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Old 10-27-2012, 04:43 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12
Winter Camping

My history involves tent camping for over 30 years, including winter boondock camping.
This was my first time winter boondock camping in my 2013 camper. I spent 3 nights and 2 days boondocking in Central Alberta, just east of the Rocky Mountains. Temperatures ranged from -5C (23F) to -15C (5F) and it snowed 5cm (2") the first day. I used a Champion 3000w generator to charge the camper battery and my electronics batteries. And for the drip coffee maker, lol.
On the first night I had some battery issues. I hadn't used the camper for a couple months and I had not maintained the battery. So even with driving 6 hours to my eventual boondock location, the battery was not charged enough to run the furnace fan for the night. I had the thermostat set to 10C (50F). However,the battery did not die on the 2nd or 3rd nights. I was pleasently surprised.
There was some water drops from the peak of the camper that dripped. This occurred on the 2nd day when I attempted to conserve propane by leaving the furnace off for a few hours and then useed the furnace to warm up the camper. There waasn't much water, but that would depend on a variety of conditions; outside temp, humidity, how cold you allow the camper to get.
The floor never warms up, except right by the furnace. Carpeted floor mats help with cold floor. Also bring slippers. I also used quite a few toe and hand warmers, the ones you shake to activate.
The humidity level would get very high when I boiled water on the stove, and when making coffee. I opened the fantastic fan vent and turned the fan on to help exhaust the moisture. It helped but also immediately dropped the temperature throughout the camper. I suggest also bringing a few long burning candles to help with humidity.
Being by myself, I used the bed and never set up the table. When I first purchased the camper, I saw it had a heated mattress. I scoffed. Well no more! The heated mattress was a nice touch. Not necesssary, but nice. I left it plugged in so whenever I ran the generator, the mattress warmed. I had it set on high the whole time and the mattress never became hot, just toasty, so that was nice.
I saved energy by not having to run the fridge! If I were to give up any appliance it would be the microwave. The only time it has been used is in the summer when my daughter wanted to warm up a baby bottle.
I have my own portable fire pit that leaves no footprint. See pics.
With my Jeep I had no problem pulling the camper through any road conditions and I was pleasantly surprised at the ground clearance. The self actuating brakes we a thing of beauty, keeping the camper behind me at all times without and fishtails, even once locking up the Jeep on ice to avoid a jaywalking deer.
That's my first winter camping report.
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2013 Forest River Flagstaff A122BH
2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
Champion 3000W Generator
easydoesitron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2012, 05:12 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Omaha,Nebraska
Posts: 205
Winter camping can be fun and very challengeing at times.
Haven't winter camped in years myself, seems to be no time anymore. That will will change with retirement around the corner.
Glad you had a good and safe trip.

2016 Forest River Surveyor 201RBS
2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 4.3L
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 835
Great pictures, Ron. Yes, condensation makes us realize that we're creatures of mostly water. Going through southeast Alaska and British Columbia this summer, things inside never really got dry. Wasn't until we hit Alberta and later Montana that the camper finally dried out completely.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!
Lee, WU0V, and Courtenay, N0ZDT
2011 Rockwood A128
2000 Silverado 1500 pickup
60W solar system
2000W inverter generator
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