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Old 01-10-2016, 10:24 PM   #1
KnP
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2016 Mini Lite model 2306 cold weather camping

We just bought this camper and wonder about cold weather.

Was ordered with heated tanks, and seems to be the drain pipes has some sort of heating element attached to them.

One of our biggest question is about how cold can we go with as "shipped configuration" Seen in many sites some about skirts and things of that nature. Perhaps this question has been beat to death but since we got a 2016 model might be a different approach (newer tech?).

We want to take it to Colorado Springs in Feb for the Mardi Gras (we go up there once of a while for it; wacky place to visit). Been stationed in Ft Carson (my Army days), it gets pretty nippy up there. Also, thinking on going to Copper Mountain and Frisco during the same time.

Seen on different sites people skirting their trailer, also, using electric heaters if they find a campground with electric hook ups (to save on propane and battery power).

Forest River does not provide a very thorough manual; is pretty vague on telling how to operate things and what they are capable of. Is a mixed bag of manufacture manuals depending on what appliance you want to operate. All have different styles of writing and is pretty much a mess.

One idea that I was wondering to implement is installing a belly pan. used a lot to streamline vehicles (saves fuel) and the same token, a "portable skirt" for the winter period. Do not want to embark on such project if not need it.

Before we do a trip over there and find that was a bad idea. I will like to hear you guys opinions, experiences, tips and tricks. Perhaps I am over reacting but I rather learn from others when I am not familiarized with some.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:08 PM   #2
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Realize that you bought an ultralight TT, which are not equipped for real cold weather.
FR doesn't make any 4 season RVs.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:24 PM   #3
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Your first Q was How cold as shipped,that is Easy (Above 32Deg F) for short periods of time! Colder than that ,use NO water,and have your water system Winterized! Have Lots of propane and Lots of 12v power,or be hooked to i20v shore power! Take a Elect.heater also to Help cut down on Propane use,this Only applies if you have 120V! Youroo!!
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:49 PM   #4
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yes, most "as-shipped" units, regardless of model are not reliable for sub zero temperatures. Im not familiar with that particular model, sounds like youve got tank heaters and some elbow heaters (maybe some valve strips too). That stuff is all cool to avoid damage in the black/grey water but what about the fresh water?

Even in these XLRs, with enclosed bellys, their just isnt alot to keep the fresh water lines from freezing up. Im typically good to around -10c as long as its not really windy. beyond that its hit and miss, i prefer to get my skirting up once temps start to dip beyond freezing at night. i would suggest you do the same unless you want to dry camp.

Electric heat is always nice, especially if its 'free' at the campground. couple little space heaters can cut down on propane usage quite a bit. unfortunately if your winter camping and moving around, getting a larger propane pig and buying bulk is not an option. I personally dont move around alot, so i rent a 400# pig and buy bulk. tank rental for a year is the cost of filling a couple 30# bottles at the gas station, and bulk propane is almost 1/3 the cost around here ($.46c/L vs $1.12/L). So with the bulk propane i dont worry about the electric heat too much, other than using it to warm up the toes, but if a guy is burning small bottles all the time youll go broke without using electric heat to supplement!
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:09 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comment; very appreciated. Fresh water tank has an electric heater, actually, all tanks do. Not to heat up the water but to prevent the liquid from freezing. Perhaps a dumb question... By looking at a trailer, what would be a sign of a 4 season trailer.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:33 AM   #6
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The only way by Looking at a unit for Cold weather use would be if it said Arctic Fox,is one example! Youroo!!
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnP View Post
Thanks for the comment; very appreciated. Fresh water tank has an electric heater, actually, all tanks do. Not to heat up the water but to prevent the liquid from freezing. Perhaps a dumb question... By looking at a trailer, what would be a sign of a 4 season trailer.
Tank heaters are only good for intermittent drops below freezing for a couple of days. If you look you'll see they only installed the smallest size tank heater available.

If you are in temps down below say 25F for an extended period, they're not going to be able to keep up. To do that you need to heat trace and insulate the pipes after the tanks and the dump valves, and insulate any pex tubing below the floor and possibly heat trace that also.

Colorado Springs in Feb? Rent a condo.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:28 AM   #8
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I agree with all of the above comments! Don't ruin your new camper by letting the water lines freeze. Leave it at home in Colorado winter weather and enjoy it when the temps moderate.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:05 AM   #9
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Thanks, very appreciated comments. For us is a common practice to get a room, but once you go to the Copper Mountain area, the problem is coming back down. Traffic is horrible, bumper to bumper. So we though staying the night and leave in the morning when traffic is low. Getting a room in peak ski season is very hard and overpriced. In Colorado Spring is easy, up there... good luck with that.

Again, thanks for all the comments.
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