Winter Camping - 1978 Boler 1700 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-13-2019, 05:36 PM   #1
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Name: Scott
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
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Winter Camping - 1978 Boler 1700

Hi there

We are considering taking our 17' Boler "The Busted Flush" out for some winter camping. In our home in Saskatchewan Canada it can be quite cold a lot of the year but it seems a shame not to take advantage of some the great views and locations winter can present.

My main concern is if it is too hard on the trailer to tow it in freezing temps? Is it likely to harm things like the windows, structure etc?

I have read quite a few suggestions on how to setup and handle humidity etc while camping but would appreciate some input on the impact of towing the trailer in the cold. We just had all of the windows taken out and resealed and would hate to cause issues.

Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:49 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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We have camped in our Trillium 4500 in sub-freezing weather. Been through snow storms and ice storms while camping and towing. No problems. Have not taken our Boler 1700 in these conditions, but I would not worry. The molded fiberglass is sturdy.

My only concerns would be:

- Heavy snow build up on the roof: Clear it off promptly to prevent roof sag.
- Cold floors: To address this, we have 12" (correction 1/2") interlocking foam tiles on the floor, wear warm socks.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:59 PM   #3
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Name: Scott
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Thanks for the info John.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:45 PM   #4
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
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I've done the winter camping thing, mainly in Alberta. Chained up the four wheels on the tug and the four wheels on the trailer and away we went. Haven't done it in a while as we don't tolerate the cold as well as we once did but it was fun and a totally difference experience from summer camping.
Our first trailer had a gravity propane furnace and light so no battery required. It was only 14 feet long so the furnace easily kept it warm. All we needed were 2 tanks of propane per week and we were good to go. The trailer (Scamper) was all wood and aluminum so it held up well in the cold.
Our next unit (Sprinter) was 26 feet long and had a forced air furnace which kept the unit warm but also required a fresh battery twice per day to keep the furnace running. This meant using a generator quite a bit.
Our current unit is somewhat more energy efficient but we still need a generator as backup to our solar panels just in case.
Most trailers, with a few exceptions, are designed for spring to fall use. They have limited insulation, single pane windows and limited capacity heating. Holding tanks may not be inside the unit and/or not insulated so you may be confined to "dry camping". Use the rest of your plumbing including the water heater with caution.
Condensation on windows can cause them to freeze shut, or open, and they can break if forced. Newer trailers have more plastic which tends to get stiff and somewhat brittle in the cold and can crack. Roof vent covers can be particularly susceptible to this.
Then there's the towing on slippery roads.
Winter camping can be fun but is usually more challenging. An RV site with electrical hookup and indoor washrooms with showers works well for dry camping. Boondocking at minus 20 was fun when we were younger, even without heat, but too much of a challenge now that we're seniors.
C'est la vie.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:33 PM   #5
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Mike_L View Post
I've done the winter camping thing, mainly in Alberta. Chained up the four wheels on the tug and the four wheels on the trailer and away we went. Haven't done it in a while as we don't tolerate the cold as well as we once did but it was fun and a totally difference experience from summer camping.
Our first trailer had a gravity propane furnace and light so no battery required. It was only 14 feet long so the furnace easily kept it warm. All we needed were 2 tanks of propane per week and we were good to go. The trailer (Scamper) was all wood and aluminum so it held up well in the cold.
Our next unit (Sprinter) was 26 feet long and had a forced air furnace which kept the unit warm but also required a fresh battery twice per day to keep the furnace running. This meant using a generator quite a bit.
Our current unit is somewhat more energy efficient but we still need a generator as backup to our solar panels just in case.
Most trailers, with a few exceptions, are designed for spring to fall use. They have limited insulation, single pane windows and limited capacity heating. Holding tanks may not be inside the unit and/or not insulated so you may be confined to "dry camping". Use the rest of your plumbing including the water heater with caution.
Condensation on windows can cause them to freeze shut, or open, and they can break if forced. Newer trailers have more plastic which tends to get stiff and somewhat brittle in the cold and can crack. Roof vent covers can be particularly susceptible to this.
Then there's the towing on slippery roads.
Winter camping can be fun but is usually more challenging. An RV site with electrical hookup and indoor washrooms with showers works well for dry camping. Boondocking at minus 20 was fun when we were younger, even without heat, but too much of a challenge now that we're seniors.
C'est la vie.
:if I remember right the last trailers with a propane light was 1969 then someone said they were not safe anymore. MY 69 Kit (U-build) had 3 of them I used to go up in the winter and spend 2-3 weeks there I would put up a around 12 cords of wood in the summer, have 6 100# tall propane bottles for the time there, end up most times with some propane left, about 2 cords left, as friends would often show up. Only way in was with snow shoes, if come early dogs could walk on snow as it froze. I did not have furnace except for the stove oven which I would only open when I needed it. I call this cheap camping, it was a 1/2 mile jog to where I would park the 4x4 Suburban so dog and I could take some day trips for picture taking. if early afternoon dog could not walk on snow as now soft so he would ride on my shoulders, he weighed in around 90#'s. Had path shoveld to fire pit area and outhouse made a Styrofoam toilet seat in winter and a wood toilet seat in warmer months, never plastic.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:29 AM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
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Stude, I had a 1974 14 foot Scamper stickie with a gravity furnace, half fridge that ran on 12 volt DC, 120 volt AC and propane with a pilot light that ignited with two D cells and a propane light that used a mantle. Dinette in the front that folded down into a bed, couch in the rear that folded down into another bed and a shelf over the rear bed that folded down into another bed. No battery or anything electric. Two 20 lb propane tanks on the front. Galvanized metal roof. Good for a week in any weather. Solid old unit. Lots of winter camping. Lots of great memories!
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:05 AM   #7
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: Lil' Bigfoot
Ontario
Posts: 18
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Originally Posted by Plobvert View Post
Hi there

We are considering taking our 17' Boler "The Busted Flush" out for some winter camping. In our home in Saskatchewan Canada it can be quite cold a lot of the year but it seems a shame not to take advantage of some the great views and locations winter can present.

My main concern is if it is too hard on the trailer to tow it in freezing temps? Is it likely to harm things like the windows, structure etc?

I have read quite a few suggestions on how to setup and handle humidity etc while camping but would appreciate some input on the impact of towing the trailer in the cold. We just had all of the windows taken out and resealed and would hate to cause issues.

Thanks!
Let us know how it goes! We are contemplating a trip out to Algonquin Park with our 13' lil bigfoot. We have winter camped there in a tent before but with a toddler in tow we want to try out the cushier heated trailer option. Want to get some snowshoeing in!!
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:39 AM   #8
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
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In the past, we've winter camped in our 1300 Boler in NH, with temps at minus 20. The heater cycled every minute of so, so you want to have plenty of propane and battery power. 100W solar panel only was able to replenish enough power for the night if I shut furnace off during the day, while I was off hiking.
Turning the furnace on about an hour before we went into camper didn't do much to heat up the bed but after a bit our bodies did
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:31 AM   #9
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Name: Scott
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
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Originally Posted by Melly View Post
Let us know how it goes! We are contemplating a trip out to Algonquin Park with our 13' lil bigfoot. We have winter camped there in a tent before but with a toddler in tow we want to try out the cushier heated trailer option. Want to get some snowshoeing in!!
Thanks, I will follow up once we have a chance to take it out.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:32 AM   #10
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Name: Scott
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Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
In the past, we've winter camped in our 1300 Boler in NH, with temps at minus 20. The heater cycled every minute of so, so you want to have plenty of propane and battery power. 100W solar panel only was able to replenish enough power for the night if I shut furnace off during the day, while I was off hiking.
Turning the furnace on about an hour before we went into camper didn't do much to heat up the bed but after a bit our bodies did
Thanks Gerry
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:18 AM   #11
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
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Winter Camping.

Melly, I only have to drive around 100 miles and I'm into winter camping at a place called Whistler/Blackcomb for more snow than I need in a lifetime or take the Gondola up Grouse or drive up to Seymour Mountain or Cypress Mountain. But if I go to Manning parking on the Hope/Princeton Hwy, we will be in the dead of winter there, cold makes for great photography that is what I like.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:08 AM   #12
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Trillium 4500 & Boler 1700
Michigan
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We took a memory foam pillow on a trip from Michigan to Florida in January using our trillium. The pillow froze. The portion of the pillow touching the wall never did soften up even with the heat running all night. It finally thawed when we reached warmer temperatures.

We have ensolite walls. I found the walls really cold if I was pushed against the walls while sleeping (even though the air temperature in the trailer was fine), Putting a pillow or yoga mat or some other insulation between me and the wall while sleeping helped alot.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:36 AM   #13
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: Lil' Bigfoot
Ontario
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Originally Posted by stude View Post
Melly, I only have to drive around 100 miles and I'm into winter camping at a place called Whistler/Blackcomb for more snow than I need in a lifetime or take the Gondola up Grouse or drive up to Seymour Mountain or Cypress Mountain. But if I go to Manning parking on the Hope/Princeton Hwy, we will be in the dead of winter there, cold makes for great photography that is what I like.
Stude
Stude, I am jealous! Beautiful up there and on my bucket list for snowboarding. Algonquin is a bit different than that but I prefer it in wi ter to summer as it is Much quieter.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:28 PM   #14
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
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Stude, I am jealous! Beautiful up there and on my bucket list for snowboarding. Algonquin is a bit different than that but I prefer it in wi ter to summer as it is Much quieter.
:nice to be young and board, ski etc, those days are long gone for us. Though I have friends all in their 70's who still ski every chance they can get at Whistler/Blackcomb matter of fact they built there many years ago and are in there last place with 3 suites built into the place, they need the rental money to just pay the taxes on the place. Pretty hard owning a place on a Ski Hill like Whistler/Blackcomb, best way is to get 3-4 others and go in on a place or just forget it and pay the hotel rental. We like our own beds, so just downsized from 30'MH to 24' MH with better winter insulation, though still single windows but real good blinds that help keep the cold out, heat for AC unit and ducted heat throughout which also keeps our water and other tanks from freezing. When using propane for them we fill up more often.So far we been out in about 10*F weather and that is pretty cold for this old body. Funny thing I never felt the cold until I got old. My wife likes the bedroom freezing cold, says she cannot sleep well if warm in there, so I tend to sleep in the living room where I can leave the gas FP on all night and stay just right, sleep real good, I throw a foamy on the floor and with light blanket and pillow get my 10 hours.
When your young try and do it all then because when you get older (over 70) It's not easy to hike let alone walk well. I was doing pretty good until I turned 74 then odd things started happening, like falling for no reason.
Oh well that is enough of my dribble time to move on.
Stude
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