 2022 Winnebago 31B. Our plan all along was to take trips during the RV in winter, heading from the cold in northern Illinois to warmer destinations. But as we get closer to our planned departure for San Antonio, Tx, (less than a week) we're seeing temp forecasts not as warm as we'd hoped. We have campsites reserved in Little Rock, Ak, then a few days in Austin, then San Antoinio before heading back. I was planning to de-winterize in Little Rock, then re-winterize there on the way back. But I'm seeing forecasts for below freezing temps in each location. I don't have time to install tank warmers and such. Anyone have tips and tricks for camping like this where the temps might dip below freezing for a few hours several times over the course of a couple weeks?

Thanks!
 

steveblonde

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Posts
4,392
Location
calgary alberta
Dont worry about it the heat retained in your rig will stop anything from freezing if only cold for a few hours ,- few days different story. Its not like its -20 like it is here
 

HappyWanderer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Posts
2,891
The tanks won’t freeze quickly, but exposed plumbing is an entirely different story. Exposed plumbing needs to be drained or somehow protected from the cold.
 

Kirk

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
2,462
Location
Full-time , Escapee
Welcome to the forums! If the picture in your avatar is your RV then it would appear to be a class A and probably has heat supplied by the furnace into the areas where your plumbing and tanks are. If I am correct there should be no problem as long as you use your furnace to keep the interior warm enough for comfort inside. You don't say what your motorhome is, but there would look to be no reason for concern as long as you keep the furnace in operation. You can use the furnace when traveling on the roads and you will need to do so as the engine heater is not nearly enough to heat the entire coach.
 

Mr Lars

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Posts
163
Location
Coleman, TX
If just a few hours the temps dip below freezing, just unhook water hose from the pedestal and drain the hose. Reattach the hose in the morning after sun rise.
 

DutchmenSport

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Posts
203
Location
Anderson, Indiana
We have traveled extensively in cold weather, especially December, January, and February from Indiana to Georgia or Florida or South Carolina or Lousiana.

Depending on when we plan on leaving, I've always winterized the camper after a certain point of the calendar year in Indiana.

We continue to use our camper, especially at home, but we dry camp. No water in the plumbing of the camper at all. We use a Wall Mart Port-a-potty and dump it every day. Water is never put down the sinks and we use bottled water, or water carried in 6 gallon jersey cans. (or the 5 gallon bottled water jugs you can get for home water coolers from the grocery store, Wall Mart, or pretty much anywhere).

Once out of the freeze zone, I'll unwinterize. I never unwinterize until I know we are out of the freeze zone states.

When returning back to Indiana, I'll winterize while still in warm Alabama (or wherever) and reverse the trip back home to Indiana.

But, if traveling and the temps are still going to be below freezing, I wait till I'm completely out of the freeze zone before unwinterizing.

One winter a few years ago, I winterized and unwinterized 4 times between December and March as we returned home and took off again for a few more weeks.

If it were me, I'd keep the camper winterized, use a port-a-potty, bottled water, "cat showers" ... wash basin only and toss water out the door (figuratively, not down the RV drain), and enjoy myself!
 

Gizmo100

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,025
You may have picked a bad time for a visit to AR... The temps for those days are not pretty depending on you planned night to stay. Thursday and Friday low in the teens and highs in the 30's. Tuesday and Wednesday will have highs in the 60's But Wednesday night a cold front will move in...dropping us down to freezing temps.

BUT THAT SAID....
This is Arkansas ....weather forecasting can change by the hour.

On a different note that's a very long drive for one day in an RV. In a car your looking at 10+ hours.
 

HappyWanderer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Posts
2,891
Welcome to the forums! If the picture in your avatar is your RV then it would appear to be a class A and probably has heat supplied by the furnace into the areas where your plumbing and tanks are. If I am correct there should be no problem as long as you use your furnace to keep the interior warm enough for comfort inside. You don't say what your motorhome is, but there would look to be no reason for concern as long as you keep the furnace in operation. You can use the furnace when traveling on the roads and you will need to do so as the engine heater is not nearly enough to heat the entire coach.
Not all Class A units have heated wet bays. Ours doesn’t, and there is no provision for protecting the plumbing from freezing.
 

Clyncher

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Posts
6
Location
Gurnee, Il
And if I read the data correctly, you do have enclosed & heater waste tanks and plumbing bays?
Kirk -
I've been looking for information about whether the tank areas are heated and haven't been able to find anything. Did you find something?

Jim
 

Kirk

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
2,462
Location
Full-time , Escapee
Did you find something?
I have not but it shouldn't be difficult to trace the ducts to find out. If everything is enclosed in the basement compartments then look at your furnace to see if there is a smaller heat duct that may go where the tanks are located. It is usually about 2" in diameter. It should look something like this picture. See the red arrow.
attachment.php

In most cases a small duct like that will be run to a place over the bay where the waste tanks are located, and/or where the wet bay is and then they make a round hole through the floor and stick the end of that duct into it. Typically it will end somewhere near the center of the bay and if both waste tanks are in the same bay it will usually be between them. It really doesn't take a lot of heat to keep things above freezing. That way if the furnace is running it blows some heat into that area.
 

Clyncher

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Posts
6
Location
Gurnee, Il
I have not but it shouldn't be difficult to trace the ducts to find out. If everything is enclosed in the basement compartments then look at your furnace to see if there is a smaller heat duct that may go where the tanks are located. It is usually about 2" in diameter. It should look something like this picture. See the red arrow.
attachment.php

In most cases a small duct like that will be run to a place over the bay where the waste tanks are located, and/or where the wet bay is and then they make a round hole through the floor and stick the end of that duct into it. Typically it will end somewhere near the center of the bay and if both waste tanks are in the same bay it will usually be between them. It really doesn't take a lot of heat to keep things above freezing. That way if the furnace is running it blows some heat into that area.
Kirk,
I really appreciate all the content you've provided. You've been a huge help. Unfortunately, we had to reschedule our trip due to the snow/ice storms predicted for pretty much our whole route. So I haven't even gotten our rig out of storage. But when I do, I'll trace the ducts like you explained.

Thanks again!
Jim
 

Gizmo100

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,025
I wish I could postpone my trip....Oh wait I live here..

It's going to be ugly the next couple of days.
 

Gizmo100

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Posts
3,025
Well here's what you missed.. We're an hour away (west) from Little Rock. We end up with 1.5 inches of sleet and some snow flurries. But things are starting to slowly melt.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220203_174803_DRO.jpg
    IMG_20220203_174803_DRO.jpg
    171.1 KB · Views: 2
  • IMG_20220203_174812_DRO.jpg
    IMG_20220203_174812_DRO.jpg
    147.4 KB · Views: 2
  • IMG_20220203_174900_DRO.jpg
    IMG_20220203_174900_DRO.jpg
    198.9 KB · Views: 2
Top Bottom