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Old 03-08-2019, 12:28 AM   #21
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
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Originally Posted by buggo View Post
Hi,

Wondering what the standard is for trying to stay warm overnight in a small trailer where it will get to about 21 Degrees F overnight. I have propane but no power in the trailer.

Bugz
A dog on each side and one at your feet. 21 degrees is a 3 dog night

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Old 03-08-2019, 05:48 AM   #22
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Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Connecticut
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Originally Posted by Mitzi Agnew-Giles View Post
I bought a 200 watt heater for my LilSnoozy after the first night cold camping was almost overwhelmed by the included 1000 to 1500 watt heater. Yes we have a Honda 2000 generator to use where no hookups available.

The large storage space under the bed helps keep the mattress cool in summer but aggravates the cold in the winter. I just found putting the fleece blanket atop the bottom sheet and sleeping atop that with the top sheet and comforter above kept me warmer than the bottom sheet and mattress cover alone on the underneath.
I also have a Celliant mattress cover. Celliant bedclothes are designed to keep you about 8*F warmer than usual sleep temps. Very useful for joint disease aggravated by cold.

You know to dress warm in the cold including sox and knit cap. When I had my Boy Scouts backpacking in Northwest GA mountains over our spring break I would carry extra handwarmers with me to distribute to kids that had ignored my cold weather camping instructions-3 for each needy youth- 1 each for armpits and crotch. It really helped until one youth ignored both my and the handwarmer's safety instructions and pulled the sleeping bag over his head- it uses up oxygen to some degree and he got hypoxic and vomited. In his sleeping bag. I let his dad deal with it

I noticed that Gander Outdoors has large footwarmers contoured to fit in shoes. I imagine one could put it inside a slipper sock and then wear a liner sock over one's foot before inserting in the slipper sock.
So let us know what worked and /or didnt work for you.
🤔 can't 1 die from hypoxia? You supplied the source and could have been responsible for a death. It's a good thing dad only had to deal with a little puke.....
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:28 AM   #23
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Depends on how hypoxic you get, Cliff. A tad bit leaves you with symptoms- an overwhelming amount leaves you daid. The small handwarmers are iron and when exposed to air convert to iron oxide which is what produces the heat. A huge amount of iron would of course have been fatal..
.
You CAN die from drinking too much water too fast and diluting your electrolytes so much you start throwing arrhythmias- in fact runners over hydrating before races have about tied the supply of donatable organs for transplants with motorcycle rides (nurses call motorcycles "donorcycles) I certainly never worried about providing water to the youth.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:31 AM   #24
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
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Warmth

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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Motel or a good sleeping bag.
Layers of clothes, down comforter, wool blankets. merino wool. Mittens, not
Gloves Pac Boots W/ extra liner, Bala Clava. Artificial heat source is not necessary. Cook inside but do not leave a fire going when you slip into your down bag. Dry, fresh underwear just before you bed down. Crack a window, 21F is not that cold. Keep your head and extremedies warm and the rest will follow. Thatís my take and how I taught my scouts in wilderness Survival. ( no camper). In the camper thereís virtually no wind, the wind is your enemy. Keep busy and drink plenty of fluids. If you build a fire outside. Keep gathering fuel, cook food out there that takes time and needs tending. Make notes on what will keep you more comfortable next time.
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Old 03-08-2019, 09:37 AM   #25
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Good advice, for a different range of people. Depending on how the OP likes to camp, doing it like tent camping may not sound fun. I backpack and I car camp, and I love it, but it's a whole different thing.

The reason I have a camper is for comfort, for having a house on wheels. I don't turn on the heat unless it's going to get into the 30s inside the camper, but I sure love having that heat when the temps do get low. Chopping wood and pacing around keeping busy and bundling up to keep warm is great, but not why I have a trailer.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:52 AM   #26
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Name: P
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I would suggest warming up the trailer with a little buddy heater, turning it off as you go to bed, and getting a heated mattress pad with which you'd do the same thing. They make those that plug into 12 volt. Then a winter sleeping bag and a dog or two. A dry Labrador puts out a bit of heat, but sometimes it is hard to keep them dry. A Lab is usually safe to sleep with all night but sometimes not--don't ask, I'll just say that the exhaust fan had to work for a while.

Your memory foam pillow will be a rock for a while if not warmed up, as will your memory foam mattress, if you have either. I have both.

Sleeping bag technology is good. There is a glut of different styles and comfort levels. I do miss the soft cotton flannel with pictures of deer and birds on it. But that's from a different time.

The Little Buddy heater can be used in conjunction with one of those battery powered fans (they run on D cells) and that helps to spread the heat around.

Happy Camping.
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:11 PM   #27
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Name: Steve
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If you dress properly , eat properly , drink water and have a good sleeping bag & ground pad you don’t need heat at 21 deg F . i’ve tent camped in temps well below zero and the hardest part was getting up at night to pee and getting dressed in the morning .
I find it’s easier to cope with 20 below zero than when it’s 100 deg above zero . When it’s that hot it’s hard to regulate your body temp
Iowa Dave summed it up better and more eloquently than I could
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:22 PM   #28
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Just an FYI; If you have an Ocean State Job Lots in your area. They are running a Crazy Deal where if you buy any size Overstuffed Feather Bed for $100 you get a $100 gift card. Please note the gift card cannot be used for any Crazy Deals. They also have a down blanket for the same deal spend $100 and get a $100 gift card. I bought the blanket and its great!
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:23 AM   #29
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Crack a window, 21F is not that cold. Iowa Dave
Always have to chuckle with posts on low temps not being that cold. After living 50 years in the desert or close to it....65* is jacket weather, 21 isn't in the cards, at least on purpose .
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:52 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
If you dress properly , eat properly , drink water and have a good sleeping bag & ground pad you donít need heat at 21 deg F . iíve tent camped in temps well below zero and the hardest part was getting up at night to pee and getting dressed in the morning .
I find itís easier to cope with 20 below zero than when itís 100 deg above zero . When itís that hot itís hard to regulate your body temp
Iowa Dave summed it up better and more eloquently than I could
🤔If you don't heat the space won't you have a good deal of condensation and probably frost inside?
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:05 AM   #31
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I moved to AZ in late December of 1984, camping across the US in a '66 VW Beetle with a bed across the passenger side from the windshield to the back. Ice storms from Arkansas to New Mexico. No artificial means of heat (shoot, that Bug didn't have much heat even when I was driving during the day!). Good sleeping bag, just like Iowa Dave describes. Coldest night was 5 degrees. Woke up every morning to a thick layer of frost on the inside of the car.

Of course you can winter camp without heat. In Boy Scouts we did our annual January camping trip. My family did not have top-grade equipment, so it was an endurance test. Kept my day clothes in the sleeping bag at night. Changing inside a bag requires considerable dexterity. Putting on cold and stiff boots in the morning is the worst.

I would not willingly do it again. Our Scamp has a furnace, and I'm not afraid to use it. Below 50 degrees, we run it in the evening and morning only and stay tucked in at night. Below freezing, it stays on all night set to around 50 degrees. Reaching out of my warm bed to raise the thermostat before I exit to dress... priceless!

For the OP I would recommend one of three things, depending on how often he winter camps and how long he'll be without power. Listed in order of increasing cost, convenience, and safety.
(1) If it's just one or two times, not an ongoing thing, buy a Little Buddy and use the small cylinders. Follow all safety instructions carefully to avoid asphyxiation.
(2) If it will be used regularly without access to power or a means to recharge the battery, install a Wave 3 catalytic heater plumbed to the trailer's LP system. It can be permanently mounted (if you can find a place that meets all clearance requirements) or used as a freestanding unit on the floor with a quick connect fitting. Again, follow all safety protocols.

Both (1) and (2) are unvented, so in addition to the danger of asphyxiation they will add significant quantities of water vapor (a normal combustion byproduct) to the cabin, and condensation can become a problem. Advantages include quiet, efficient, and no power use.

(3) If it will be used regularly and you can provide a means to recharge the battery, install a vented RV furnace. The Propex is nice but pricey. You might be able to find a used Suburban or Atwood at an RV salvage yard or on Craigslist, or you can order a new one. Electronic ignition is nice. Scamp uses a Suburban NT-16SE (16000BTU). All combustion byproducts are vented outside, so very safe. You will need hookups, solar, generator, or a tow vehicle charge line (while driving) to recharge the battery if used more than a night or two at 21 degrees.

For any of these options, you must install and regularly test a full suite of safety detectors (smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane).
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:06 AM   #32
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Name: Carl
Trailer: LiL Hauley
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Heat or no heat you will get condensation. People exhale moisture and it is going to condense on any cold surfaces. It you heat the space the condensation will accumulate on the colder exterior surfaces. If you don't heat the space it will condense on every cold surface! The only way to avoid condensation is to remove it from the interior of the structure. You have to ventilate or dehydrate.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:07 AM   #33
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Cliff Hotchkiss View Post
��If you don't heat the space won't you have a good deal of condensation and probably frost inside?
Not if you open a couple of windows and open the
roof fan
When tent camping in the winter you don’t seal up the tent for the same reason

The other nice thing about a FG trailer is that if it snows you don’t have to worry about the trailer collapsing like a tent .

I’ve learned how to adapt to the cold , never learned how to adapt to high heat and humidity so I avoid tropical climates like texas & florida .
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:22 AM   #34
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
...
For the OP I would do one of three things, depending on how long he might camp without power. List in order of increasing cost and safety.
(1) If it's just one or two times, not an ongoing thing, buy a Little Buddy and use the small cylinders. Follow all safety instructions carefully to avoid asphyxiation.
(2) If it will be used regularly without access to power or a means to recharge the battery, install a Wave 3 catalytic heater plumbed to the trailer's LP system. It cam be permanently mounted (if you can find a place that meets all clearance requirements) or used as a freestanding unit on the floor with a quick connect fitting. Again, follow all safety protocols.

Both (1) and (2) are unvented, so in addition to the danger of asphyxiation they will add significant quantities of water vapor (a normal combustion byproduct) to the cabin, and condensation can become a problem. Advantages include quiet, efficient, and no power use.

(3) If it will be used regularly and you can provide a means to recharge the battery, install a vented RV furnace. The Propex is nice but pricey. You might be able to find a used Suburban or Atwood at an RV salvage yard, or you can order a new one. Electronic ignition is nice. Scamp uses a Suburban NT-16SE (16000BTU). All combustion byproducts are vented outside, so very safe. You will need hookups, solar, generator, or a tow vehicle charge line (while driving) to recharge the battery is used more than a night or two at 21 degrees.

For any of these options, you must install and regularly test a full suite of safety detectors (smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane).
100 % AGREE.. it depends on how often and how long you will be in cold weather without power, and your experience and comfort level at cold temps. That is why you are getting differing advice. But this approach is spot on.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:49 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by CarlD View Post
Heat or no heat you will get condensation. People exhale moisture and it is going to condense on any cold surfaces. It you heat the space the condensation will accumulate on the colder exterior surfaces. If you don't heat the space it will condense on every cold surface! The only way to avoid condensation is to remove it from the interior of the structure. You have to ventilate or dehydrate.
Yes, but with unvented propane heat you will get lots more humidity and condensation. Water vapor from combustion is added to water vapor from human respiration.

Using a vented furnace, combined with a radiant barrier over the windows (Reflectix) and a bit of ventilation (we crack the small galley tip-out window) makes for minimum cabin condensation and maximum comfort.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:57 AM   #36
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I completely agree, Jon.

A lot of us (I'm very guilty of this) like to use questions like this to talk about how tough we are, or were, but different people are used to different temps, and different people really have different inherent tolerances for different temps.

I sleep best with a good down comforter and temps between about 35-60. This assumes regular bedding, but good down, not sleeping bags. Any colder and I sleep, but wake up in the fetal position. Any warmer and I don't sleep as well. I love about 55. My dad would sleep all winter in a corner room, with the window cracked open and a stocking cap on.

Backpacking in the mountains, even in August, nighttime temps can hover around freezing, and can definitely get into the twenties later in the season. No problem with a good sleeping bag.

I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about tips for better sleep. The guy mentioned how turning down the temperature to the coldest temp you can tolerate and still sleep well will really help you sleep. He said he settled on 65 degrees Yeah, I definitely wanted to call him up and tell him how not-tough he is. But it works for him.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:59 AM   #37
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Little Buddy heater works great.
Open the roof vent a 1/4" to vent moisture and prevent interior condensation.
Cover the windows with Reflectix since the widows cascade cold when left uncovered and are the greatest source of discomfort in cold weather.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:10 AM   #38
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Very true, Zach.

Cognitive development experts say our frontal cortex, which regulates risk awareness and judgment, doesn’t fully develop until around age 25. Everything I described about “extreme” winter camping happened before then. Looking back I can see I was testing my limits, “proving” my toughness, competing with peers.

Somewhere between 35 and 40 the idea of being deliberately uncomfortable simply to prove I could lost its appeal. Backpacking out of the Grand Canyon in 1998 and realizing I could no longer keep up with the younger members of our group put it to rest for good.

What constitutes “uncomfortable,” of course, varies widely depending on the climate you’re accustomed to, age, health, and other factors
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:38 AM   #39
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Jon,


I was responding to the notion of sleeping with out a heater. We spent a night in our bunky with no heat, when the temps were in the 20s and the whole building was covered with condensation in the morning.


Operating an unvented propane heater releases approximately .8 gallons of water vapor per gallon of propane, producing lots or water vapor. Some web references estimate a person emits about .8 liters per day thru breathing and perspiration. Whether from people or propane you need to ventilate to limit condensation.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:34 PM   #40
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Very true, Zach.

Cognitive development experts say our frontal cortex, which regulates risk awareness and judgment, doesnít fully develop until around age 25. Everything I described about extreme winter camping happened before then, and itís certainly true I was testing my limits, proving my toughness.

Certainly we are all acclimated to different temperatures depending on where we live and, to some extent, our age and health. But somewhere around 40, being deliberately uncomfortable simply to prove I could- to whom I donít know- lost its appeal. It was backpacking out of the Grand Canyon and realizing I could no longer keep up with the younger members of our group that put it to rest for good.
I'm with you Jon. When I was younger, I never worried much about the temps... did what I could to stay warm, but it never stopped me from camping. I've tent-camped in the snow without an external heat-source and didn't think much of it. I was also 16 years old. As a thirty-something I motorcycle-tent camped at Foresta in Yosemite in 35* temps and pouring rain. I was better equipped then; a better tent, a cot with a foam "ground pad" between the cot and sleeping bag. I stayed warm enough... and dry.

Now, as an old-timer, I like my creature comforts... a walk-around Sleep Number matress queen is top on my list, second is heat... and third is air-conditioning. That said, I've been in single-digit temps (not on purpose, mind you) in my B-van... with the propane furnace AND generator and 1,000 watt electric heater going and was only able to keep the interior of the van in the high 50*s. I had a Scamp 16 a few years ago with no amenities... I was able to find a campground in KC in 10* weather and snow and ran TWO electric heaters and managed high 60* temps in the trailer overnight after a significant warm-up period.

Here's what I've learned over the years about staying warm and heating systems in trailers... especially sparsely equipped trailers... the ability to keep them comfort-heated depends as much or more on how they're insulated as what heating systems they have. I had a Burro 17 wide body that had a modicum of fiberglass batting between the interior and exterior... I couldn't keep it warm well at all. It had an over-sized catalytic heater and it was all it could do to keep it warm below 40*. The 16' Scamp, however, with Reflectix and rat fur could be made to stay comfortable by covering the windows and roof vents with Reflectix. Most of the heat loss is through the windows in the Scamps. Some trailer designs (like the Sac City Burros) have door-fit issues that let a LOT of heat out.

So... my suggestion for anyone looking for a solid way to heat their trailer is to understand how their particular brand and model lose heat... and figure out ways to make heat retention better, and then figure out what heat source(s) fits their needs the best. There's a big difference, for example, between just concerning oneself with comfort heat, and trying to keep the RV warm enough for the water systems not to freeze.
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