traveling through below freezing climate with Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-26-2014, 09:48 AM   #1
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Name: Steve
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traveling through below freezing climate with Scamp

Does anyone have advice for us as we travel through freezing climates and desire to stay in the Scamp while traveling. Our concern is with the water supply and freezing issues. Can you keep water in the tanks if you use the furnace, or do you need to camp dry and use water out of containers?

We are new to this and excited for our first trip south from Wisconsin in January.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:51 AM   #2
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Steve, You are opening a can of worms. Some would say that running your furnace while on the road is just not safe.

Dry camping is probably best.
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Old 11-26-2014, 09:56 AM   #3
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I would keep water tanks empty while actually travelling, but wondered if we camped for a few days in freezing temps if we could fill water tank and keep the Scamp heated to keep the water from freezing? Or are the lines outside the heated zone so that they would freeze anyway?
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:05 AM   #4
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Sorry Steve, I am a Trillium guy, a well informed Scamp owner will likely chime in soon. The water supply is probably all inside, but the insulation inside the kitchen cabinet is likely non existent.

I would consider how far below freezing it is.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:44 AM   #5
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Dry tank and bottled water. Its the safe thing to do. Think about your water heater too.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:02 AM   #6
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I travel ofter in the winter from Oregon to Death Valley, leaving around the first of the year. Travel through northern CA, and Reno NV the temperatures are often well below freezing. We've left home with the temperatures where everything outside was frozen. While the trailer is sitting ready to go there's an electric heater keeping the inside around 50F. That, of course, isn't there when we leave. Two days later we get into the warmer Death Valley weather. When we stop for the night the furnace is turned on and trailer is kept at 50 to 55 at night. In the morning the furnace and propane are turned off for traveling.

Before we leave the fresh water is full.

In other words, I don't do anything differently from when the temperatures are above freezing.

After 5 years I still haven't had any problems.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:09 AM   #7
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There's a lot of misconception about freezing water systems. Panic when the temperature gets below 32F or 0C. Water freezing is product of time and temperature. Any body of water has heat energy stored. No matter how cold the temperature it takes time get rid of all the heat. The colder the less time, but it still takes some time. It takes time for all the heat that's stored in walls, the cabinets, and all the stuff stored inside the trailer to be removed. Since I keep my trailer warm all the time except when actually traveling it's takes more time for it to get cold enough to freeze anything inside than actually traveling, even on the very cold day I drove for almost 16 hours.

There are my experiences and information based on some knowledge of thermal dynamics.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:57 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I was thinking of using bottled water for drinking and cooking. I was also thinking that if we were going to be camping for an extended time, in cold temps we could put some RV antifreeze mixed with water in the tank so that we could at least use our toilet and then when entering warmth we would flush the system and resume normal use. We can shower at a truck stop....otherwise using the Scamp as a heated tent is a big step up from the winter backpacking I have done!!
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:08 PM   #9
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Is the black tank on the outside of the trailer? If so, it's going to be difficult to dump when it is frozen.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:32 PM   #10
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Is the black tank on the outside of the trailer? If so, it's going to be difficult to dump when it is frozen.
Wouldn't anti-freeze in the tank eliminate that problem?
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:49 PM   #11
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Sorry, I should just bow out of this discussion. The trailers I have only have a fresh water tank, no black, or grey tanks.

Anti-freeze in the black tank seems like a good idea, to this ignorant camper.
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:40 PM   #12
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We left MA a few days before the year end with no fresh water in our tank, anti-freeze in both Black and Grey tanks, a few gallons of bottled fresh water (you can buy more as you need it), a couple gallons of bottled water for emergency flushing and the Scamp water lines and heater blown free of water. We dry camped for several nights, mostly where we had electricity, so we were able to run the furnace as much as we wanted. We only used the toilet for late night calls and only used the sink for teeth brushing so we didn't need to dump for several days. We washed dishes only in campgrounds that had washing stations. This was the biggest hassle of the trip.

When we got to SC the overnight temps were above freezing so we started using campground water hookups and dump stations and our water heater, so we could wash dishes. One night at Huntington Beach State Park, the overnight temp unexpectedly dropped to 20 degrees. We didn't think to disconnect from the campground water and the water froze in the hose and faucet. Fortunately nothing cracked and the daytime temp got into the 50s. We used a hair dryer to thaw the faucet and hung the hose in the sunlight to thaw. With the furnace keeping the camper at 50 at night and higher in the day, there were no problems with the Scamp plumbing.

My recommendation is to dry camp until you are safely into warm temperatures and be sure to disconnect from campground water if freezing is possible. Campgrounds have showers and you can carry fresh water in gallon jugs.

Enjoy your new toy and southbound trip.

David
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Old 11-26-2014, 04:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by trampster View Post
Thanks for the input. I was thinking of using bottled water for drinking and cooking. I was also thinking that if we were going to be camping for an extended time, in cold temps we could put some RV antifreeze mixed with water in the tank so that we could at least use our toilet and then when entering warmth we would flush the system and resume normal use. We can shower at a truck stop....otherwise using the Scamp as a heated tent is a big step up from the winter backpacking I have done!!
I think that is a reasonable approach, only just use straight anti freeze or 75/25 at least for flushing and minimize the introduction of solid waste since the chemical liquifiers work best in warm water.
Be sure to block out and empty your hot water tank, It is the most sensitive to freeze damage and the most expensive fix. The black water tank is inside the trailer but the drain valve is not, so the valve should be protected with antifreeze in the tank.
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Old 11-26-2014, 05:34 PM   #14
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Smile Anti-freeze and Anti-freeze

I would only use the pink anti-freeze. Regular auto, green, anti-freeze would probably wreck havoc in any septic system that you would dump into.
We carry two gallons of drinking water in former apple juice jugs because they are sturdy.
We #1 in the porta-potti at night, using an old detergent bottle for flushing not loading the flush tank in the porta-potti, and we dump every morning. Everything else is done in the rest rooms of the place we are staying, even rest areas.
One point, in the southwest, the water can be very saline. We buy water from dispensing machines usually outside any food store about 25 per gallon. We had freezing temps in Yuma at night, but no problem in the heated Homelet and it gets into the 60's during the day. We dump all water except drinking when moving and refill at the next stop.
Water at the sites is used for flushing and dish washing.

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Fountain next to Homelet in Yuma, AZ.
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