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Old 09-07-2008, 07:49 PM   #1
Cardinal 04 31LE
 
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Cool / Cold Weather Camping

I recently purchased a used Cardinal 31LE Fifth Wheel. The previous owners told me the unit had upgrades to accomodate cold weather camping. Conditions below freezing) The owners manual really doesn't have much detail. I see the underbelly is fairly well sealed with a geotextile type fabric.
How do I determine if in fact I can camp during periods that overnight temps will go below freezing without having major issues. I am not planning to camp in very cold climates, however, camping when it is 25 - 32 degrees may not be out of the question. Any suggestions or comments?
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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The only camper that I know of that is actually set up for cold climits is the Arctic Fox, as far as any other I am sure it would have to be prep for cold weather. When the temps reach 45 derees I am done, because the Rockwood will not stay warm.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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A four season camper would have tank heaters to keep the drain valves in particular from freezing up. You might look for those. Of course the Georgia definition of four season might be different from Minnesota or North Dakota.

I spent a lot of time, duct tape and "Great Stuff" sealing up all the drafty holes I could find in my Rockwood 5th wheel, and still am not done finding them all. Sealing up the leaks and poorly insualted spots also helps with the AC in hot weather. I'm looking forward to camping in cooler weather, but when the city water hose starts freezing up it might be do-able, but not much fun. Plus many of my favorite spots will be closed.

I would consider a "Buddy Heater" or the half priced knock off you can get at Home Depot or other such stores, and also an electric heater to bring along. RV furnaces are truely gas hogs, so be sure your LP tanks are full up before you go. And those foam things you stuff up into your vents help in hot and cold weather.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:42 AM   #4
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We've camped in 8F weather. Nothing froze and the unit stayed nice and warm. Our unit has the enclosed underbelly and the tanks are heated by ducting off the furnace. Keep that in mind if you run an auxilliary heater. Your furnace needs to run enough to keep the enclosed areas above freezing. The dump valves are enclosed in the underbelly and are cable opeated so they won't freeze. Check for those things and for electrically heated tanks. We fill the fresh water tank and unhook & drain the hose when it goes below 32F so we don't have to fight that.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
Cardinal 04 31LE
 
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Hey, thanks for the info. Sounds like I may take Rockwood06 approach and not risk the cool weather weekends! My waste tanks are exposed and I really don't think they are heated in any fashion. Will check more. Anyone else with comments or suggestions?
This forum is great! Although I don't reply a lot, I log in almost daily and learn something! Take care and have a great time RVing!
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:20 AM   #6
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If you can see your holding tanks, unless they and the dump valves/piping are electrically heated your unit isn't set up for cold weather camping. While I wouldn't worry about 30F or even 25F for a couple hours anything lower than that is likely to cause you problems.

If you're serious about camping in the cold you can add the underbelly cover and an additional duct off your furnace or electric heating to the tanks/plumbing to make it more cold friendly.

I love camping in the cool weather. I know that probably sounds funny coming from a guy from South Alabama. but we really do. We usually camp either Thanksgiving or Christmas somewhere in the mountains.
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:02 PM   #7
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You can always protect your city water supply by adding a heat tape to it. The holding tanks usually will not freeze if the temp drops below freezing overnight but I would not trust them for an extended time unless they are heated. Ours (Cedar Creek )are both heated and enclosed with cable operated valves. WE use a ceramic heater for comfort but leave our furnace on about 60 so that if the temp drops the furnace will come on. Ours also has the Artic package with extra insulation.

Happy camping

Steve
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:16 AM   #8
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The Cherokee lasts until 10 degrees C (at nights) then it is time to pack it up (2 weeks ago for me)
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:17 AM   #9
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Wow, 10C, that's just getting good to me. A good campfire sure feels nice at that temp. Now -10C, that's a whole nuther animal. I'm in the house with the furnace running full tilt. Of course, I haven't seen -10 in a long time. Heck it only gets to 0C a couple days a year here.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:20 PM   #10
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We ordered our camper with double insulation in floor and cieling, they cram exra firberglass in both we also ordered tank heaters that do include the elbows on the drains.

We have not tried them yet and with my wife having a minor operation we may not this year.
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