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Old 10-07-2014, 03:45 PM   #1
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Boondocking in late November, any concerns?

well not 100% boondocking, I'll be plugged into a 20a breaker which will be enough to let me run my furnace. Never camped this late in the season before, but it looks like I might be taking a trip in my Salem to the mountains in late November, where temps will be below freezing. I'll have enough electric to run my furnace and will keep the water heater lit, I think the fresh water tank is in heated environment...are there any concerns I need to be aware of? Should only be for 4-5 days, and I'll have an extra tank of propane as running my furnace really goes thru it. I'll have to put off winterizing until I get back I guess...
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
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We don't get much in the way of freezing here. Heck...it's just now camping weather. Last Feb, my wife and in-laws took our trailer out for a week (I decided to stay home and work). We got a pretty good freeze...around 25 deg. I think...cold for here. I had them disconnect from city water at night and half fill the water tank to use for toilet and sink during that time. Had no problems since everything was more or less enclosed. I was most worried about the city water hose.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #3
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If the trailer has an enclosed underbelly, then the furnace ducting should keep the tanks from freezing if just in the 20s, but the teens might be a concern.

But what do you do about the exposed lines below the enclosed underbelly, like the dump valves and low point drains ?? For this ol' boy, I wrap those puppies with rope lites, and hopefully that will keep them from freezing.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:07 PM   #4
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this will be my 1st experience camping this cold. last year, one morning was 7 degrees but we stayed in a hotel so it wasn't an issue, except my diesel truck was not happy... subsequent days warmed to the 20's then the 30's. underbelly of the trailer is enclosed so hopefully it'll be OK.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:11 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry about the dump valves too much. Those are mostly straight run pipes back to the tanks. P traps in the sinks...if those freeze, you have other issues at that point. If something were to freeze at the valves, it should expand back into the pipe and just push the liquid into the tanks. I would think wind chill would be the biggest issue. I'd wrap it in something...maybe just a towel to keep the wind off. Might be able to find something in the way of insulation at Lowe's or somewhere. Low points could be wrapped with pipe insulation.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:51 PM   #6
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At many PA state parks they go to hibernate by October 15. Bathrooms closed, water closed, dump stations closed. What good is hitting them in late November?
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:59 AM   #7
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Wind chill "can" be an issue for dump valves and such, but I'm regularly in much colder ambient temperatures and have never had any problem. As long as your underbelly is enclosed and the furnace is on you should be golden.

When I say an issue with dump valves.. it's not that there is damage by expanding ice.. just the valves may ice shut.. but nothing permanent. As long as you don't try to bang on them to break up the ice. LOL

Remember that as poorly insulated as most rigs are.. all that nice heat from your furnace is also radiating out to all parts of your rig.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:22 AM   #8
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I don't see your rig posted. I have a 35 ft 5er. We were in lower, northern Michigan for our(Canadian) Thanksgiving earlier this month and it was chilly. We went through 2, 30 gallon propane tanks in 10 days of dry camping. The furnace ran more than normal because we had our 2 yr. old grandson with us. The windows had condensation on them every morning. Never checked inside the cupboards for condensation but there was some probably. It didn't get below freezing so didn't worry about anything freezing up. My 5er has tank heating pads as well but I have never used them. Another pea for the pot.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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Not a meteorologist, but I don't think wind chill has anything to do with this - it is only a gauge of how cold we "feel". Air temp is the only number to worry about. Is anyone with more credentials able to confirm or refute this thought?
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:34 AM   #10
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Been there done that. I don't worry to much with dump valves, my 5r has a bottom wrap. I do carry two extra hoses (drained) for water. I have had one blow out. I also use ceramic heaters you need to pay attention to the freshwater pump area. Mine refused to run one crisp morning. Rasied the RV thermostst to 80, warmed her up, and it worked. I also run a dehumidifier for the cooler/cold seasonal camping times. With ceramic heaters condensation is drawn into the RV and puddling forms on the windws and drips on the slider walls. Dehumidifiers are worth the pease of mind for mold. We love walking dogs on those crisp mornings. Have a great time..
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