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Old 08-22-2020, 11:28 PM   #1
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Winter travel

I have never used my trailer in the winter, what are your thoughts on and experiences in towing and “camping” in mountain locations?
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:47 AM   #2
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Without knowing what type, year, make and model of RV you have, kinda hard to answer your question since you don't have that info in your profile.
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:41 AM   #3
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Make sure your exterior drain lines have foam covering them, you'll most likely need to have your water tanks filled, because you wont be able to leave the hose out, also you wont be able to empty your tanks because the valves will be frozen, Ive camped in below freezing temperatures for a few days, if doing so long term, there will be other things to consider.
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Old 08-23-2020, 09:39 AM   #4
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Depending where you're going, tire chains and approved tires are a must. Depending on the conditions, you may have to use 4x4 to get into a site, which will be take your turning radius up a fair a mount. Depending on where you're at, everything you don't think of may freeze - hitch locks, valves, propane will start to liquify, etc.
I've seen guys camped on New Year's Eve in a tent trailer, that had to shovel out their entire campsite. They weren't in the mountains, but the drive there would have been bad enough.
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:14 PM   #5
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Several considerations.

First of all there is cold and there is COLD. If temps just drop below freezing at night and are back up well above freezing at night it might not be a big deal. Takes time for things to freeze.

Next, it may be hard to find an RV park that is open in traditionally cold areas. Many places close down when the weather starts dropping into the freezing temps and snow is a regular occurrence.

Cold weather means more heating. That results in more propane use and more reliance on batteries if not in a full hookup site. Plan accordingly.

If only camping in RV parks with hookups much of these problems are alleviated as you have electric power so battery power is not a worry for furnace and tank heaters (if equipped). A heated hose can keep you in water.

Each situation requires different planning but regardless, make sure to have sleeping bags handy in case heat fails. Either that or make sure you and your dog(s) are on good terms.
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Old 08-24-2020, 02:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
First of all there is cold and there is COLD.
Next, it may be hard to find an RV park that is open in traditionally cold areas. Many places close down when the weather starts dropping into the freezing temps and snow is a regular occurrence.
I can only speak for Colorado and Wyoming.

Most Colorado state parks keep 1 campground (electric only) and perhaps their dry camping sites open during the winter - however, access roads may be a problem - blocked by snow. Forest Service campgrounds are closed mid-September to mid-May, which is kind of the pits. They have a lot of beautiful sites. National Parks vary from park to park. Wyoming state parks have very limited electric sites but generally remain open (vault toilets).

Water is turned off in almost all Colorado and Wyoming parks Oct - April. Some of the warmer locations have water through the winter, or if there is a heated building that is kept open during the winter. No flush toilets, no showers, perhaps one spigot in the campground, if that (with the open heated building exception). Vault toilets are kept open, but are unheated.

We do go winter camping in Colorado, but we pick our weather carefully. I will cancel reservations in a heartbeat if the weather forecast changes for the worse. And I still have had to leave a campground a day early because unforecast snow was coming in. I do not ever want to have to tow the camper in the snow. Even though I am still working, I would burn PTO and stay where I was to avoid towing the camper in the snow.

Because we spend our camping days outside or touristing, camping in 20 and 30 degree temps is not fun for us - we look for daytime highs at least in the high 40s, preferably high 50s to 60s. Nights can be in the 20s as long as the day warms up enough. We generally have the thermostat set around 50-55 at night, moving lower as we have grown more accustomed to camping in colder temps. DW has a down blanket she loves, so far I haven't used mine.

With those daytime temps and a vinyl-covered waferboard floor in our A-frame, the water tank has never frozen, nor has the plumbing which runs through the cabinets. Because our attached garage where the A-frame is stored stays just above freezing on the coldest days, we do not winterize the A-frame, which makes for much easier last minute trip decisions.

hope this helps
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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travel, winter

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