winter camping tips?

Discussion in 'Cold Weather Camping' started by penny, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I've seen cold weather camping ideas in several different threads. But unless I've missed it, I haven't seen a thread where campers share ideas for camping in the winter. Maybe most use their pop ups in the warmer weather, since camping in pop ups is just so much nicer in the summer. It may be there is a thread about winter camping and I missed it, if so, sorry!

    But I'd like to try, and since today is technically the first day of winter, maybe I'll start one.

    So far, our preparations include buddy heater and lots of the stupidly expensive little green bottles of propane, a new and bigger battery and solar panel connection. The heater does a fine job of warming up the camper, but I hate to use the furnace all the time.

    I think I will add the foam mats people have suggested under the mattress for more warmth.

    I don't think I want to camp in weather much below, say 30 degrees, but can't always plan for that. We won't be camping in the woods or mountains, mostly desert type trips, but the desert can be cold too.

    One time we were camping very early spring in a pop up in the woods, and our water froze and another time we were caught in a snow storm. Those are fond memories, but not sure I want to do again.
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Here's the cold camping thread: http://www.popupportal.com/forums/cold-weather-camping.104/

    Heat retention measures are as important as the heat source. In the pup, we used rugs on the floor, PUGs on the bunk ends, fleece or PUGS bunk end liners clipped up around the edges of the bunks, and insulated curtains. For the gap between the fleece in the bunk end and the window, as well as the door, we clipped up fleece. (I got good deals on Polartec throws and remnants.) Maintaining some air flow to prevent condensation is important too. We didn't add foam floor tiles, but we had memory foam in addition to the foam mattress.
    In the TT, we still do throw rugs and insulated curtains. We have added a rod above the door, the room darkening curtain we use when there are bright lights or headlights in camp also is a good insulator.
    If we expect cold temps, below freezing or so, we try to get power. We use an electric space heater to supplement the furnace - unlike many, the furnace sound does not bother us, so we use it. Dual tanks with an auto-changeover on both our pup and TT have meant we don't worry about running out in the middle of the night. In the TT, the space heater or a small fan can be helpful, since the bathroom blocks air flow to one front corner.
    We have used an electric blanket or mattress pad in both pups and the TT.
    The coldest we camped in the pups was with lows in the teens, not on purpose. One Thanksgiving, in our first pup (no furnace), we headed south to avoid a storm - it followed us, and it was 16* in the morning at Brantley Lake Dam SP (SE NM).
     
  3. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! perfect!
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Not 100-% what your looking for, but if you have facebook, search and join this group
    Cold Weather RVing

    They will be able to answer any question you have..
     
  5. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    We don’t do much different for cold weather, except run the furnace more. In most situations, I have enough power and gas to keep it toasty warm. I have dual 6v GC batteries and dual lp tanks.
    When camping with hookups, I run the electric heat strip on the rooftop unit to blow the rising hot air off the furnace into the bunkends.

    IMO
    I have reflectix, but rarely put it up. I would rather be wasteful, than fart around with gizmos, reflectix, buddy heaters and rugs.
     
  6. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I just use a ceramic heater in the TT, it works as good as the furnace, we usually have electric and of course always have LP for the furnace if needed. For canoe camping I wear long johns and an appropriate sleeping bag, our temps rarely get even close to freezing.
     
  7. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    A good bag and heat retention.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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    12 degrees in this

    [​IMG]
     
  9. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    wow! I'm shivering just looking at the snow and the sky.
    This is more my idea of camping in the snow... :) IMG_1481.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  10. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    When coldweather camping we always take we need to winterize our water system.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  11. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I've been going through the existing cold weather camping thread. Lots of great experiences shared, and good ideas. I've enjoyed them sitting by the fire at home. I have to admit we are unlikely to purposely go camping in the snow or even the higher elevations in the winter. Hook up to power would make it easier, but it isn't often available where we like to camp. I suppose until the rialta gives up the ghost, we will find it easier (and wimpier) to camp in the winter.
    When we do move to pop up winter camping, I will make or purchase some bunk end insulating covers. Maybe even some insulating curtains for the pup too. Rugs are easy and I'll be putting some down regardless of the weather. Buddy heaters are easy too, supplementing the furnace in the mornings and evenings.
    For now, I'm impressed with the winter adventures some have had!
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We don't generally camp in really cold weather (under freezing), at least on purpose. If it's that cold, usually we can't do the things that are the main reason we camp - hiking, sightseeing, relaxing in camp. As long as it warms up during the day, though, we don't mind lows into the 20s. Given where we camp, large temperature swings are not uncommon.
    However, weather systems sometimes do the unusual. A few years ago, my husband had a backpacking permit for the first week of Nov., in Grand Canyon. We'd been to GCNP three times before during the same time frame, having beautiful weather. A few days before the trip, I looked at the temperatures predicted, and we opted to cancel our dry camping reservation at Mather in favor of Trailer Village, with power. We'd only had the Cobalt a couple of months and had not bought a solar panel yet. We woke up to 6" of snow, and had lows in the teens. Once he was below the Rim a bit, my husband had no snow, and a great trip (hiked 85 miles in 5 days). I walked for miles in snow and fog, finally saw the Canyon in snow, and retreated to the warmth of the pup from time to time.
     

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  13. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean! We were there the last week of October, and it was really nice. We had bought the pop up by then, but didn't have a hitch on the van and hadn't fixed the sagging leaking roof yet, so we took our rialta instead. boy those grades going to GC are tough on an old vehicle with 170,000 miles! I kept wishing we could have taken the pop up.
     
  14. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    coldest I've camped in was 20 below once. most of my winter camping has lows 0 to 10 degrees. normally for a weekend of ice fishing. I use reflectix for the big windows and skirt off the underside, don't use the water system, bottled water to flush. only run the furnace when i'm in the camper, set it at 45, feels plenty warm when its 0 outside. I use a solar panel to keep the batteries charged. will use a electric heater on the rare occasion I'm at a campground with electric.
     
  15. NMroamer

    NMroamer Active Member

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    Was not planned but became winter camping over night. IMG_20170428_1310391.jpg IMG_20170427_1604290.jpg
     
  16. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    it looks peaceful and cozy! beautiful. If NM, probably melted by the next day.
     
  17. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    A lot of the measures we've taken are not just for conserving heat, but to make things more comfortable. For instance, the PUGs on the outside and fleece on the inside of the bunk end in the pup also reduced the drafty feeling of cold drifting down. I don't sleep in a cap (tried many times, hate it and take it off in my sleep), so have learned to pull covers around my ears, but reducing the draft around my head is still nice. I've tried figure out how to add fleece at the head of the bed in the TT, but with the curve of the wall, it's a bit odd.
     
  18. NMroamer

    NMroamer Active Member

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    Redondo campground 29 April this year and it last over the weekend.
     
  19. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    That long grade into Flagstaff from ABQ was one of the type that made us decide to upgrade from the 4Runner ('05, 185K miles) as a tow vehicle for the TT to something more suitable.
     
  20. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    We camp all the time off-road in our Camper. I spent alot of time going over the whole trailer looking for air gaps...

    The Tent bed ends flaps on ours do not do a very good job sealing air leaks between the fabric and tent bed flooring. Lots of gaps there for use. I use those 2X2x36-inch foam strips that come with the house window air conditioners (WALMART) and place two of these between the fabric and floor on each side of the front and back tent bed ends. This also helps for keeping small objects falling out of the trailer to the ground...
    [​IMG]

    Then I noticed when you pulled out the tent bed end the very small seal between the metal wall of the trailer and the pulled out tent bed had very large gaps in them. I could could bend over inside the trailer and look out on both tent bed ends and see daylight. I was also getting night bugs crawling in here as well. I fixed mine with one of the HD House DOOR floor seals that I ordered from AMAZON- (I'm sure you can get these from LOWES as well). I mounted mine over the metal end of each end walls and had to notch out a couple of places where the metal tent bed slide was at. This really helped out on my trailer...
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    Then I got inside all of the cabinets and other floor mounted things to make sure all of the holes drilled through the floor for hoses and wiring were all sealed up with sealant etc.... Most often I found a 2-inch hole drilled through the floor with just a co7uple of WD wiring going through them...

    The final big thing I did was add the 2 foot carpet squares (LOWES) with sticky backs on the two tent bed ends under the mattress and on the main floor of the trailer. The only only drawback I had was I had to install a metal piece where my furnace blower was pretty close to the floor and also having carpet on the floor really get tracked in debris from the outside. You don't really know what all comes into the trailer until you put carpet down hehe... My big fix for this was to put down outside on the ground just under the steps one of those very heavy duty folding portable steps (AMAZON). Everyone stomps real hard before entering the trailer now...
    [​IMG]

    Another PLAN B for us is we like to zip two sleeping bags together and use as a top bed cover. Normally we just use it as a bed cover but if if you need to get out of the cold for an emergency you have the two sleeping bags ready to use..

    Its nice and cozy sleeping for us camping off-grid. Being avid tent campers from the 60s we like it cool sleeping anyways...

    We have a MR Buddy heater as well for backup heat but never have it running after we go to sleep after hearing all of the so called horror stories about using them...

    We hate to use the very loud and way too much heat coming from our propane furnace. It never gets used much... Glad its there I reckon for heat if needed haha I really want to change it out for a HYDRONIC type hot water heater one of these days...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     

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