• Ray
    403
    In this video, I go over some of the preparations and methods we use to deal with camping in below freezing weather. Being snowbirds, we aren't hardcore cold weather RVers by any means, but once in a while, we encounter short term, chilly periods dipping into the low 20s Fahrenheit. ( -5 or below Celcius)



    During this last week, we dealt with a frosty blast of unseasonably cool weather for Arizona. Two days saw several inches of snow and 5 nights of temps in the low 20's.

    If the nights will be below freezing for an extended period aka "hard freeze warning" I will fill our RV fresh water tank. We will use the internal water pump versus a city water hookup. I also drain and store the water and sewer hoses.

    Our 2011 Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheel trailer has a few features that help. The underbelly is enclosed along with the plumbing, waste and water tanks. The city water hookup is inside the basement storage in a special water closet area.

    There is a dedicated heating duct that blows warm furnace air into the underbelly area. The basement storage gets radiant heat from a duct that runs through it to the bedroom.

    Because of the special ducting, I run the RV propane furnace all night usually keeping the thermostat set around 65F. This burns lots of LP gas, but I feel its better to spend a little more on gas than deal with cracked plumbing.

    When the temperature is above freezing we utilize a True North electric heater or when off grid a Big Buddy portable propane radiant heater.

    My wife gets cold at night so utilizes an electric blanket when on shore power or fills up a hot water bottle when boondocking.
  • Greg F
    154
    Recently we added an electric mattress pad. It keeps us nice and toasty without heating the entire camper up. There are separate controls for each of us. A little chilly if you need to make a bathroom visit but otherwise allows us to turn down the t-stat to 60 degrees or less which keeps everything warm enough not to freeze and the dogs from getting cold. The pad uses about 60-80 Ah of battery overnight run through the inverter.
  • Eddie Aileen
    81
    I may need your schooling in this practice! Ha!! Ha!!
  • Ray
    403
    haha, not likely!
  • Ray
    403
    Smart to let the dog do the driving in that snow and ice. :grin:
  • MstrLister
    2
    I have recently been considering adding the Falcon tank heating pads to our Jay Flight SLX camper to extend our season. The camper does not have any under belly insulation or heating ducts there, or much insulation in general. We easily survive colder nights with a knock off eden pure placed in the middle of the camper, but if we want to be out when the temps get close or dip below freezing, I think I need to protect the tanks. I could also consider adding the plastic layer that is typically found on campers to help with wind passing the under belly.
    Does anyone have experience with these or similar product? Any ideas in general on this upgrade?
  • Charles Lloyd
    4
    Ray,
    Thank for the explanation on what to do during 20 degree weather. We got caught in this type weather last spring in Kansas. Had an electric heated hose but the faucet froze and no water in the on board tank. Now we know what to do.
    Thanks.
    Charles and Sara
  • RichardM
    54
    Just my opinion, but I think you need insulation below the tanks as well as something to protect the insulation. Plus the heating duct does provide most of the heat. The tank heaters, at least on our fifth wheel, just heat the area around the drain, run on 12 vdc, and only draw a couple of amps. So maybe 30 or 40 watts at best. That isn't much heat. Plus the insulation and plastic underbelly keep some of that heat in around the drain pipes and water pipes so they don't freeze. These features may be challenging to retrofit.
  • JanS
    2
    I full-time in Northern Ontario in a Thor Chateau 31' C class. When I hunker down from November to March on my daughter's property, here's my routine: hook up the heated water hoses & cover the tap with foil insulator wrap / set up 2 small barrel heaters under each end of the rig aimed at each other / circle the base of the rig with blue insulfoam ( regular full sheet cut in half lengthwise) & tape / roll on my EZsnap skirting & tap on the pins ( https://ezsnapdirect.com/products/rv-skirting/ )
  • MstrLister
    2
    Thank you both. I’m not trying to be out in any arctic temps, I just want to feel comfortable if we are out later in the year or early in the season and temps dip in the 20’s overnight which down here would only be 10-15 below freezing. 99% of the plumbing is inside, except for a small portion from the fresh holding tank, but that could potentially be solved by the heated hose. I was hoping the tank pads would provide some added protection and stop anything from freezing in those conditions.
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