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Old 08-19-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
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Winter camping in your Columbus

Being that we are in the so called dog days of summer and in the South, we are looking forward to cooler temps of fall/winter and travel to more temperate climates. Just wondering what the limitations are to winter camping with our Columbus? Since it has an enclosed heated underbelly and heated holding tanks we are trying to think about what conditions can we handle in our camper? What are some of the things that may not be obvious that we need to consider in freezing temps? How many of you are planning to use your Columbus over the winter months? How many of you bought your Columbus for that very reason? Has anyone had a previous camper with capabilities to camp in winter months? How would you compare to the features on the Columbus? What were the coldest temps you have camped in? Personaly I have tent camped in 17 deg. weather and awoke to find that the water in my 5 gal. jug was frozen solid and couldn't even make coffee. One area of concern that I have would be the basement with the plumbing that I have seen. Is this area heated? Does anyone know?

I feel cooler just thinking about it. Should make for an interesting thread.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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With the heated tanks and basement, you should not have a problem camping it freezing weather, provided you can prevent your water hose from freezing. I saw a heated water hose that we were considering. Just make sure you have plenty of propane and hopefully shore power.
We used the fireplace this weekend in the morning to break the chill. It looks like it will suplement the furnace quite nicely.
Our Sabre had less insulation and I met people from Canada who camped in the cold up there with no problems, once they took precautions which included the heated water hose.
We love camping in the Fall when it gets cooler. Waking up to the 30's & 40's can be very invigerating.
One of my last trips in the Sabre was in November. I ran out of propane at 3:00 a.m. in 35 degree weather! Stupid me. Luckily, I had a small space heater which really helped.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Winter Camping

Great posts and questions, we were also beginning to consider some winter camping. To clarify, how is the enclosed underbelly heated? Vented from the propane furnace?
I am assuming, the tank heaters are electric.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:52 PM   #4
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Yes, yes and yes.
Basement is heated via vents from the furnace. The tank heaters are 12Volt blanket heaters. In fact, when I was in my basement this weekend with the AC running, I felt cool air coming out of the vent. That would tell me the basement is also cooled. Not too bad, eh?
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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Cold Conditions Camping

It can be a lot of fun camping in the 'off season' when others are not out camping. If you have heated holding tanks with adequate preparations you should be just fine. We just returned from a long weekend at a campsite at 10,850' in elevation (Guanella Pass) and experienced lows in the low 30's.

My big thing is having a redundant heat source. Having a second heat source - just in case. We had a an Olympian Wave heater available as a backup source that required no power, just propane.

Have fun and enjoy cold conditions camping.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:20 PM   #6
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Thanks. I need to locate the basement vents and clear them. Too much stuff, I suspect they may be rendered useless.

Any suggestions on NC mountain area campgrounds, user friendly to rigs our size?
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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We are looking at trading our 2011 Keystone Avalanche 320RK for a new 2013 Columbus F320RS. This forum is very enlightening as we are planning on going to Vermont this fall.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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I learned last year that even if you are hooked up to water, always fill your fresh water tank the night before you think it is going to freeze and turn on the heaters. I've had many frozen water hoses. This way you just turn on your water pump and you can use the water from the tank until the hose unfreezes.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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The heated hoses are easy to make. Purchase water pipe heater cable. Cut hose to length of cable. Tape cable to hose and cover with foam pipe wrap. I then used tuck tape to keep pipe wrap from separating.
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