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Old 12-17-2014, 11:22 PM   #1
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Polar Vortex Camping in Wyoming

Just wanted to let all in the community know that we spent from mid-October to just before Thanksgiving camping in Guernsey, Wyoming and we got caught in the polar vortex. Temperature on the truck one morning was -17 degrees. We want you to know that we were cozy inside and, in fact, got too warm in the bedroom. We did have issues with holding tanks freezing, and the insulated water hose guaranteed for -41 didn't make it. We went through a lot of propane, as you might imagine, but other than the inconvenience of not being able to dump the tanks for a few days, we were fine. We did have shore power issues and thought the power converter was fried, but it turned out to not be the case at all. We changed sites when it was 9 degrees outside with no ac power. The second site did not have power problems. If we ever have to do this again (we were there working on a short contract), we will invest in the heat pads for the holding tanks. We learned a great deal. We ended up using hay bales to surround the undercarriage, but we missed one of the holding tanks. It was an adventure we will remember for a very long time!
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:47 PM   #2
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Were your holding tanks very full? I assume you were running off of the fresh water tank and internal pump in those cold temps?

I actually put a thermostat down in the lowest area where the tanks are located so that I can keep an eye on those temps. With no wind and an overnight low of 18* that area has only gotten down to 37* so far. However that's a far cry from the temps you experienced!
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:17 AM   #3
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Good deal. FTR, don't leave hay or straw bales as underpinning. It will rot your floor if left for long periods in winter or wet weather. I had a buddy lose most of his floor over that in an rv he had.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:41 AM   #4
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Good deal. FTR, don't leave hay or straw bales as underpinning. It will rot your floor if left for long periods in winter or wet weather. I had a buddy lose most of his floor over that in an rv he had.
Yikes, I've always heard it can be a fire hazard but did not think of this possibility.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:57 AM   #5
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We used the hay bales only around the outside of the front part of the undercarriage - that part forward of the sewer hose connection. I would not do that again but it did help. The internal heating pads for the tanks are definitely the way to go if camping in such extremes. Our tanks weren't necessary full but the first thing to freeze were the release gates on each tank. We did not use the fresh water holding tank although we did try. By manufacturer specs, the heated hose should have been fine on its own. When the heated hose failed, we did fill the fresh water tank from another source as we thought that would be a source we could count on. When we turned the pump on, it failed to work as it was already frozen. I'm not sure of the structure of the plumbing for that system. We did get a new hose and it was fine. I spoke to the Redwood guys who stated that the RV should be good at sustained 20 degree temperature but anything below that was risky. If you look today at the average weather where we were, the RV would have been just fine. But the "polar vortex" just took it too cold. When we decided to move because of the power issues, we were very concerned about the operation of the level up system and the slide outs with bad power and in such cold weather but they operated fine but I did have the RV hooked up to the truck so it was getting power from it.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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Yikes, I've always heard it can be a fire hazard but did not think of this possibility.
It apparently held tons of moisture that transferred to the trailer floor.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:32 PM   #7
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I have been looking at this if I get assigned to MN after the first of the year, it is also suppose to help with cooling.


http://rvskirtingkits.net/contact%20us.htm
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:18 AM   #8
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It apparently held tons of moisture that transferred to the trailer floor.
Would not worry too much about moisture here out west. We have a very low humidity. I would have used either hay or straw. Straw seems to have less humidity than Hay.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:20 AM   #9
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We're in the Texas Hill Country, and contrary to what I thought, the humidity is quite high.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:29 AM   #10
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Would not worry too much about moisture here out west. We have a very low humidity. I would have used either hay or straw. Straw seems to have less humidity than Hay.
Does it rain and snow there?
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:24 AM   #11
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When we were in Colorado over the winter, in the San Luis Valley, we used straw as an insulator. We put the bales in black garbage bags which prevented any potential of moisture affecting our camper. It also made my wife feel better about the mice wanting to get into the bales to make a home. We put them along the edge, not directly under the camper.
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Old 12-19-2014, 02:32 PM   #12
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Does it rain and snow there?
It does, occasionally. We are considered a high mountain desert, so not too much.
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:43 PM   #13
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Coloradolivin
where in Colorado are you? Our s&b is in Aurora by Cheery Creek Reservoir.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:30 AM   #14
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Coloradolivin
where in Colorado are you? Our s&b is in Aurora by Cheery Creek Reservoir.
Hey there--we are in Salida !!!
The Heart of the Rockies as they say
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:46 AM   #15
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very nice. We built a solar farm outside of Alamosa a couple of years ago. We were camping in Del Norte and fell in love with the town. We keep looking for property in that area for retirement.
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Old 12-21-2014, 04:52 PM   #16
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very nice. We built a solar farm outside of Alamosa a couple of years ago. We were camping in Del Norte and fell in love with the town. We keep looking for property in that area for retirement.
Is that the big array on 17 just north of Alamosa ?? That thing is huge !!
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:58 AM   #17
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I don't think you can see the one we did from 17. he one you can see is a ground mount, mine was mounted on towers. But they are cool!
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