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Old 11-29-2014, 09:23 AM   #1
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Cold weather camping.

Any thoughts on camping in below 32 degree temps? Particularly is the fresh water tank heated, can't find it the manual.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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It requires that most of your heat has to come thru your furnace that warms your tank area to some degree. I am not comfortable going below the mid 20's even with using your heat system working. Jayco does not use dedicated heat ducts into the tank area. They rely on the radiant heat coming off your existing heat ducts. I had a cold water line start to freeze in the high teens on our FW. Caught it in time and didn't have any damage but won't go there again. If you are going to go camping in really cold temps, i would not use my water system.
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Old 11-29-2014, 08:17 PM   #3
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what rv do you have?
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Old 11-29-2014, 09:03 PM   #4
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Chances are that none of your tanks are HEATED, though if you have an enclosed underbelly and run your furnace then some heat will make its way to the underbelly and provide some minimal heating.


If you are camping somewhere that is above freezing during the day and dips below freezing by a couple degrees at night you should be okay. If it is steadily below freezing, you will eventually freeze your fresh and waste water.


If you plan on camping constantly in cold weather, you might want to invest in tank heaters. They are pads that you attach to the bottom of your tanks and run on either 12 volt or 110 volt electricity and physically heat the bottom of the tank. That prevents your tank from freezing down to a certain temperature.


Obviously camping in January in Alaska will overwhelm either system.


Worst case scenario... dry camp. We've been to the Pocono's in October when the temps never got above 32 degrees. We didn't have any water in our tanks. Brought bottled water to drink/make coffee and used the bath house for cleaning and toilets. We've been to NYC in December... same thing. You can camp cold, but you can't escape the inevitable freeze of winter.


My suggestion... heated blankets for the bed and plenty of firewood.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
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I recently camped at Clear Lake State Park (in northern L.P. Michigan). Got there a week before the Nov. 15 firearm deer season. Temps were pretty decent the first couple of days, then turned cold . . . cold as in never got above 22 degrees. Water lines froze overnight on November 15, and never thawed out. I got by for 2 days on bottled water, but when the weather forecast called for 18" snow and 35-45 mph winds, I decided it was time to get out of Dodge. Decided to start my trip to my winter home in the Texas Foothills a week early, and it took another week before I got into warm enough weather to thaw things out - fortunately without any damage. Moral of the story is "If you're going to camp in cold weather, do it dry. Even running the furnace at 80 degrees won't keep your pipes from freezing." It will, however, eat up a 30# propane tank in about 3 days.

Just sayin' . . .
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:59 AM   #6
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Well, it's 19 degrees where I'm at right now, 11PM. I have the furnace set to 70, and the cabinet doors open.

I will let you know tomorrow how the plumbing held up. Wish me luck.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SmokerBill View Post
Well, it's 19 degrees where I'm at right now, 11PM. I have the furnace set to 70, and the cabinet doors open.

I will let you know tomorrow how the plumbing held up. Wish me luck.
Keep in mind its not the lines under the sinks that will be your problem. They are above the floor in a Heated space. Its the lines under the floor and exposed to unheated or marginally heated space that are at risk. Go dry and sleep with both eyes closed.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:23 AM   #8
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Perhaps slightly off-topic, but when we came down here to FL from IN 2 weeks ago, the temperature was consistently below freezing, and we found that our Norcold fridge would not cool down at all, neither on AC or LP.
I suspect that it was so cold out that the system that heats up and recools the ammonia solution to run the refrigeration system could not function properly, but I do not know for sure. Now that we are here in the warmer South, the frig works just fine.
Any input? Anybody else had this happen?
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:18 PM   #9
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Keep in mind its not the lines under the sinks that will be your problem. They are above the floor in a Heated space. Its the lines under the floor and exposed to unheated or marginally heated space that are at risk. Go dry and sleep with both eyes closed.
Slept like a baby, and had no problems. It got down to 14 degrees last night.

Just curious, which lines under the floor are at risk? All pressurized lines are inside the trailer, and all of the lines outside under the floor are unpressurized reinforced vinyl hoses. I don't see a potential break happening if those vinyl hoses freeze. I guess I will eventually find if I'm wrong or right.

The black tank valve isn't a problem if it freezes, since it's right next to the tank. As long as the valve isn't actuated when frozen, I don't think it will be a probem. And I leave the gray valve open, since it's at the end of a stretch of PVC pipe. If it was full and froze, well then that would be a problem.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbird47 View Post
Perhaps slightly off-topic, but when we came down here to FL from IN 2 weeks ago, the temperature was consistently below freezing, and we found that our Norcold fridge would not cool down at all, neither on AC or LP.
I suspect that it was so cold out that the system that heats up and recools the ammonia solution to run the refrigeration system could not function properly, but I do not know for sure. Now that we are here in the warmer South, the frig works just fine.
Any input? Anybody else had this happen?
We've had this happen as well and, from what I've read, you are correct about the outside temps. The RV fridges need heat to function and have a tough time when it's really cold outside. I've found that the LP mode works better than electric when it gets cold.
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