Camping in an Aliner in Schizo weather. Need tips.

Campeador

Active Member
May 22, 2021
123
Fort Worth, TX
This past (MLK) weekend we camped with some friends in North TX. Guy Clark sang it best in Fort Worth Blues, "They say in TX the weathers always changin'"

We arrived 5:30 pm and set up our campsite in 70 degree weather. The forecast was for a front to blow in out of the northwest during the night, which would bring 50 MPH gusts of wind and temps would drop severely, eventually into the 20s, and then after 24 hours of cold and wind, we'd get 50s-60s and sun for a couple of days.

THE GOOD: 1) I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the command heat pump dealt with the cold. It kept the camper around 55-60, which we find to be suitable temps for sleeping. The furnace's thermostat broke (already), but by crossing the wires it fired up and would get the camper into the low 70s within 15 minutes. We had plan C and D, Lil buddy propane heater and sleeping bags from my backpacking days that are rated down to 0, but did not have to use either.
2) I was also pleased with the wind kit. I had read that you should point the nose of the trailer into the wind if possible. It wasn't in my site, but we were pretty protected by trees. Some 50 MPH gusts made me pucker up, for sure. Thankfully, the wind kit kept our Aliner from blowing down on us. We slept horribly, but we survived.

THE BAD: The water lines were a hassle on this trip. The temps were below 32 for 2 of 3 nights, but was in the 50s / 60s during the last two days. If the forecast had been colder, we would have just dry camped, but the warm days made it worth hooking up. I detached the water hookup the first night, but the last night it was not supposed to freeze. It did.

THE UGLY: Small casualty: the rinky-dink shower line broke because it iced up.

Any suggestions for replacement? I saw someone here (DiamondGirl?) recommend this: https://www.amazon.com/Dura-Faucet-...7a190&pd_rd_wg=aRLLo&pd_rd_i=B01NBRK42K&psc=1

I was hoping to just replace the hose and shower head, not the entire unit... but if it's worth doing the whole thing, I will.

Do y'all blow all your lines out any time the forecast calls for freezing temps? Or is detaching the main water line and letting everything drain sufficient?

Also in the UGLY category was the fact that there was a burn ban, so all the wood I had chopped and brought was not used... and a camp fire is an essential part of the experience!
 

MEGEDH

Member
Jul 17, 2020
25
Northern California
I highly recommend the Dura-Faucet which I installed shortly after getting our Aliner, which makes the shower much more versatile. I bring along a portable propane campfire which I have connected with a long propane hose and a Y connection to the trailer. Works great with no smoke and is usually allowed at campsites even if there is a burn ban https://outlandliving.com/products/deluxe-fire-pit?variant=42255749710039 Since we tend to dry camp most of the time and above freezing temps, I haven't had any issues with freezing water lines.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,486
Northern Virginia
Overall it sounds like a pretty decent camping trip if the only casualty was the shower line. One camping trip I went on, it was going to be freezing only at night but come daylight would warm back up to upper 40. So figured with less than 6 hours of freeze if I just unhooked the water and everything and kept the faucet open in the camper to allow drainage I should be ok. (I didn’t use my water pump) as I had city water. Now if it was going to be freezing for longer than just evening I would have winterized, or in your case blow out the lines, and just use a water jug in the camper. Someone I know with a TT mentioned he does the opposite, keeping all the faucets open to allow the water to run as a trickle constantly during freeze. His theory With a constant flow, pipes are a little less likely to freeze completely over unless it got colder then expected longer. Then again he camps full hookups. For me most of the time my camper would have already been winterized the first sign of freezing weather. I wouldn’t have bothered using a water jug inside the camper isn’t too much of a hassle for me.
 

Campeador

Active Member
May 22, 2021
123
Fort Worth, TX
I highly recommend the Dura-Faucet which I installed shortly after getting our Aliner, which makes the shower much more versatile. I bring along a portable propane campfire which I have connected with a long propane hose and a Y connection to the trailer. Works great with no smoke and is usually allowed at campsites even if there is a burn ban https://outlandliving.com/products/deluxe-fire-pit?variant=42255749710039 Since we tend to dry camp most of the time and above freezing temps, I haven't had any issues with freezing water lines.

OK, thanks for your input on both of those products. This is the other option I am considering, as it looks like a very easy install and lower price point: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RBT3LN6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A23Y6ZXTAX64MW&th=1

That fire pit looks cool and we could have used something like that this weekend (they said no wood/charcoal fires). But I already have a solo stove, which I love, so I'm hesitant to get so darn many fire pits (we have two already!).
 
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Campeador

Active Member
May 22, 2021
123
Fort Worth, TX
Overall it sounds like a pretty decent camping trip if the only casualty was the shower line. One camping trip I went on, it was going to be freezing only at night but come daylight would warm back up to upper 40. So figured with less than 6 hours of freeze if I just unhooked the water and everything and kept the faucet open in the camper to allow drainage I should be ok. (I didn’t use my water pump) as I had city water. Now if it was going to be freezing for longer than just evening I would have winterized, or in your case blow out the lines, and just use a water jug in the camper. Someone I know with a TT mentioned he does the opposite, keeping all the faucets open to allow the water to run as a trickle constantly during freeze. His theory With a constant flow, pipes are a little less likely to freeze completely over unless it got colder then expected longer. Then again he camps full hookups. For me most of the time my camper would have already been winterized the first sign of freezing weather. I wouldn’t have bothered using a water jug inside the camper isn’t too much of a hassle for me.

It was a great trip, honestly. The weather kept the crowds down. I'm an early riser, so I had great, long morning hikes with my pup and so no one! When I lived in the Pacific NW and Northern MN that was easy to come by, but not here in I-35 TX... so I savored it. We got to explore many dry creek beds (some with dinosaur tracks). Very cool.

We should have opted for the jug o water option. @Hilldweller recommended this product: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ABONAWE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

But some of the reviews give me pause.
 

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MEGEDH

Member
Jul 17, 2020
25
Northern California
OK, thanks for your input on both of those products. This is the other option I am considering, as it looks like a very easy install and lower price point: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RBT3LN6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A23Y6ZXTAX64MW&th=1

That fire pit looks cool and we could have used something like that this weekend (they said no wood/charcoal fires). But I already have a solo stove, which I love, so I'm hesitant to get so darn many fire pits (we have two already!).
The Dura-Faucet is very easy to install. I like the quick connect fitting and keep the hose in the storage compartment so you are not fighting it when closing the cover. Rick from ‘Going Nowhere Fast’ shows the easy install.
 
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Hilldweller

Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
814
Hog Waller, GA
It was a great trip, honestly. The weather kept the crowds down. I'm an early riser, so I had great, long morning hikes with my pup and so no one! When I lived in the Pacific NW and Northern MN that was easy to come by, but not here in I-35 TX... so I savored it. We got to explore many dry creek beds (some with dinosaur tracks). Very cool.

We should have opted for the jug o water option. @Hilldweller recommended this product: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ABONAWE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

But some of the reviews give me pause.
After reading reviews I bought the shortest length; it's still working great. I also place a fan in front of the air return under the bed to blow warmed air on all the pipes and water tank. Nothing has frozen so far.

We had 45 MPH winds over MLK weekend in Ranger, GA. Then snow.
I took down the awning before the storm.

DSCN7136.JPG
 

Campeador

Active Member
May 22, 2021
123
Fort Worth, TX
After reading reviews I bought the shortest length; it's still working great. I also place a fan in front of the air return under the bed to blow warmed air on all the pipes and water tank. Nothing has frozen so far.

We had 45 MPH winds over MLK weekend in Ranger, GA. Then snow.
I took down the awning before the storm.

View attachment 80817
Sweet looking awning, Bill. Which is it?

RE: "nothing's frozen yet." Not even your shower hose outside? The dura faucet might be a good option... but install may be a PITA on the Expedition. I need to check on where my access is to the whole shower unit on the inside. I'm afraid it's behind the microwave.
 

Hilldweller

Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
814
Hog Waller, GA
Sweet looking awning, Bill. Which is it?

RE: "nothing's frozen yet." Not even your shower hose outside? The dura faucet might be a good option... but install may be a PITA on the Expedition. I need to check on where my access is to the whole shower unit on the inside. I'm afraid it's behind the microwave.
https://pahaque.com/collections/trailer-shades/products/a-frame-awning-new-for-2019
Would work better on the non offroad trailer though...

I didn't really check the shower head but since there was no leaking, I'm guessing all is well. I only used the thing once back in June.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@Campeador… The Dura Faucet replacement was very easy as demonstrated by Rick (Lonewolf55) from GoingNoWhereFast on YouTube. It makes connecting and disconnecting easy. Instead of having to pack the original hose back inside the small shower compartment. Plus, keeping the Dura Faucet hose inside during freezing temps help make it last longer against damage and leaks. My shower lines inside the Classic were inside the dinette bench on the drivers side. Easy to access. You can see the PEX plumbing pipes. We also insulated them for further protection for peace of mind.
Tip: keep your indoor sink cabinet doors opened allows warm air from your furnance to prevent them from freezing.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Campeador

Active Member
May 22, 2021
123
Fort Worth, TX
@Campeador… The Dura Faucet replacement was very easy as demonstrated by Rick (Lonewolf55) from GoingNoWhereFast on YouTube. It makes connecting and disconnecting easy. Instead of having to pack the original hose back inside the small shower compartment. Plus, keeping the Dura Faucet hose inside during freezing temps help make it last longer against damage and leaks. My shower lines inside the Classic were inside the dinette bench on the drivers side. Easy to access. You can see the PEX plumbing pipes. We also insulated them for further protection for peace of mind.
Tip: keep your indoor sink cabinet doors opened allows warm air from your furnance to prevent them from freezing.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
Thanks!
Unfortunately, my suspicions were correct: in the Expedition, the shower is behind the microwave, which would be more hassle than it is worth to me at this point. I'll just replace the hose and shower head and be more careful next time.

Most importantly, DW and I were talking about how if we'd been tent camping (as we did for the 23 + years we've been together) we simply wouldn't have gone with the forecast we had last weekend. Love having the camper and that it extends our seasons. We had a blast and look forward to more 'winter' camping.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
Happy to hear you’re enjoying your Aliner. I wanted an Expedition but DH was afraid of indoor bathroom plumbing. Then after having the Classic for 7 years, he wanted a full size indoor bathroom. Lol.

The Aliner Classic was the perfect 1st trailer for us. It gave us many more opportunities to camp throughout the year. We became familiar with towing, maintaining, making repairs and modifications.

Now, DH is always reading, searching websites or watching videos on installing upgrades, making repairs and or maintenance. KODI is the new baby.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
This past (MLK) weekend we camped with some friends in North TX. Guy Clark sang it best in Fort Worth Blues, "They say in TX the weathers always changin'"

We arrived 5:30 pm and set up our campsite in 70 degree weather. The forecast was for a front to blow in out of the northwest during the night, which would bring 50 MPH gusts of wind and temps would drop severely, eventually into the 20s, and then after 24 hours of cold and wind, we'd get 50s-60s and sun for a couple of days.

THE GOOD: 1) I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the command heat pump dealt with the cold. It kept the camper around 55-60, which we find to be suitable temps for sleeping. The furnace's thermostat broke (already), but by crossing the wires it fired up and would get the camper into the low 70s within 15 minutes. We had plan C and D, Lil buddy propane heater and sleeping bags from my backpacking days that are rated down to 0, but did not have to use either.
2) I was also pleased with the wind kit. I had read that you should point the nose of the trailer into the wind if possible. It wasn't in my site, but we were pretty protected by trees. Some 50 MPH gusts made me pucker up, for sure. Thankfully, the wind kit kept our Aliner from blowing down on us. We slept horribly, but we survived.

THE BAD: The water lines were a hassle on this trip. The temps were below 32 for 2 of 3 nights, but was in the 50s / 60s during the last two days. If the forecast had been colder, we would have just dry camped, but the warm days made it worth hooking up. I detached the water hookup the first night, but the last night it was not supposed to freeze. It did.

THE UGLY: Small casualty: the rinky-dink shower line broke because it iced up.

Any suggestions for replacement? I saw someone here (DiamondGirl?) recommend this:

I was hoping to just replace the hose and shower head, not the entire unit... but if it's worth doing the whole thing, I will.

Do y'all blow all your lines out any time the forecast calls for freezing temps? Or is detaching the main water line and letting everything drain sufficient?

Also in the UGLY category was the fact that there was a burn ban, so all the wood I had chopped and brought was not used... and a camp fire is an essential part of the experience!

Burn ban was in effect when we were camping up in Ely, Minnesota, it sucked, we bought 4 bundles big bundles! And had to leave them with our camphost for the winter, hope they're still there in spring. We had other bundles earlier but we had to leave them behind as well, not enough room in the truck when it came time to pack up and move on. Bummed, hope someone used them.
 

Campeador

Active Member
May 22, 2021
123
Fort Worth, TX
Burn ban was in effect when we were camping up in Ely, Minnesota, it sucked, we bought 4 bundles big bundles! And had to leave them with our camphost for the winter, hope they're still there in spring. We had other bundles earlier but we had to leave them behind as well, not enough room in the truck when it came time to pack up and move on. Bummed, hope someone used them.
Ely! Love that place and its access to the BWCA. We had a cabin not too far from there for a good while. It's a very special place, especially when the mosquitoes and flies leave you alone!
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
Ely! Love that place and its access to the BWCA. We had a cabin not too far from there for a good while. It's a very special place, especially when the mosquitoes and flies leave you alone!
I'd love to live in that area! You mean those lovely black flies?? Arghhh. I'd never heard of them before, our family had a cabin in the pine river/ Longview area, when my folks passed we managed to keep it for 5 years, then 4 siblings out of 6 decided to sell it, still breaks my heart. Why dont you have your cabin anymore?
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,345
I bring RV antifreeze along if there is a possibility of temperatures dipping far below freezing overnight.

If I expect overnight lows to get below freezing, I don't worry too much unless they're projected to go below 28. I don't know why I picked that number. It just felt like a temperature that my plumbing can remain above freezing by virtue of its proximity to the heated trailer main cabin area. But if the forecast goes below 28, I winterize, which means dumping the freshwater tank, emptying the water heater, pouring antifreeze into the tank, and running it until it comes out pink through the various taps. I'll pour some down the drains too. If the temperature is going to drop below 24, I don't really want to be there anyway, but *if*, I'll also winterize the toilet.

I feel safe staying connected to full hookups down to about 28f too. And again, below that I'll disconnect and winterize.

In an A-liner, your furnace ought to be adequate to keep you toasty inside down into the teens, though it may run a lot. In a popup with canvass bunk ends and a slide-out, much below 28 starts getting unpleasant even with popup gizmos and reflectix in the windows. But it's better if you have electrical hookups so you can run a space heater all the time, and allow the furnace to just augment the space heater's effectiveness.

One of the hardest parts for a popup with canvass is the bunk ends become stiff, and hard to fold up. So on the morning I'm departing I'll run the heat in the cabin warmer than normal to make the canvass soften a bit. Just don't forget to shut it off entirely. One time I turned off the propane but forgot to turn off the thermostat, so when I got home I heard the heater blower running inside the closed up popup. So I had to open it up just to turn off the thermostat. There was no damage done because the propane was off.

Dress warmly, have warm enough sleeping bags or bedding, wear knit caps to bed, have an extra throw blanket or two on hand.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@Susan Premo… We always have burn bans in AZ. So we got a propane fire pit over a decade ago to avoid trips without a campfire. We love the fact that it’s smokeless. No more smelling like smoke or inhaling smoke. It shuts off with a simple turn of a switch when we want.

I kept it under the dinette table during transport in the Aliner and now it’s kept in the cargo basement bin inside KODI. Now they’re so much cheaper than what I originally paid.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

TimAZ

Member
Oct 16, 2021
24
In an A-liner, your furnace ought to be adequate to keep you toasty inside down into the teens, though it may run a lot.
We just returned from a trip in our a-frame where the nighttime temps dropped to 15F. In anticipation I had drained all the water lines to avoid freeze damage. The biggest issue we had was air leaks along the seams on the side panels and the top roof seam, and the seal on the upper half of the entry door. Cold air was pouring in and a slight breeze made it interesting to say the least. Our propane furnace was able to keep up but I’m guessing it ran about a 1/2 duty cycle overnight. The windows and metal frame parts were all frosted up by morning.

I had never bothered with the pool noodle gap fillers but after this trip we may have to make a set to cut down on the air leaks.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@TimAZ… We kept pool noodles for the side walls all the time in the Classic. It also helped when camping at the lake with neighbors close by. The smoke from their campfire, loud talking/laughing and or playing music at night.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Campeador

Active Member
May 22, 2021
123
Fort Worth, TX
I'd love to live in that area! You mean those lovely black flies?? Arghhh. I'd never heard of them before, our family had a cabin in the pine river/ Longview area, when my folks passed we managed to keep it for 5 years, then 4 siblings out of 6 decided to sell it, still breaks my heart. Why dont you have your cabin anymore?
Same reason, actually. My dad had lived on a beautiful lake up there and my brothers and I kept it for 7 or so years afterwards, but it just got to be too much work, as we all live far away. It was a heartbreaking decision, but with the money from the sale, we were able to get our camper. I thank my pops every time we camp in it.
 




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