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RoadPheasant

Cold Weather Boon-docking

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Hi fellow Oliver travel trailers owners. I took delivery of my Elite I (Hull #340) on 5/30/2018. I’m based in the Seattle area, but travel extensively throughout the American West during all seasons of the year.

 

Here’s my first question on the forum: Has anyone had significant experience with cold weather boon-docking, by which I mean three or more consecutive days in below freezing weather? If so, have you devised any modifications to help with heating the space between the hulls when without access to power?

 

Thanks for any replies. Skylar

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I think one or two people have installed marine bilge heaters, like these.

 

There are two problem areas where water lines tend to freeze - front curb side and rear street side.  Mainly, it's the toilet and bath sink that gets affected, though if the lines in the rear freeze, then it can prevent you from refilling your tank.  The lines in the rear also have connections and check valves that can be damaged in a freeze.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I have done a fair amount of camping in some cold weather but have never run into any frozen lines so far. Thus far we have seen some teens, to 20's or so for a few days running but knock on wood no issues yet.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Rob

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I have two of those Xtreme heaters in my early model Elite.  But they do not run on DC power, and at 350W times 2, there would be a toll on your battery's amp hour storage.  If camping in an overcast snowing environment, solar replenishment to the batteries would be at a minimum.  They work very well if shore power is available for the long term.

 

They are positioned to protect my external shower and the water heater, which are my unit's vulnerabilities.

 

Pete

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


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For those with the night stand hatch option benefit by opening the hatch under extreme cold weather?

 

For those without the hatch,  would removing the street side twin mattress aft end would have the same effect?


Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker


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I don't know the answer to that for sure, but what will tend to freeze are the few inches of water line right at the outside connections, which probably wouldn't be helped by heating the basement area.  You could possibly carry a compressor or compressed air to try to clear the water after filling your tank, which I've tried, but my experience has been that just enough water stays in those lines to trickle back down to the connections and freeze them up.  Of course, there's less water to thaw in that case, but it's still a pain, since accessing the space behind those connections requires removing the basement floor.  You could try wrapping a towel or some insulation around the connections at night - seems like something that the RV world would have a product for.

 

One of my long term projects will be to move the check valves further up the lines, into a more easily heated space.  That would mean more water dribbling back out when I fill the tanks, but in cold weather, I could just let the water drain out before replacing the caps and all should be well. I'd also like to move those lines out of the rear corner - it seems like they would be better if they went the other direction and then cut across the trailer just behind the grey tank.  That, and cut an access hatch in the bottom of the closet so that I could get to the water lines headed to the bath, to possibly get some heat in there if they freeze or if access is good enough, maybe add some insulation or even some heat tape to those lines.  I suppose some heat tape at the rear connections would be a thing to do as well.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Do you also isolate the external shower?  I was thinking shutoff/drain valves for that and the fill/flush ports.


2019 LE2 #529 expected Sep/Oct 2019


 

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Yeah, the outdoor shower is almost as vulnerable as the tap connections, though they're at least covered by the basement door and don't have metal exposed to the outside.  You could also stuff some batt insulation into the shower box pretty easily.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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On legacy I shorty trailers, I think the battery vents still share the outdoor shower door.

If you have regular lead acid batteries, you'll need to be careful to not block the battety ventilation with insulation.

We have agm batteries, so not really a big concern.

Back in the day, we froze an outdoor showerhead, leaving the trailer in cold country storage, without winterizing. We're more careful, now.

 

One of our friends added a piece of soft foam, probably mattress pad, to the door of that cavity. Works for him. But, he also lives in the south. And has agm batteries.

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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On my Elite II I slightly loosened the door catch and added another layer of Reflextix to the door plus I outlined the shower door area with foam insulation.  Since nothing has frozen up I can't be certain that this has really been effective.  But, there is less dust and dirty in that area now as compared to before.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I have two of those Xtreme heaters in my early model Elite. But they do not run on DC power, and at 350W times 2, there would be a toll on your battery’s amp hour storage. If camping in an overcast snowing environment, solar replenishment to the batteries would be at a minimum. They work very well if shore power is available for the long term.

 

They are positioned to protect my external shower and the water heater, which are my unit’s vulnerabilities.

 

Pete

 

we did in the same way. I can't imagine how to survive without heaters.

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I think that shutoff valves to isolate the outdoor shower are a great idea. I may have to look into that or just go south for the winter! I am sure Oliver could incorporate them in future builds with minimal effort. It is comments like these that only help to make Oliver trailers even better! Thanks for the idea!


2019 Legacy Elite #431;  2019. TV 2019 GMC Canyon Denali, crew cab, 4X4, Long bed, Duramax Diesel.

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