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Old 10-13-2016, 07:40 PM   #1
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Winter Camping

Hey Everyone, I am new to the this forum. I just purchased my first Travel Trailer and it is 201RBS. I moved over from a truck camper which i used for winter camping (down to about 20 degrees). My new 201 has the artic package and I'm wondering if anyone has experience winter camping in their surveyor. If so can you please share any lessons learned, and what would you consider a safe low temperature to camp in without doing damage to the coach?

Thank you,
Plowhorse
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by plowhorse View Post
Hey Everyone, I am new to the this forum. I just purchased my first Travel Trailer and it is 201RBS. I moved over from a truck camper which i used for winter camping (down to about 20 degrees). My new 201 has the artic package and I'm wondering if anyone has experience winter camping in their surveyor. If so can you please share any lessons learned, and what would you consider a safe low temperature to camp in without doing damage to the coach?

Thank you,
Plowhorse
We camp all winter long in our Surveyor 220 and have done so for many years. Let me make it clear that we are in North Carolina, where we often camp when it's down to the teens on winter nights, but it almost always goes back up to 40 or even 50 the following day. Results will certainly vary if you live up north where there may be extended periods of below-freezing weather.

We camp once a month for at least a week at a time, and we've never had a problem with cold-weather camping in the Surveyor. And we don't do much of anything special, except we do have a heated fresh water hose that comes on when the temp gets down to a pre-set point. Absent that, you could just unhook and drain the water hose on freezing nights and hook it back up the following day.

With the heat on, nothing is going to freeze inside the Surveyor. And it would take quite a few hours of extended freezing temps outside for the holding tank contents to freeze. We do not have heated tanks, but they have never frozen. We don't carry fresh water, but the black and gray tanks regularly receive deposits that are pretty warm (human waste and shower/dish water). I think it would take a lot to get the temp of those contents down to freezing. And even if they did freeze, there would be little problem as long as there is room for expansion, and we always make sure that is the case. You just wouldn't be able to dump until it thawed, but this has never happened to us.

I see a lot of folks who think when the air temp hits 32 degrees, everything is going to instantly freeze. Of course, that's not the case. But if it stays below freezing for many hours, that's a different case.

We love winter camping. If you have other questions, please ask away. Many people do it, and down here there are very few campgrounds that close for the winter, although some of the larger ones do close certain sections in the winter just because of decreased usage.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:55 AM   #3
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Thanks, I'm wondering how the water lines will hold up in constant 20 degrees weather. My Surveyor has the Artic package but I believe that just means tank heaters so I'm concerned about all of the other plumbing freezing.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:20 PM   #4
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For long periods of below-freezing camping, there are a few things that have to be. First your fresh-water hose will need to be insulated and possibly heated. You'll need to use the propane heater at least some of the time to keep the "enclosed and heated underbelly" warm enough to prevent freezing any pipes. (We use an electric heater most of the time when camping to save propane.) I saw one couple that had a heavy vinyl skirting they snapped into place around their trailer.

It's all very doable, and in my opinion, better in winter with campgrounds nearly empty, and no brats swimmin' in the fishin' holes... We seldom go at all in summer.
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:25 PM   #5
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Plowhorse,since you live in Oregon the weather can go either way! You do NOT have a "Winter Camper" so it is up to chance about Freeze Damage! If you do Not have or use Water,and have Plenty of Propane and Elect,you Might stay warm if it Drops Real Cold! Youroo!!
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:07 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'm wondering how the water lines will hold up in constant 20 degrees weather. My Surveyor has the Artic package but I believe that just means tank heaters so I'm concerned about all of the other plumbing freezing.
If you are in the camper and have it heated to 70 degrees, or whatever your comfort level is, I just don't think there's much danger of the water lines freezing. In my Surveyor, after the water enters through the fresh water connection, all the water lines are inside, although they are in walls and cabinets and not the living space, per se. Still, they should pick up a lot of the heat you are enjoying inside the camper. Others may have different ideas, but that's what I'm thinking. No matter what the sustained temp is outside, if you are able to keep it warm enough in the inside, I can't see the lines freezing.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:32 PM   #7
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We do some ski camping. Have been freeze free down to -15 by running a quartz heater inside and tank heaters. I have the arctic package with enclosed underbelly. Stealth toy hauler, but I suspect there's not much difference in construction between modern trailers.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:12 PM   #8
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My trailer does not have a cold weather package but I have camped in cold weather. I have a heated and insulated fresh water hose. I kept the electric heater on during the day and used gas for comfort at night. I open all of the cabinets so the heat can get to the pipes in the cabinets and took out the plywood pieces under the sink. When the temp got too cold, I disconnected the fresh water, dumped the tanks and fresh water, and used the CG's facilities. I used a couple of gallons of water for coffee and flushing. The next trailer will have a cold weather package because I would really like to extend the season.


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Old 10-17-2016, 09:15 PM   #9
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I have the 251rks and I assume my heater is the propane heater. When you guys say you are using an electric heater do you mean a plug in electric portable heater?
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:36 PM   #10
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I have the 251rks and I assume my heater is the propane heater. When you guys say you are using an electric heater do you mean a plug in electric portable heater?
Yes, they mean a portable, electric heater. We use ours in leu of the camper's propane one. Saves on propane, but make sure the campground won't charge you electric if you're staying awhile.

One question I have is the exposed dump valves for the gray and black water tanks. I worry they may freeze open or shut and could burst since they're more exposed. What do people do about those?
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