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Old 02-07-2023, 12:12 PM   #1
Clark Jacobson
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Cold Weather Setup for Travel

I've been looking through the forums for information regarding the use of the RV's during cold weather/winter. I see a lot of discussion regarding cold weather storage, on setup at the site. My question is how do you set up your RV for "down the road" travel?

During winter storage, there are a number of procedures, with variations for taste and location. Site setup has a generalized set of procedures which we use while in place at a particular site.

But what is needed to assure you get to the site in winter with the trailer "initialized" for travel and occupation and be assured all will work?

We just returned from a trip where our average travel day was approx. 10 hours and up to 490 miles. I know most will say that is way too long and way too far. But we had places to go and people to see. We had approx 1600 miles to go.

What "winterization" should be done for such travel?

1. Water hose and hydrant heat taped. Or temp connections removed at night.
2. Sewer line same as above?
3. Leave some water in fresh water tank to allow usage down the road? Toilet?
4. Leave tank heaters on?
5. Do you add "pink stuff" to any of the lines?
6. Do you drain water heater?

I'm sure I'm mission a number of things. I'm interested in comments you may have. Thanks to all.
 
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Old 02-07-2023, 12:45 PM   #2
Daryles
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For winter travel in below freezing temperatures we winterize everything. We use RV antifreeze to flush toilet. We put RV antifreeze in the grey tanks (one gallon each).
We use gallon freshwater jugs for washing hands and kitchen use.
We try to limit tank usage as much as possible by using paper plates etc. and use Campground restrooms when practical.
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Old 02-07-2023, 01:01 PM   #3
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When actually traveling through the "freeze zone" areas, ours is also winterized with "pink stuff". During those times of travel (travel, overnight, travel, overnight) we are 100% winterized with "pink stuff", tanks are emptied, and no water is used through the on-board water system or put in any of the tanks. That may mean winterizing and unwinterizing multiple times on one trip. But we have done that on several occasions over the last many years.

(Some blow out the lines for travel. I just prefer the RV antifreeze and don't mind at all flushing lines to unwinterize. I've done it so much, I don't even think about it any more.)

We use a port-a-potty and dump it at the campground. We use bottled water and never pour it down the sink, toilet, or shower. It goes outside!

In the winter, especially when traveling, our trailer becomes a glorified tent. In a tent, there is no running water or holding tanks. That's how it's used, even though it is rated for zero degrees. I have tested it up to zero and things do stay "fluid." But one time we ran out of propane and that was a freezing challenge. Never again. Trailer is winterized and used like a glorified tent. No exceptions.
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Old 02-07-2023, 03:06 PM   #4
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I keep some water in the fresh tank to use on the road and run the heater at a low temp (50). I do not winterize for a day of travel.
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Old 02-07-2023, 06:48 PM   #5
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In a few weeks I'll be leaving the warm temps of AZ and heading north to WA near the Canadian border. Traveling I15 from Las Vegas thru Salt Lake City, Twin Falls, Boise and onto Portland. Temps will be at or below freezing during the nights and haven't considered doing anything special other then a stop every 3 hours for a break. With a heated basement figured I would run the furnace for an hour while stopped and avoid freeze ups. At night set temp for 68 and sleep well. Am I missing preps that should be done? Isn't a heated basement enough to keep the water system thawed out? Figured keeping the water tank at 20-30% would keep the flow moving around enough not to freeze. Drinking water comes from gallon jugs.
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Old 02-07-2023, 06:52 PM   #6
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When we travel and are using the trailer, we do as Zack said and run furnace at 50 degrees. Thanks to SeaLevel Gages, we know our tank status and usually only need to dump every other week. We strictly use our on board water and pump if it’s below freezing. We have camped and traveled in below zero (Fahrenheit) weather. As long as the campground has freeze protected hydrants, it’s fairly easy to fill the fresh water in a short time. We had two Montana’s traveling together last year and got caught at Williams, Az with 15” of snow and below zero. And yes, tank heaters and battery heaters on at that temp. Best of luck.
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Old 02-10-2023, 02:04 PM   #7
Clark Jacobson
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Thanks All! These are great helps that the "book" doesn't cover. I see some variations, but all are good for consideration. Thanks again!
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Old 02-10-2023, 02:12 PM   #8
Clark Jacobson
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Water Heater

Another question regarding cold weather travel. Does anyone drain the water heater on a daily basis when traveling during cold weather?
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Old 02-10-2023, 07:14 PM   #9
rames14
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We leave the water heater on when traveling below freezing.
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Old 02-12-2023, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rames14 View Post
We leave the water heater on when traveling below freezing.

Reminds me of the first 5er I ever owned and my limited experience on such things.

I had a gas pull truck then and the water heater in the old "Road Runner" brand trailer was right behind the landing gear on the front end... road side. I pulled up to a gas pump and started filling, great smell (back then) of gasoline vapor in the air and the water heater decided it was time to fire to re-heat! I had forgotten to shut it off.

I thought about the ramifications and never made that mistake again!

Full disclosure though... I do travel with my LP refrigerator on, but it least it is curbside and I burn diesel fuel now. Probably should re-think that.
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