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Old 07-12-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
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We are considering a dual pane window Winn or Itasca A class. We want to camp in winter in Washington state. Can the unit stay warm? If we skirt it, can we use the water?
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:52 PM   #2
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We are considering a dual pane window Winn or Itasca A class. We want to camp in winter in Washington state. Can the unit stay warm? If we skirt it, can we use the water?
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:05 PM   #3
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A lot will depend on the temperature range we are talking about. We've wintered in a Winnie coach-more than once. Last winter we spent time in Nebraska with below freezing weather and some winds (in the 20's) with no skirting and no water problems. Did have a minor water filter (external) freeze one night, but it opened right up when the sun came up.

We did use a fair amount of propane, but found the coach comfortable.

I've also seen Winnies (a Brave/Voyage) in Alaska in use in December with good cold weather, but I don't know if they were using any water.

The biggest problem with water is external. The heating ducts in the floor will normally keep enough heat in the bays/lower areas to keep water usable. Some people put a light bulb in the bay to help heat the water lines and keep them usable.

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Old 07-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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We have a Vectra. I would not be worry about anything down to -10. They have heat duct run through the basement to keep the water lines from freezing. I know others have had more experience with cold temps, but we have never had a problem. Jim
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:47 PM   #5
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We spent a week at -5 F and had no problems. Did not leave water or sewer hoses out -- used them during the day to service the tanks when needed and re-stowed them. I used a wireless thermometer with remote sending units in the water service bay and water pump compartment to monitor temps. One got as low as 42 and the other got to 38. As the others have said, the key is to use your LP furnace, as that puts some heat into the sealed basement areas where the plumbing & water tanks are.

I've seen folks use a fresh water hose wrapped with heat tape & insulated for long term installations. Leaving the sewer hose out would probably be ok for long term installations, but that thin plastic can get very brittle when cold and could break/shatter easily if kicked. Some enclose the sewer hose in PVC pipe to protect it for long term installations.
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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Ours is pretty good from the 20s to the low 100s. Once you are below freezing (low 30s - high 20s) for any length of time, the propane furnace will be on a 50% (or higher) duty cycle. It will run for 30 minutes (or more) out of every hour and our 30 gallon propane tank will last about ten days (or less).

We need to insulate the plumbing bay for below freezing weather and add a 100 watt light bulb to be sure we don't have any freezing issues.

You could probably survive much colder weather in the unit, but no way would I want to do that on a long-term basis.
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:24 PM   #7
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I don't think you would have any problem in Washington State. When we use ours in the winter we carry water in jugs. We use the toilet and we do use the wash basin and sink, but flush the toilet with RV antifreeze and pour a gallon of RV antifreeze in the grey water tank to start and periodically pour in a quart or so. We don't fill the fresh water tank and heat water for dishes or hygenic purposes on stove, which also adds to interior heat. The worst that happens is the grey water turns to slush. We just wait for a day close to freezing and then dump. We have used ours down to -10 and even below -20 overnight. We run a couple of 1500 watt heaters when plugged in and one when on generator. I am going to put a receptacle on the rear AC line so we can use two 1500 watt heaters with generator. In addition to the dual pane windows you should make some insulated covers for the windows out of foil type insulation and put insulation in the vents and sky lights. A lexan or plexiglas storm door insert for the screen door helps a lot also. For sleeping an electric blanket or pad makes a big difference. We set the furnace to 55 degrees when we go to bed and 70 degrees for evening. With a sunny day it is easy to maintain 65 degrees with mostly the electric heater. We also carry two Buddy heaters, one a Portable Buddy and a Big Buddy. We live in North Dakota and keep the motorhome just above freezing and ready in case we have to move in during a blizzard where the power goes off.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:36 AM   #8
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Winnebago customer service told me that we are good down to 20 degrees F if we set the furnace at 72 degrees.
We set the furnace to 55 at night so I installed a GFI outlet in the service bay. I have a Westinghouse electric heater with a "FrostGuard" feature in the bay. It will come on and keep the compartment at 45 degrees. That has been adequate at 9 degrees overnight.

There is enough circulation in the one big enclosed compartment holding the fresh water and waste tanks on my motor home for the heated air to keep all of the tanks and plumbing from freezing.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:47 AM   #9
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We've almost given up using ours in the Winter up here. These units have fair weather insulation at best. You can do it, but use ALOT of fuel and need to run small heaters in the water and sewer bays.

I'm still waiting on Winnebago to offer the public a Winter/Summer insulation package like other manufacturers do.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:30 AM   #10
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My experience has been about 10F is the low limit. We run a 1500W electric radiator heater up front set at 72F. I've also used a radiator heater in the basement set to 50F. I have installed heat tape and insulation around the piping to the dump valve.

During one trip last year it was 15F with a big cross wind from the north and the piping in the walls froze, luckily we turned up the furnace and things thawed.

Other discussions in the forum have talked about adding insulation to the slide and in the cab area.
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:24 PM   #11
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Beside the temperature, condensation (mold, mildew, rust) can be a big problem in winter especially when you are trying to seal up everything as tight as possible. We learned this from last winter (4 mos.) in western Washington. After getting various humidifiers (3) we were amazed at the water collected inside in only a day. We have only a small class C so don't know what a class A would be like.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:39 PM   #12
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Washington is a BIG State. I've been in Ellensburg when it was -30f. My winters in Edmonds were never below 20f. I would say you should be fine on the West side of the mountains. But watch out if you plan any elevations, I. E. Paradise Lodge.

We bought a used Minnie last year and spent a couple nights here in Ohio at 15f. No problems. Used the onboard Propane furnace and a 1500wt "ceramic" heater.
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