Winter camping newb?

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by nomoretent, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. nomoretent

    nomoretent Member

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    Jun 5, 2011
    We sold our pup and bought a TT over the summer and we know nothing about the water systems as our pup did not have water. I realize we should winterize and we can learn how to do that. We like to camp in the winter and I’m wondering if we can de-winterize, use it as normal during winter camping trips, then re-winterize when we get home. I’ve got a newborn and potty-training toddler so I want to use the water systems when we camp. We are in central Virginia so even when night temps are below freezing it usually is above freezing during the day, and often in the 40s and 50s during winter. Also, if we just leave a little electric heater running inside do we need to winterize at all? We use the camper as a guest bedroom so it would be nice to have it fully functional during the holidays.
     
  2. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

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    It's really up to what amount of risk you want to take. If the temps really don't get much below freezing for any length of time and you are going to maintain heat inside the TT, you should be okay. However, if the power goes out or if there's a sudden and unexpected plunge in temperature, then you risk freezing an cracking the PEX lines and faucets. One thing to keep in mind is that if you have an outdoor shower that will have water in that line, the heat inside the TT won't do much to help it. Good luck.
     
  3. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    DE and NH
    1. Yes, you can winterize and de-winterize all you want, even quickly while on the road if you are setup for it. 2. Leaving an elec heater on all the time sounds pretty inefficient to me.

    Sub-forum on the topic:
    http://www.popupportal.com/forums/camper-storage-winterizing-de-winterizing.57/
     
  4. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    My TT has water lines that run under the floor as well as on top. An electric heater inside would not protect it.
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    As xxxapache says, the lines running under the trailer are one issue. Some TTs have an insulating blanket or even heaters for the tanks, but we don't have those. The low point drains actually extend below bottom edge of tour trailer.
    If you want to use it as guest quarters, you can do what some do to help the under side- make a skirt out of insulation board, heavy plastic (one I saw was billboard tarp). In some cases, people use light bulbs underneath the camper to produce just enough heat to keep it from freezing - you just have to keep tabs on the bulbs, if they burn out no heat.
    We have taken it out in cold weather, close to freezing, using the gray water tank, but resorting to water jugs for our water supply. We used gel bags in the toilet since we had them, but we could have used a separate water jug to flush the toilet. The waste tanks have plenty of expansion space, so we didn't worry about those. (The temps were predicted to be in the mid-20s, so below the point where water expands, which is what causes the damage to lines, faucets, etc.)
    This year, I took it out in Feb, and did use the water lines, but the temps were in the upper 30s in Tucson. We blew out the lines after that trip, and watched the weather at home. If we'd had cold nights predicted (<30 or so) we'd have added antifreeze again.
     
  6. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Winterizing is cheap and easy. We just moved up to a TT from a pup this fall as well.
    There are lots of threads and YouTube videos to show you how to winterize. Right now this anti-freeze is about $2.50 a gallon and the process takes about 10-15 minutes.
    I winterized the TT last week. It took about 1.5 gallons of anti-freeze. We're camping this weekend, so I had to flush it out and will be doing it again before we pack up. [:)C]
     
  7. RockyRoo

    RockyRoo Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD

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    Important question, are your tanks "enclosed" or are they open and exposed underneath?
     
  8. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I have several friends who winter camp, most of them will semi use the water system in the winter and re-winterize each weekend.. Every part of the water system down stream from the pump gets used.. They carry water in 5 gal. aquatainers and use the winterizing hose on the pump inlet side to draw the water .. Now their trailers have an enclosed underbelly so when they run the furnace the tanks (black and grey) stay warm enough not to freeze, they then dump these tanks into a tote and take it to the dump station on their way out..
     
  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why they don't just use the water tank. It's in the belly and gets heated too. They could just open the drain valve at the end if the trip and drain the water.
     
  10. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    With the dark side trailer we still have, our fresh water tank is inside of the trailer, but the connected pipe is not. Fortunate we are in the hottest state Arizona. We still go camping in Winter with full water system using.
     
  11. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Water spigots in the park are shut off for the winter, so water has to be carried from the spigot inside the heated bathhouse to the trailer..
     
  12. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Right....I would fill up my tank before leaving home...Like I do any other time.
     
  13. RockyRoo

    RockyRoo Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD

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    This is not necessarily true, which is why I asked the question that hasn't been answered yet. There are many TT's out there with exposed tanks that aren't heated.
     
  14. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I was replying to Snow and what he was saying about his friends....He said their trailers have enclosed and heated bellies.
     
  15. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Oh, should also mention that the friends whom winter camp, actually park their rigs from this weekend until late April, so not possible for them to fill up at home.. IIRC correctly, two of the friends also do have tank heaters on the water/waste tanks, not sure if they have heated valves or not..
     
  16. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha
     
  17. nomoretent

    nomoretent Member

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    Jun 5, 2011
    Tanks and drain points are exposed, I think
     

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