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Old 12-04-2017, 09:27 AM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 9
Freezing Temps

I am getting conflicting information so I have decided to ask the EXPERTS!!! I am new to full time rv'ing and not sure what to do. Temperatures are dropping this week to the low 20's and forecasted to stay there for 2 weeks. Not sure how to prepare for that. While I am full time, I work nights and will not be in the MH at the coldest times. I have a heated hose, is that enough? Should I leave the water on or turn it off at the outside source. Should I leave my water heater on? I have some water in my fresh water tank should I drain it? I have a 2016 Itasca Sunova 33C. This is my first winter. I was told as long as I keep the inside temp above 40 degrees I should be ok. It seems everyone's advice is different.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:57 PM   #2
Winnebago Owner
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Brighton, MI
Posts: 133
To be safe I would turn the water off at the spigot. With a heated hose you could leave it on but that's where most of your exposure is, outside the MH. You'll have the propane furnace running I'm sure so that will keep the basement area warm where the fresh water and holding tanks are. I would also open the cabinet doors under the kitchen and bathroom sinks so you get some airflow there. I would leave the water heater on since it's not well insulated on the outside. I think you'll be fine if you do those things.
Hank & Lynda
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:09 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 299
Make sure you have a hair dryer just in case something freezes and check all your systems when you get home in the morning.
Sue and Tom

2015 Winnebago Vista 36Y
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 269
Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses - that includes your sewer hose, btw. Keep your propane tanks full. Depending on your setup and length of stay, you may want to have the local propane dealer install a large tank. Alternately, get yourself another tank the same size as what you already have. Keep it full of propane.

Fill your water tank and use your water pump for water. You can refill the tank and drain the waste tanks as needed.

Keep your furnace on and the temp set to at least 50. The furnace needs to run to keep the basement and plumbing above freezing. Supplementing the heat with an electric heater when you are home isn't a bad idea either.

Keep your water heater on.

Winter camping is fun but it takes more work on your part. Next year, when it starts to get cold, head south ASAP.
Roger & Mary
2017 Winnebago Navion 24V
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (Sold)
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:18 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 253
Consider getting a wireless remote thermometer. Put the remote temp sender in the water bay so you can monitor the temp. If the temp is getting to low, get a trouble light, like these at Amazon:, get an incandescent bulb, or anything that is not an led so it puts out some heat, and put the light in the water bay to help keep it warm.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
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Old 12-09-2017, 04:39 PM   #6
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Location: 5 miles south of Lakeville, Mn
Posts: 305
What I did was purchase a small electric heater, (radiant with fan), which I plug in at the power pole and place in the wet bay. Works great. Then just disconnect the hose when not in use.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, Legion, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey, Cat 330, 2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox, AF1
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:42 PM   #7
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 8
I too have a Journey DL. One thing no one has mentioned is this: keep your slides in during any weather in that cold of a range. The slides may not be sealed well and the extra space to heat doesn't help either. I haven't had any of the water in the interior freeze but putting a small electric heater in the outside compartment was a great idea, well worth the cost.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 16
Other cold weather rver's have stated they keep a small ceramic electric heater in each of the water tank and grey/black tank bays. Also, there were stories of frozen extended slide awnings due to snow or ice buildup.
2016 Winnebago Solei 34T Cummins ISB6.7
2100MH FL Neway 17 Suspension

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Old 01-19-2018, 08:05 PM   #9
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Location: North Wildwood, NJ
Posts: 72
Another thing plan for your propane refill if you don't have an extend-a-stay where you can add an additional propane tank to your system. During Christmas break I was on a trip to Nashville and it was in the low 20's at night and I had to refill the propane after four nights, could have probably gotten another day or two but didn't want to take a chance when it got below 1/4 full. Luckily the campground had propane for sale. i don't have an extend-a-stay connection so I had to break down to refill the system. I would just confirm the location, open times and days for propane so there is no issues for a refill.
Bob and Cathy
2015 Itasca Sunova 33c towing a 2008 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
Member FMCA F421963, GS Life, SKP#127220, WIT, PA,
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Old 01-25-2018, 09:29 AM   #10
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 456
Excellent advice so far.

I'd suggest you get a heat tape and wrap it around the dump valves so they stay unfrozen. Leave them closed and disconnect the slinky and cap the end near the RV. Lay it on the ground underneath the RV until needed so the cabinet can be closed up. Maybe put a heat tape underneath slinky too because the leftover water will slowly freeze and accumulate if you don't, making it very heavy and difficult to move.

Using a light bulb and/or heater in the wet bays is great advice even though your furnace might dribble some heat down there. Check to see if you have electric tank heaters. Many newer RVs come with them.

And the best advice, IMO, is to fill your on board water tank, disconnect and drain the hose...both ends. Only use the hose to refill. Your RV park will thank you too, since that will make it easier for them to keep your water valve unfrozen.
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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