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Post Info TOPIC: Spending a Winter up North in a Fifth Wheel?


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Spending a Winter up North in a Fifth Wheel?


My wife and I have been contemplating selling the house and buying our RV prior to my wife quitting her job and spending the last year living in the RV.  We will be buying a 4 seasons unit according to the manufacturer. (Grand Design 366DEN) It gets pretty cold up in our area. It can get down to -10 F but not common. Usually only lasts a week or so. The temperature usually stays in the teens, 20s and 30s F. I am concerned that the RV may freeze up if we stay here over the winter.

Have any of you spent time in an RV over the winter and what did you do to prepare for living through the cold months? 

 



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Greg & Pam Smythe

Grand Design Solitude 366DEN

GMC 2500HD



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I don't know where up North is for you! I live east of Nashville TN. and the months of January thru March can eat up a lot of propane and electric to keep it about 70 inside my 34' Fiver which has an enclosed underbelly and skirted. Not saying it can't be done ; you need an insulated; heated fresh water hose; an insulated sewer hose and possibly leave the gray water tank valve open. Skirting helps keep the wind out. Don't forget to put heat tape on the fresh water source!
a lot of RVS are called four seasons but that means if you are South of the Mason-Dixon and sometime that can be testy.

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I have been doing the up north thing in New Hampshire , Maine area.......good insulated skirting....insulated and heated waterlines and all waste tanks and discharge lines.......snow removal tools and ladders to keep the load off the roof..melting snow on the roof from the heat causes water to get into cracks and refreeze which causes leaks prepare for them.....lots of propane and back up heat source.....keep in mind , RV furnaces are not designed for constant use so you will be changing blower motors !!!!....Keep a compressor handy so you can blow out lines and winterize in an emergency and anti freeze......Extreme life in a coach is not an experiment so if you have never done it your gonna learn fast.......

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I summer in Alberta and two campgrounds we stay at are open all winter. I would never do the winter but lots do. They get water delivered and most skirt their rigs. They tell me they use about 15lb of propane a day when its cold.

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Lucky Mike hit all the highlights. We wintered in Pennsylvania last year and it had its challenges, but we ultimately managed. We have a four season coach and were able to keep the majority of the cold out. We did use the shrink plastic around the bedroom window as it was right over our head where we slept; it did help. Ran two space heaters most of the time. Most of the parks around PA close for the winters so finding a park that we could stay in was a little tricky, but we made nice with the campground owner and she let us (and a few others) stay for the winter.

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We wintered in Michigan last winter in our 5th wheel. If you look back at our blog posts from late October onward on explorvistas.com, you can see what we did to prepare. As Pierre said, you will use a lot of propane and electricity. I know this sounds odd; get vent covers for all your roof vents and keep a vent cracked open in the bathroom all winter long. This will allow the moisture to escape from the unit. Best of luck!

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2007 Colorado 31 RL  5th wheel

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We live fulltime in Colorado in a Mobile Suites.  Winter is definitely do-able, you just need to prepare as others here have said.  We use our furnace as well as our fireplace.  We also have a couple of electric cube-style heaters as backup in case we have trouble with the furnace.  We have had to do furnace repair in the dead of winter so having the backup heaters was a lifesaver.



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Cindy T

08 Mobile Suites 38RLSB3



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We are similar to Cindy in that we are also living in Colorado (Colorado Springs area) and live in a Mobile Suites.  While we did fine last year without even skirting the trailer, when it got down to zero or below (coldest was -6 degrees), the hot water line from the water manifold to the kitchen sink froze.  No damage, thanks to the PEX plumbing, but we'd have to get our hot water from the bathroom.  I keep a remote thermometer in the underbelly, and it never got below 38 degrees near the water manifold.  However, it obviously got a bit cooler further away from the heat source near the manifold.  So, this year, I plan on seeing if I can place a small electric heater further back in the underbelly area.

I think that in most RV's, the furnace also helps heat the underbelly area, but precautions should still be taken, and remember that unless there is a separate heater in the underbelly, if the furnace isn't working, it will likely freeze.

Terry



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