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Camping / Hunting trailers

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Marlin 1888, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. Marlin 1888

    Marlin 1888 Tigard Member

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    Does anybody know of a travel trailer that works well in 10 degree weather without freezing the pipes? I have had a Terry and a Komfort. The water lines in both of them freeze behind the shower/tub.
     
  2. kenr74

    kenr74 Oregon Active Member

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    Did they freeze while you are using them or just in storage? I just picked up my first full TT and am storing it dry but don't need any problems when we take it out in a few weeks.

    I have camped in my tent trailer in 10 degree weather for a week but the tank and lines probably get plenty of heat to them.
     
  3. BlvdKing

    BlvdKing Almost Boring Member

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    is there any difference with the offroad versions?
     
  4. terrabolsa

    terrabolsa Bellingham Member

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    Bigfoot is the only company I know of that makes an insulated trailer. They recently went out of business though and the trailers are higly sought after.
     
  5. Marlin 1888

    Marlin 1888 Tigard Member

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    Both my trailers froze while I was hunting with the heat on.

    I recommend putting RV antifreeze in the water lines. If there is a low spot in the pipe it can freeze there even if the water has been drained.
     
  6. Marlin 1888

    Marlin 1888 Tigard Member

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    Thanks, I will look at them. Bruce
     
  7. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I work in the RV industry and I answer this question almost daily. There is NO RV made that has enough insulation installed or enough ducted heat in the basement/compartment area where the plumbing is located to keep it from freezing in extended periods of subfreezing weather. Some are a little better than others, and will resist freezing in moderately on/off freezing conditions but without skirting, additional insulation and a heat source they will all freeze. The trick is to find an RV with most of the potable water plumbing routed on the interior cabinetry and close to the interior walls. This way the pipes will receive enough heat from the furnace to keep them open but you still have the black and gray tanks to worry about. RV's were not designed to live in and while many "full time" it in them winter is their biggest challenge.
     
  8. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    No - most "offroad" versions have nothing more than some diamond plate slapped on the sides, some "outdoorsey" graphics on them and knobby tires with raised white lettering. Basically same as the standard version of the same model.
     
  9. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    How about Arctic Fox, isn't that supposed to be a four season trailer?
     
  10. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    I agree with RV tech above. You can make nearly any trailer suitable for winter use, but you'll have to learn where it is most vulnerable to freezing and take appropriate steps.

    From experience:

    I'm working away from home in the middle of the WA high desert. I lived all of last winter in an unskirted single-season 1985 Kit Road Ranger. All of the water lines were inside but the two waste tanks were outside. We reached nearly continuous temperatures of 0 to 10F through December and January. I had no problems with anything freezing, but I had to use the water systems differently than I did in summer. I ran approximately 1800 watts of electric space heat, kept my gas water heater on, drained the potable water tank (I used on-site utility water mostly, but there were three weeks where I had to get water from work in 5 gallon cans because the utility lines froze) and let my grey and black water tanks run dry (flush extra for #2s :) ). If you do not have access to utility power and water, but plan on using the trailer for an extended period of time, you'll have to run a generator, heat trace and insulate all of your tanks and bring your potable water with you. Bring a big enough generator to run all of your electric equipment. As a side note, propane is a very efficient source of heat and hot water and this can limit the amount of electricity you use. I found that taking one hot shower every day will consume one gallon of propane per month if your trailer has a five gallon hot water tank.

    Keith
     
  11. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    This winter I've moved up in scale a bit :) .

    Keith
     
  12. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Arctic Fox is definatley one of the better ones out there - but trust me - the term "all season" for an RV is typically about 6 months for approximately 98% of RV owners. The RV manufacturers' know this and therefore it is easy to call a trailer "all season" knowing full well the reality of average usage. To use any RV in sub-freezing conditions (when using the water system) is a challenge that requires serious preparation to be successful. Also plumbing repairs in an RV can be difficult to do the location of pipes, fittings, the water pump etc. RV's were not designed with the emphasis on ease of repair.
     
  13. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah...putting mylar or bubble wrap in all of the windows reduces heat loss significantly, but there is a limit to how tight a trailer should be made. For extended use, a trailer needs to breathe a bit, or excessive ice buildup on the inside of the windows (its going to happen a little bit regardless) and in the walls will result in possible mold growth. I run a dehumidifier, but DriZAir will work too.

    Keith
     
  14. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    You ain't kiddin' there :) .

    Keith
     
  15. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    +5!
     
  16. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Of course, there's always this option... ;)

    Keith
     
  17. Marlin 1888

    Marlin 1888 Tigard Member

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    Your statement is the same as my experience. Thanks Bruce
     
  18. Marlin 1888

    Marlin 1888 Tigard Member

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    How can I heat trace the water lines behind the shower/tub? On the water and waste tanks will heat trace on the bottom with some type of blanket insulation be sufficient? I am usually only hunting in two week intervals. Will the heat trace work on 12 volt so I don't have to leave the generator on all the time? If it works on 12 volts how long will the batteries run it between times when the generator is on? Bruce
     
  19. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    In regards to your questions regarding 12v heat tracing, the answer is "I don't know." You'll have to research availability. DC run time depends on the capacity of your batteries (always use deep cycle types) and the amount of load placed on them.

    Regarding how to heat trace, it all depends on your trailer's construction. In my case, last year's 1985 single season trailer had all of its piping inside, and I just had to keep cabinet doors cracked and the heat up to at around 70F to prevent freezing. No heat tracing was necessary. For a two week stay in the woods, presumably a 100 gallon propane bottle (or many sevens :) ) would suffuce all of your needs, but I have onsite electric so I didn't have to resort to propane. In this year's 1999 basement model RV, heat tracing would be as simple as running self regulating trace along the piping, taping or zip tying it in place and insulating with foam pipe insulation. I chose not to do this however, and have strategically placed 100w and 250w lamps to provide heat, as well as insulate the doors. Time will tell if I made the correct decision. So far so good, but it really isn't all that cold yet (just high teens right now :) ) so who knows?. Of course, the utility water hose is heat traced, but you won't be using that in the woods.

    Note: If ANY part of your water piping leaves the confines of the trailer, even one foot, it WILL freeze without tracing. I've got several buddies up here who that happened to last year.

    Regarding the tanks: One buddy of mine tapes heat trace to the bottom of his water and waste tanks, which are exposed, and covers them with insulation. He's had no problems with freezing.

    Keith
     
  20. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    We used to take a trailer to E. Oregon for elk hunting. It could easily get below zero in those mountains. We simply completely drained and winterized it and didn't use the water or toilet.

    Before that and even after that, we used a wall tent with a sheepherder's stove, so who needs plumbing? We did exactly what we had done with the tent. We got our water from the creek even if it meant breaking ice. When we went to a dry camp, we took several 5 gallon jugs - the water cooler type.

    If we wanted to clean up a bit, we heated water on the stove and took a sponge bath.

    We still have an ongoing joke about a newbie nice guy we once took with us who was somewhat shocked by how we lived, making coffee in a metal coffee can on the fire. We still repeat "John, I can't drink that coffee. Tom stirred it with a screwdriver!"