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Old 09-01-2014, 04:29 AM   #21
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Well this is all very depressing...

You can do it with a little pre-thought.

When I was using mine in below zero temps, I put a radiant heater in the basement, this kept the bedroom floor warm and the heat rose. Try to block the wind from blowing below your trailer. Get some thermal heat tape and wrap the waste valve.

Even though the fireplace and electric heater in the basement will keep things pretty warm, make sure you keep the fan running on your furnace. This will circulate the warm air around the basement and help prevent the water lines and holding tanks from freezing. If you do find your waste water tanks freezing, start dumping rubbing alcohol in the tanks. If you see windshield washer fluid on sale...stock up, it's also good for flushing the toilet during blizzards.

Also don't forget to buy some heat tape for your LP tanks. I have had the LP tanks freeze due to moisture around the valves. These trailers aren't the same as the stick and brick homes but ......if you use your head, you can survive through winter. It does take some planning. I LOVE winter camping...it's cozy and walking on fresh snow when the air is crisp is priceless.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:16 PM   #22
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Seattle area would be similar to what we get in Metro Vancouver. Be prepared for rain from about October till March/April, maybe not every day just most of them. Average temperature is about the mid 30's. We pay for the few clear days, as generally we get frost and have to scrape the windows.

Snow - most winters we don't see any, but if we do it's only 1 or 2" and normally gone the next day. Only once did we get substantial snow - about 9" and it stayed around for a few weeks.

So far we have only used the furnace once, when heading South in January. We stopped in Kelso, WA and it came on a few times that night. When returning in mid March we stayed again in Kelso and then Tulalip and both those nights didn't need the furnace. I believe we used the heat pump in Kelso but nothing in Tulalip.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny View Post
You can do it with a little pre-thought.

When I was using mine in below zero temps, I put a radiant heater in the basement, this kept the bedroom floor warm and the heat rose. Try to block the wind from blowing below your trailer. Get some thermal heat tape and wrap the waste valve.

Even though the fireplace and electric heater in the basement will keep things pretty warm, make sure you keep the fan running on your furnace. This will circulate the warm air around the basement and help prevent the water lines and holding tanks from freezing. If you do find your waste water tanks freezing, start dumping rubbing alcohol in the tanks. If you see windshield washer fluid on sale...stock up, it's also good for flushing the toilet during blizzards.

Also don't forget to buy some heat tape for your LP tanks. I have had the LP tanks freeze due to moisture around the valves. These trailers aren't the same as the stick and brick homes but ......if you use your head, you can survive through winter. It does take some planning. I LOVE winter camping...it's cozy and walking on fresh snow when the air is crisp is priceless.
There a reason I was born in the deep south, My wife is from Gary, Indiana and had enough of it as well and moved here many years ago. We go see relatives up there in the summer.
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny View Post
You can do it with a little pre-thought.

When I was using mine in below zero temps, I put a radiant heater in the basement, this kept the bedroom floor warm and the heat rose. Try to block the wind from blowing below your trailer. Get some thermal heat tape and wrap the waste valve.

Even though the fireplace and electric heater in the basement will keep things pretty warm, make sure you keep the fan running on your furnace. This will circulate the warm air around the basement and help prevent the water lines and holding tanks from freezing. If you do find your waste water tanks freezing, start dumping rubbing alcohol in the tanks. If you see windshield washer fluid on sale...stock up, it's also good for flushing the toilet during blizzards.

Also don't forget to buy some heat tape for your LP tanks. I have had the LP tanks freeze due to moisture around the valves. These trailers aren't the same as the stick and brick homes but ......if you use your head, you can survive through winter. It does take some planning. I LOVE winter camping...it's cozy and walking on fresh snow when the air is crisp is priceless.
Ditto Dave, that is pretty much my set up. I run the fan, but I will also cycle the LP furnace several times a day when below freezing.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny View Post
You can do it with a little pre-thought.

When I was using mine in below zero temps, I put a radiant heater in the basement, this kept the bedroom floor warm and the heat rose. Try to block the wind from blowing below your trailer. Get some thermal heat tape and wrap the waste valve.

Even though the fireplace and electric heater in the basement will keep things pretty warm, make sure you keep the fan running on your furnace. This will circulate the warm air around the basement and help prevent the water lines and holding tanks from freezing. If you do find your waste water tanks freezing, start dumping rubbing alcohol in the tanks. If you see windshield washer fluid on sale...stock up, it's also good for flushing the toilet during blizzards.

Also don't forget to buy some heat tape for your LP tanks. I have had the LP tanks freeze due to moisture around the valves. These trailers aren't the same as the stick and brick homes but ......if you use your head, you can survive through winter. It does take some planning. I LOVE winter camping...it's cozy and walking on fresh snow when the air is crisp is priceless.
Great information, as always Dave. Here's my question:

We cannot turn on our air circulation in our RW and have it use the "below" or "furnace" air without actually turning on the furnace. It used to be (before "electric heat" and heat pumps) that you just kept the air circ on to keep the tanks and underbelly from freezing. With the ducted ac/heat pumps, there appear to be separate systems. Turning the air to "ON" only operates the ceiling ducts. This would not circulate the warm (electric warmed) air below as we need it to. What now? Is there a way to turn the downstairs air on without having the furnace burning ??? I don't see it if there is.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:28 PM   #26
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If your thermostat is set to gas and your fan switch is set to continuous run.....you should be okay. This should turn on your furnace blower without using LP. If not, cycle your furnace every now and then to keep that under belly warm.

I guess you could take down the bulk head wall in the basement and put a radiant heater in there. But I would be careful of fire.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #27
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Thanks Dave. But if I set it to "gas" then my heat pumps wont come on!
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:43 PM   #28
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Thats correct, the thermostat determines which heat system is used [unless the ambient temp difference is sufficient [I think its 8] that the system automatically kicks on the furnace when set to Heat Pump, then both systems run.

If you have Heat on both A/C's you can run Heat Pump on the secondary unit and set the primary to Gas but keep the thermostat set on a low temp to prevent the furnace from firing.

My question to you though is why you would have the Heat Pump on when you're worried about freezing in the basement/tanks...the HP loses efficiency [quits heating] at around 40-45F and just blows cold air?
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:48 PM   #29
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Thanks Chuck and Ruth; Yes, you are correct, I likely would NOT be using the heat pumps if it was that cold, but there are a LOT of nights where it might dip down into the colder temps while we are sleeping and if the furnace was not set to "on" then that air would not be moving. BUT! In the same vain, I guess IF it got that cold (like you said) then the furnace would automatically kick on and take care of the problem. I think I just created a wild goose chase. Thanks for taking a mental side-trip with me!! Haha!
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:15 PM   #30
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It's all good
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #31
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Well this is all very depressing...

Please don't let my comments scare you. I was referring to real winter where the temperature reach sub-zero for days on end, not just a little cold weather for a few days where the temps might get down to the 20's. We had that in the Florida panhandle last winter where the temp went down to 19 degrees one night and a high of 38 degrees the next day. We had temps in the 40's for several days and then back into the 50's. The RW handles that just fine. I don't call those kind of conditions winter. Those are nice outside working temps for me.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:00 AM   #32
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We have wintered in Colorado in an Alpha and in NJ in our Alpha and Redwood. We always put Styrofoam boards around the outside in these climates. Wrap our waterlines and watersoftnener with heat tape. A 40# tank would last about 5 days for us set on 70 or so. We did use our fireplace but nothing additional in the basement. We are now in NC and as you can guess, last winter was pretty mild in comparison.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:31 AM   #33
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Oh brrrr - I couldn't do it. Lived here in this stuff all my life and could never do it in an RV - South with the birds!
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:19 PM   #34
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Come on AA, Winter in Co is not that bad. I have lived there since '97, my first winter there was a major blizzard in Oct on my birthday. Couldn't have asked for a better present. I grew up in Ohio where the humidity is bad all year long. Cold and no humidity is a God send. I did forget to mention that we also put down a thick area rug in the living room. We keep it there year round to save the carpet. IT helps insulate a little for your feet.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:05 PM   #35
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We don't have the option <yet> to leave the area. The winters here aren't too bad... a really COLD snap would be in the twenties or upper teens, and usually doesn't last more than a few days. Typical would be high 30's for the "cold part" of winter. We live up about 800 feet, so there IS some snow that lingers every few weeks, but rarely for more than a few days. Our biggest "issues" are WET all the time and WIND sometimes if a storm rolls in. We will be getting a heated freshwater hose and wrapping the sewer hose and dump valve with heated tape for super cold weather. I am sure the cold-leaking areas will present themselves. Have never had a problem with propane tanks... if it's cold outside they don't have the condensation on them that they do in the summer. Not worried about that. I think we will put a large thick insulating blanket over the entire outdoor TV and shut the door to keep the tv on the "inside" of the coach and keep drafts out better. Also will likely insulate the area where the underfloor safe is. Other than that? Not sure. Might get an additional electric heater for day-to-day if the fireplace and heat pumps can't keep up to keep propane usage down. WILL run furnace if below freezing to keep underbelly warm. That's my plan for now. THANKS for the great input everyone, it's so helpful!
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:31 PM   #36
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If you are paying for electricity,
you might get a couple these for your plug in heaters / hoses:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

saves the electrical load until it gets cold
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:41 PM   #37
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THAT is COOL! I didn't know there even was such a thing! I can think of a million things I could have used that for at our S&B home! No, we will not be paying for electricity ;-) aint that great?
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:05 PM   #38
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We don't have the option <yet> to leave the area. The winters here aren't too bad... a really COLD snap would be in the twenties or upper teens, and usually doesn't last more than a few days. Typical would be high 30's for the "cold part" of winter. We live up about 800 feet, so there IS some snow that lingers every few weeks, but rarely for more than a few days. Our biggest "issues" are WET all the time and WIND sometimes if a storm rolls in. We will be getting a heated freshwater hose and wrapping the sewer hose and dump valve with heated tape for super cold weather. I am sure the cold-leaking areas will present themselves. Have never had a problem with propane tanks... if it's cold outside they don't have the condensation on them that they do in the summer. Not worried about that. I think we will put a large thick insulating blanket over the entire outdoor TV and shut the door to keep the tv on the "inside" of the coach and keep drafts out better. Also will likely insulate the area where the underfloor safe is. Other than that? Not sure. Might get an additional electric heater for day-to-day if the fireplace and heat pumps can't keep up to keep propane usage down. WILL run furnace if below freezing to keep underbelly warm. That's my plan for now. THANKS for the great input everyone, it's so helpful!

At the kind of conditions you are describing above, I think you will be fine. If you aren't paying extra for electricity, the fireplace and a small ceramic heater in the bedroom can provide most of the heat you need.

In the Florida panhandle last winter we had a lot of night temperatures in the upper 30's and lower 40's. The one night it went down to 19 degrees and the park water supply line froze. I used the LP furnace and went through 30 lbs of LP per week. I can't imagine what it would have been if it was much colder. At $36. per 30 lb. tank, it was getting rather expensive.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:08 PM   #39
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Just remember that if it is freezing, the electric heaters don't heat the belly area. I think Dave suggested running the fan on the furnace to circulate air through the belly supply duct.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:35 PM   #40
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Yes, we talked about that, and I did a "wild goose chase" thought process... which is IF it goes down to freezing, the furnace will kick on anyway (IF I don't have supplemental electric heat in the coach). We'll see how it goes. If the heat pumps can't do it, then the furnace needs to be on to warm the belly... Check. Thanks AA.
By the way... Todd told me to ask you how your national map has all the states AROUND Oregon visited but not Oregon... No Oregon for you? :-)
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