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Old 10-23-2019, 01:56 PM   #1
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Winter Dry Camping. Insight Needed.

I bought a camp trailer earlier this year and am a newbie. I have a couple hunting trips coming up this winter that I plan on taking my Cherokee 284DBH TT and camping in. We'll be out in the middle of no where, no water or power hook ups so would be using the fresh, grey, and black tanks and running a generator.

Temperatures on the first trip will have daytime highs of 58-70 degrees with night time lows of 22 degrees. This trip will last 2-5 days. I think i'll be ok on the this first trip but would love to hear some opinions based on the temps and duration i provided.

The trip i'm really worried about is the second trip which will be 8-9 days. Highs will be around 43 degrees and lows will be down in the single digits.

I have a 210AH battery bank and am comfortable running the furnace non stop with cabinets open at all times.

I'm desperate to hear from you experienced and knowledgeable individuals to give me guidance on this.

Worst case scenario, I winterize. Just trying to gauge what exactly i can get away with.
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:32 PM   #2
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Winterize it to be sure
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:35 PM   #3
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I regularly camp during winter in often freezing weather. Most important tip-----

Take a couple of spare propane tanks. On cold nights the furnace can use more propane than you might expect.

I carry two 20# tanks and a connector hose for simplicity.

Looks like this:



It's a 5' hose with male/female connectors so you can attach to spare tank and to the pigtail that attaches to your mounted propane tank. Gauge only tells you when the tank is about to go empty.

I often will hook up to one of the spare tanks when I know it's going to be cold. I'll run off the 20# tank and when it's empty propane will switch to the other onboard 30# tank. I then swap in the second 20# tank and switch back to it. When both 20# tanks are empty I'll then start running on the 30# tanks. When first 30# tank is empty I "go to town" and fill the three empties and repeat for as long as I have water and food.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:51 PM   #4
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I say winterize. Put fresh water in storage jugs from Walmart and keep them inside. Use the water to flush toilet. I even have a DC powered shower I can drop the pump into a bucket of warm water (heat a pot up on stove) and still take a shower. Maybe dump some RV antifreeze into waste tanks to make sure waste valves don't freeze shut. This thing works great, and you can still shower off after a long cold day of hunting and gutting! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:51 AM   #5
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Battery life will likely be an issue, with those temperatures.
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Old 10-24-2019, 06:25 AM   #6
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Winter Camping

May I ask what type generator you will be using? Invertor, open frame, gas, propane, wattage? You will need plenty of fuel if running it 24/7.

Is there a place you can dump the gray water? Maybe take an extra waste tank along to help dispose of the water in grey tank? Something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Portabl...1916093&sr=8-2

Does the trailer have a coroplast underbelly? (Plastic cardboard)
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by grumpyer View Post
Winterize it to be sure
X2 - winterize. Even 22 degrees overnight may pose a problem, depending upon how the TT underbelly is sealed, the manner in which the area is heated, etc. I also agree with those who say to bring water for flushing, washing, etc. And definitely put RV antifreeze in the black and gray tanks to keep the valves from freezing. At single digit temperatures, they may still get a little slushy. You'll probably need to stop at a dump station on the way home to deposit the waste. Oh, and you didn't say what your "battery bank" consists of, but you will likely run out of battery (and propane!) on the longer trip, even if they make it through the shorter trip. Happy hunting.!
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanStraughan View Post
I bought a camp trailer earlier this year and am a newbie. I have a couple hunting trips coming up this winter that I plan on taking my Cherokee 284DBH TT and camping in. We'll be out in the middle of no where, no water or power hook ups so would be using the fresh, grey, and black tanks and running a generator.

Temperatures on the first trip will have daytime highs of 58-70 degrees with night time lows of 22 degrees. This trip will last 2-5 days. I think i'll be ok on the this first trip but would love to hear some opinions based on the temps and duration i provided.

The trip i'm really worried about is the second trip which will be 8-9 days. Highs will be around 43 degrees and lows will be down in the single digits.

I have a 210AH battery bank and am comfortable running the furnace non stop with cabinets open at all times.

I'm desperate to hear from you experienced and knowledgeable individuals to give me guidance on this.

Worst case scenario, I winterize. Just trying to gauge what exactly i can get away with.
I will try to provide some helpful insight. Been winter hunting for four years now in Ontario Canada the first and 2nd weeks of Nov. it is hit and miss with the weather. Some days fall like temps and some days below freezing temps. My trl is a 2012 292BHDS with enclosed heated underbelly. I would recommend to you that you do not attempt to carry water in the onboard tanks or use your holding tanks. The valves may/will freeze on you and you won’t be able to open them to drain them. I carry lots of potable water in water jugs and boil water on stove as needed for dishes and washing. I had issues when I tried to use my onboard water and tanks, I skirted my trailer with thick poly and also used some foam boards enclosing under the tank location and the drain valves as well as low point drains. I had to keep a Electric heater going constantly to keep the valves and low point drains etc from freezing. It was so stressful trying to prevent damage to the water systems I would never attempt to use that method again during freezing temperatures. I use a combination of 140 watt solar and use a Generator when ever we’re in the hunt camp. Furnace is always set at 65 degrees. I upped the battery bank from a single 24 to two 27. The single 24 was fine during the day when using solar and running generator. But in my case we would shut the generator off when going to bed around 10ish. The battery would go flat around 3 am and furnace would not run.
Having said all of that if your running generator 24 hours the battery issue won’t be a problem but the water that is exposed on the outside will/ may be a problem.
Good luck with whatever you decide and enjoy the hunt.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:19 AM   #9
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I would recommend you not running the furnace. buy a propane catalytic "readyheater" and get a couple of 30 lb tanks. The furnace uses to much electricity and will kill your batteries overnight. On my 2018 41 ft Montana we pulled the bottom outer layer then we put three inches of high density foam under the water tanks and then used hot spray on foam all over the bottom three inches thick then replaced the bottom. In several of my campers I have used film on all the windows You really do want to use the toilet and water to make your camping enjoyable. Go find some one that can install the foam and you won't have any trouble to below 20 degrees.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:02 PM   #10
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I also hunt with my trailer, though in Missouri not Canada.

A standard dual purpose battery will not last s single night running the furnace. 2 6 v golf cart batteries scan make it s day or so before needing recharged.

I have froze up once. I had the water tank to pump line freeze up one night. Day time it was 40 degrees, low 20s at night. Ruined my last day of a hunting trip last fall.

Heater underbellies are nothing more than a 4” hole cut in the floor that blows heat into the underbelly, which is covered in a thin layer of plastic and has leakage everywhere. It is dependent on your furnace running and these new trailers are insulated well enough that the furnace doesn’t run non stop. I have a 18 Catalina 283 rks

Spent last weekend putting tank heaters on all the tanks ( 2 on the fresh water). And a insulating and running “heat
Tape” on all the fresh and waste pipes. I’m actually use NON Led rope light to heat the pipes as it is much less expensive than 12 v heat tape and I need to be able to travel without freezing. Next week I will be building the control panel which includes thermostats to control the rope lights.


If you want to camp below freezing and use all your plumbing you can, you just need to prepare for it.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:36 PM   #11
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We take my TT on dry camp hunting trips.
It is winterized, of course. We take jugs of water that are stored inside, and leave the kitchen sink tank open to drain immediately.
We use a generator, and an electric heater and turn both off at bed time and use a large candle for inside heat for the rest of the night. Yes - it keep the inside of the TT at about 40....which is ok for a hunting camp. We do open one of the ceiling vents.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:36 PM   #12
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Forgot to add in my earlier post.

My TT has 6 outside compartment doors, the smallest being about 18" X 18" and the largest being about 4' X 4' for my Outside Kitchen. One day out of curiosity I measured the thickness of the doors versus the wall thickness on the rest of the trailer. Wall thickness is about 1-1/2 inches and the door thickness is only 1/2 inch. Total area of the doors is 35 square feet total.

I picked up a sheet of 1" EPS Foam Board (pink stuff) and added an R-5 layer on the inside of each door to my various compartments. Used adhesive made for the foamboard on all the small doors but had to use some 1-1/4" drywall screws to secure the board to the Outside Kitchen door because the glue wouldn't dry quick enough and I didn't want to stand in one place for 8 hours holding it up

Because of the edge space I needed to leave, as well as room for the O/S Kitchen door struts I was able to creatively cut and piece the foam, covering all doors from a single sheet that cost me <$20.

When comparing my last cold trip last year to my first cold trip this year, the extra insulation's effect was noticable in furnace run time. Temps cam up quicker, TT cooled down at the end of the day slower. A project that was well worth the expense ($20 for the insulation and <$10 for the adhesive) and time.

Hardest part of the job is to make the cutouts for the locking mechanism but I found a hole saw without it's mandrel, twisted in my hand, did a fine job of making an off center semi-circle cut for the lock and locking tab.
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:16 PM   #13
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I would winterize, take many gallons of water (old milk jugs) for flushing and light bathing, real bottled water for drinking and cooking and I would also take some of these for shower time http://https://smile.amazon.com/No-R...2200131&sr=8-5
You are hunting, so some stink is expected. Everybody you are going to be around/with will also stink, some more than others.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
real bottled water for drinking and cooking
I'm so lucky I have great well water at home. I can't imagine having to buy water. Fill my great big ol' Reliance water containers and good to go.
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:22 PM   #15
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I'm so lucky I have great well water at home. I can't imagine having to buy water. Fill my great big ol' Reliance water containers and good to go.
I grew up drinking well water and then drank "city water" (even in European Cities) all my adult life.

Even drank water from my TT's water tank (3 different trailers).

Horrors, I've even had a drink at public drinking fountains.

As I read it makes me wonder how I've lasted as long as I have not drinking bottled water exclusively. If I can hold out 3 more years I'll be 80.

Funny thing, how often do we all see news reports of bottled water being contaminated with the same bacteria that's in S***?

Last time I walked down the water aisle in a grocery store I saw a gallon jug selling for the same price my City Water Utility sells me 1,000 gallons.
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:28 PM   #16
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A public drinking fountain too????? Say it ain't so!! The horror....
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Old 10-27-2019, 03:36 PM   #17
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A public drinking fountain too????? Say it ain't so!! The horror....
Sorry but true.


Also, my Uncle never drank any water from a bottle. Only thing he drank out of a bottle was whiskey, not all of it good. He only lived til he was 96. Only time he was in a hospital was from a WW I injury and spent only 6 months in a nursing facility before he died.



As for tap water that people don't care for because of taste, put a couple drops of lemon juice in it. One of those small yellow "squeeze bulbs" will last a lot longer than a case of bottled water. A lot longer.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:30 PM   #18
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An important message to aid the original poster

Water. Filtered.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:57 PM   #19
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camping in cold

We use a Big Buddy heater w/ a 30 lb. tank piped to the outside. You have to vent the windows a little. It does have oxygen sensor cut-off. Short stays we just use 2-1 lb. propane containers. This will be easier and less expensive than running the generator 24/7. My furnace fan uses 6.6 amps per hour, so 2 nights and it takes my batteries to 50% w/o a recharge. We ran our 3K generator in the morning and evening for 2 hours, each time to run the microwave, run furnace and put a charge back into batteries. I would also winterize, blow lines out and dump some RV anti-freeze in the sinks and toilet. We carry several 5 gallon water tanks w/ spigots inside the trailer. We just came back from camping in Glacier,Yellowstone and Grand Teton for boon docking 29 days. This worked for us, depending on size of your tanks. We can go 8 days on our trailer w/ 80 gal. gray and 43 gal. black tanks, just DW and I. I goggle "Free RV Dumps" for trip home. We found churches and civic centers that had dump facility for donations. We also have a $12 LED battery monitor from Amazon that I have connected to my battery w/ quick connectors (like a battery maintainer connection). That way I do not have to take the battery covert off to check and do not have the drain from the meter all the time. If it gets to 12.6 v, I fire the generator w/ a battery charger.
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