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Old 04-01-2015, 11:33 AM   #1
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How cold is too cold for camping?

In frantic anticipation of taking delivery of our new Grey Wolf 26dbh any day now, we've been kicking around the idea of making our maiden voyage to a year 'round campground in Breckenridge Colorado for the brew fest on 4/11. Previously, we've camped in our pup with overnight temps down to the low teens and have woke up with snow on the ground. But the water tank in our pup was inside the box under the dinette seat and the waste tank for the cassette toilet was inside the box as well and we never had a problem with the freezing temps.

So it might be an impossible question to answer, but how cold is too cold for a TT? This time of year in Beautiful Breckenridge, we see daytime highs near 50f and overnight lows down to the mid 20's. Is there anything that I should be concerned about camping in a TT in these temps? For a short 2-night trip where we would only be sleeping in the TT and not spending much time in it, we could live without running water if need be.
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:52 PM   #2
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If you can live without running water, I say go for it! Just prepare to run the propane heat a lot and have an empty propane tank when you return - you'll probably burn though a 20gal tank in a single weekend trying to keep the heat in.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:15 PM   #3
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If you can live without running water, I say go for it! Just prepare to run the propane heat a lot and have an empty propane tank when you return - you'll probably burn though a 20gal tank in a single weekend trying to keep the heat in.
Good point but I think you mean 20-pound tank. Propane tanks are sized according to how many pounds of propane they can hold and are made in 20, 30, 40 or 100 pound sizes for vertical installations. A 20# bottle holds 4.7 gallons. Therefore a "20gal tank", if one existed, would hold 85 pounds of propane plus the tank itself would probably weight 60 lbs or more. Imagine a couple of those strapped to the tongue!

Nevertheless, I don't burn propane for heat when I've paid to have shore power at a site. YMMV, but I've never understood why people insist to burn money using propane and put wear and tear on an expensive appliance when they can heat electrically with inexpensive space heaters.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
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Why worry about running water? Hook it up and use it. If you're heating the inside of the camper your water lines won't freeze. They're inside. Your fresh water hose might freeze. Unless you have a heated one, unhook and drain the hose at bedtime and hook it up again the next morning.

With highs around 50 and overnight lows in the mid-20's, I don't think you have anything at all to worry about. We often camp in those conditions, and even into the teens, and we'll typically use a 30-pound tank of propane in a little under a week. To cut down on that, you can add a small ceramic electric heater.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:37 PM   #5
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Good point but I think you mean 20-pound tank.
Correct, thats what I meant.


Just be careful with electric space heaters, they can be dangerous (as I am sure other things can be dangerous as well) if not used properly.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:57 PM   #6
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Why worry about running water? Hook it up and use it. If you're heating the inside of the camper your water lines won't freeze. They're inside. Your fresh water hose might freeze. Unless you have a heated one, unhook and drain the hose at bedtime and hook it up again the next morning.
Thanks for the feedback... that is what I'm looking for! I didn't think about that- using city water and just disconnecting it at night. I suppose anything in the grey and black tanks would defrost before dumping... assuming you could freeze a turd? I've heard of people polishing them! I think the key is that it's not a hard freeze this time of year... dipping below freezing for a couple hours at night probably isn't enough to cause any damage even if the coach isn't heated.
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:42 PM   #7
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I second the post on electric heaters. Most today are "turn off when tipped over", but the wiring of the trailer circuit may not be sufficient to carry the load. And breakers don't always break. Consider an electric blanket and sweaters. Seriously. I lived on a boat for a couple of years just outside of D.C., and it was fine.
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:01 PM   #8
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I have been living in my 284BH since August. It has the cold weather package with the floor insulated. I have a small radiator style electric heater with a timer set to come on around 4PM and turn off around 10. I went to a RV show in January and picked up a heated water hose (electric) rated to -40. The $100 investment was worth every penny. I am working in South Carolina but near the mountains so it was always windy and got down close to single digits a few times over the winter. My propane heater had vents through the floor so it kept the floor and internal piping from freezing. I still opened all the cabinet doors where the water lines ran to the sinks. My camper has a switch to turn on the propane side of the electric water heater. It makes a big difference warming up the hot water. I was fortunate the land owner for the lot I am renting had a 100lb propane tank. It lasts close to a month where the 20 lb tank (the 284BH has two) would last a week with auxiliary electric heat and a few days without it. My electric heater had three settings on it. I typically kept it on the lowest setting except when it was single digits. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:26 PM   #9
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I've been down to MINUS TEN with my Arctic Pak. You wouldn't want to do this without an Arctic Pak. Need to keep your holding tanks warm.

If you are 30 amp, you can run your water heater on Propane and then run two space heaters inside the coach. That's what I do. But as said before, expect to run out of propane in two days.
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:28 PM   #10
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I'd be very careful about running two space heaters on the same circuit. Check the load on the circuit and then how much max load the two heaters would add.
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