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Old 11-21-2018, 12:54 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Vegas 24.1
State: Florida
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THOR #11784
Taking my Florida RV to DC for Christmas

I'm taking my Florida RV to DC for Christmas to see the grandkids. I will be staying for only 4 nights in the daughters driveway. Being both a native Floridian and new RV owner, I am scared about what a hard freeze could do to my non-winterized RV. I've put together a list after watching a "Gone With the Wynns" video on living in an RV during cold winters. Comments, clarifications, corrections, really anything would be most appreciated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=RdlHShRdFvs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annota...&v=77JYu8dJJ-g

Outside:
1. Gas supplement? Run generator to get gas supplement distributed?
2. Wiper fluid with winter formula
3. Top off propane tank
4. Don't leave hose out all the time
5. Fill up potable water tank and then disconnect hose
6. Run tiny space heater in compartment(s) susceptible to freezing
7. Wireless remote thermometer in compartment(s) susceptible to freezing
8. Run engine block heater in extreme temperatures
9. Shovel snow off roof and slide tops immediately

Inside:
1. Electric space heater more than propane due to reduce humidity (frozen walls, etc.)
2. Cook with griddle and induction plate
3. Crack a vent to expel humidity
4. Keep Damp Rid on board to help with humidity reduction
5. Thermometer for inside, outside, and inside humidity
6. Open cabinets with plumbing to let warm air circulate thru
7. Use campground showers instead of RV shower
8. House shoes because floors get really chilly
9. Extra blankets
10. Close blinds and shades before sleeping
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:15 PM   #2
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Model: Palazzo 33.3 34'bunkhouse
State: Alabama
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- not sure about any 'gas supplement'...you'll have to explain what you mean

- dont' leave the WATER HOSE attached to your RV, or to the spigot, in freezing temperatures, especially overnight when you are not running any water thru it.

- certainly, running a small heater in the wet bay is generally going to keep any cold temp issues from happening

- as for the engine block heater, if you have one, it's doubtful that only several nights in freezing temps is going to require that - it's generally for warming up the engine block after a long winter of being parked - more for the fluids than the engine itself.

- 'shoveling snow' is also doubtful, as you probably won't have any. In extreme weather, the only real desire is to minimize the snow's weight on the slide TOPPERS - to keep them from sagging - but there's no need to 'shovel them off', which is dangerous - simply bring the slides in and the snow will fall off.

------

- electric heaters inside, if you have enough amps from the 120v house plug to handle them, are great, but using your furnace is the best 'overall' heating system - though you can use both, and the furnace will only kick on if it needs to. Furnaces also sometimes provide supplemental heat into the wet bay and basement areas, if your coach provides for that.

- using campground 'shower' instead of your own doesn't make sense. Using your own hot water is an excellent way to provide heated water thru your water lines, and helps keep your holding tank(the gray side) warmer. No worries.

- opening cabinets and drawers can help with heated air circulation, but is probably only to really give your water lines and drains a little more heat.


there are a lot of 'myths' about RVs and winter weather RVing out there, but common sense rules - and since we all 'camp' differently, and have different 'comfort' levels, everyone will do things differently - I don't think you have anything to worry about - your RV was built in the same factory that everyone else's was : )
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Old 11-21-2018, 02:18 PM   #3
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THOR #1469
Looks like your list is comprehensive.

Not sure when you are going. I live about 100 miles south of DC and Friday night it is scheduled to get into the low 20's. DC may get down into the teens.

Keep in mind that if you have heated compartments that house plumbing, those compartments are only heated when the furnace is running.

Safe travels.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:39 PM   #4
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Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
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Turner did a great job with his response. As was said, you won't need a block heater for a gas engine, unless you are in a sub zero, windy area, like the frozen northern states in the dead of winter. Maybe not even then.

Will you be running a cord from the daughter's house to your coach? If you run off a 15 or 20 amp 110 outlet, use a heavier cord and watch what you plug in. The furnace should run fine off that, but the microwave will require all the breaker can deliver by itself. Same with a hair dryer.

Happy trails!
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:59 PM   #5
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Model: Axis 24.1
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All of a 24.1's fresh water plumbing is above the floor in the heated space. In addition the furnace's duct work runs right next to all the lines. Thus if you run the furnace your fresh water system should be fine.

The problem here is that if you do use your furnace your propane isn't likely to last 4 days (when we camped in freezing wx we used a full tank in a bit more than 48 hours--a weekend). You'll want an extra tank or two--or a mobile service to refill.

The waste tanks are below the floor with heat pads on the bottom. Your biggest problem with these is likely to be the drain plumbing to the valves--putting some RV antifreeze down the drains should help out here. Since the valve area is so small you may only need a 100W or 60W lightbulb in there to keep it warm (a real lightbulb--not an LED one). Something like this guy (Amazon) would work to keep the drains warm enough to not freeze.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:23 AM   #6
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The only time to really need to use a block heater is when temps are down in the teens, the purpose of the block heater is to warm the block by heating up the coolant which in turn warms the oil as all diesel engines have a minimum cranking speed to make the required compression to start, so with that in mind if it that's cold just plug block heater in about 8hrs before you need to start the engine as they do draw a lot of power and unless the circuit breaker is sized high enough it will trip it anyway.
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:00 AM   #7
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THOR #11784
Thanks for all the answers. I am feeling more comfortable and will refer to this thread. Hopefully the weather in DC will be above freezing this Christmas, but of course wife wants white Christmas. ��
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:29 PM   #8
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I replied to this yesterday but clearly I had an issue...don't see it now.

Anyway, others have said pretty much what I did.
You'll likely get into colder stuff than I've been in, but we have used the RV in weather right at freezing a bit.

I'd plan on running the furnace a bit but not rely on it for your only heat. It will drain your tank in nothing flat since it will run nearly all the time. (and I personally wouldn't want to sleep with it on). Instead I'd want to make sure the power source is good and use a couple of electric space heaters.

I'd try to park out of the wind as much as possible to minimize both the drafts and chill inside, but also to help in keeping my tank drains from having problems. On that note if it turned out to be a seriously cold weather system on those days I'd probably plan on using my tank heat pads and probably poor some antifreeze in the tan bottoms just to protect those valves a bit. I've been ok though without doing this.

Also, I'd use my reflectix window shades and my roof vent 'pillows' for added insulation.

One other thought... since you're with family this request would be a little easier I think.... I'd plan on running more than one electric heater, and at least one of them I'd run on an extension cord connected to a different circuit.... guessing you'd be plugging your 30A through a dogbone into their porch or garage outlet. Having a heater on a different circuit would hopefully give a little insurance against tripped breakers or GFCI's when you might be asleep or away.
my main concern would be keeping the house warm enough to protect your fresh water system. I could be wrong but I recon if it comes down to it if the waste tanks freeze it'll only prevent you form dumping. Not likely to cause serious problems....again just a guess though.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
I replied to this yesterday but clearly I had an issue...don't see it now.

Anyway, others have said pretty much what I did.
You'll likely get into colder stuff than I've been in, but we have used the RV in weather right at freezing a bit.

I'd plan on running the furnace a bit but not rely on it for your only heat. It will drain your tank in nothing flat since it will run nearly all the time. (and I personally wouldn't want to sleep with it on). Instead I'd want to make sure the power source is good and use a couple of electric space heaters.

I'd try to park out of the wind as much as possible to minimize both the drafts and chill inside, but also to help in keeping my tank drains from having problems. On that note if it turned out to be a seriously cold weather system on those days I'd probably plan on using my tank heat pads and probably poor some antifreeze in the tan bottoms just to protect those valves a bit. I've been ok though without doing this.

Also, I'd use my reflectix window shades and my roof vent 'pillows' for added insulation.

One other thought... since you're with family this request would be a little easier I think.... I'd plan on running more than one electric heater, and at least one of them I'd run on an extension cord connected to a different circuit.... guessing you'd be plugging your 30A through a dogbone into their porch or garage outlet. Having a heater on a different circuit would hopefully give a little insurance against tripped breakers or GFCI's when you might be asleep or away.
my main concern would be keeping the house warm enough to protect your fresh water system. I could be wrong but I recon if it comes down to it if the waste tanks freeze it'll only prevent you form dumping. Not likely to cause serious problems....again just a guess though.
Interesting: Being in the Northern climes we frequently sleep with the furnace on. Its no different than our big house furnace. Been doing that since our first RV almost 20 years ago.
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