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Old 09-25-2009, 08:54 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 14
Winter camping and mods....

This may be better suited for the Mods forum, but it kinda fits here too. I'm trying to figure out the best way to configure my camper for camping in snowbound regions (ie. ski season). I have an SVT-304. It has an enclosed belly, but we all know that's my no means insulated. I'm wanting to have full use of water/tanks, etc, so I was thinking of adding a second furnace and some insulation to the belly to keep the water lines/tanks from freezing. Also, this allows for protection while on the road as well being that it can run off 12v unlike heat tape (I know tank heaters are 120/12 if you get them that way.). Along with the furnace I would put self-regulating heat tape on any lines that extend from the outside of the belly on arrival to keep them open. Has anyone done anything like this? Am I thinking along the correct lines here or am I doing overkill? I don't want to overspend on this, but do want to make (as sure as I can, anyway) sure I don't wind up with a popcicle.

Anyone's experiences or ideas are greatly appreciated. This is our first year to attempt this so I'm trying to keep from realizing the hard way we forgot something.



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Old 09-28-2009, 06:47 AM   #2
Head Rambler
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 3,296
How cold do you want to protect from?

We've camped in 8F and didn't have a problem. We've camped below freezing several times and not had a problem. Our underbelly has a 1/2" layer of styrofoam laying on top of it and the floor is insulated. Extra insulation against the underbelly skin would be a good investment and maybe heat tape on the exposed pipes etc. Don't forget to insulate the outside shower. I cut a piece of 1" thick styrofoam and fit it in the door of ours. Be prepared to burn through a lot of propane and you're going to need 120v power from somewhere to keep the batteries charged because the furnace will drain them pretty quickly. Also don't plan on using the city water connection. Insulate it with one of those faucet covers. Use your hose to fill the fresh water tank as needed and keep the hose drained.

Salem 29RKSS Pushing a 2500 Mega-Cab CTD!
Gotta go campin!
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 14
Well, the temps vary, but for the most part, lows should be above 0 and highs in the mid-20s. We are renting a 100 gal propane tank while we are there and will have full hookups so battery charging shouldn't be a problem. We camped in lows of 20-24 this summer in Wyoming and Colorado with no problems but the highs were always above freezing. I just want to make sure I don't have frozen lines when I arrive from driving through the cold below freezing air as well as anything freezing up while we are there. I figured added insulation in the belly would be a good investment. We did the same as you this summer for our water....just keeping the fresh tank full and the hose empty. Just wasn't sure about keepng everything unfrozen while on the road which is why I was thinking the extra furnace...but I could definitely be overengineering the job. Heat tape on the external parts will definitely be a requirement. I'm also going to take the hose and shower head off the outside shower and insulate that.

How long did you guys camp in that kinda of cold? Was it above freezing during the day or always below freezing?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Nights camped in 2010: 39
Nights camped in 2009: 31

2008 Ram MegaCab Hemi
Reese Dual-Cam WD Hitch
2009 Surveyor 304
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