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Old 02-15-2015, 06:47 PM   #1
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How to camp in the winter?

I have a camper that is not setup at all for winter camping. The bottom is not enclosed and I don't have tank heaters. But from what I have read, even with those things there are limits to winter camping. But from what I am seeing on the roads it sure doesn't seem like it. I just drove back to Georgia from Atlanta and saw tons of class A's, class C's, travel trailers and 5vers heading north. And they are heading into some extreme cold tonight.

So are many of these campers truly capable of sub-freezing temps or are they dry camping?

2014 Sunseeker 2860DS
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #2
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They are (NOT Sub Zero Units),the rest you will have to ask them! Youroo!!

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Old 02-15-2015, 07:18 PM   #3
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My old TT wasn't truly extreme cold rated, exposed belly and tanks, not the best wall insulation. I camped in the 20's a few times and didn't experience the tanks freezing, including the hose from the fresh tank, but I killed the LP running the heater trying to keep up. Two full tanks sucked dry in less than a week.

Now with my 5er, I was camping in the mid teens and had no issues keeping the interior 50* or more. There have been a lot of improvements in insulation even in the lower end units so I imagine they'll be OK for the most part.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:33 PM   #4
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the cold weather/arctic packages help, but i wouldnt count on them below -15c/5f in ideal conditions.

if your dry camping, theirs not much to worry about other than winterizing the unit prior

I live in my trailer year round, with just the tank heaters i had no problems down to that -15c ballpark, a little cooler if their was zero wind. below that i would experience freezup of the cold water feed to the hot water tank and the valve for the kitchen grey water tank would freeze.

I couldnt justify the ~$6500 price tag for the custom insulated canvas skirting(though it is really nice!), so i whacked together some 1x2 frames with 2" rigid foam (R10) which was about $300 in material. Its not the prettiest (i didnt even paint it, so sue me) but with a little 600w electric heater under there i havent had a single issue and have seen -42c (-54c windchill)
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:41 AM   #5
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Depends on where you are, and Georgia isn't a bad place for winter camping. Here in North Carolina, we camp all winter, often in the teens for a few hours at night but hardly ever do we get sustained temperatures below freezing for days on end. If that happens, we stay home.

On a previous camper we had an open underbelly and no tank heaters. Our mechanics talked us out of buying them, saying that it's no problem for the tank contents to freeze as long as there is room in the tanks for expansion. Of course, you can't dump frozen tanks. But again, we never camp when temps won't be getting above freezing the following day. And we put a lot of warm contents into both tanks in the normal course of things. We're talking hot water from showers and 98.6 for other deposits.

We have had our fresh water hose freeze because we forgot to unhook and drain it on a freezing night. Now we have a heated hose, but that won't keep the campground faucet from freezing. We've almost never had that happen, but I'm sure it does up north.

In many locales, you can enjoy winter camping even if the temps drop into the teens for a few hours overnight as they do in the South sometimes. But with the weather like it is now, it's simply too cold to be outside setting up a camper or taking it down.

We've never had a weather-related problem (other than the temporarily frozen water hose) in 10 years of winter camping in our region, but others may have had different results. The campgrounds down here stay open all year, and we've woke up a couple of times with a few inches of snow on the ground outside the camper. That's always fun as long as you don't have to move. Wait a day, and the snow is usually gone.

As others said, you can burn a lot of propane in cold temps, but that can be supplemented with an electric heater to lower the propane use.
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The world is a great book, of which those who never stir from home
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Old 02-16-2015, 02:33 PM   #6
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I was in it last week in the teens. Dry camping and 30amp running two electric heaters, propane intermittently, and electric blanket at night. Kept it in the 60s inside.
Roy and Gail with Rosie and Toby lucky dogs
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:45 PM   #7
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We just go home earlier today, we went out for the long weekend yesterday was cold, today is very cold, windy and raining. We had the arctic pack on, and the fire place on. We drain all the tanks and blow out the lines, and leave the faucets open.
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:24 PM   #8
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We're on the road since Jan 11 from NEPA and have had a few nights in the teens with our 2014 flagstaff 5er, including 8" overnight snow in Ruidoso, NM! Only problem was frozen hose (in Ruidoso). This also is camping......all comfortable and loving it! Tank heaters and aux heater helps (especially when both propane tanks ran out---my bad)!
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:28 PM   #9
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Enjoy the adventure!
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The world is a great book, of which those who never stir from home
read only a page. - St. Augustine
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:31 PM   #10
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We camp in the winter, by living on the West Coast!
in fact, we're 2 weeks into a 6 week camping trip. Currently, it's 80 degrees where we are today.
tomorrow we're starting our coastal 4 week leg of the trip, back to Washington.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Dan-Retired Firefighter/EMT
Shawn-Musician/Entrepreneur/Wine Expert
and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
'07 Roo 23SS pushing an '07 Chevy Avalanche
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