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Old 06-25-2019, 08:27 AM   #1
Bamabox
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Traveling in freezing weather

We are on the 3rd season with our 2017 Cougar XLite 21RBS, and are very happy with it. It has what was touted as the Polar package, insulation such as they are in walls and ceiling, but most importantly I guess an enclosed heated (when the furnace is running) subfloor area where most of the water lines and tanks are located. To date, we have only travelled after de-winterizing in the spring, and when the first hard freeze is in the forecast here in the western hills of CT, I winterize it. So it can be a pretty short season, and would like to consider doing the ďsnowbird thingĒ and heading to warmer climes for 5-6 weeks in the winter. So here are my questions.
1. If we were set up camping and the furnace is running, what kind of low temperature do you think water lines and tanks and valves are safe to? 25? 20?
2. I donít think there is any solution to this, but have to ask, I assume that there is no way to protect lines while driving through freezing temps. So leave CT winterized, once in a non freeze traveling zone, find a place to de-winterize? Then do the reverse on returning? I typically have to winterize by Halloween, sometimes earlier.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:50 AM   #2
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Thatís basically the plan I will do when traveling next Jan. If itís below 30 for several hours and the heater isnít running I get concerned. But that is just me.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:51 AM   #3
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Before we realized 6 months in the sun was better than 6 weeks we winterized in the fall and de-winterized in sunny Florida. When heading back north, we reverse the process.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
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Polar Package, Artic Package & 4 Season package are as big a misnomer as "Half To Towable", sounds good in the advertising.
As you stated those packages mean there's a closed underbelly with possibly a layer of foil bubble insulation & a duct from the furnace blowing into it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:01 PM   #5
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While traveling you can run the furnace on gas and keep the trailer warm to prevent freeze.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:11 PM   #6
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This last winter we stayed in our trailer when the low was 12 degrees and the high was 22. We didnít have any issues with lines in the trailer freezing, but the outside water line would start to freeze within an hour. The only real issue I had was trying to dump the tanks. The cap was stuck from being frozen. I could have used the wifeís hair drier, but the tanks werenít that full anyway, so I dumped when I got home. We drove home with temps in the low 20ís for about 4 hours, and didnít have any issues.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhagfo View Post
While traveling you can run the furnace on gas and keep the trailer warm to prevent freeze.
I think I have seen posts on here about that a while back. Some saying safety wise not a great idea. Potential fire hazard? Logistically it wouldnít be an option for me anyway if I headed South in January. Trailer gets winterized in late October. If in a more marginal climate that could be a possibility though. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:24 AM   #8
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I suppose everyone has a "opinion" on what is, should be, or might be the best, most reasonable way to tow a travel trailer during freezing weather.

First, I think the "tower" should define "what is freezing weather" and establish their limit. There's much more than "keep the pipes from freezing" to consider: Things like road surface, black ice, changing weather conditions, stopping distance, chemicals on the road that can destroy the chassis on a trailer are just a few that come to mind.......

When we tow south in the winter, I leave the trailer winterized until we're past the "worry location". If we need to stop for the night, we stay in a motel, not the trailer. We get a nice, LONG hot shower, a warm bed, a decent breakfast to start the day, all without worry whether we'll have a functional or damaged water system in the trailer when we arrive at our destination. Once we're far enough south to feel comfortable, a night in a campground is all that's needed to flush the water system, sanitize it and refill the fresh water tank, after which we can use the trailer as we "normally do" on any other trip.

For us, heading north (from a warm area to the 'tundra") we winterize before we get to the "cold area". That way, primarily, it's comfortable to be outside working and I'm not "pushing myself to hurry up" and therefore, less likely to feel "rushed into mistakes" while doing the winterizing..... Once back home, the tasks of plowing the pole barn, emptying the trailer and pushing it into storage are always a "joy" (NOT) and then there's the concern for "what's on the steel chassis" and how much rust will I find in the spring......

For that reason, I tend to not want to return north until I can leave the trailer outside without concern for frozen plumbing and can leave the furnace on long enough to comfortably empty the trailer, get it ready to put into storage or prep it for the next trip. I don't like leaving the undercarriage dirty, salty and knowingly putting it into storage in that condition.

So, when we leave and it's cold, we tow south until we can safely de-winterize, and we stay south until it's warm enough to return home without having to "fight the cold" once we get back home.....
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
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While traveling you can run the furnace on gas and keep the trailer warm to prevent freeze.
We do that if needed!
Have traveled with the fridge running on gas & the furnace on if necessary, never blown anything up in 40+ years. But we got the rv so we are mobile & don't plan to be in any area that much heat is ever required.
The idea of packing everything from fridge into cooler with ice every time we relocate has absolutely no appeal to us, so I will always run the fridge while traveling.
To each their own, if concerned with running the fridge/furnace while traveling then it's your choice.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
We do that if needed!
Have traveled with the fridge running on gas & the furnace on if necessary, never blown anything up in 40+ years. But we got the rv so we are mobile & don't plan to be in any area that much heat is ever required.
The idea of packing everything from fridge into cooler with ice every time we relocate has absolutely no appeal to us, so I will always run the fridge while traveling.
To each their own, if concerned with running the fridge/furnace while traveling then it's your choice.
We have always (3 year newbies) run the fridge on gas while traveling. Guess I never considered that a hazard. Donít know why. Just figured a 30,000 btu burner in the furnace might be a little more risky while going down the road. Your years of experience with no issues is good info. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:19 PM   #11
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the 'poplar package' is crap. you trailer is not very well protected.


if you are in cold weather your furance WILL run all the time. get an electric heater.


as for 20 degree weather just keep your water running a little bit.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:43 AM   #12
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I had one of those Xlite Cougars, a 30RLI, with the "polar" package. I used it over a couple of winters in an RV park in overnight temps pushing close to 20 degrees F. I had no freeze-ups other than a heated hose that no longer heated. The furnace ran pretty much non-stop so a good supply of propane (we had a 50 gallon tank leased from a propane company).
So, if you are also using supplemental heat (electric space heaters) make sure you don't stop the furnace from keeping the belly warm.
Now, as far as traveling in freezing-I would winterize the system before travel.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:01 AM   #13
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Have done these trips for years. Leave MN end of November so already winterized. Go a long day first day (wife shares the driving) but likely still night temps below freezing. Add heated hose and run normally with fridge and furnace on. Don't use electric heater or our heat pump AC until in no freeze zone as furnace is the only thing ducted to the basement. Coming home is usually earl April so I winterize on last stop heading north. Typically Iowa but can be farther south some years.

Only thing I turn off when traveling is the gas side of the water heater.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:17 PM   #14
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The May day we brought our 2400BH home from the dealer in Denver to Colorado Springs, I drove it through a snap blizzard over Monument Hill. Fortunately the snow didn’t start sticking until I was safely home. However, the weather did drop to 20F for about 4 days with consistent high winds to boot (my posting photo was taken on the day we got it home). Of course, the dealer had summerized the unit to show us that everything worked.

I ran the propane heater at a setting near 60 to ensure I didn’t blow through propane and run out in the middle of the night. While I was a bit nervous with a new unit, everything was fine in the end. This is a camper that they claim is good to zero. However, I did later wrap all of the drain valves in pipe insulation and put red and blue electrical tape on to remind me which was hot or cold. I have brass quarter swing drain valves and it strikes me that the enough sticks out of the insulated/heated bottom shell to freeze up solid if filled with water.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:47 AM   #15
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We snowbird from NY to North GA for the winter. We usually try to leave in Oct or Nov so I don't winterize. If the forecast is for freezing I just blow out the water lines. We leave with about 1/3 tank of fresh water for rest stops along the road and if it's cold I will run the furnace while driving. The temps in N. GA will drop sometimes below freezing and I have seen single digits so we use a heated water hose. I also keep a 100lb. Propane tank at the winter site. We have a 3731FL with 4 seasons package and double pane windows and we have no problems with cold weather. I put a remote thermometer in the basement behind the service panel and the temp there usually runs 60-65. We run the fireplace constantly and that still lets the furnace run enough to keep the basement warm. In the spring we wait till May to head home so there is no freezing issues to deal with. Been doing this for six years successfully. I did get a freeze in the bathroom the first year in SOB in PA when we came home early in March and I forgot to fire up the furnace but nothing since.
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