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Old 10-13-2014, 08:25 PM   #1
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Overwintering IN the RW for Fulltimers

Please excuse me if this was covered before, I could not find it. There has been a lot of discussion of preparing to STORE the RW for winter, with great information.

I would love to hear from those of you who have lived through a real "Winter" (as in some freezing temps, a few storms) in your RW. Sometimes I feel like we are pioneering in this area. I know there have been at least a couple of you.

We are not yet retired (couple more years to go) and must stay put here in SW Washington over the winter. It's a little daunting. Obviously we will not be "winterizing" the systems for storage, because we will be using them.

Some thoughts I had:
-Getting the electrified FW hose for outside, wrap, electric-heat-tape water outlet.
-Will make sure furnace runs in freezing temps to heat underbelly
-Am going to buy thick insulation batting to cover ext. TV under the door, then the existing "leak" to the interior should keep the tv a little warmer and it should keep less cold air from entering coach.
-I see no need to wrap/heat sewer hose. It's empty unless water is running through it, so nothing to freeze. Am I missing something on this?
-Buying a couple extra propane tanks to have on hand to keep trips to fill them to a minimum.

I am sure I am forgetting a few things. Hopefully next April I will be saying, "Winter was just fine in the RW".
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
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TNT, I think forum member Oregonbound has wintered in Columbia Falls (NW) MT, and could enlighten you about winter living. Probably worse than LaCenter will be but they could probably help. I'm going to take the chicken way out of the problem and just go south until winterizing is no longer needed.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:21 PM   #3
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TNT,
I might be in the same boat as you. The DW is trying to talk me into going back to Grand Junction, CO in December so we can look for a house and her a job. Thus far I've been in the 20's a few nights before and had no issues.

My plan is to get a heated hose, possibly a larger propane tank and possibly remove one of the walls in the basement to keep that area nice and toasty. We have a full coach RO system so we use the Fresh water tank constantly. I'll likely keep it close to full (run the system in the daytime when it's warmer) so that it has no chance of freezing. I believe that and the black tank are the tanks nearest to the outside of the coach. The two gray tanks sit on top of the black (at least in a 38BR) so I'm less worried about them. The only other real concern I have is the water line going to the island, and possibly the ice maker line. However I suspect the ice maker line can freeze without actually breaking anything.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:20 AM   #4
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I winter in my RVs all the time. Like I posted in one of the threads, I stayed a little south of Pittsburg 2 winters ago, in sub zero for stretches of time. I have stayed in MI during the winter, and that is cold coupled with a lot of snow. I use a heated water hose. This winter, I think I will try on of the manufactured heated hoses, but before I just bought a standard hose and put a thermostated heat tape on it, then covered that with the 6 foot long sections of waterline insulation, that is available anywhere. I usually hook up the sewer permanent, with PVC piping, but have also used the regular hose, encased in the cheap PVC in a bigger size. That just keep the hose flat, with no dips, so I can let the gray water empty continuously. I have never skirted, but am thinking I might this winter. Also, most propane companies will let you "borrow a 100lb tank, if you sign a contract to buy only from them. Or, you can buy one for about 100 bucks. In real cold months, you will use at least 100 lb, plus use electric heater inside. I use a couple of in fared heaters, along with the fireplace. Winters have been very comfortable, even in temps below zero for a few days at a time.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JerryL View Post
I winter in my RVs all the time. Like I posted in one of the threads, I stayed a little south of Pittsburg 2 winters ago, in sub zero for stretches of time. I have stayed in MI during the winter, and that is cold coupled with a lot of snow. I use a heated water hose. This winter, I think I will try on of the manufactured heated hoses, but before I just bought a standard hose and put a thermostated heat tape on it, then covered that with the 6 foot long sections of waterline insulation, that is available anywhere. I usually hook up the sewer permanent, with PVC piping, but have also used the regular hose, encased in the cheap PVC in a bigger size. That just keep the hose flat, with no dips, so I can let the gray water empty continuously. I have never skirted, but am thinking I might this winter. Also, most propane companies will let you "borrow a 100lb tank, if you sign a contract to buy only from them. Or, you can buy one for about 100 bucks. In real cold months, you will use at least 100 lb, plus use electric heater inside. I use a couple of in fared heaters, along with the fireplace. Winters have been very comfortable, even in temps below zero for a few days at a time.
I like all of that, however, what about the hose bib where you connect to city water, is that also heat taped ??
Our hydrants here are meant to be used in the winter, but they self drain 5' below ground. If a hose were hooked up to it, the standpipe would freeze solid.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:32 AM   #6
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I will definitely be heat-taping the hose stand. it would freeze. I will also wrap it with insulation.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:45 AM   #7
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I like all of that, however, what about the hose bib where you connect to city water, is that also heat taped ??
Our hydrants here are meant to be used in the winter, but they self drain 5' below ground. If a hose were hooked up to it, the standpipe would freeze solid.
Yes, I'm sorry, I forgot that. I run a heat tape down the city water connection. I usually dig down about a foot, run the tape down, and wrap the whole city connection in heat tape, and insulation. Some places I've stayed had dedicated winter spots, with the city connection about 2 feet underground, with a concrete encasement surrounding it. In that case, I just lay a heat tape down inside the encasement, and make sure the thermostat is above ground. Those hydrants you speak of are self draining hydrants, but what most parks fail to realize is that if they are kept under pressure, they aren't winter friendly, as they don't drain, if hooked up, and turned on. I always heat tape those, and then wrap in insulation. You can also cheaply build a wood box to go overtop of those, after heat taping.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:48 AM   #8
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These heated underbelly rigs are really pretty winter friendly, without skirting, if you don't mind running the furnace quit a bit, and use electric heaters to calm the cold spots.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:58 AM   #9
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Well, I am greatly happy to hear all of this. I also have put my trusty electric mattress pad on the bed :-) as I do every winter. Getting into a toasty bed at night is a big help. I used this in the S&B too. I am sure we will become acutely aware of where the leaky areas are in the coach for cold air to leak through. I do greatly worry about something freezing underneath, but I haven't heard of anyone yet on the forum complaining of that, unless I missed it? Hope not.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:06 AM   #10
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Well, I am greatly happy to hear all of this. I also have put my trusty electric mattress pad on the bed :-) as I do every winter. Getting into a toasty bed at night is a big help. I used this in the S&B too. I am sure we will become acutely aware of where the leaky areas are in the coach for cold air to leak through. I do greatly worry about something freezing underneath, but I haven't heard of anyone yet on the forum complaining of that, unless I missed it? Hope not.
Just make sure you run your propane furnace enough to keep the underbelly relatively warm, and it doesn't take as much as you might think. I have heard of some people trying to get off cheaper, and run only electric heaters, as most campgrounds have electric included, and end up with something freezing, trying to get by cheaper. It's not bad in moderate winters, really. I have no experience with far north winters, but MI got pretty cold, and my RVs have faired well. I have never skirted, and the only reason I probably will this winter, is to just keep the RV more cozy, and draft free, as I'm pretty close to my S&B, and my wife visits about every other week, now that my kid is in the same town, going to college, and mom loves to visit her daughter. LOL
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