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Old 09-11-2020, 06:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by JohnMarlene8491 View Post
For overnight comfort, an electric blanket allows a lower thermostat setting for your furnace.
Love the idea, but we've got a couple little ones with us, so we have no choice but to keep the whole rig heated.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:43 AM   #22
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My trailer has a heated basement and heated holding tanks. Ive done just fine down into the teens. One thing I recommend is to use a dehumidifier to take the humidity out of the air. Your trailer doesnt breathe well so your stove and your breathing will dump a lot of moisture into your trailer to condense on the walls and windows. It might not be much of an issue for a short time but sustained cold-weather camping would benefit by a dehumidifier. Some people open a vent a little bit to allow the warm humid air to escape but that will require more propane heat.
Thanks for the tip. I'll look into this.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:44 AM   #23
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It's going to depend on how low the temperatures go and how long they stay there. Your lines may freeze up when the temp goes below 28 degrees and stays there for several hours. Think about how small those lines are and how little it would take to freeze them.
In addition to all the good suggestions you've received, consider draining those lines and using jugs of water for flushing. The fresh water does not need rv antifreeze (it's very difficult to get rid of the taste). If you have a large amount of water in it, it's not going to freeze because of the volume.
Running water doesn't normally freeze, so if you leave water in the lines, run a small amount of water through them every couple of hours.
Of course, if it stays below freezing for 24 hours, your risk of water lines freezing increases and it's going to get increasingly hard to keep the rig warm.
Hope for moderate weather.
I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on the weather, and if there is sustained cold weather in the forecast, I think draining those lines will be a good idea.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:45 AM   #24
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Thanks for all the replies everyone! Less than 3 weeks until we depart!!
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:00 AM   #25
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Open underbelly ? No heated tanks ? yeah....you best keep an eye on everything. EXTRA propane for sure. sub-freezing and you'll be burning thru those #20 tanks in no time.
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:23 AM   #26
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A few points I learned from camping through an Idaho winter. You may find having the following items on-board before making camp useful. RV windows and vents, and the interior space below the slide, are the greatest heat-loss areas in your mobile palace. Insulating these spaces before bedtime will greatly increase your comfort. Be sure, however, to allow some night-time ventilation. If you have electrical hookup, then use electric space heaters, however, be prepared for an electrical outage.
  • Vent Pillows: Stuff in ceiling vents every evening to reduce night-time heat loss. Available at most any RV supply store.
  • Fluffy Drop Rugs: Useful for keeping the floor warmer. Also an old towel, folded and dropped on the floor at the entrance door to cover the space at the bottom of the door where some cold air might sneak in.
  • Heat Tape: aka "pipe heat cable." Available at hardware store (especially in cold-weather regions) in various lengths, can be easily wrapped on sewer drain, or ran along water hose covered with Pipe Insulation (cheaper than heated hose).
  • Pipe Insulation: aka "Foam Plumbing Tubular Pipe Insulation." Use to wrap & insulate water hose.
  • Bubble Wrap Insulation: aka "Reflective Roll Insulation. " Easily cut with scissors to any needed shape. Use to make interior window covers for night-time use. Can also be shaped to cover sewer drain and other components.
  • Snow and Ice Duct Tape: Special tape that works at freezing temperatures (important for exterior emergency use).
  • RV Antifreeze: Depending on temperature and waste tank configurations, you may want to add a half-gallon or so to your empty waste tanks.
  • Expanded Polystyrene Foam Board Insulation: This item is getting toward the more extreme preparation, so it may not be practical for your plans. This item is cheap and available in 4x8-foot sheets in various thicknesses; one or both sides may be reflective. Its primary advantage is that it may be easily cut to nearly any shape and that it remains relatively rigid. Along with a little duct tape, this stuff can be used to construct all kinds of temporary insulating structures. Just be sure to remove any exterior application before hitting the road.
One final point, during freezing weather, close your sewer drain and run your sewer extension drain so that no liquid is retained in the line after dumping. You do not want an ice blockage in this line. Do not leave your sewer drain open, but rather allow your tanks to nearly fill, then dump.
Hope you have awesome time at Yellowstone.
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:14 PM   #27
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I spent a winter out west in a regular travel trailer. I attached heat trace to the water and sewer lines and used foam insulation on the water lines with wrapped insulation on the sewer lines. I would use an extension cord from the power pedestal to power the heat trace. On cold nights, I would use the fresh water tank if the hose froze.

Inside I had two oil filled heaters that kept the trailer warm. They are virtually noise free. The only sound I could hear was their thermostat clicking on or off. I always had the propane furnace but it is noisier than the heaters.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:39 PM   #28
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We are planning a trip out to Yellowstone in early October in our Grey Wolf 22MKSE. In the first couple weeks of October, the weather can be quite unpredictable there, including temps well below freezing. We'll be staying at a full hookup site for 5 nights in West Yellowstone and then try to snag an electric site in Grand Tetons for an additional two nights. If the temps do drop low, what's the best way to prevent pipes from freezing up with this rig? I'm thinking of getting some temporary skirting and running a ceramic space heater underneath to keep the undercarriage warm (hence looking for electric sites) and keeping the undersink cabinet doors open inside to let heat in. I won't stay hooked up to water if it's below freezing. I'll just fill my FW tank.

Anything else I should do?
Bring a suitable fresh water container and winterize your system before sustained temperatures below freezing. And if there arent heaters on your grey tanks bring a wash basin and use CG toilets.

Been doing this 50+ years.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:44 PM   #29
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Gravel,


I live nearby, it shouldn't be that severe unless there is wind, unusual for West Yellowstone. You should not need skirting but OK to have for emergency. I would suspect most camp sites would have the water turned off, so plan accordingly. Many RVs have good wall & ceiling insulation but you can help yourself if you will tuck something into compartments with leaky doors to save heat. Exposed black/grey tanks will not freeze, but do something to shelter the drain valve if you have exposed fresh water tank.
This poster doesnt live in Idaho. Grey, black, and fresh tank will most certainly freeze. As will your water pump and HWH.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:57 PM   #30
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I, too, made mine "winterable".
We did 2 weeks, over Christmas/New year's, from MI to CA and around. Grand Canyon was the coldest, at like 12*F. A single electric heater kept us warm at night (propane too, to get up to temp, usually). And I made a system of these:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07331J2J8...p_mob_ap_share

To cover all my tanks, piping, and discharge. Nothing froze that I'm aware of. Nothing broke. Oh yeah, kept the water heater on too. We were plenty cozy. Even got stuck in a snowstorm......in Bakersfield, CA, of a foot or so.....
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:01 PM   #31
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Yellowstone @ 8f

I am not sure how our new Grey Wolf would hold up in that there is no heat for the under belly.
BUT
For 9 seasons we pulled into a Yellowstone NP Canyon campsite in April and left in October with a Crossroads Cruiser 5th wheel RV CF31RE10 and never froze or fractured a fitting or pipe. Camp was at 8,000 above sea level and we experience below freezing temperatures for weeks each spring and again each fall with a few extreme nighttime temperatures as low as 8 F.

ELECTRIC HEATER with FURNACE: We employed an 800 watt Lasko Space Heater that cant meet the full demand so the propane furnace has to cycle and with its heating ducts in the enclosed basement the tanks and under belly gate valves are protected from freezing.
BASEMENT HEATER: I dId place a temperature controlled 200 watt heater in the basement along with an indoor outdoor thermometer.
WATER HEATER: The water heater was left ON. The water heater was centrally located near most of the plumbing. The heat from the water heater kept the interior kitchen, outside shower and bathroom plumbing from freezing.
WATER SYSTEM FLOWS CONTINUOUSLY: During cold spells, the Campground demanded that the water supply be kept at a small trickle to keep their entire system from freezing. (Camp is mountainside at 8,000 ASL where no one is going to bury plumbing in rock.) So, we open the gray tank gate valve and turn the kitchen faucet on to a small trickle. This system worked successfully for 9 seasons during the coldest nights. Those that disconnected their water and turned off the campground valve had the camp supply pipe freeze and break causing the NPS a time-consuming repair. We did cover the exposed exterior waste water plumbing.
MOISTURE: Moisture control at these temperatures is a full-time job. Any activity that produces moisture or steam must be vented. All rooftop vents are always cracked open. If showering the fan must be running, if heating food the steam must be vented.

We surviving the Atlas Stow Storm up there but if we did that again we would pull in all 3 of the slide-outs. Pulling the snow off those roofs and then towel drying the sides and roof was a royal pain.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:23 AM   #32
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You might consider sleeping bags, and or electric blankets. If it were me, and the temps are predicted to go below freezing for long, I'd winterize and use water jugs. Yellowstone has a nice shower facility just inside the park. Please let us know after your trip, what worked for you.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:30 PM   #33
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You might consider sleeping bags, and or electric blankets. If it were me, and the temps are predicted to go below freezing for long, I'd winterize and use water jugs. Yellowstone has a nice shower facility just inside the park. Please let us know after your trip, what worked for you.
A medium sized dog helps too
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:04 AM   #34
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I've decided to bring along some RV antifreeze to put in the waste tanks, and I found some DC powered heat tape that is 3.5 watts per foot that I can run even if we don't have electricity, or when we're driving if it's below freezing. I'll wrap that around the exposed water pipes with an inline on/off switch, along with some pipe insulation.

Winterizing and bringing water jugs might be the best choice, but I've got my wife and kids with me and we're going to be gone for three weeks. That's just not an option.
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:19 PM   #35
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Winterizing and bringing water jugs might be the best choice, but I've got my wife and kids with me and we're going to be gone for three weeks. That's just not an option.
You should be ok. The weather for the next 2 weeks is going to freeze at night, but go into the 60's during the day. Your plan is a good one. Have a safe trip.
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:28 PM   #36
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Just an FYI to people reading this thread - when we were at Yellowstone in August 1992, it got down to 20F (-7C) and lightly snowed. We were at Glacier afterwards and they had over a foot of snow. On the opposite end - after that we visited friends in Edmonton, and it got up to 104F (40C)!

Anyway, bear in mind that when you visit higher elevations like Yellowstone, cold can happen any time.
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:45 PM   #37
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Just an FYI to people reading this thread - when we were at Yellowstone in August 1992, it got down to 20F (-7C) and lightly snowed. We were at Glacier afterwards and they had over a foot of snow. On the opposite end - after that we visited friends in Edmonton, and it got up to 104F (40C)!

Anyway, bear in mind that when you visit higher elevations like Yellowstone, cold can happen any time.
yep we have had sub zero temps over night here on the east coast last weekend.
this time - 3 years ago during moose season it was 36 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees F with the humidity at 9 am)
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Old 09-22-2020, 03:08 PM   #38
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yep we have had sub zero temps over night here on the east coast last weekend.
this time - 3 years ago during moose season it was 36 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees F with the humidity at 9 am)
I remember that, 3 years ago....
That's when we couldn't resist camping with our then 10 DAY old daughter.
She's 3 now, of course.

We camped on lake Michigan and it was a good time....
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Old 09-28-2020, 10:31 AM   #39
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I got the tank heaters and heat tape on all exposed pipes installed yesterday.



I tested all of the heated pads and heat tape in the freezer with a spare 12 V battery before installing, and all of them worked. The only issue I ran into was this morning just playing around with the new switches and I see on the battery monitor that when I hit the switch to each heater, it starts using about 80 watts each... Except the grey water heater. I hit the switch and nothing happens. Each of the heaters has a built-in thermostat that is supposed to not turn on if temps are over 45 F. It was around 55 F when I was testing these. I won't really know whether the grey water pad is malfunctioning until it gets colder. Tonight after work I'll crawl underneath and test that it's getting power with my multimeter, and assuming it is, I'll have to wait for cold weather to test. I leave for Yellowstone on Wednesday. Ugh.
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:05 PM   #40
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...
...
I leave for Yellowstone on Wednesday. Ugh.
The current weather forecast is predicting fair weather for Yellowstone next week mid-20's at night 60's day. You probably won't need 80% of your prep, but better safe than sorry. I expect you'll have a great and enjoyable trip. I was there this past July. We left by the northeast over Beartooth Pass and boondocked one night at the summit overlook. It was crazy windy all night, temperature dropped into mid-teens; we used our Mr. Heater during night, but nothing else. We had no problems. Luckily we had clear sky in the evening and morning so the view from the 11,000-ft summit was awesome.
Good luck, have fun ... stay safe.
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