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WINTER CAMPING

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hutch42

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WINTER CAMPING
« on: August 31, 2019, 12:28:35 pm »
Anyone remember a post about a PC owner winter camping, I believe in upstate NY.  It was about a year to a year and half ago.  I did a search but could not find anything.

They were mentioning temps close to zero degrees and  how the PC performed quite well.   Wanted to forward the post to a friend.

Hutch

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biglegmax

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2019, 01:11:27 pm »
I don't remember seeing that post. We were in 10 degrees, with up to 10" fresh snow last fall. Not much competition for good camping spots! There are some modifications that will make your life easier. I'm still working on a few, but overall winter camping has always been a big part of our lives.
Doug

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donc13

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 05:53:27 pm »
A couple of years ago, we traveled near Christmas time between the Gulf coast in Texas and Denver in Colorado.  Temperatures ranged from the 60's to the low teens.   No problems other than frozen moisture on the inside of the windshield in the morning.  We we plugged in at a KOA and a city RV stop/parking with electricity on the 2 coldest nights.

Many times we have stayed overnight at a Wal-Mart or other parking lot when the Temps overnight got into the upper teens to low 20's.

Again, no issues.   Of course, we always made sure our coach batteries were fully charged and we had plenty of propane.

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jim.godfrey

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 07:27:46 pm »
Just one guys opinion but this guy doesn't think much of the PC insulation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tldc9Rattus&t=300s
He talks about it starting around minute 4.
Also complains about air conditioner noise.
Just to clarify, this is not me.

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Joseph

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 09:58:49 am »
Canít argue with the video. The comparison to the born free though has cons as well. I donít want carpet for flooring no matter if itís warmer or not. One issue with insulation is if the walls are made thicker to make room for insulation your going to be giving up living space.  I always thought the one place they could add more was in the roof. Making the height a couple inches taller to accommodate more insulation might help.

The issue with AC noise I heard from owners of many brands.

In the end it all comes down to how much money do you want to spend. You can buy a new 25í rig for 60 grand. The quality.. well . As an example on my last trip we had the bottoms of 2 drawers fall out. One was empty at the time. All because the drawers are just stapled together. Now while I was in new orleans I came across a couple and with their MH all the drawers were dove tailed, with slow close system as well. The unit had 600 hp, 1800 foot pounds of torque, the build quality was amazing . The temps were high and his place was cool and quiet. The rv was massive at either 43 or 45 foot. It was a IKON so I of course looked it up. Right around $600,000.00 !   Way out of my pay grade. Point being, want better, want more, pay more and so it goes

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hutch42

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 03:15:04 pm »
Thanks all for your response's.

I was trying to answer a cold question on another forum.  Whoever posted that had a detailed description of what it was like and how they tried to overcome stuff when the temps got close to zero.   I believe PC do as well as any others in the cold.

Now if your from the PNW it really never gets that cold on the west side of the Cascades.  Maybe hi teens on a few nights at 4000'.  When a lot of newbies ask why they dont make a true 4 season RV, I just send them these pics of Mt Baker & Crystal Mountain ski area parking lots and tell them not to worry about it tymote

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Joseph

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2019, 09:51:22 am »
You could do it in a tent as well, just depends on what you want.

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biglegmax

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2019, 06:48:02 pm »
I have to admit I'm not a fan of carpet either....BUT before I head over to eastern Montana in a few months I am installing a full floor piece. It's going to be a big throw rug basically. I want to be able to pull it out easily and dry it if needed, and depending on how much abuse it takes I might just throw it out at the end of the winter season. These floors loose a lot of heat.

I have no problem with the furnace, although I think they should have run another vent forward. Have not tried the heat strip, I can't imagine it would help much. We rarely run the generator or plug in, so as long as the LP holds up why subject yourself to all the noise.(maybe thats why they have a surround sound option :cool)

Another issue I'm going to address is a cutoff switch for the external electric steps, if the steps are going to freeze in a solid ball of ice, I want them to be in the UP position.

A simple cutoff valve to the external shower would have been a thoughtful design, so you could make sure the system didn't freeze. We got by last year removing the hose and insulating the compartment, but once we got into warmer temps it was the first place I looked for damage.

Doug

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Joseph

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 11:05:51 am »
Big, I agree on all points.  Addressing the step cut off shouldnít be too hard. The outside shower will come down to finding access to install a cutoff.


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Ashby

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 12:35:15 pm »
How do you manage the holding tanks and macerator pump while dry camping?
I have the heated tank option but it runs the batteries down so fast it is useless without hookups.

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donc13

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 04:22:03 pm »
The step issue is already in place.   The left of the 3 brown switches in the entry controls how the steps work.  In the off position... The steps come out when you open the side door, and stay out until you start the engine.

In the on position, the steps stay retracted unless the side door is opened.   I believe (but could be wrong) that if the engine is running... They won't come out at all.

Which means, if enclosed in ice, and you open the side door... They *should* try to come out... But if blocked by ice will sense that and simply stay retracted.   If they aren't iced up, the will come out and then close again when you close the door.

The other option is to put a switch across the two wires going to the plunger at the bottom of the entryway.   Close the switch and the system will think the door is closed no matter what.

There may also be a fuse in the fuse panel that powers the step controller.    I don't recall if there is or isn't one, but if there is, pull the fuse when the step is retracted.
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2 Lucky

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2019, 04:34:41 pm »
Hanging a heavy blanket between the cab and coach is a big help, and don't put the slide(s) out. I have pieces of foil faced bubble insulation (not really insulation, actually is a reflective barrier... but they call it insulation) cut for each window and roof vents and skylight. Our coach came with a quick disconnect gas connection by the fridge for an RV approved portable propane space heater, nice because no fan is used (no power usage.) Keeps the chill off. I've run it overnight all closed up with two CO detectors to test this and no alarms went off. But then I wasn't in there inhaling all of the oxygen either. They say to keep a vent open.

I'd use a porta-potty and not use the gray or black tanks. We actually just take two 5 gallon water jugs, drink wine and beer instead. Put a catch basin in the sink, use bio soap, and dump it outside, using a strainer to separate the organic matter.. This is what we do in our Aliner all the time. It is what you do on river expeditions (the drink beer part too.) You could put antifreeze in the gray tank if you need to use it. Black tank tends to generate some of it's own heat.

We like solar lights and use AA candles (rechargeable batteries always please!) Solar on the roof charges everything on sunny days. Remember that the days are shorter, the nights are longer, think of interesting ways to keep warm on those long nights!

And be happy you are not on the ground in a tent...

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Sarz272000

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2019, 04:54:47 pm »
Hanging a heavy blanket between the cab and coach is a big help, and don't put the slide(s) out. I have pieces of foil faced bubble insulation (not really insulation, actually is a reflective barrier... but they call it insulation) cut for each window and roof vents and skylight. Our coach came with a quick disconnect gas connection by the fridge for an RV approved portable propane space heater, nice because no fan is used (no power usage.) Keeps the chill off. I've run it overnight all closed up with two CO detectors to test this and no alarms went off. But then I wasn't in there inhaling all of the oxygen either. They say to keep a vent open.

I'd use a porta-potty and not use the gray or black tanks. We actually just take two 5 gallon water jugs, drink wine and beer instead. Put a catch basin in the sink, use bio soap, and dump it outside, using a strainer to separate the organic matter.. This is what we do in our Aliner all the time. It is what you do on river expeditions (the drink beer part too.) You could put antifreeze in the gray tank if you need to use it. Black tank tends to generate some of it's own heat.

We like solar lights and use AA candles (rechargeable batteries always please!) Solar on the roof charges everything on sunny days. Remember that the days are shorter, the nights are longer, think of interesting ways to keep warm on those long nights!

And be happy you are not on the ground in a tent...

I love your candor!  I canít stop laughing!  The blanket is a great idea. We used one this summer in 95+ heat and the A/C performed great!  Love the porta-potty as the wife could then empty it and not just watch! I might get in trouble for that remark.

We used solar lights from the walkway once and they worked great when we lost power at home. They could be placed in direct sun at camp for charging. A good bright led one would be invaluable.

 I am no where near ready for winter camping.  Not really confident for normal boon-docking yet. We tailgated at Western Mich football last weekend and learned a lot.  My batteries at 4 years old are not up to providing much energy as awning and warmer in low took them down to 50%. 

Ron S

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2019, 08:24:45 pm »
This is an interesting subject.

I imagine the rules that apply for a brick-n-mortar house would also apply in a motor home.  There are two primary contributors to a cold home.

#1 - Air Infiltration From Poor Window & Door Seals
PCs rank high in this category.  Seal up the leaking air and you solved the worst of your heat loss and discomfort.  Our PC has NO slideout so I cannot comment how well slideout seals do their job in extreme cold conditions, but I imagine the seals become less effective with age.

#2 - Radiated Cold
The front cab area, ceiling vents, and single pane RV glass are primary contributors.

Front Cab
As 2 Lucky mentioned, drape a thick quilt or unzip'd sleeping bag over the front seats and tuck it tight between the seat-to-wall sides and flat to the floor....seal it all very well.  You will notice a really big difference between the temperature in the PC house verses the lower cab area.  The air at "knee level" in the house will be much much warmer.

Roof Vents
Cover inside the roof vents with a product like THIS.

Single Pane Glass
As mentioned by others, covering single pane RV glass with sun shade style foil wrapped bubble-pack material is effective as long as it seals tightly over the glass.  I wonder how to seal it properly.


Phoenix does pretty well by RV standards with insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling.  We can only hope that the Phoenix insulation installer did a good job, leaving no air gaps.  It's a good design as long as the workmanship is good.

I have noticed in our PC bathroom shower that when it is warm and humid in the bathroom in cold weather, I can see vertical cold-lines where the steel studs radiate the cold from the outside to the inside.  There is accumulated humidity where the studs are.  The only way around that is to use wood studs of which I'd rather not have.


Our 2007 2350 has thermal pane glass and no slideouts so our rig is smaller and better sealed than most PCs.  So I think our situation is more ideal for "cold" camping.  Having an electric site makes a very big difference, offering power for supplemental electric heat.  I place a small ceramic heater near the quilt barrier facing rearward to neutralize any cold remnants from the cab area and entry door.  When setup so, our furnace doesn't run much or not at all pending the outside temperature.  And "Yes" we make certain the quilt won't fall on or close to the space heater.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 08:58:18 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Joseph

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Re: WINTER CAMPING
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2019, 09:33:57 pm »
Other than a day or two on full hook up say in the 20ís my way of winter camping is strictly Marriott.  Call me a woos, Iím good with it.