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Old 03-20-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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Cold weather camping

Well, the kids have decided we are going camping this weekend no matter what. I am fine with that, not sure mom is so thrilled
We are very familiar with camping in the cold in tents, so this will be somewhat of a luxury.

I am looking for advice on the water system and whether we should even mess with it. We did this a few times with our popup and just left it "winterized" as about all we used it for was to get hot water for doing dishes, that can be done other ways. With the 17Z, of course, we have the possibility of using the bathroom and not having to make the cold walk to the just as cold pit latrine.

I am not to concerned about the water lines inside the trailer, running the furnace should keep them from freezing. Not so sure about the FW tank and especially the line that runs from it to the pump. Also not to sure about the gray and black holding tanks. Everything on the X17Z is fully exposed underneath. Low temps are forecast to be around 28F(and now I see a 50% chance of snow), is it possible to use the water system? Or is it better just to leave it winterized?

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:38 AM   #2
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we just leave ours winterized,no worries about it getting to cold and breaking pipes. for us it is just nice to have a warm place to sleep at night. we pack like we are tent camping as cant keep anything in the trailer yet. going to be 10 degrees on friday night. we do use the fridge though. have fun camping. it is a blast and probalbly very few other campers.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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We camped last year where it was got down to 28f according to my outdoor thermometer. I emptied my fresh water tank that night and ran our 1500 watt heater in the bathroom to avoid the noise(fan) with the door almost shut. I did open the cupboards for the plumbing and had no problem. The next morning when we dumped our black tank(full) into the tote it was very slow draining. One of the dump stations water taps were frozen but we were able to use the other station. Next time we go in cold weather i plan on bringing some anti-freeze to dump in the grey and black tanks.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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Amabee: IMHO, I would leave your TT winterized. This past Fall, we went on a cold weather camping trip for 4 days, and the WARMEST it ever got was 28 degrees. It was our first time trying our TT in the cold temperatures, but I figured if the furnace and portable electric heater were on constantly, we'd have no issues of freezing pipes/lines. Well, I was right; and wrong. For the first 3 days, everything was fine. On our last night/day, the water lines underneath froze solid, and I was forced to take drastic measures (Take the portable space heater outside and thaw everything out) so we could break camp and head home. I was lucky there was no damage. Others on the JOF recommended to me that the next time--and there will be a next time--I leave it winterized and operate camp out of water jugs and containers that prevent water from getting into the drains/P-traps/tanks. Hope that makes sense. On a personal note, and since I am a huge winter fan anyway, I highly recommend camping in the cold and snow. The CG's are as quiet as can be, there are very few campers, and it allows quality family time without all the distractions. Hope this helps, and, as always, Happy Camping!!
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far, we are basically "tent" campers at heart so not having all the frills isn't a big thing, think it sounds like it's not worth messing with. I'd hate to bust a water line on the maiden voyage. We've got a 5 and a 7 gallon jug for transporting water and the park has several frost-free hydrants. As a bonus, I guess, the pit latrine doesn't smell as bad when it's cold
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
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If using the loo is your desire consider pouring a gallon of RV anti-freeze down the john along with a gallon of water. Then just pour water down to flush. Dump before you head home. Oh and maybe no number 2s in the camper :hihi:
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:07 PM   #7
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I camp all year long in my Z. I heat water in an electric hot water pot. I have a water dispenser on the counter between the stove and the sink. I leave the grey water valve open so the liquids that go down the drain, exit the tank and don't freeze in there. I also "shower" by mixing hot water with cold water in a Nalgene bottle. Stand in the shower and pour water to get wet, wash, then rinse. I re-winterize the kitchen sink and the shower each Sunday when I go home. For the toilet I use PETT Wag-bags. I put the bag in the toilet and remove each day.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-21-2013, 11:28 PM   #8
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I too am going camping this weekend, it is forcast to be 25 f overnight, 40's during the days, we will be going fishing too. I plan on filling up with water, trailer is insulated, tanks are enclosed in the belly undercover. The trailer has the arctic pack insulation, I don't believe there will be any issues with freezing the water lines. I will be boondocking using the generator to keep the batteries recharged. I don't plan on running the heat too much during the night, just keep it from freezing.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:56 AM   #9
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Thanks for the cold weather tips, not sure if we will use them this time, but I will keep them in mind, we do go to a few places that either have no pit latrines or it's a long walk.
Still trying to convince my wife to go, of course now it is supposed to snow Sat. night, which isn't helping the cause much.
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