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Old 09-17-2015, 09:00 PM   #1
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RV camping in cold weather

We want to go camping the first of Nov. in the North Georgia Mtns. Don't know if temps will drop below freezing. Concerned the water pump will freeze. Any suggestions on camping in cold weather. Also,w e are going to Florida in January and will have to dewinterize motorhome . We will have to rewinterize it before we return north. Do you winterize it at campground before you head north? Then you can't use water or toilets on way home. We have a 32ft. Coachman Mirada.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:28 PM   #2
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I searched Blue Ridge GA on for November. Shows lows 33-34 almost every night and days in low 60's. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:39 PM   #3
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Here is what I do:

Keep 5 gallons of RV anti-freeze on board. I know I'm going to use it for seasonal storage anyway.

If the temps are predicted to go no lower than 28 degrees, I just put my droplight in the wet bay with a 40 watt bulb.

If lower than 28 degrees, I winterize on the spot. After using the toilet, I manually flush with a mixture of 20% antifreeze and 80 % water.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:44 PM   #4
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I camp every winter while snowmobiling here in Central Oregon. We have spent many nights over the last 5 or more years with temps hitting minus 10 at night with the high during the day in the 20's. Keep the furnace going (have a generator if dry camping) and you will be fine. When not camping I winterize when the night time temps get into the teens and the daytime temps don't get above freezing. Never had a pipe break. 3 different rv's.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:32 AM   #5
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I have a 2001 Mirada. Most of your Fresh water plumbing is internal and should be OK with minor excursions below freezing, as long as the heat is turned on inside the MH.

The black and gray are external, and might be OK if the temp doesn't get below about 30 for more than a couple hours and there is no winds. (It should be OK while traveling as the engine heat will keep the tanks from freezing)

When we travel in freezing temps we flush the toilet with Windshield washer fluid (make sure its the below freezing kind) or RV antifreeze. Try and limit the toilet to #1 usage.

Same with the gray water, limit its use, try not to use the drains to much, if so, dump some RV anti freeze or Windshield washer fluid into the drains.

Do NOT leave windshield washer fluid in the tanks over the winter or use it to winterize, use RV antifreeze. I watch the sales and usually when I see RV antifreeze on sale for $2.50 a gallon, I pick up a few gallons. Same with windshield fluid, $1 a gallon. I carry 5-6 gallons in the RV and use it to flush and also re-winterize.


We head south for a few weeks in the winter, and then when we come home (northern Ohio) we re-winterize somewhere on the road or the last campground before hitting the below freezing temps.

Since my memory is short, I wrote up a winterization process for my Mirada. You can see it here.

WINTERIZING / DEWINTERIZING | 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB

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It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:29 PM   #6
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My 2 cents. If you are using your propane furnace for heating, and keep the inside of the RV above 55 F, likely okay. Furnace usually has a duct to the tank compartment. If using electric heat, no heat path to the tanks, so put a old style 60+ watt bulb in the tank compartment for heat. I use a Thermo cube thermostat to turn on the work ligh bulb at 35 F, off at 45 F. Freeze ups that cause problems are usually in the pump and the water filter casing. Unfortunately most water filter casings are located where easily accessible and not well insulated. I have lost a few of those in freezing weather. Also, good idea to keep pump turned off, or if hooked up, water turned off, just in case something freezes. May help diminish water damage when thawing sets in.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:10 PM   #7
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You're not going to freeze at those temps. Assuming you're in a campground, open the gray water dump valve and let your water trickle. The tanks aren't going to freeze - ever see a 40 gallon icicle? Leave the water heater turned on and open the doors under the sink so some heat can get in. Should be good to go.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:16 PM   #8
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We go to key west every December leave right after grand kids open x mas presents put everything in coach but water day before just be fore we get on road fill water tank half way but do not run water into system bring a 5 Gallon can of water. Put in shower for toilet flushing and a few gallon jugs of water for coffe and drinking .some wars around Georgia we turn the pump on or when ever the tem is above 35 .then on way back we have 6 gallons of the pink stuff in the bay's if temp is above 35 we keep going if below 30 we stop at flying J dump the tanks run the anti freeze into the system .put the 5 gal pail of water back into shower also dump a gal of pink stuff in black tank this way we don't have to run gen set for heat pads they will run the battery's down in no time
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:54 PM   #9
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I live in my fifth wheel (full timer) and I spend the summers in Montana. I have been down in the low twenty's before I start having freezing problems, thats when the hot water to the kitchen sink freezes. Now I try to head to AZ. before that happens. Like what RubberNail said you just have to what that your water filter does not freeze.
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