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Old 03-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #1
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Location: Mohawk Valley of NY
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Upcoming trip south, need advice

Hello all, the RV is getting packed to head to Florida. I thought I knew all the ins and outs or RVing, but virtually all of my RVing is warm weather type at State Parks nere in NY state. Being newly retired,tThis is my first cold weather venture. With nighttime temperatures expected in the teens here in Upstate NY, my Sunseeker 2860 is still winterized.

I had first planned to stop at a couple Cracker Barrels on the way south, I even called ahead to get permission, no problem there. But, since my unit is still winterized and Cracker Barrels close for the night, that means no bathroom facilities.

My second plan was to use Interstate Rest Areas, ones with restrooms. I found one near Grantville, PA and another north of Dunn, NC. I know truckers use these areas, not sure many RVers do though.

My third idea is to research truck stops like Flying J. Not knowing much about them, can one stop there for the night?

Somewhere along the line I'll want to fill up my fresh water tank and dewinterize the unit. Is there typically a water spigot anywhere at rest stops or truck stops like the Flying J? Although my unit has the Arctic Package on the holding tanks, my concern is the water pipes. With temperatures below freezing I'm a little concerned if I dewinterize my unit here at home and travel under those conditions, I could have a problem.

I know many of you travel in cold weather, so any advice will be appreciated!



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Old 03-01-2013, 09:06 PM   #2
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If we don't stopped at a camp ground, we stop a Pilot, Flying J, etc. Some trucker's don't like it, but most don't care. When we've stayed at truck stops, we use our gas heater. Because of that, we travel with water in our fresh water tank (filled at home) and also use our tanks. We have traveled from up north in sub zero temps, staying along the way south, with no problems. Our refer is 120V, our unit has 6 batteries and a 12V inverter for when we are traveling, or on the road between places. Not sure if I would put just any water along the way into my fresh water tank, you don't know what might be in it. That's why when we were up north I would get it ready before we went south. Now the furthest north we go in the winter is Evensville, IN (have kids there, other than that we wouldn't be that far north), and ONLY if we need to. If you use the truck stops, just make sure you follow the signs, markings and give the trucker's the right-of-way, but don't be to shy, if they are moving just go with the flow. Go to the back row of the parking lot, kinda back out of the way. If you are thinking rest area's, you need to check, some states to not allow RV's to park over night, only 2 hour parking. Also the truck stops do have security on the lots, most other places to not. Just some thoughts. Whatever you decide to do, travel safe and have fun!!!

Hope this helps and God bless,


Mike and Judy
Wherever we are parked is our home
2009 - 36RD5S
2007 - Dodge 3500 6.7 Cummins
May God bless
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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When we're just trying to get from here to there in a hurry, we'll often spend the night at a truck stop or at a 24-hour WalMart (here we go!).

Many of the Pilot / Flying J locations have RV parking spaces designated up front, away from the truck area. At a WalMart, we always try to go to the edge of the lot, away from traffic, with the door toward the store and the security cameras. We've never felt unsafe or uneasy at either location.

Until you feel comfortable de-winterizing, you might want to carry a couple of gallons of water with you so that you can use the toilet and have water to flush. At night, if you're concerned about temperatures and your pipes, opening your cabinet doors where pipes are located will help radiant heat get to them.

We're not as comfortable spending the night at a rest area, since most don't have security and there's traffic in and out at all hours. We did stay recently at a rest area on the FL Turnpike on the way to the rally at The Glades. We visited with a State Trooper there, and he assured us that, not only were we OK to be where we were, but that we were also in a good location for him and his partners to keep an eye on us from where they parked near the gas station and restaurant.

By the way, we always try to buy something wherever we stay -- fuel, groceries, breakfast, or whatever else we need. We find that WalMart tends to be the most expensive free "camping" anywhere.

Enjoy the trip!

Bob Byrne
Director, Forest River Owners' Group (FROG)
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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I've found that "Welcome Centers" rest areas along state lines are highly patrolled and have never had any problems.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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We find that WalMart tends to be the most expensive free "camping" anywhere.
Boy isn't that the truth!!
Of all the things I've lost in my life the thing I miss the most is my mind!
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
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If you felt comfortable blowing out your water lines before you leave then freezing temperatures would not be a problem. We've had 5 Motor homes and travel trailers and after the first MH I have not used the antifreeze again. I was never able to get the awful taste out of the system. I tried baking soda and bleach and nothing worked. My morning coffee had an awful. Since about 2000 all I've ever done is blow the water out of the system and I've never had a cracked or broken water line. As suggested carry drinking and flush water until it's warm enough to fill up. Your waste tanks are large enough so freezing temps won't be a problem. If it get really cold stay in a campground for one night and use your tank heaters and furnace. We are in FL now and it's supposed to get into the 30's tonight.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:17 AM   #7
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TeJay, my question was if I de-winterized my unit, would the water freeze in the pipes. It's winterized now and of course not a problem if I were to travel that way.

Thanks everybody for answering, Great information!!
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:41 AM   #8
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We fill plastic jugs ..with water from our house ...that kitty litter comes in..after being washed out with soap and water...fill 3-4 of these.. lay them in the shower area...the after noon before we leave for Florida ..if...its cold (temp dropped to 18 for us ) plug in a electric space heater if posssible our 5ver is in our driveway at home.. i dont de-winterize until after passing Atlanta..stayed at a reason not to pull into a Walmart..or flying J /pilot

2014 Crusader 325 TE....2012.. F 250.. Supercab XLT, 4x2 , diesel....days camped 2011 ... 28.... days camped 2012...115 ... days camped 2013...155...2014...171 and counting
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