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Full Timers Not everyone can be a full timer. This is the place to discuss questions, concerns, and other issues affecting full timers.

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  #1  
Old 11-20-2009
Dale Schroeder Dale Schroeder is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Deltona, Florida
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Default living in your rv in cold winter areas

Has anyone lived in a Wanderlodge in cold winter areas? What do you have to do to keep things from freezing and still be able to use them ie holding tanks and such.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2009
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Lee Davis Lee Davis is offline
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I guess I'd offer the same suggestion that I gave to the guy who had problems with his digital electric blanket controls when using his inverter.

Drive South.

Besides, as a Florida guy I'm sure you are aware that your blood will solidify when you stay in cold weather for long.

I'm sure someone will have answers for you, but as a full timer I have been following my own advice for years.

Best,
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2009
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Ernest Ekberg Ernest Ekberg is offline
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When was in Montana in Feb, I used some blue styrofoam 2 inch thick insulation. It fit nicely around the holding tanks. I then added a small electric heater. I would fill the fresh water tank and use water sparingly. You can make a bine of hot water and rock salt, also.
Ernie- never going to Montana in the winter, if I can help it
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2009
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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The newer, wide body coaches -- and especially those after '95 -- seem to handle cold weather fairly well. Due to a family situation, I had to be in the Golden, CO area in early spring and late fall --- even into December. Nighttime temps into the teens -- but daytime usually was above 32, except during actual storms where it would stay in the low-mid 20s.

The only difficulty we experienced was with the dump valve being sticky (partially frozen) -- and that was later in the spring when I didn't realize that it was below freezing during the nights. Previously discussed elsewhere on this board, putting rock salt into the black and gray tanks after emptying -- so the salt gets down into the exit pipe -- will usually prevent a problem. (But I didn't do that when I didn't realize it was getting that cold at night.)

The other "trick" was more a matter of economics -- the AquaHot was well able to keep the interior comfortable -- but since the primary energy comes from diesel fuel, its operating cost is a factor. (The electric element was generally sufficient to keep the basement and tanks above freezing, but the diesel burner would have to cycle on to warm the interior.) So, (after the first year experience) I carried a DeLonghi oil-filled electric heater with us. This shifts the energy source to electricity -- which with the weekly rate we usually paid (for longer stays) put the electric bill onto the RV park. The electric heater we used had a 600 watt and a 900 watt element in it that allowed operating with 600, 900 or 1500 watts of energy. The bedroom was easily kept plenty warm with 600 watts. During the day, we'd move the unit out front where a higher setting would keep the forward area quite toasty. (The main advantage is that the DeLonghi heater is (1) quite safe -- the maximum surface temperature is below the ignition temperature of paper or fabrics, etc. (although you can burn your hand when put in the wrong place) and (2) it's almost totally silent in operation -- no fans blowing or cycling on and off.)

Had I kept our coach (assuming more stays in cold places) I would have installed a 'baseboard' style oil-filled electric heater at the foot of the bed -- it would have gotten the heater out of the way and allowed a little better floor to ceiling heat distribution.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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BB used to brag that the wanderlodge was good at temps down to -25 without adding any other heat source.' Running the generator was a must,to keep the freeze heaters and block heaters going.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2009
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sfedeli sfedeli is offline
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Two weak points that I've identified during winter use are the drain valves and pipes on the holding tanks and the fresh water fill regulator. The dump valves and lines could probably be kept from freezing with the use of heat tape like you see in rain gutters up here in the north. I've thought of wrapping the valve assemblies and the 2-1/2" grey water line that comes across the bottom of the coach with it. My water fill valve froze up in Las Cruces one cold morning a few years ago on the way to Q. It was 13 degrees outside. Not sure how to remedy that area- it is supposed to get some heat from the freeze heater under the bed.

Aside from these areas, if you keep the water heater and freeze heaters all on and set the thermostats for 45 degrees- as well as keeping heat on in the bathroom- you should be fine. BB wrapped all of the water lines behind the shower with heat tape, but some have had problems with it shorting out and burning. I've never plugged mine in, but it is supposed to show one ohm of resistance per foot. You can test yours with a multi-meter when it's unplugged by setting your meter to ohms and putting one test lead on each of the two prongs (not the ground). It shows around 14 to 18 ohms, depending how much heat tape you have.
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