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Old 09-09-2020, 09:00 AM   #1
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Camping in subfreezing weather

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?
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:49 AM   #2
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You sound like you have the right ideas. I would just have an extra propane tank and some bottled water in case your pipes do freeze you have some drinking water and toilet water.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:12 AM   #3
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In 10 degree weather we can burn a 20 lb tank in 2-3 days.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
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?
It's all ready cold here in west . 19 this morning and lows below freezing all week at night early morning . no issues with a heated hose . Come October you could be looking at temps below freezing for 24 hr periods , snow , cold very cold like in the teens , of course every yr is different . Most camp grounds close here on October 1st with a few staying open till October 15th . I suggest using your fresh water tank and not city water . tanks and water lines that are shielded in an insulated underbelly will fair ok as long as you don't get the temps in the teens for 24 hrs or more . be careful towing snow is highly likely as it even snowed a bit yesterday . good luck and enjoy
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by corocky1998 View Post
You sound like you have the right ideas. I would just have an extra propane tank and some bottled water in case your pipes do freeze you have some drinking water and toilet water.
Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:06 AM   #6
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In 10 degree weather we can burn a 20 lb tank in 2-3 days.
Yikes! I guess I will carry an extra tank just in case.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
It's all ready cold here in west . 19 this morning and lows below freezing all week at night early morning . no issues with a heated hose . Come October you could be looking at temps below freezing for 24 hr periods , snow , cold very cold like in the teens , of course every yr is different . Most camp grounds close here on October 1st with a few staying open till October 15th . I suggest using your fresh water tank and not city water . tanks and water lines that are shielded in an insulated underbelly will fair ok as long as you don't get the temps in the teens for 24 hrs or more . be careful towing snow is highly likely as it even snowed a bit yesterday . good luck and enjoy
I'll be staying in West Yellowstone at an RV park that is open til mid-October. When I made the reservations a couple of months ago, they only had 3 site left that late into the season. Said it's a crazy busy year for them.

My tanks are not shielded. They are all exposed underneath. The lines are mostly shielded though.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:42 PM   #8
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When Winter glamping at a site with electricity, I always carry one or even two electric space heaters. This saves considerably on propane. I don't mind paying for the propane. I just don't like running out in the middle of the night.

In conjunction with the electric space heater, I also use a programmable thermostat: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The programmable thermostat allows me to set the temperature vs. relying on the little dial-a-temp on the heater. I set the programmable thermostat a few degrees warmer than the on-board propane heater so the propane comes on only when the space heater(s) can't keep up.
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:12 PM   #9
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Yikes! I guess I will carry an extra tank just in case.
We began to use 2 ceramic electric heaters to help offset the propane consumption. We live in the Pittsburgh PA area and use the camper all winter as an escape from the house since my parents are living with us

So all winter, down to around 0į F we were filling tanks and using the camper as a private place... And had driveway bonfires with friends. Good use of the investment.
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:20 PM   #10
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will you have power?
if so buy an oil filled heater. we use one in our seasonal. I've gone through 1x30 lb tank for cooking on the stove inside in 3 years.


I never use my propane for hot water or furnace. some nights its too warm and I get up to shut it off.
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:30 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:27 PM   #12
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Remember to keep the cabinet doors open where pipes are inside your rig.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:56 PM   #13
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Hose

Skirting helps but is expensive. Get extra space heaters. I have a large 150 gallon propane tank that can plug into an adapter. Any propane dealership can do this Itís a pain to keep having to get more propane. Or call where your camping site and see if someone can fill your tank on site. But most important get a heated hose. They are blue and plug into a regular 3 prong socket where you plug your power cable I have a propane blower in case I freezeó-rarely Iíll freeze where you hook up the sewer line. I place the blower and let it thaw things out. The inside rarely freezes because you run your heaters constantly. Winterizing your Rv for storage is a separate topic but pouring antifreeze in evevery drain and emptying all tanks including fresh water is whatís done
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:40 PM   #14
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Stay warm

For overnight comfort, an electric blanket allows a lower thermostat setting for your furnace.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:46 PM   #15
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My trailer has a heated basement and heated holding tanks. Iíve 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 doesnít 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.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
If the temps do drop low, what's the best way to prevent pipes from freezing up with this rig?
Anything else I should do?
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.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:32 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Larry0071 View Post
We began to use 2 ceramic electric heaters to help offset the propane consumption. We live in the Pittsburgh PA area and use the camper all winter as an escape from the house since my parents are living with us

So all winter, down to around 0į F we were filling tanks and using the camper as a private place... And had driveway bonfires with friends. Good use of the investment.
I could see needing a getaway too! I don't know if I'll be using the camper over the winter; this will be our first winter with the RV. I like the idea of it, but I don't know if my wife will be keen on using the RV without water, which is the only way I see us winter camping in the dead of winter in our current rig.

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Originally Posted by McCormickJim View Post
When Winter glamping at a site with electricity, I always carry one or even two electric space heaters. This saves considerably on propane. I don't mind paying for the propane. I just don't like running out in the middle of the night.

In conjunction with the electric space heater, I also use a programmable thermostat: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The programmable thermostat allows me to set the temperature vs. relying on the little dial-a-temp on the heater. I set the programmable thermostat a few degrees warmer than the on-board propane heater so the propane comes on only when the space heater(s) can't keep up.
Thanks for the suggestion on the thermostat plug. I'll look into that. I have a couple of space heaters at home that we'll be bringing along on this trip.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:36 AM   #18
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will you have power?
if so buy an oil filled heater. we use one in our seasonal. I've gone through 1x30 lb tank for cooking on the stove inside in 3 years.


I never use my propane for hot water or furnace. some nights its too warm and I get up to shut it off.
Thanks. I'll look into the oil filled heaters.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Foothills View Post
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.
That's good to hear. I'd love to not have to buy and haul around skirting if we can help it. I'll have to think about whether or not we really want to invest in it.

Any suggestions on sheltering the drain valve? Just some pipe insulation, you think?
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by gdowds View Post
Skirting helps but is expensive. Get extra space heaters. I have a large 150 gallon propane tank that can plug into an adapter. Any propane dealership can do this Itís a pain to keep having to get more propane. Or call where your camping site and see if someone can fill your tank on site. But most important get a heated hose. They are blue and plug into a regular 3 prong socket where you plug your power cable I have a propane blower in case I freezeó-rarely Iíll freeze where you hook up the sewer line. I place the blower and let it thaw things out. The inside rarely freezes because you run your heaters constantly. Winterizing your Rv for storage is a separate topic but pouring antifreeze in evevery drain and emptying all tanks including fresh water is whatís done
I had looked into the heated hose... But I think I'll use it so infrequently I don't know that I can justify the cost to me. I'd rather just keep unhooked and fill the FW tank as needed. This being said, if it wasn't my money I was spending, I'd absolutely be buying one! lol
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