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Old 11-11-2014, 08:23 AM   #1
Seasoned Camper
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Cold weather camping

We are living in our 2007 30' Montana in Franklin, TN. We have only been here about 1 week but we will be here for several months. The overnight temps are dropping into the 20's. We have the alleged Arctic package. No problem staying warm so far. My question is if I am not running the furnace but am using an electric I need to winterized the water system? Also we need to leave the RV unoccupied for a few days with these overnight temps. Do I need to leave the heat on? We are originally from CA so RV winterization was never a concern.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
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If you are getting in the 20 s in the night and in the 40 s 50 s in the day you have nothing to worry about.
Lynwood Harrell
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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The usual advice is to force the furnace to run occasionally to keep the underbelly heated when you are in the rig. If temperatures are in the 20's at night and I wanted to leave the rig for a few days, I personally would do one of two things, either blow out the lines with compressed air or just leave the furnace on at low temperatures. Be warned though, the furnace will use substantial propane, so make sure both tanks are full.

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Old 11-11-2014, 09:30 AM   #4
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It might be worth your effort to contact a local propane dealer and have them place a large tank next to the rig and connect it. We went over a month in Missouri last winter with lows down to single digits with no problem, except had to fill a tank every other day. There were no issues with freezing the plumbing using the propane heater, which adds heat to the belly area where the tanks and plumbing is. We used a Pirit hose and the riser/faucet at the campground was equiped with heat tape. If we knew early on during our stay, we would have had a large tank installed, but by the time it got real cold, we were getting close to leaving.
Bob & Becky
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
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Everybody is spot on , I am a fulltimer and have left my rig many times in the Winter for a week at a time ,like they said have both propane tanks filled ,OR when I was wintering in one spot we had a Propane company lease us a 80Gal tank for the Winter and leave the heat on about 55 ,Disconnect the water hose put it into the storage,heat tape on the spigot or in our case the resort already has the spigot insulated and also make sure your sewer hose is empty or when you come back it will be a block of ice and then you will be just fine Especially just for 2 days
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:19 PM   #6
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I spent three winters living in a TT at a campground. Although I did get a big propane tank from the local dealer, I also ran two ceramic heaters, running the furnace only when necessary (and I still went through quite a bit!), and heat taped the water and sewer hoses. Never added heat pads to the holding tanks (they were way expensive back then), but I did make some skirting to shelter the underbelly. Once some snow came, I piled it up alongside to increase the blockage. (Had to make that 'temporary' to satisfy the CG owners.) Today and for a 5er, if you don't want to add heating pads to your holding tanks (not really that hard, but time consuming), you can figure out how to block everything off even if only with temporary skirting and put a couple of incandescent trouble lights under where the tanks are - especially the black one. Adding another to your basement area will also help. One thing some don't think about is those insulated pillows to stick in any vent you've got - including the Fantastic Fan. Those holes are tremendous heat vents even when they're closed.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
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Thank you all so very much. I will take all your advice to mind and do what I have to do. Take care and camp safe.
Jim in Franklin, TN
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:32 PM   #8
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In mid 20 degree temps and with the thermostat set for 71 degrees, a 30 lb. tank will last for a day and a half to two days. We can extend that somewhat with the electric fireplace. If the furnace is running regularly, you should not have a problem with your rig freezing. Your issue will probably be your water hose from the hydrant to the rig. In subfreezing temps we bring our hose inside and store it in the shower and take it out and hook up only when we need water.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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Camping north of Knoxville, Tn now and temps predicted in the 20's tonight. What position should my propane regulator be in for the tanks to switch from one to the other automatically?
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:28 AM   #10
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it does not matter (left or right) it will automatically change over just make sure BOTH tanks are open,the purpose of the lever for each tank is if you DO NOT want it to change over and isolate one tank like me because I do not want the situation to happen where I am Totally out of Propane and have to get them filled up,when one goes empty I open the valve to the other tank then I manually change the lever to the full tank and go fill the empty when I get a chance
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:42 AM   #11
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we are staying in ours in Katy, Texas. The fireplace keeps our toes warm. I'm glad we have a front living room. The back is very cold. We wrapped a tarp aroun the back but the north wind is wicked tonight.
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:51 AM   #12
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We can make the camper pretty toasty with the fireplace and 2 ceramic heaters plugged in. Our last trip it dipped into the mid-20s and the furnace only kicked on once all night. We were pulling 44 amps at one point with those 3 heaters, the water heater on electric, and a few lights, the fridge, and a mini fridge all operating, as well as the usual power vampires that exist in our rigs. While the basement was a bit chilly the next morning, it was nowhere near freezing. These rigs leak a lot of heat - we've been camping in snow several times where there were several inches on the ground, but none on the ground in the immediate vicinity of the Monty. I have a neighbor who plugs a 100W light bulb in and puts it is the basement as an added precaution. I haven't tried that yet.
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Old 11-14-2014, 05:56 AM   #13
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We put two heat strips in the AC on our 2010 Montana. Work pretty well, never had to run gas furnace.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #14
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Learned a bit this past week. Temps were never over 25* and snow every day. The furnace seemed to cycle quite a bit and it got cool in the back as soon as it shut off, so I ran the fireplace. This made the furnace run less-but soon it was apparent that the water lines were freezing. So I tried this to force more heat into the belly; I covered the register in the bedroom(upstairs) and partially covered the one nearest the stairs. The furnace would run longer periods, but cycled less often and the water soon flowed again. The fireplace is nice and so is electric heat, but don't forget how the tanks stay thawed folks. As an added benefit, it was cooler upstairs and I slept better and the kitchen area is usually warm anyway.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:31 PM   #15
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Jim-n-Kathy; We are located just outside Nashville in Mt. Juliet for the winter at a COE Park. If you need any help or info let us know. Maybe we can get together for dinner sometime. We have been fulltime for over 2 years now.

Scott & Sue
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Old 11-18-2014, 03:31 AM   #16
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The bottom line is that these RVs are not truly year round all weather rigs. In cold temps, they will be cold. The only way to keep them semi warm is to run the furnace and/or electric heaters almost all the time. As soon as they are shut off it starts to get chilly again.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #17
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Jim and Kathy, I sent you a PM (Private Message). Look for the notification in the upper right hand corner of the main MOC page when you first sign on.
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