Below zero Scamping - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:56 AM   #1
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Name: John Michael
Trailer: Scamp 13
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 653
Below zero Scamping

Saw this post on Facebook. Who says you cannot Scamp in cold weather?

Happy 2018 all. john
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:16 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Brave soul! If all you want is a place to sleep...

When I first moved to AZ in late December 1983, my "RV" was a VW Beetle with a bed running the length of the passenger side on top of the seats and a really good winter sleeping bag. I-40 was an ice rink from Arkansas to New Mexico, and it hit -5F in Oklahoma. I had to have a jump start that frosty morning and removed a quarter inch of ice from the inside of the glass...

A Scamp with a furnace... priceless!

As a long-term, frigid weather home-on-wheels... maybe not.
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:39 AM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
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We slept in our Scamp on several occasions at temps well below zero . For one night it's not that bad but as Jon said As a long term home probably not !
Having slept in tents at 20 below I will say that sleeping in a Scamp is a huge improvement .
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:09 AM   #4
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Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 16, previously Scamp 13
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Back in 1981 I spent a the entire winter backpacking across the US. Missouri we saw ice storms and nights as low as -13, Illinois saw blizzards at Fern Cliff State Park, Giant City, and Cave-In-Rock. Kentucky saw freezing rain and sleet, Virginia, another blizzard on White Top Mountain with temperatures at -10 to -14. Hiking, cooking and sleeping in a one man tent virtually every night.

Camping at Walmart, in a Scamp - piece of cake! I keep my Scamp heated here in Michigan, though I am heading to Florida for Feb and March. I often sleep in the Scamp and spend the evenings in it. I love winter camping, the Scamp and bed seem SO cozy and warm.

My point? No reason to put these little gems away for winter.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:18 AM   #5
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Outfitter truck campper
Colorado
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In cold like this, would you guys put water in the tanks or just use it out of jugs or a container of some sort? Seems like having water in the system could be problematic. What say you?
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:23 AM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
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[QUOTE=TomandCallie;677189]In cold like this, would you guys put water in the tanks or just use it out of jugs or a container of some sort? Seems like having water in the system could be problematic. What say you?[/QUOTE

We carried one gallon jugs of water that we thawed as needed .
The plumbing system stayed totally winterized.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:31 AM   #7
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All I do is drain the fresh water tank. Since I keep the Scamp heated to 45 degrees, I haven't had a problem, just leave the under sink cabinet open. I use jugs for water I also have no shower or holding tanks, converted to a composting toilet, so that makes things MUCH easier.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:31 AM   #8
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I'd say dry camping only. You might be able to keep the fresh water tank above freezing by providing continuous heat and circulation inside the benches and cabinets, but not much you can do about the external grey tank. Also, the main water line from the tank to the galley (and bathroom if equipped) runs along the lower rear edge of the shell under the rat fur, so it is pretty vulnerable.

I, too, believe in year-round use for these little gems. I'm of the opinion they have wheels so you can take them to a temperate location. Dry camp on the way if needed, and un-winterize when you arrive in warmer climes.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:43 AM   #9
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Outfitter truck campper
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
All I do is drain the fresh water tank. Since I keep the Scamp heated to 45 degrees, I haven't had a problem, just leave the under sink cabinet open. I use jugs for water I also have no shower or holding tanks, converted to a composting toilet, so that makes things MUCH easier.
Do you keep the furnace going while traveling?

Also, I have a cassette toilet and am wondering about the holding tank freezing. Might not be a big deal I guess, but I should probably not put water in the "fresh" part of the toilet - just use a water bottle for the "flush".
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:53 AM   #10
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Nope, no furnace in my Scamp, I only use an electric heater if plugged in or a Lil Buddy in the evening if at Walmart. Haven't had any problems with the water freezing or hand pump breaking if I pump all the water out when I drain the tank. Tank isn't re-filled until about Georgia. :-)

Before putting in the composting toilet, I had just the Sanipotty. I had to place it on a 1" foam insulation square to keep it from freezing, even with the heat on. I would definitely drain your cassette toilet, especially if you don't keep the trailer heated. But anything sitting on the floor will get pretty cold even with heat.

If worried about it, just add a bit of antifreeze. That would probably be a good idea for me, as well, but like I said, I haven't had a problem. If anything does freeze, it's a pretty simple repair, at least in my trailer with such a basic water system.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:57 AM   #11
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
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When camping in Winter at least in the upper Midwest , most state and county parks are fairly well deserted. We try to find sites next to the restrooms ( if open ) or the pit privies and do not use the facilities in our trailer .
Back when we went down south in the winter , we would reserve a site at an Illinois SP . The park had campsites with year round water , heated restrooms (50 deg F) and the roads and sites were plowed. The Illinois SP,s are very accommodating especially if you tell them you are a friend of Floyd's.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:21 PM   #12
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Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft RQ
Missouri
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My trailers have both been Bigfoots. When I started researching in 2003 I knew nothing about any brand and had never heard of a Bigfoot. The name kept popping up when I searched for "cold weather rv" and "four season rv". That and the relatively large "bathroom" were what led me to them. I have done zero f a couple of times with water and no problems. 20 below would be doable but I would not try it with water in the system.

That being said, there are some things to consider: Bigfoots come with one 12 volt deep cycle battery. It can be done, but there is very limited room to add a second battery. The furnace blower draws the most amps of anything on the trailer. A single battery will only last about five hours running the furnace on a cold night. You have to have auxiliary power of some kind. In an emergency you can start the tow vehicle at 3:00 am and let it run till daylight.

The process for winterizing a Bigfoot water system is complicated and time consuming. It is not as simple as just opening the drain and let the fresh water run out while you drive down the road. You also have to remove the plug from the water heater and drain it. Then the lines are still full and you have to have to clear them. At one point you really need compressed air to blow out the water lines.

If you have the water system loaded you have to keep it from freezing. That means keep the water heater going all the time and keep the furnace going often enough to heat the enclosed space below the floor where the tanks are. If you are trying to drive all day when it is really cold then you are faced with the undesirable prospect of having the furnace going while driving down the road. I will run my water heater but then I make sure the insurance policy paid up. If I get caught in a really cold area I pull over every couple of hours and run the furnace for 30 to 45 minutes and run some water out of each of the faucets.

Keep a heavy below zero sleeping bag for each camper rolled up and stored in your trailer. Also carry a few gallon jugs of distilled drinking water. That way if you get caught in a blizzard you can survive in relative comfort.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:48 PM   #13
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Name: Wayne
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New York
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Antifreeze in Portapotti

We use antifreeze in the portapotti during the winter, both the top and bottom chambers.
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Old 01-01-2018, 04:59 PM   #14
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IllAnnoy
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I have been caught in near zero conditions without shore power and have since made reflextix window covers and carry a Little Buddy Heater in case my battery hog furnace uses up the battery (hasn't happened, but its a scary thought).
I have found only two really good ways to deal with below zero Scamping...

1] Keep the Scamp inside my heated shop and sleep snug and warm.

2] Use the frame mounted climate control system to rush southward as far and quickly as possible.

Our Scamp is great without shore power down to about 25įF, below that shore power with our heat strip can still keep us snug and warm without onboard water. Below zero? Never on purpose!
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:05 PM   #15
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Name: John
Trailer: Boler
Ontario
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Below 0c camping. Most certainly. Not using my grey water tank nor black water tank. But everything else is awesome. We use a plastic dish pan and dispose of wash water outside. We have a porti potti which works great inside. And bottled water from Walmart. For heating we use the propane heater built into the trailer and a small ceramic heater. At -20c outside the inside is about 15c and comfy with a sweater. The heaters never shut off but what heck we are camping. Donít seem to have a problem with humidity.
Happy winter camping in 2018.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:31 AM   #16
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Madison, Wisconsin
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I keep the furnace running when on the road and temps are low. Usually I set it to 50 degrees. Makes lunch breaks much more pleasant and keeps the canned goods from freezing. When nighttime temps rise above 30 degrees I de-winterize the rig.

I also run the frig on propane when on the road when temps are warm. Propane costs are less than a dollar a day in Winter and Summer and seems well worth it, especially when compared to the hundreds of dollars I pour into the gasoline tank. Both appliances are about 15 feet from and on the opposite side of my Subaru's gas fill so I usually don't bother turning them off when fueling.

John

Pic showing my homemade sheet aluminum wind deflector for my solar panel. I used 3m vhb and later a bit of eterna bond tape to secure the leading edge. Both seem great products. Better living thru chemistry, right? If you look closely you can see the cell phone booster antenna in the rear.
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:46 AM   #17
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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Floyd how did you attach your insulation?


thanks


bob
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
Floyd how did you attach your insulation?


thanks


bob
I just cut them to fit inside the frame snuggly. We also have Venetian blinds which tie down at the bottom which may help keep them in place.
Of course you could use velcro tabs, I'm just hoping I won't need them too much.
They do keep the light out too, I like covering the kitchen window when parked near parking lot lights
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:52 AM   #19
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how much

Floyd did you double your panels?

thanks

bob
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:27 AM   #20
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 16' Scamp
Washington (dry side)
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Condensation?

What do you do about all the condensation and eventually frost that collects on the inside of the windows and other cold surfaces? I hate not being able to see out and never really seem to get the inside dried out.
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