Is it true that windows will crack in cold weather?

Discussion in 'Cold Weather Camping' started by zinger60, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. zinger60

    zinger60 New Member

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    I have heard some people say the windows will crack when putting camper up or down in cold weather and some say it isn't true. And if it is true, how cold is too cold?
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We've camped into the teens, though it was probably in the twenties as we put the pup up and down. No problems with the windows in either pup. The vinyl and tenting take a bit longer to settle, though, when closing it down. We did try to leave heat on as long a possible to keep things as pliable as they might be.
     
  3. Hawkester

    Hawkester Hawkesnest

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    "How low can you go"? [LOL]

    We have also camped in the teens and had no issues, same as kitphantom we kept the heat on as long as we could and it took a little longer to close up because we took our time but all went well.

    Dont know if I'd want to try it in single digits...
     
  4. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    We regularly camp in temps well below freezing (5 degrees or less) and have had no problems.
     
  5. Groogrux

    Groogrux New Member

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    I was just coming here to ask this exact question. I'd like to set up our camper in the driveway Thanksgiving weekend as we
    will have a house full of guests and it would be nice to have a little retreat. We live outside of Philly so it could get into the 30s. We'd be able to pack it up during the day when it is a little warmer. Think we'd be ok?
     
  6. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    With a new PUP like yours, just keep the vinyl as warm as you can until you're ready to crank down. Mine is getting old enough and stiff enough that I would be concerned taking it down in temperatures that were below freezing. Technically, there's nothing magical about 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C as there's no water content in clear vinyl, but it does make for a good mental threshold. Vinyl will just get stiffer as temperatures drop, to the point it can crack if too cold. How cold is that? I don't know, hope to not find out first hand, and would recommend checking with the vinyl industry to find out.
     
  7. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I went searching for an answer to this question and found one. This is just before the Q and A section of the page.

    TEMPERATURE
    Each gauge of vinyl has a cold crack rating. This is determined with an impact test or by sharply folding the vinyl. The vinyl will become more brittle the colder it gets, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will crack. If you’re not handling it roughly, it may be fine in colder temperatures.

    The cold crack temperature is 0° F for all gauges up to the 30 gauge. The 30 gauge rating is -29° F, 40 gauge is -30° F, and the 60 gauge is -10° F.
     
  8. bobinfleet

    bobinfleet Active Member

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    I have not had a problem with high twenties when packing away.Many years ago in my youth I got on my motorbike at -13 and the vinyl seat cracked like glass, that was cold[:>(][:>(]
     
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  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I had a Jeep CJ window crack when I tapped on it to knock the snow off. It probably wasn't below 20 degrees. I also had a vinyl car seat crack like an egg when I sat on it in about 20 degree weather...In both cases the material that cracked was 15-20 years old. I would guess age had something to do with it.
     
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  10. Punnster

    Punnster New Member

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    I have a 1984 Shasta 165 pop up. I've 'nursed' it along these past years and it's held up fairly well. Going out in a couple of weekends to Door county, WI. Temp range predicted to be 55 day 45 nite. I'm concerned about the vinyl windows. From what I've read here, it sounds like a crap shoot. Question: Is there anything I can apply or a treatment for the windows that could improve my chances if success?
     
  11. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Never had a problem with windows ......... but don't let them crease when lower the roof or storing the bunks.
     
  12. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome from Minnesota!

    I don't know if there is anything you could apply because the cracking will be at the molecular level. Without getting too technical, plastics have unique molecular structure. Once those molecules cool and slow down enough, cracking in going to happen. Coating the windows with anything other that something that keeps the windows heated will not speed up the molecules to avoid rigidity.

    Anything below zero Fahrenheit and you are taking a chance.

    HERE is another thread on the subject.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  13. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

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    They only thing I can think of to apply is heat.

    Oh, and Modulus is the term we're hunting for here. More on Modulus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elastic_modulus
     
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  14. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
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  15. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

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    Like lookin' in a mirror!
     
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  16. FARfetched

    FARfetched Active Member

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    I don't think you'll have an issue at 45°F, especially if you're using any kind of heat inside.

    The grandson and I did a Camp Driveway in February, when the lows were around 34°F. I ran a Little Buddy heater along with a not-so-good electric space heater, and the interior temp was around 54°F both mornings (measured with a digital thermometer). That was a "bare" popup, no Popup Gizmos or Reflectix, and we left the rear bunk area open and unused. First thing I did each morning was to fire up the stove and heat up some water in a teakettle (and incidentally, the rest of the camper). The hot water went into a French press, which warmed me up a good bit more.

    Closing up the camper presented no problems, and it might have been 55°F at that point. If the windows don't feel stiff when it's time to fold everything down, you should be fine.
     

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