Go Back   Montana Owners Club - Keystone Montana 5th Wheel Forum > GENERAL DISCUSSIONS > Brrr it's cold outside! Winter Camping
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-07-2017, 10:47 AM   #1
RovingHome
Established Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 12
M.O.C. #19508
How I made it through the winter in the northeast

We're just coming out of our first winter fulltime in the Montana. We spent the whole winter in the northeast with many weeks well below freezing and saw temps as low as -2 degrees. The whole winter we only used two 30lb tanks of propane and the coldest it ever got inside was 64 degrees on the few nights it dropped below zero. Here's what we did...

Starting outside the hose is wrapped in heat tape then wrapped in pipe insulation. The frost free spigot it wrapped in some left over batted insulation then covered in a trash bag and we put a 5-gallon bucket over everything. (The spigot covering was a quick fix in the dark after it froze up one really cold night and we ended up just leaving it like that)





I rolled up a piece of insulated fabric in a plastic bag to fill in the hole for the hose and ran in an additional 12 gauge extension cord here. I also have an extra piece of the 2" rigid foam that I close in the convenience center with since the doors not very well insulated.




Next, I added 2" rigid foam insulation to as much of the underbelly of the 5th wheel I could including the basement areas. This made the floor noticeably warmer since we decided not to skirt it.








Where all the pipes come in and out of the house I sealed the gaps with expanding foam. There were 6-inch holes drilled for 2-inch pipes everywhere I want to keep the cold air and animals out.

This photo is under the shower in an unseen area. Anywhere that could be seen I trimmed the foam flush.



Now moving inside, all 4 roof vents had insulated cushions in them. Some moisture was building up behind them so the wife wrapped them in white plastic bags to stop the cushions from getting wet and possibly getting moldy.

RovingHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2017, 10:47 AM   #2
RovingHome
Established Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 12
M.O.C. #19508
We noticed a draft was getting past the rubber seals around the sides through a half inch gap on really windy days.





The wife had a bunch of heavy insulated upholstery fabric from another project. So I cut it into 6-inch wide by 6 foot long strips then folded and placed in the gaps around all of the slides. Once installed it's completely unnoticeable and made a big difference in sealing in the heat.













The shower skylight was just two pieces of uninsulated Plexi that let in tons of heat in the summer and lots of cold in the winter. It had to go, so I pulled the inner skylight placed in a strip of thick batted insulation and a strip of reflectix. Then I painted the backside of the skylight with white plasti dip to make it look normal and so it could be removed in the future if someone wanted the sky light back.









Another huge cold air leak was the step, it must have no insulation at all. I'd check it with my IR thermometer and it would always be the outside temperature. So our quick fix that we ended up using the whole winter was just a left over piece of insulation laid over the step. I do plan on finding a better solution for this in the future but for now it kept the cold air out.







Next were the windows, the single pane glass that made up almost every wall was the biggest heat loss out of everything. By far the biggest help out of everything we did was cutting and lining the inside of every window with reflectix. This gained us 10 degrees of heat easy I can't stress enough how much this helped. I just cut the exact size of the window frame and the pressure held them in fine. I covered every single window besides for two small ones on each side to see out. We were faced so the large rear window so it was in the sun all day and had a large relectix style car sunshade we would unfold and put in the rear window at night and remove during the day for heat and light.












Then we pulled down all the ugly cornice boxes and fake curtains and bought these heavy 3 layer insulated curtains. The wife modified them all to fit the odd sized RV windows.


RovingHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2017, 10:48 AM   #3
RovingHome
Established Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 12
M.O.C. #19508
To help more with the cold floor we also added some thick throw rugs we had left over from the few years of house life.





Now I think that was about it for insulation. For heat our main source of warmth were a two electric tower heaters. One was in the living room area plugged into a 20amp outlet which you can see in the photo above. The second is in the kitchen area by the door, this one is plugged into a 12ga extension cord ran outside under the stairs to the bay to the post to keep it off the RV circuits.




You can also see it's showing 71-degrees in the house and it was 27 degrees out the day I took this.



We also have two very small heaters (the size of a soda can) that only pull 230 watts on high and 170 on low. I have one placed in the bedroom and one in the bay behind the convenience center. In this photo you can also see the bedroom window with a cornice that can't be removed, we put a tension rod inside the box with insulated curtain on it.









Lastly, we never had anything in our holding tanks and ever. Our gray water drains right out and we use a composting toilet keeping our black tank empty.







So that's about everything I can remember I did to help keep warm this winter in the northeast. I'm sure most of you seasoned fulltimers do the same things but hopefully it'll help the new fulltimers sticking it out in the winter. Our heater only came on the nights that were in the teens and below saving us expensive and limited propane. We never had a single interior tank or pipe freeze only one time the faucet froze but was quickly fixed with a hair dryer and some more insulation mentioned above.
RovingHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2017, 12:16 PM   #4
RovingHome
Established Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 12
M.O.C. #19508
Also forgot to mention our original 2008 furnace had a cracked burn chamber so we upgraded to the newest 35,000 BTU furnace.

RovingHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2017, 01:38 PM   #5
bigskyjimmy
Montana Master
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Washington Coast
Posts: 2,688
M.O.C. #10696
great post and lots of good advise for folks that full time in the REAL cold stuff,I fulltime in the NW and thank God it does not get that Cold here,By the way that is the first time I have seen someone use a Composting Toilet in a RV we just use our tank heaters but hey whatever works and also in my Experience as well Heat tape is the only way to go as IMO Heated Hoses SUCK
__________________
[
bigskyjimmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2017, 02:19 PM   #6
RovingHome
Established Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 12
M.O.C. #19508
We're staying on a family farm for about 9 months before we head out west in May. The farm had water and 50amp hook ups already but no sewer, looking at all the pro and cons we decided the composting toilet was the best option for us. Not having the black tank which is now an extra gray tank seems to make things easier.


Overall for anyone thinking about a composting toilet if you mostly stay in campgrounds with hook ups stick with the black tank. If anyone's interested I can make a post about the composting toilet I've been it using full time for almost a year now.
RovingHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2017, 08:48 AM   #7
BucBuckeye
Established Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Petoskey
Posts: 33
M.O.C. #19690
Great post! Thanks for all the helpful "hacks"! We're buying one up north, and taking it further north. The wife has never experienced a northern winter, and has always shaken her head while I regale her with tales of walking to school in the snow, uphill both ways...so I'm trying to get her to agree to stay through Thanksgiving this year to give her some exposure to a real winter.

Your information may be very useful should I prove successful!
BucBuckeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2017, 07:04 PM   #8
Overlord
Montana Fan
 
Overlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: gresham
Posts: 441
M.O.C. #11202
Quote:
Originally Posted by BucBuckeye View Post
... and has always shaken her head while I regale her with tales of walking to school in the snow, uphill both ways...
I had to do this as well. I didn't have mittens, so mom had me take a freshly baked potato in each sweater pocket (only the rich kids had coats) to keep my hands warm on the long walk to school, ...and that's all I had to eat for lunch. Boy, were my hands ever cold on the way home though! =O)
Overlord is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.