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Old 12-07-2019, 10:10 AM   #1
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Cold weather camping

Question for campers from the frozen north:
I have lived in south Florida all of my life and never camped in freezing weather. This year we are taking our A214HW to North Carolina and Virginia for Christmas. Is there anything I should know or do to prepare for 10 days where the nights are in the 20ís?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:56 AM   #2
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Make sure you have a space heater, the heat pump is useless below 45*F, or have extra propane tanks along because you'll go thru a 20#er over night when running the furnace.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ortep View Post
Make sure you have a space heater, the heat pump is useless below 45*F, or have extra propane tanks along because you'll go thru a 20#er over night when running the furnace.

Many campgrounds are now requiring you to disconnect your water hose during freezing conditions. Unless you have a expensive heated hose this is a good idea. Fill your fresh water tank when you arrive and use for night time flushing, or if your tank is sanitized properly for whatever purpose you desire. Be sure to open your cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate around your water pump (if feasible) and piping. And above all else, if you plan to use your propane furnace, stove or oven CHECK your Carbon Monoxide Detector and confirm it works properly.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:23 PM   #4
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Bring your hose inside, mine took 1/2 day to thaw once.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFlacamper View Post
Question for campers from the frozen north:
I have lived in south Florida all of my life and never camped in freezing weather. This year we are taking our A214HW to North Carolina and Virginia for Christmas. Is there anything I should know or do to prepare for 10 days where the nights are in the 20ís?
From living in and growing up in North Carolina and Virginia:
  • there is usually a Jan/early Feb thaw, where temps are above freezing for about 2 weeks
  • in Northern Virginia, there is also a Dec or Jan freeze, where ponds freeze over enough for ice skating for about a week or two.
  • shade and actual location make a big difference in actual temps and water freezing. Cape Hatteras is a lot warmer than the Smokies. So specific locations help.
From camping in my A-frames in Colorado and Wyoming year round (don't go when it's snowing or roads are snow-packed):
  • If you don't have shore power, a full battery is good for 2 nights running the heater set at 55-60 degrees. I have 2 GC-2 batteries to get 4 nights dry camping. The A-frame heater is smaller than many, so propane lasts longer than in a TT. I get about a year (12 nights in the 40s) from a 20lb tank. Thermostat at 60.
  • carry bottled water inside the camper/tow vehicle. Most campgrounds shut off their water systems and/or your hose will freeze. Water tank will likely not freeze. Feed hose from tank to inside camper is the first item to freeze - actually, outside drain hose from sink to gray water bucket and gray water bucket water freeze first, but that really doesn't matter. We seldom use our sink for more than brushing teeth.
  • use the hot water heater during freezing temps. I use the outside shower as my hot water source for washing dishes in cold weather. Helps keeps the outside shower from freezing overnight.
  • as long as you are getting 40s during the day, 20s at night won't hurt anything.
just our experiences
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:54 PM   #6
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Forgot to mention condensation. Humans, dogs, and the inside-the-camper stove all put a significant amount of moisture into the air inside the camper. When said moist air contacts a cold surface (windows and even walls)), the moisture condenses into water droplets. This is worse in tents than in an A-frame.

The cure is to have a LITTLE bit of air flow at all times. I crack the vent and the window beside me on the bed (so DW doesn't complain) to gain that airflow. Seems counter-intuitive, but your A-frame will actually feel warmer if there's no condensation to make things damp and/or wet.

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Old 12-09-2019, 05:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the extremely helpful information. This Florida boy might freeze but I won't let my water hose do the same!

Keith D.
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