Who camps in cold weather this time of year? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-05-2014, 09:47 AM   #1
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Who camps in cold weather this time of year?

I am curious about how many may spend time in the winter in cold weather conditions. What is too cold? I would be interested in hearing stories about winter camping. Where? Some tips for fiberglass RV camping? Boondocking? Finding campgrounds with electric open in the winter in cold climates?

Granted it is not for everybody but I love the mountains in the winter - FOR A SHORT TIME!! I'm still in planning stages but could see myself spending a few days in cold weather camping, maybe somewhere where I could rent a snowmobile.

I would make adjustments for such things as empty water tanks, using a public restroom for #2, taking along bottle water.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:06 AM   #2
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I have tent camped down to 30 below F NO electricity NO restrooms NO facilities
Preparation ,proper equipment, and a good mindset are the keys to having a safe and fun camping trip in cold weather . Just be aware that tasks take a lot longer to accomplish at 30 below than at 70 above . Going to the bathroom can be a major task when wearing multiple layers of clothes and extremities really do get cold faster.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:15 AM   #3
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Wow - don't think I would be up for 30 below. Sounds more like an episode of Survivorman. I was thinking more like above zero, teens, and twenties - and in a heated trailer. Upper 30s is as low as I have tent camped and that was plenty cold enough for me. I'm a little more interested in trailer camping in cold weather. Besides good stories, maybe someone will point out something I hadn't thought of as an important tip.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:26 AM   #4
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You didn't mention if what you are camping in has a furnace, but I have spent numerous nights in down to near zero temps in FGRV's and it was all about the furnace and the battery(s). As long as I could hook back up to the tv once a day for a 1 hour recharge, and had LP fuel, my Atwood "Everest" furnaces always did the job.
But you might not want to attempt that with a free standing heater as most require outside ventilation.
Also remember that you have to freeze protect anything that is outside and keep the inside cabinets doors open at night to let warm air into the utility areas.
As an alternative you can winterize the water system and use containers of water for cooking and flushing.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:36 AM   #5
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I've trailer camped in cold weather. The coldest was 5F for a couple nights then a few more in the teens and low 30s. My Scamp doesn't have a toilet or shower or hot water heater. Clothing for going outside is main difference between summer and winter camping. There's saying in mountains "cotton kills". Layering with wool and/or synthetic is the way to go.
We didn't do anything to the fresh water tank, it's inside the trailer. The gray water tank is outside under neath and we didn't worry about it either. At night we kept the trailer above 50F with furnace and about 65F in the day time.
Two things that can get you: Running out battery power, running out of propane.
If you know you're going to be cold weather I suggest an battery and propane tank. One 20lb tank would last us about 3 days.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:49 AM   #6
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Mark forgive me ;I should remember that "Winter " is not a finite term and means different things in different areas . My wife and I took the grandkids tent camping in late October .(Temps- days in the 40's, nights in the low 30's . The pit toilets were working but no showers / flush toilets and drinking water was only available at the ranger station during the day . We brought drinking water in jugs placed in an insulated cooler so the water did not freeze . Any food that can be damaged by freezing again goes in an insulated cooler (No Ice) .Bring a thermos for storing hot drinks and extra warm dry socks. gloves and a hat. I all ways bring an extra sleeping bag in case the temps drop unexpectedly or equipment malfunctions
We also bring baby wipes and hand sanitizer to clean up without water .Keep them in the trailer cause they can freeze HAVE FUN. When we go camping in the winter ,we often have the park to ourselves
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:53 AM   #7
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I did enough cold weather tenting in the army to last a lifetime. I go camping now to enjoy the outdoors. That is, to cook and eat outside, to relax in a lawn chair outdoors, not to sit inside a camper. So my answer is, anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold, although I am OK if it drops to the 40s or 30s overnight. My style of camping and cold temperatures do not mix. If I want to go to the mountains in the winter, I rent a cabin.


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Old 12-05-2014, 10:59 AM   #8
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My brother-in-law in Colorado and some of his buddies use a small camper (stick-built) as a 3-4 day base camp during mule deer and elk hunting season - regardless of weather. They go fairly primitive except for a big propane tank for cooking and keeping the camper warm enough that their bottled water doesn't freeze. Unfortunately, due to the possibility of marauding thieves where they hunt, they take turns staying at the base camp - but that lets someone cook for the others and "keep the home fire burning". Works out good for them...
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:23 AM   #9
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We all ways head out with 2 full tanks of propane on the trailer when winter camping . If the temps drop and the wind picks up you can go through 2 -20 lb tanks in a long weekend and if you are in snow country you may have your departure delayed waiting for the snow plows. In our area ,they do not plow the side roads, if it snows on a weekend . You are stuck till Mon or Tues or when they get to it . The local government does not have the money to pay overtime to the plow drivers so they only plow the main roads
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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Growing up high in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range of Colorado, the only county roads you could usually rely on being plowed in the winter were the major mail routes and the school bus routes. Other than those, if a heavy snow came, you could be on your own for weeks - and we sometimes were. But when snowmobiles came along in the mid-1960's, they changed everything. Our first was a 1966 SnowBirdie. After that, there was no such thing as being snow-bound anymore, and snow packs that used to be scary dangerous became playgrounds!
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:30 PM   #11
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Late October cold

In Virginia, late October 2013, I was camping with some friends. As you can see, it was pretty cold (I don't remember the exact temp.) But, it didn't stop us from having fun! Big Ei does have a propane heater that we fired up to warm up the trailer before going to bed that night.
Don't let anyone tell you that library ladies are wimps!
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:41 PM   #12
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We camp year round and do not even look at the weather to worry about the cold. But put it in perspective we are in NW Florida and the temp right now is 76 degrees. A really bad day. I'm kidding. Enjoy your winter camping no matter what winter is like where you are.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:29 PM   #13
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We routinely camp in Michigan's UP Jan-Feb for snow shoeing. We live in Florida. It takes some special prep and you have to dry camp as the dump stations are not only closed, they don't plow them. We have a 19'Scamp and have modified it for comfort to -30. Electric heat is a must.
We have a true 4 season Escape 5.0 on order and have ordered the cold weather options. Even with the heat pads for the tanks, there will be no place to dump them. Some units claim 4 season, but they heat the tanks with hot air. Impossible and dumb.

So, it is possible to camp comfortably in sub zero conditions, but electricity is a must for us. It takes a good bit of research to find places that are open. I know where every campground is from S Florida to the UP that's open in winter. It was a lot of work to do and some we stumbled into during warm weather travel. It is worthwhile to find them because winter is a wonderful time to RV. I recommend electric mattress pads!
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:59 PM   #14
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We have tent camped -30's weather in the North Bay Area with two small children my wife Carole really is Special. When we got our trailer Carole had a condition no more canvas wonder why. The most important thing in weather of -20 to -30 can get colder is to make sure the propane tanks are full and big enough to last the whole night. A backup generator (sine wave is best others may work but must have really clean current or the breaker will trip and it will not work). Generator is in case the furnace has problems.

Last winter during a snow storm 2 plus feet of snow on ground and still falling we got snow bound ran out of propane so no furnace the generator ran out of gas about 4:30 am, had the gas attendant fill it and it was not quite full. my fault for not checking. We all cuddled to keep warm in our double -30 rated sleeping bags; lucky we could fit into the bags fully dressed; coats and all with the dogs. Leo the mini Poodle was at my back and Little Bear or Pomeranian on the other side of Carole. Got a friend to dig out the lane for us with a tractor in the morning, is a long lane; then we dug out the trailer by hand. Still in all winter camping is a lot of fun as long as you remember "be prepaired". Bring hot co-co snow shoes slays and enjoy what nature has to offer. Bring bird seed and they may eat rite out of your hand. We plan on doing some camping this year.
P.S. please forgive any typing errors
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