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Old 03-26-2020, 07:26 PM   #1
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Location: Wisconsin
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Skirting/surviving in cold climates

Wondering what people do to survive Midwest winters full timing. Iíve heard of skirting and such, but am starting to get curious about full timing in ours, mainly being in one spot close to our employment. In Wisconsin, it can get pretty cold. Sorry if this has been covered in detail before. Any tips related to any winter full timing appreciated, not necessarily related to skirting either. Our current unit is 0 degree rated with heated tanks.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:57 PM   #2
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Your ability to camp in cold weather will depend on your ability to keep your RV warm enough inside for both you and your plumbing system. Super cold weather will tax most furnaces with them running far more than usual. This means more fuel consumption so if you aren't prepared to haul tanks to town for refills all the time, have a local propane distributor rent you a large (250 gallon or so) tank and have them keep it full.

To minimize furnace run time as much as possible you will need to try and maintain as much heat as possible inside. Stuff the ceiling vents with pillows designed for the purpose. Protect plumbing in outside shower and outside kitchen if so equipped.

As for skirting, it will save the most heat as it will keep wind from blowing under the trailer. Skirting can be made out of foam board insulation and secured with "Gorilla Tape". A 4 X 8 sheet of 1" thick Foam Board will cost around $25 and when split lengthwise will provide 16 feet of skirting. Most RV's are close enough to the ground that a 2' wide piece will close off the gap.

You'll need a heated water hose to supply water or you can just fill the tank and use the water pump. Store hose in heated compartment and just take out when the tank needs filling. Make sure water source is a freeze proof hydrant or wrap it with heat tape and cover with a box when not being use.

Dumping? Hopefully you have tank heaters as well as heated elbows and drain pipes.

Make sure drain hose is properly supported so it can't fill with water which will freeze and block it until it thaws months later. If showering regularly many leave the gray tank valve open but it's really best to close and just dump as needed like with the black tank.

I wintered in my old TT (a 27' Terry) during a Colorado winter. Temps dropped as low as -15 F overnight. My furnace ran almost continuously and I had to have the 250 gallon propane tank filled about every three weeks (they just came by, filled it, and left me a bill on the door handle). When it snowed the snow would melt due to the heat leakage and the sides looked like an ice waterfall.

An interesting experience but it can be done. FWIW, my newer MicroLite has far better insulation than the old Terry. Ice on the outside would probably be thinner if I did it again today.
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Old 04-14-2020, 08:59 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 37
Spray Foam Insulation

It'll keep the elements out. And it'll retain the heat better! (As seen after a major hailstorm wiped out an RV park) I have no idea who this guy was but I felt terrible for him and everyone else that endured the miserable storm.

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Old 04-14-2020, 09:20 AM   #4
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Skirting can be done in many forms from hay bales to styrofoam to custom made canvas skirts anything that keeps the cold air from blowing under the rig. A major problem I encountered several years ago when a friend used my rig over the winter was condensation I solved the problem by leaving the slide window in the front cracked open and the bedroom creat-a-breeze fan running on low with the vent cover open about 1/2 inch. Also installed a 400 lb propane tank the gas company supplied. Kept liquid in my tanks with tank heaters on and a heated water line.
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Old 04-14-2020, 09:33 AM   #5
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your other thing to consider is being able to maintain the 11.5" WC on the propane. Vaporization is affected by temperature , surface area and volume on the tanks. Google: Warm Guard 20 on amazon for a more in depth explanation
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