Using the scamp in the winter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #1
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Using the scamp in the winter

We're hoping to be able to use our Scamp through the winter months here in the Pacific NW, where the roads are frequently (although not always) passable, so I really don't want to drain all the lines and fill everything with antifreeze (except maybe the waste tanks and "P" traps).

Would it work to just run a heater in the Scamp to keep the interior temp up, open all the cabinets, doors, and benches? I liked the idea from another thread to purchase a remote temperature sensor to monitor the temp from inside the house and go out to turn the heater up if it falls below some minimum. But running an unattended heater is kinda scary. Any other ideas?

Also, assuming we head out on some crisp, cold day, how would I keep lines from freezing while I'm traveling down the hiway? I imagine that even when the temps are just a bit below freezing, the wind chill at 55 mph would be fairly significant. I suppose we could leave the furnace on, but that's scarier than running a heater in the driveway.

Thanks for any thoughts or experiences.

Chuck
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:47 PM   #2
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...IMPO, just winterize the Egg, pack an extra water hose but do NOT connect it to the trailer if you decide to use it.

Connect it to an available water supply but NEVER shut it (the water hose) right off, leave it trickle a little, especially overnight.

Don't use the on board heater (furnace) as it creates moisture and you don't need that... Buy/use a simple plug in (Ceramic??) heater with a good thermostat, leave the roof vent and at least ONE window cracked for circulation purposes.

Did I mention the 'Snuggle Factor'???
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beardrum View Post
We're hoping to be able to use our Scamp through the winter months here in the Pacific NW, where the roads are frequently (although not always) passable, so I really don't want to drain all the lines and fill everything with antifreeze (except maybe the waste tanks and "P" traps).

Would it work to just run a heater in the Scamp to keep the interior temp up, open all the cabinets, doors, and benches? I liked the idea from another thread to purchase a remote temperature sensor to monitor the temp from inside the house and go out to turn the heater up if it falls below some minimum. But running an unattended heater is kinda scary. Any other ideas?

Also, assuming we head out on some crisp, cold day, how would I keep lines from freezing while I'm traveling down the hiway? I imagine that even when the temps are just a bit below freezing, the wind chill at 55 mph would be fairly significant. I suppose we could leave the furnace on, but that's scarier than running a heater in the driveway.

Thanks for any thoughts or experiences.

Chuck
I don't know what part of WA you're in but I doubt your weather is much different than mine. I make sure my fresh water tank is about 3/4 full or bit more with some air space. (it takes a lot of cold to freeze a 12 gallon block of water.) I put a small electric heater inside the trailer set on low, I've watched the temperature in the past so I know how to set the heater to maintain at least 45° inside the trailer. I don't open cupboard doors or put that yucky pink stuff in anything.
I've been doing this for the 8 years and never had any problems. No frozen water line, no frozen p-trap, no frozen pump.

January can be a great time to camp, February is good too here in Oregon and probably in WA too.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by beardrum View Post

Also, assuming we head out on some crisp, cold day, how would I keep lines from freezing while I'm traveling down the hiway? I imagine that even when the temps are just a bit below freezing, the wind chill at 55 mph would be fairly significant. I suppose we could leave the furnace on, but that's scarier than running a heater in the driveway.

Thanks for any thoughts or experiences.

Chuck
From Wikipedia

The speed of cooling has different effects on inanimate objects and biological organisms. For inanimate objects, the effect of wind chill is to reduce any warmer objects to the ambient temperature more quickly. It cannot, however, reduce the temperature of these objects below the ambient temperature, no matter how great the wind velocity.

If the air is above freezing so are your pipes, no matter how fast you go. . Enjoy your outings. I'm envious. Raz
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:50 AM   #5
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I leave a 500 watt oil filled heater on all the time in my unit to keep it above freezing, it is winterized but I still like to keep it warmer. As far as wind chill, as Raz mentioned, it has no effect in inanimate objects, only humans.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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Don't use the on board heater (furnace) as it creates moisture and you don't need that...
If it is a forced air furnace that draws and vents combustion air from the outside, there would be no added moisture. The radiant ones with the flames inside definitely give off moisture inside. It would depend type she uses.

If connected to the grid, I prefer a 120V heater though too. This is rarely an option for me though.

In winter, we completely winterize the trailer, and just bring along jugs of water to use. With our Escape though, the water tank is under the trailer, not inside.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Thanks everybody.

I like the ideas of using water jugs or a separate water hose, and of using a oil-filled heater as opposed to a radiant heater, and of using a temperature sensor in the trailer to read temps from inside the house. I live in Seattle, so I'm going to bet I can keep it warm enough while it's in the driveway, and we'll take the trips one at a time.

Chuck
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by beardrum View Post
Also, assuming we head out on some crisp, cold day, how would I keep lines from freezing while I'm traveling down the hiway? I imagine that even when the temps are just a bit below freezing, the wind chill at 55 mph would be fairly significant. I suppose we could leave the furnace on, but that's scarier than running a heater in the driveway.

Thanks for any thoughts or experiences.

Chuck
Contrary to much myth a few hours below freezing isn't going to freeze your pipes or fresh water tank. The fresh water tank is inside the trailer along with the plumbing that goes to the sink. Wind chill is related to skin. The faster air moves across bare skin the colder it will it be. Evaporation is main cause, air moving across the skin will increase evaporation rate.
In the case where there's plumbing under a trailer, as Raz indicated it's not going to get below ambient, it may get there faster, but it still won't go below air temperature.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by beardrum View Post
Thanks everybody.

I like the ideas of using water jugs or a separate water hose, and of using a oil-filled heater as opposed to a radiant heater, and of using a temperature sensor in the trailer to read temps from inside the house. I live in Seattle, so I'm going to bet I can keep it warm enough while it's in the driveway, and we'll take the trips one at a time.

Chuck
Our winder temperatures are very close to the same. Don't fuss just go camping as would in the summer, clothing is the exception. I also wouldn't mess with any fossil fuels. A cheap electric heater with a fan purchased at Walmart will do the job. No need to carry water jugs, a water hose connected to city water inlet will freeze long before the fresh water tank and the plumbing to the sink.
It doesn't have to be hot, just above freezing and I put a Dri-Z-Air canister in the sink. Moisture and mildew are of greater concern. I'm speaking from 8 years of experience in the Portland area.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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I tried to dodge this discussion of windchill. I perhaps misused the term. But in my own defense, I need to say that I understand the fact that a thermometer is going to register air temperature, regardless of the velocity of wind going across it. My point is that the thermometer will get down to whatever the temperature is much faster when it's in a breeze, than if it's in a sheltered location. It's a question of the rate of heat transfer.

That said, and just sayin', if the temp goes to 25F overnight and warms to above 32F during the day, the trailer will be fine, because stuff doesn't cool off and freeze that fast overnight. But Iif I were to take the trailer out on the road in 25F weather, the chances of something inside the trailer getting cold enough to freeze are much greater, because I will have increased the rate of heat transfer. Also, if I were to leave the trailer sit anywhere in a 25F temperature, it and everything in it will get to 25F eventually, unless I somehow add heat to the equation.

Said another way, assume the trailer is fine in the driveway with sub freezing temperatures because the air is still, the trailer warms during the day, and I may or may not have a heater of some descripotion in it. But if I take it out on the road in sub freezing temps, I will have increased the rate of heat transfer and it is at greater risk of achieving a subfreezing temperature inside.

But if it's all that cold, I'm probably not going camping anyway, so I'll just leave it plugged in, and stay in my chair with the afghan.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:19 PM   #11
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That's why you ask questions, to get opinions and then you filter all those opinions as how they relate to your situation.

I live about 60 miles north of Byron and the weather where I live can be redically different from his. Right now it's below freezing where I live and above freezing where he lives.

Several years ago, a bunch of us Egg people camped almost directly east of Byron in October and several folks had their water hoses freeze from the hose bib. It took a number of hours of hoses laying on picnic tables (in bright sunlight) for the hoses to thaw enough to reconnect and get water to their trailers.

Wishing you the best for what you want to do!
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
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Being a former farm girl, I learned to unhook hoses if freezing weather was suggested and then to drain the hose several times. If a spicket (non-freeze type) froze I filled an old wool sock with whole corn, popped it in the microwave to heat the device (do not use popping corn), then ran it outside and wrapped it around the spicket.

The couple of times I forgot to drain hoses it was necessary to find a drained hose and hook up to hot water heater and run the water outside. A couple of times the hoses had to defrost in the bathroom tub.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:38 PM   #13
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That's why you ask questions, to get opinions and then you filter all those opinions as how they relate to your situation.

I live about 60 miles north of Byron and the weather where I live can be redically different from his. Right now it's below freezing where I live and above freezing where he lives.

Several years ago, a bunch of us Egg people camped almost directly east of Byron in October and several folks had their water hoses freeze from the hose bib. It took a number of hours of hoses laying on picnic tables (in bright sunlight) for the hoses to thaw enough to reconnect and get water to their trailers.

Wishing you the best for what you want to do!
Donna, how many had the water systems in their trailer freeze?

You are right about the weather. The gorge has much worse weather than Portland and Willamette Valley. The 30 miles east is also 1000' higher. Gresham is also higher.

Donna...
Hoses freezing... Could happen.
Here's an experiment for you. Leave a hose filled with water out where you can look straight up and see the sky. Leave another filled with water under your Scamp. Then explain why the one under the sky froze and the one under the Scamp didn't.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:35 AM   #14
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Type of heater

We are looking at buying a small heater to keep in our Scamp and was wondering what people are using and how satisfied they are. I have been looking at ceramic as a choice. We live in Olympia so we have some of the same problems as others in the Northwest.
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