South Texas Travel Trailer Owner Inquiry – Winter Weather, Winter Roads, and Freezing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-28-2018, 08:36 PM   #1
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Name: Ken
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South Texas Travel Trailer Owner Inquiry – Winter Weather, Winter Roads, and Freezing

South Texas Travel Trailer Owner Inquiry – Winter Weather, Winter Roads, and Freezing Temps while traveling / camping questions:

I understand freezing temperatures turn water to ice even here in south Texas, though the number of days with freezing temperatures is relatively small, and we seldom experience snow or ice on our roadways.

I will be picking up my Escape 21 at the end of March 2018 in Chilliwack, British Columbia, and heading south to warmer temperatures. I would like to head across the mountains in the western US thru Washington State, Idaho, Wyoming, California, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico on my way back to south Texas.

I have discovered that April temperatures in the mountainous areas can be near freezing or below freezing.

I want to protect the investment in my Escape 21 by preventing the water system from freezing temperatures while traveling south. I understand I might do this by winterizing the trailer while traveling in freezing temperatures.

What do folks that travel and camp in their travel trailers during freezing temperatures do to facilitate this travel? How do I use the black tank functionality and prevent it from being damaged by freezing? Ditto grey tank? Ditto fresh water tank? If at all?

I see some roads are closed during winter in mountainous areas. I understand some roads are cleared of snow during winter. When is it safe or permissible to drive on frozen or near frozen roads during winter?

When do I need tire chains on frozen or near frozen roads? Do I need tire chains on my tow vehicle and trailer or just my tow vehicle?

When do I not need tire chains on frozen or near frozen roads?

I believe I can travel south from Chilliwack on the west coast to near Los Angeles California and head east on I10 to avoid most freezing temperatures during April of 2018.

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful replies!
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:29 PM   #2
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There will be no need to winterize. We picked up our 19 in early March of 2015, and made our way back to San Antonio through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and west Texas. Yes, it got below freezing in a few campgrounds on the way home, particularly at higher altitude ones, but by 9 or 10 the temps were usually back up. The coldest spot was actually in southern Utah, at Bryce Canyon, where the low was 17F. It was because of the altitude of almost 9000 feet. But, once the sun came up, it warmed quickly. Your Escape can handle overnight temps that dip below freezing without winterizing, as long as the temps aren't sustained. Just remember to disconnect your water hose before you go to bed if you are at a campground with hookups. You'll be fine.
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:45 PM   #3
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I think the key is to watch the weather, be flexible, and stay out of areas that have freezing temps. Go west to LA, then up the west coast is probably the best. I would stay out of midwest (Idaho, Utah, Colorado) early spring, unless the weather is good.

I would take enough RV antifreeze to winterize if you get caught, and need to winterize your trailer. Unless you are used to pulling a trailer on icy roads and using chains, save yourself some trouble and stay out of those areas. Going up hill is OK, going down hill on icy roads is pretty dicey IMO.

I'm traveling soon the Quartzsite, AZ from Dallas area, and weather looks above freezing all the way. Of course, a blue norther could come through anytime, so I will be watching the weather. I was going to stop one night at Guadalupe Mountains NP, but lows are in the teens. I did some research on winter camping in my current trailer (2004 Casita 17). It looked like I should probably winterize for that night, so I decided too much trouble for me.

I have Escape 21 on order too, production date Jul 2018, so I'm excited for you. Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:15 AM   #4
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Ken I don't know if you've checked out the Escape forum yet, but if not you should do so, I just searched "january pick up" and there are a number of threads which may address your questions. Also Jim Bennett a year ago started a thread "The Chilliwack Dash" in which he talks about his trip home to Calgary through the Canadian mountains.

When we travel south in January, of course our Escape is long winterized, we do not even de-winterize until well south, for example in 2016 it was Las Cruces before we did that. We usually stop at Walmart or Cracker Barrel overnight and use their facilities.

I would not suggest you take the more northern mountain routes, even at the first of April, primarily because of the chance of having snow and doubt your tow would even have snow tires. As Robert mentioned likely winterizing would not be needed as long as it warmed up well over freezing every day of your travel.

Congratulations on your purchase of an Escape.

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Old 01-29-2018, 06:34 AM   #5
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April? You will very likely see a fair amount of snow on your route. How do you feel about driving in snow with a trailer behind you? I'd leave your rig winterized from the factory with your plan.

We saw some snow on a similar route, in MAY. Not to the point we had to change our route, but enough to keep us monitoring weather and road conditions carefully. We actually hit a good window, four or five days later, they had some major snow storms that we fortunately missed.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
April? You will very likely see a fair amount of snow on your route.
I sincerely doubt it. We picked up in early March of 2015 in BC. No snow seen at all except a whiff at the top of the Cascades. We did have lots of rain until we entered Idaho. We went through several mountain ranges including crossing the continental divide in southern Colorado. The roads were completely fine. Yes, there can be snow that late in the season, but most likely it will be very light. April should be fine.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:40 AM   #7
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Southern CO could be better. I've gotten snow on Memorial Day weekend on I-70. I was on my motorcycle then, so it wasn't a pleasant experience.
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Old 01-29-2018, 05:39 PM   #8
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Hopefully you can plug in a Catalytic heater to keep everything from freezing during the nights your about 2000' below that water will get slushy but not actually freeze and if in the sunshine during the daytime will not freeze.
You do not have to fill your tanks full of water think about how much you might use in your travel home, toilet, dishes, and sponge baths. You can always use the campgrounds services if they have not shut the water off for the winter months. Think of what you might have in your holding tanks and dump regularly. Once home you will never have to worry about these items again.
I know most of the time where we put chains on is I5 or Hwy97 going south is between California and Oregon in Oregon on I5 it's for about 30 to take off point in California. I have taught my wife how to put them on and off and I can do it but with both knees in such bad shape and pinched nerve in right leg it is hell. Remember the heater does not have to be on full blast and make sure you got a window open a bit for air movement.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridergw2001 View Post
South Texas Travel Trailer Owner Inquiry – Winter Weather, Winter Roads, and Freezing Temps while traveling / camping questions:

I understand freezing temperatures turn water to ice even here in south Texas, though the number of days with freezing temperatures is relatively small, and we seldom experience snow or ice on our roadways.

I will be picking up my Escape 21 at the end of March 2018 in Chilliwack, British Columbia, and heading south to warmer temperatures. I would like to head across the mountains in the western US thru Washington State, Idaho, Wyoming, California, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico on my way back to south Texas.

I have discovered that April temperatures in the mountainous areas can be near freezing or below freezing.

I want to protect the investment in my Escape 21 by preventing the water system from freezing temperatures while traveling south. I understand I might do this by winterizing the trailer while traveling in freezing temperatures.

What do folks that travel and camp in their travel trailers during freezing temperatures do to facilitate this travel? How do I use the black tank functionality and prevent it from being damaged by freezing? Ditto grey tank? Ditto fresh water tank? If at all?

I see some roads are closed during winter in mountainous areas. I understand some roads are cleared of snow during winter. When is it safe or permissible to drive on frozen or near frozen roads during winter?

When do I need tire chains on frozen or near frozen roads? Do I need tire chains on my tow vehicle and trailer or just my tow vehicle?

When do I not need tire chains on frozen or near frozen roads?

I believe I can travel south from Chilliwack on the west coast to near Los Angeles California and head east on I10 to avoid most freezing temperatures during April of 2018.

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful replies!
That's the long way.
I have gone down I-5 to Shasta then across to Susanville and down 95 to Quartzsite to pick up I-10. By March the snow is gone and temps usually in 40+ at night. Not to worry. The advantage of going down I-5 is the rest areas where you can spend the night. I would avoid LA and go across through BakersField.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:04 PM   #10
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 2006 Casita SD / Future Escape 21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan View Post
There will be no need to winterize. We picked up our 19 in early March of 2015, and made our way back to San Antonio through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and west Texas. Yes, it got below freezing in a few campgrounds on the way home, particularly at higher altitude ones, but by 9 or 10 the temps were usually back up. The coldest spot was actually in southern Utah, at Bryce Canyon, where the low was 17F. It was because of the altitude of almost 9000 feet. But, once the sun came up, it warmed quickly. Your Escape can handle overnight temps that dip below freezing without winterizing, as long as the temps aren't sustained. Just remember to disconnect your water hose before you go to bed if you are at a campground with hookups. You'll be fine.
Thanks Robert, I appreciate your feedback.
Ken
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:12 PM   #11
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Name: Ken
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Originally Posted by CharlesPou View Post
I think the key is to watch the weather, be flexible, and stay out of areas that have freezing temps. Go west to LA, then up the west coast is probably the best. I would stay out of midwest (Idaho, Utah, Colorado) early spring, unless the weather is good.

I would take enough RV antifreeze to winterize if you get caught, and need to winterize your trailer. Unless you are used to pulling a trailer on icy roads and using chains, save yourself some trouble and stay out of those areas. Going up hill is OK, going down hill on icy roads is pretty dicey IMO.

I'm traveling soon the Quartzsite, AZ from Dallas area, and weather looks above freezing all the way. Of course, a blue norther could come through anytime, so I will be watching the weather. I was going to stop one night at Guadalupe Mountains NP, but lows are in the teens. I did some research on winter camping in my current trailer (2004 Casita 17). It looked like I should probably winterize for that night, so I decided too much trouble for me.

I have Escape 21 on order too, production date Jul 2018, so I'm excited for you. Good luck.
Thank you for your reply Charles.
I have very little experience driving in snow and and ice, and less pulling a trailer in snow and ice. I 10 to the west coast and north to Chilliwack and back again is sounding like a safe bet to me given my experience. Thanks for the carrying anti freeze tip. Safe travels to Quartzite. Congrats on your Escape decision!

Ken
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:22 PM   #12
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 2006 Casita SD / Future Escape 21
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Originally Posted by emers382 View Post
Ken I don't know if you've checked out the Escape forum yet, but if not you should do so, I just searched "january pick up" and there are a number of threads which may address your questions. Also Jim Bennett a year ago started a thread "The Chilliwack Dash" in which he talks about his trip home to Calgary through the Canadian mountains.

When we travel south in January, of course our Escape is long winterized, we do not even de-winterize until well south, for example in 2016 it was Las Cruces before we did that. We usually stop at Walmart or Cracker Barrel overnight and use their facilities.

I would not suggest you take the more northern mountain routes, even at the first of April, primarily because of the chance of having snow and doubt your tow would even have snow tires. As Robert mentioned likely winterizing would not be needed as long as it warmed up well over freezing every day of your travel.

Congratulations on your purchase of an Escape.

Adrian
Thanks for your reply Adrian,
I have very little experience driving in snow and and ice, and less pulling a trailer in snow and ice. I 10 to the west coast and north to Chilliwack and back again is sounding like a safe bet to me given my experience. Thanks for the tip to check out the Escape Forum, which I did this morning. I appreciated the discussion I observed there concerning snow and ice. And no my tow vehicle does not have snow tires.
Thanks,
Ken
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Southern CO could be better. I've gotten snow on Memorial Day weekend on I-70. I was on my motorcycle then, so it wasn't a pleasant experience.
Thank you Robert and Bill for your replies,
I have very little experience driving in snow and and ice, and less pulling a trailer in snow and ice. I 10 to the west coast and north to Chilliwack and back again is sounding like a safe bet to me given my experience. Perhaps I will experience the same weather Robert did in Early March of 2015 and travel the mountain route. I am slightly risk averse, so perhaps I will watch the weather and see if the mountain route will work for me.

Thanks,
Ken
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:37 PM   #14
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 2006 Casita SD / Future Escape 21
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Originally Posted by stude View Post
Hopefully you can plug in a Catalytic heater to keep everything from freezing during the nights your about 2000' below that water will get slushy but not actually freeze and if in the sunshine during the daytime will not freeze.
You do not have to fill your tanks full of water think about how much you might use in your travel home, toilet, dishes, and sponge baths. You can always use the campgrounds services if they have not shut the water off for the winter months. Think of what you might have in your holding tanks and dump regularly. Once home you will never have to worry about these items again.
I know most of the time where we put chains on is I5 or Hwy97 going south is between California and Oregon in Oregon on I5 it's for about 30 to take off point in California. I have taught my wife how to put them on and off and I can do it but with both knees in such bad shape and pinched nerve in right leg it is hell. Remember the heater does not have to be on full blast and make sure you got a window open a bit for air movement.
stude
Thank you for your reply Peter,
I appreciate your feedback and advise.
Thanks,
Ken
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