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Old 12-19-2006, 07:39 AM   #1
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This is my first freezing cold wheather RV trip. I promise my kids a sking vacation, so we picked Durango Co. since my bud has a condo with enough parking space for me right by the lifts. The weather is down in the single digits at night, and will probly not get better by next week. I know most would say Palm desert would be the smarter choice but no snow there and I want to use my coach any chance I can. So any thoughts other than the ones already posted like light bulbs, roof vents, full propane etc.
I have a 05 Horizon 40kd and it would great to hear about things like when do I engage the engine heater or do I just leave it on the whole time? Any trouble with satelite dome freezing over? I will probly only have 15amp max service so the heat pump is out even though it is to cold for it anyway. I will just use the water for normal items and can just pull a hose during the day to refill if needed. As I have read the compartmets stay warm as long as propane heater is on, so I hope freezing tanks won't be an issue.
Any suggestions would be great, especially from you with similar coaches!

Happy Holidays
Ben!
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:39 AM   #2
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This is my first freezing cold wheather RV trip. I promise my kids a sking vacation, so we picked Durango Co. since my bud has a condo with enough parking space for me right by the lifts. The weather is down in the single digits at night, and will probly not get better by next week. I know most would say Palm desert would be the smarter choice but no snow there and I want to use my coach any chance I can. So any thoughts other than the ones already posted like light bulbs, roof vents, full propane etc.
I have a 05 Horizon 40kd and it would great to hear about things like when do I engage the engine heater or do I just leave it on the whole time? Any trouble with satelite dome freezing over? I will probly only have 15amp max service so the heat pump is out even though it is to cold for it anyway. I will just use the water for normal items and can just pull a hose during the day to refill if needed. As I have read the compartmets stay warm as long as propane heater is on, so I hope freezing tanks won't be an issue.
Any suggestions would be great, especially from you with similar coaches!

Happy Holidays
Ben!
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:53 AM   #3
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I would take special care with the compartment with the water pump. Not sure they are insulated well (mine is not) so that might be worth a 60- 100 watt light bulb. Don't know how many amps the block heater pulls so with only a 15 amp service, suggest you switch that on the night before you plan to leave. If you can, I would leave that on all the time in single digit temps.

Sounds like an adventure....enjoy, stay safe, and have a great Holiday!
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:05 AM   #4
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Winnebago customer service told me once when they say "heated", they mean protection to around 15degrees F.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:29 AM   #5
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I am by no means an expert, but I have done some winter camping with our 5er. The 15amp service is the tough part, you'll chew through propane at the temps you are describing, but at least you won't drain the battery. Frozen water tank is the biggest concern, the black and grey tanks may also freeze, dumping in some RV anti-freeze may help ward it off for a while. We had 30amp service and were able to run a couple of ceramic heaters to keep the camper warmer, but still had to run LP to keep it topped off and the lines from freezing. Keep cabinet doors open where the water lines are if you can, don't use any hose or waste water hoses (don't ask how I know that).
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:15 AM   #6
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We dry camped once a few years ago in a relatives driveway when it got down to single digits. Ran the front main heater at night at 55 degrees and the rear at about 60. Only thing that froze was something in the hot water line. It thawed out the next morning when we were traveling even though it was still below freezing and nothing was damaged.

Also have spent many nights in single digits hooked up to shore power with no problems. Put a 40 watt bulb in the water hook-up compartment and used a heat strip on the water line. Be prepared to use a lot of propane. We have a 100 LB auxiliary tank and will go through that in about 10 days unless we use electric heaters in addition to the propane heat. With only 15 amps you will probably not be able to use electric heat. You may be able to use the heat pumps for a while during the day. We found that we can use them down to about 35, below that and the coils ice up.

We are going to be headed up to Sun Valley sometime in January to get in some skiing. Will stay about 3 days and probably dry camp. With a full tank of diesel, propane and water when first parking....should not be a problem.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:43 AM   #7
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Ben et al ...

I think your biggest problem will be running out of propane ... I suggest that you arrange to have your propane tank filled mid week ...

My skiing practices include:
a) trouble light next to water pump
b) trouble light next to dump valves
c) stow water hose when not actively filling the tanks
d) stow the sewer hose when not actively dumping
e) run the furnace that has the ductwork under the floor ... on my rig that is the gas furnace
f) pull in the slides when you go to bed or leave the rig for the day(decreases volume of air to be heated)
g) cover your windows with extra towels, blankets, etc for insulation on really cold nights
h) brush the snow off from clothes thoroughly before coming into the motorhome ... you will probably have humidity problems inside the rig without adding more moisture ...
i) and if snows it is a good thing to have your slides retracted ... getting melted then frozen snow off your slide toppers is a problem (DON'T ASK how I know that)

I differ with smlranger's advice on leaving your block heater on all the time ... it is only necessary to have the block heater on for about 4 to 8 hours before you need to start the engine ... (my block heater pulls 8 or 9 amps)
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:15 AM   #8
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Make sure you come back here and tell us how it all turned out. You got some pretty good suggestions here and we like to know how things turns out.
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:35 AM   #9
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I have a 40AD and have spent considerable time in Colorado cold weather. We use ceramic space heaters in the bedroom and living room to supplement the propane heater.

Don't let your water pump freeze. I learned the hard way. I put a 60 watt light bulb in the water compartment on a thermostat that comes on at 40 degrees. You can run an extension cord from your engine heater receptacle. I have remote wireless thermometers in the water compartment and storage bays.

If you leave your sewer hose extended, wrap a towel around the hose at the door to keep cold air out.
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:51 PM   #10
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All of the above apply. Remember murphys law , and you may grow to hate the motorhome when you are back home
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:15 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skigramp:
Ben et al ...

I think your biggest problem will be running out of propane ... I suggest that you arrange to have your propane tank filled mid week ...

My skiing practices include:
a) trouble light next to water pump
b) trouble light next to dump valves
c) stow water hose when not actively filling the tanks
d) stow the sewer hose when not actively dumping
e) run the furnace that has the ductwork under the floor ... on my rig that is the gas furnace
f) pull in the slides when you go to bed or leave the rig for the day(decreases volume of air to be heated)
g) cover your windows with extra towels, blankets, etc for insulation on really cold nights
h) brush the snow off from clothes thoroughly before coming into the motorhome ... you will probably have humidity problems inside the rig without adding more moisture ...
i) and if snows it is a good thing to have your slides retracted ... getting melted then frozen snow off your slide toppers is a problem (DON'T ASK how I know that)
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree with all the above...from someone who uses their unit alot (with full water) up here at 8,600 feet elevation...
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Old 12-20-2006, 01:27 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the info I'm sure it will come in handy to make the trip more enjoyable. I will post from the location to give updates if my wireless works there, if not when I get back.

Ben!
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:04 PM   #13
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What about tire chains? There is a very good chance the roads will be icey and snow packed.

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Old 12-20-2006, 05:20 PM   #14
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Have been in Breckenridge Vally at -7 only issue was the water valve area. On our coach there is not a heater vent going to thay area. After it froze the first night when to WalMart and got a drop light, worked great.
Now about the 20 amp service, be sure and set the Powerline panel to 20 amps if you don't it will thing you have 30 amps and attemp to use them until the service breaker trips.
Also, has said before do not leave any hoses out at night.
One last thing the vacuum pump that runs the controls for the dash AC will run a lot more than normal, sound like a buzzer under the dash. Not to worry just the thin air.
Most emportantly have FUN!!!
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:20 AM   #15
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One more item...if you put your jacks down..have an item (board-plastic block) between jack pad and ground surface. That way jacks can still retract (slowly) and maybe you can still manually break away the board-block from the frozen ground.
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:27 AM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skigramp:
Ben et al ...

I think your biggest problem will be running out of propane ... I suggest that you arrange to have your propane tank filled mid week ...

My skiing practices include:
a) trouble light next to water pump
b) trouble light next to dump valves
c) stow water hose when not actively filling the tanks
d) stow the sewer hose when not actively dumping
e) run the furnace that has the ductwork under the floor ... on my rig that is the gas furnace
f) pull in the slides when you go to bed or leave the rig for the day(decreases volume of air to be heated)
g) cover your windows with extra towels, blankets, etc for insulation on really cold nights
h) brush the snow off from clothes thoroughly before coming into the motorhome ... you will probably have humidity problems inside the rig without adding more moisture ...
i) and if snows it is a good thing to have your slides retracted ... getting melted then frozen snow off your slide toppers is a problem (DON'T ASK how I know that)

I differ with smlranger's advice on leaving your block heater on all the time ... it is only necessary to have the block heater on for about 4 to 8 hours before you need to start the engine ... (my block heater pulls 8 or 9 amps) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I agree with all that SkiGramp has stateds plus a few of my own.
1 - Don't use portable heater near the thermostat as it will satisfy it and therefore the furnace won't kick in.
2 - As for the windows, in my C Class w/o thermal windows I would buy the shrink windows purchased at Wal-Mart and installed using hot air dryer from wife. It also stopped sweating of windows as frame is plastic and does not conduct coldness.
3 - Also used Ceramic heaters in water tank compartment and water pump compartment. I think they are safer than light bulb unless an actual light fixture is installed however don't like bulb there.
4 - I have been in my C in 20 below and had no problem with water use or water pump and since it was a gas engine had no problem with that.
5 - With Diesel engine I suggest besides using winter blend use a gallon of Kerosene and make sure your fuel filters don't have water in them.
Other than that enjoy skiing and you might want to go to CG to use proper amperage as 15 amps is way to low. Would think you could get at least 20 amps.
Have fun!
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Old 12-24-2006, 04:23 PM   #17
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I wonder how things went in Durango?
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:39 AM   #18
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Well finaly here is an update to rv trip we took to Durango,Co over the holidays and all the info I recieved before the trip helped a lot. I will make this a little short as my shoulder was seperated on a unfortunate tubbing accident with my kids. .
The weather was not as cold as expected and never dropped lower than say 15, so that was a plus, also southwestern Colorado did not get the brunt of all the storms that ripped through the state in the last few weeks. I arrived with a full tank of propane (around 25 gal.)hoping it would last the whole time, and it did, all 7 days but as we left it was on E but only took 22 gallons good to know there is a little reserve. I ran the 2 gas furnaces at night and the rear during the day, since I only had about 10 amps of service to use I had to run the refer & water heater also on gas to save the amps for battery charging. It stayed plenty warm and condensation was not an issue, the light in the water compartment work as I hoped it would and the heated basement area stayed well above frezzing (only front heater warms basement area, not the rear).
Ice was the big issue as expected, when time to leave I found the slide out awnings were frozen as were the jacks to the ground. I had to use my sewer solution hose and the full warm grey water tank (only shower water ) to melt the ice covering the rear jacks and the handy awning pull rod to lightly beat the ice off the sliders so they would close. With only 10amps to work with I used the engine heater only right before leaving and it had the temp up to 70 after 2 hours and fired right up but the Gennie had a heck of a time trying to start and I was thinking why they dont have a heater on them like the engines. All in all it was a great trip, but any worse wheather than we had would have been really hard on us and the coach, so I will plan my trips carefully to minimize the headaches!

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