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Old 05-16-2017, 03:10 PM   #1
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Name: chaco
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cold weather camping advice needed

I heading for Yellowstone Nat Park June 5-8 & weather might get down to 30 degrees. Any one out there who's tried rv anti freeze in black & grey holding tanks? Or should I dry camp? Advice would be appreciated!

Looking at 12 volt pipe heaters https://www.oemheaters.com/category/...4-volt-heaters

Don't know if battery would be dead by morning or not?

chaco
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:06 PM   #2
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Stolen from another forum...,
https://www.fmca.com/polks-top-7/281...her-rving.html
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:44 PM   #3
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If the temp only gets down to 30 at night, you won't need any antifreeze. The first thing that would have a problem would likely be the water lines, and even they won't for a few hours at 30 degrees. Freezing a holding tank would take an extended time below freezing.

I winterize my trailer every year with RV antifreeze in the traps and it works fine. In my case, I blow the water lines out with a compressor and I realize you can't do that while camping. I have stayed in it during the winter and the first problem was the cold water supply (shore tie) line to the trailer. Next, I'm sure, would be the internal water lines where exposed to the cold.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:12 PM   #4
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I've never worried about winterizing. I don't know what kind of a trailer you have but at a low of 30 I certainly wouldn't worry about it. We camped in TX when the lows got down to 5 and highs in the teens for about 4 days. We were camping and didn't have any water problems. I have a pretty minimal system in my Scamp, no toilet no hot water heater, no black water tank. Just the inside fresh water tank and a gray water tank. Since the fresh water and plastic tubing are inside no problems with that. I never let the trailer inside get below 45F. The gray water tank with it's soapy dish water has a lower freezing point and with a large amount of water it aint gonna freeze for several days of really cold weather.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:51 AM   #5
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I agree that the overnight temperature of 30 isn't a problem and I've already camped this year a couple of nights at 27. I've found that my water lines don't freeze until it gets down around the low 20's. if it's warmer in the daytime you should be fine. However, I would strongly suggest that you try to get a campsite with electricity and purchase a small electric heater. The fan in your furnace can run down the battery pretty quickly.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:05 AM   #6
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Yeah, 30 is no problem. I've been mostly in my camper since the first of April. I think the lowest overnight temp I've seen was 20. I let the heat run during the night, on the lowest setting (about 49 in my camper). It will draw down the battery, but if you have a solar panel, generator, or can charge by hooking up to your truck, it won't be a big deal. If you're fully charged and only camping for two nights between charges, you won't drain the battery unless you're running a lot of electrical stuff, or still have incandescent bulbs.

But in the 30s or high 20s you don't even need to run the heat during the night. Nothing should freeze.

For me, the bigger annoyance/concern with lows in the 30s is everything in my fridge freezing. I hate losing a shopping trip worth of veggies to one cold night...If it's going to be 40 or below, I shut off my fridge before I go to bed, and turn it back on in the morning.

In the mountains where I live, there's a lot of "fridge management" going on. The temperature differences are so large between day and night, I have to watch the inside temp of the fridge closely and modify the settings. A 30-40 degree temperature swing between day and night is pretty common. I can be cranking the fridge during the day, just keeping it in the safe zone, then turn it down to the lowest setting at night and wake up to lettuce frozen solid. Annoying...
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #7
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In addition, in cold weather I'm a little concerned about the use of propane to keep my heater on. Recently, I came across this idea of turning windows (and screen door) into storm windows with this product, Shrink Window Insulation Kit. Frost King E/O 84 in. x 110 in. Patio Shrink Window Insulation Kit-V76H - The Home Depot Find it at Home Depot and other places. Check out the installation video on the Home Depot website. When we lived in Boston transforming our windows into storm windows worked magic! I'm going to try this on our trip starting in Anchorage, Alaska in a rental RV. If you cover the screen door front and back you can keep your outside door open during daylight to let in the sun thereby warming the interior. Brilliant, IMHO!




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Old 05-17-2017, 11:52 AM   #8
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In our trip back to CA from New Orleans at the end of February along I-40 it got colder than I expected. With our Scamp 16 we did not have trouble unless the night temp got down to 20F. Then the propane pressure regulator would freeze up and the propane shut off (water in the propane?) and the unheated city water hose froze the night we had water hookup and the temp got to 20.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougOlson View Post
In our trip back to CA from New Orleans at the end of February along I-40 it got colder than I expected. With our Scamp 16 we did not have trouble unless the night temp got down to 20F. Then the propane pressure regulator would freeze up and the propane shut off (water in the propane?) and the unheated city water hose froze the night we had water hookup and the temp got to 20.
Your propane problem was probably just a combination of cold temp and high flow demand. As the propane boils in the tank during gas delivery it refrigerates the tank. If the ambient temp is already low, and the flow demand is high enough, the tank pressure can drop to a point that it won't flow sufficiently. There should absolutely never be any water associated with propane and it's so unlikely that there would be any. But, of course, the regulator and the tank can condense moisture from the air during high demand and become wet on the outside.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:06 PM   #10
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thanks for all of your advice. Yellowstone will be in the 60's during the day and near freezing at night. Sounds like we can do it. I was concerned about busting the gray water tank. turning off frig at night is a good idea too. If I had a solar cell, I might consider the 12V pipe heaters. https://www.oemheaters.com/product/7...pe-heating-kit
If anyone has used one let me know.
Chaco
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:30 PM   #11
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I have heard there are different propane requirements for cold and warm weather areas, much like higher power starters made for cold-weather states or things similar to that. So possibly a tank filled in a southern state might not fare so well in cold temps? This is just what someone at a propane shop told me once, so I can't say for sure. They weren't going to make any money off me by giving me that info, it just came up somehow.

Being up in the north, I've never had a problem with my propane shutting off. I've run appliances down into the mid teens with no issues.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:36 PM   #12
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A full water tank is a big heat sync and will transfer heat to the water in the pipes connected to it and into the area it is located in.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:53 PM   #13
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We camped in Yellowstone a couple of years ago in late sept. We had snow in Spearfish, south Dakota in mid sept. We had lows of the high 20s in the early hours before daylight. We have a black, grey and fresh water tanks on our scamp 16. We had no problems but a good deal of anxious worries. Most of what I read online is that you need a number of hours at about 25 degrees to cause problems. My reading mentioned problems caused by closed faucets that didn't allow the water to move during expansion. With the pump turned off, it's no problem to leave the valves open. We had no problems with lows of of 28 - 30 degrees. I installed the tanks and plumbing on our scamp. Some PVC but everything 3/4" and smaller is hose which is very forgiving of ice.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
I agree that the overnight temperature of 30 isn't a problem and I've already camped this year a couple of nights at 27. I've found that my water lines don't freeze until it gets down around the low 20's. if it's warmer in the daytime you should be fine. However, I would strongly suggest that you try to get a campsite with electricity and purchase a small electric heater. The fan in your furnace can run down the battery pretty quickly.

I never use "electricity" also known as shore power. I don't have a problem with the battery running down. A good battery will power the little the furnace draws for several days. Don't be mislead.
I keep the inside of the trailer around 45F at night and 65F day time.
As for me I refuse to pay an extra $10 to $20 per night for electricity.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:33 AM   #15
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Varmint, Good idea to turn off pump & open valves. I'm like Bryon when it comes to Paying extra at campgrounds. I love using my senior pass at Federal campgrounds!
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:22 AM   #16
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camping in the cold

I'm currently camping outside Rocky Mountain National Park. You may have heard it's be unseasonably cold here. . .in the 20s at night. I disconnected my hose from campground water and am using my fresh water tank. (I also use the campground facilities to limit camper water used.) I have a little ceramic heater (with adjustable temp setting) that I leave running all night with sink door open to allow heat to get around pipes. I only have a 13' Scamp so it heats up the whole camper nicely overnight. No propane required. I've had no problems with anything freezing. . .

PS - I'll be in Yellowstone the same time as you. . .hope it's warmer there than it is here!
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:49 AM   #17
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I've run my furnace when camping in temps as low as -17 Deg F
without any problems. The refrigerator is a different story so we just shut it off if temp are too low.
To conserve the battery we set the furnace to 50 deg at night.
If your sleeping and have a good blanket , there is no need to maintain 70 deg in the trailer all night , just crank the temp up in the morning and in a few minutes it's comfortable inside the trailer.
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