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Winter Temps and pipe freezing


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First of all I should qualify myself...Never been RVing before but just put my house up for sale and will ordering an OliverII when sold. Been searching the forum for answers about cold weather camping.  I was told by Oliver that the heat ducts go around the tanks and keep them warm.  And,  people in Montana and the Dakato's own these trailers. (But do they camp in freezing temps.)  Also the owner of the company camps during the winter. These were not the answers I was hoping for.  Then, I  read that someone has put addition space heaters in areas.  One I think was under the bed on street side.  My question is...Can I camp in freezing weather, say down to 10 degrees, with just the heater going an be safe from freezing?  Do I need to cover the outside fittings, ie city water connection, shower nozzle?  Do I need at additional heaters in voids under the floors, bed, bath, cabinets?  I'm not planning prolonged winter camps.  But, sometimes the weather can change rapidly at high elevations and in some areas of the country in late fall or early winter.  Do I winterize and go without water in the winter.  Do I need extra heaters. I'm hoping all I need to do is leave the heater on and not run out of propane.  I realize that there is no definitive answer as the conditions vary but was hoping some of you have experienced cold weather and pass along how you deal with the experience.  Thank you!

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We have camped many times in temps down to what you're describing. We do not have any additional heaters under the floor.  In the situation you describe, the propane furnace will provide sufficient heat to keep your inside plumbing going. Do not hook up to outside water and expect it to be running the next morning, even with a heated hose it will most likely freeze at one end or the other so you do need to pay attention to "the outside fittings, ie city water connection, shower nozzle."  Pete has "bilge heaters" in his unit. Maybe he'll chime in here.  Realize though, you would have to have hookups (electricity) to be able to use them.

Even a large tank of water will eventually freeze at 10 degrees but in my experience, simply keeping the basement areas slightly above freezing does the trick and it's not too hard to do. It WILL use a lot of propane so be aware of that. My guess is that if the temperature never got above 10 degrees, the furnace would run pretty much constantly and you could could use up 60 pounds of propane in less than a week.  Realistically, probably daytime temps would get to near freezing or above and lessen that propane load.

Running out of propane in below freezing temps would not be fun or safe, but that's why there are wheels on your trailer.  If you are not trapped somewhere, move.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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48 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

MarkC, are you planning to fulltime in the trailer?

Will have a base to return to...restock, laundry, recharge my personal batteries then hit the road again.  Never done this before but thinking 2-3 week trips at first, return to recharge then take off again. Then increasing time on the road. I have lots of places I'd like to see!

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1 hour ago, ScubaRx said:

We have camped many times in temps down to what you're describing. We do not have any additional heaters under the floor.  In the situation you describe, the propane furnace will provide sufficient heat to keep your inside plumbing going. Do not hook up to outside water and expect it to be running the next morning, even with a heated hose it will most likely freeze at one end or the other so you do need to pay attention to "the outside fittings, ie city water connection, shower nozzle."  Pete has "bilge heaters" in his unit. Maybe he'll chime in here.  Realize though, you would have to have hookups (electricity) to be able to use them.

Even a large tank of water will eventually freeze at 10 degrees but in my experience, simply keeping the basement areas slightly above freezing does the trick and it's not too hard to do. It WILL use a lot of propane so be aware of that. My guess is that if the temperature never got above 10 degrees, the furnace would run pretty much constantly and you could could use up 60 pounds of propane in less than a week.  Realistically, probably daytime temps would get to near freezing or above and lessen that propane load.

Running out of propane in below freezing temps would not be fun or safe, but that's why there are wheels on your trailer.  If you are not trapped somewhere, move.

Thanks so much for your response! This was exactly what I was hoping to hear.  I think this trailer will be a good fit for me.  I plan on being in Montana and the Dakotas in fall and early winter every year. After reading your reply I will feel comfortable being there in an Oliver. Thanks again!

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If you are boon docking, you will indeed go through a whole bunch of propane, plus you are relying on a mediocre RV furnace to keep running. You can carry an extra gas bottle in your TV in case of an unplanned shortage; if the furnace quits completely due to a bad board or igniter, you will be in trouble quickly, and will need to get the Ollie to a place where you can plug in and run a couple of backup electric heaters.

The systems work well enough considering their cost, but they not especially reliable, and they are grossly inefficient compared to a modern gas residential furnace. I haven't seen efficiency ratings for RV appliances, I would appreciate a link if someone can provide one...

John Davies
Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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The furnace has the potential to be quite efficient, particularly in protecting the water lines, if you could find a way to circulate the air that's lost heating single corner of the inner hull space.  

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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