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Old 10-16-2012, 10:33 PM   #1
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How to prepare 5th wheel to live in winter

I have a 2004 Wildcat 31 QBH and am planning on living in it this winter in Virginia Beach VA. What can i do thats pretty reasonable to prepare it for winter. I have looked at electric blankets for the tanks and ducts for the heat as well as a side skirt.

What works best and is reasonable.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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what is working for me

I'm full timing in our 2013 grey wolf 28BH in Cincinnati and haven't had to do much so far even though its not a 4 season with an enclosed underbelly. We don't even have double pane windows. I haven't put anything on those yet because our dehumidifier keeps them from fogging. I of course put heat tape and insulation on my main water line. That's the most extensive part to date. I had a little predicament with lengths so I ended up with 10 extra feet of heat cable which I carefully wrapped around my dump valves for extra help keeping them from freezing. I'm looking into skirting as well and I'm not sure if I'll be putting up the foam board insulation or buy a kit. The foam board is FAR less expensive and adds more R value as far as I can see. There are some good do it yourself canvas skirting kits out there for around $700 and the custom kits for around $1200-$1700. I'll be adding stick-on tank heaters from ebay soon but haven't really needed them yet. We've already had a hard frost and sustained overnight temps in the upper 20's to lower 30's and no frozen pipes or other problems. 2 weeks ago I got a $30 1500 watt thermostat controlled forced air heater from Target and the furnace hasn't kicked on since. The little heater on low can keep the trailer above 80 overnight. We don't like it that hot so we keep it around 70 just fine. My biggest concern is keeping the tanks and sewer line from freezing. If we keep it warm enough inside to be comfortable that should keep the internal lines from freezing but doesn't do much for the tanks.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:27 PM   #3
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What kind of heat tape and insulation? So do you have an enclosed underbelly? I was thinking of just heating the black tank and then the others i can dump if I know its gonna be really cold.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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I can't remember the name brand of heat tape, EasyHeat I think. Got two 30 footers from Lowes. They run $38 each. I needed the 60 feet because I'm between sizes in my spot and I used the extra ten feet to wrap around my valves. A lot of people would consider this risky but I've monitored it very closely and it's doing just fine. The insulation is the standard foam tubing with a slit in the side you can get anywhere. I keep my grey tank open all the time but of course fill and dump the black tank. That's the one I'm considering a stick on heater pad for. I don't have an enclosed underbelly either. Wish I did but from what I've read on the forums the enclosed underbelly isn't exactly reliable for R value/keeping tanks from freezing. This would be especially true since I haven't used the furnace in over two weeks. I keep an eye on the interior plumbing to make sure it doesn't freeze and if I ever got close all I have to do is open the cabinets.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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LOTSSSSSSS OF PROPAINE. I have gone through 20lbs in 24hrs before in campers that are built for cold weather.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
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A large propane tank and plastic covering for the windows if they are not double pane.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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Just went through two nights where the temps got down to 25 and 28. My furnace hasn't kicked on for three weeks and the space heater has kept it above 72 with no trouble. Haven't even had it on the high setting yet. This is without skirting. As for propane. I use electric to do most of our cooking but I do use it to give the hot water a boost almost every day for the wife and i to take our showers and do dishes. I've gone through approximately 30lbs since July 25th. I have been trying to think up a way to "preheat" the city water supply to up the starting temps for showers and such. When the tap water is 40 degrees to start with the showers stay pretty short. I've yet to come up with a solution though.
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