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The RV Place - In Memory Of Bruce Do you own an RV? Discuss anything related to RV's and camping in here. Keep any general towing questions and/or discussions in the Towing forum. This Forum is dedicated to the memory of Bruce(Crazy).

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Old 09-28-2012, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
Swinks11
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Winterizing rv

I was doing the regular winterizing of my 5th wheel rv the other day ( drain water, antifreeze everything, etc. ) Then I got thinking about maybe leaving the heat on just to keep the interior above 0*C. Is there any benifit to heating the interior while the outside is 0*C to -45*C (32*F to -49*F )this winter? Also I was looking at my tires (5 years old now) they look good just trying to get as much time as I can before having to replace them all. Do you gain anything by taking the weight off of them? Blocking the sun/snow from them? Maybe putting a tarp over the whole unit? The batteries are very awkward and difficult to get out of the unit. I brought them in the house last winter but was thinking of just putting a 100watt light bulb in the batterty compartment for heat and leave the solor panels on. BTW the trailer is parked in my back yard with all of that a Canadian winter can throw at it. My heated shop is not built yet. Every other year I just do the regular winterizing stuff but wanted to try a little harder this winter.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
terryk
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I would think at those temps it might help the plastics and adhesives but if you aren't using it you aren't going to be stressing any of them.

Interesting question ...
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
heymccall
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Heat, the interior is not feasible, economical, or needed, unless you plan to occupy it.
Tires degrade from ultraviolet light, so, yes, cover them, anytime it's not in use, when possible.
Flat spots from weight on them won't be an issue, lest your first drive is in subfreezing temps, then they'll bounce/ shake 'til they warm.
Initial snow/ice really aren't the big winter problem. Refreezing after a sun thaw puts ice in places that can be damaged as the ice expands. Refreezing after a partial thaw is the issue. Cover the whole roof if possible.
Battery FAQs and care http://vmaxoutlaw.com/tech/battery_maintenance.htm
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you must have lots of money to keep it heated, that would take a lot of propane. As heymccall said, tire covers will make them last longer. Light in battery compartment, asking for a fire, and it won't do much during the old temp dips. Do you have a solar charger with a charge center on the unit?
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well to make your pump retarded, you could let it hang out with me for a day
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
Swinks11
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I live comfortable but dont like throwing money away on the heat bill to keep it warm either. I have never heated one of my rv's in the winter before and they seem to be just fine in the spring. Yes I do have solar panels on the roof ran through a charge controler to the batteries.


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you must have lots of money to keep it heated, that would take a lot of propane. As heymccall said, tire covers will make them last longer. Light in battery compartment, asking for a fire, and it won't do much during the old temp dips. Do you have a solar charger with a charge center on the unit?
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2007 LBZ 2500HD Duramax Diesel Short Box Ex. Cab. Edge Evolution Programmer, K&N Cold Air, Truxx Leveling Kit.
2004.5 LLY 2500HD Duramax Diesel Short Box Ex. Cab. Bully Dog Programmer, K&N Cold Air, Truxx Leveling Kit- Truck Was Stolen!
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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if your charge controller is like mine, it displays the voltage of the batteries and how much charge they are getting with the panels or via plugged in. I leave mine plugged in all winter, the batteries stay topped off but don't overcharge. Those without the controller will overcharge and boil. Take a look how yours functions, thats the easiest way, mine are 5 years old and still perform well.
I've used mine hunting, when you get a cold snap, a 30 lb tank only goes for a few days. keeping it heated would get costly.
the only issue I've seen from winter cold is the lino lifting. there has been lots of it here, (Americans didn't use a good lino for our cold), some covered by warranty, some not. the only issue i had with that, was a section that was installed poorly and was lifting on its own.
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well to make your pump retarded, you could let it hang out with me for a day
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Diaric wins thread derailment......
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Yeah Diaric, I gotta say, I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you an official warning on that.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Heating in the winter is totally unnecessary, and many would suggest is even detrimental since it will melt snow from the roof and it will just run and refreeze elsewhere - I have picturse somewhere of when we last winter camped and I had 4 foot icicles hanging off the front of our trailer from the snow melting off the roof.

As for the tires...they'll age-out before they wear out..so never assume that just because they've still got lots of tread that they aren't in need of replacement anyways - inspect the sidewalls and in the tread bottoms and you'll see cracks. No need to remove weight for the winter, and do NOT make the mistake of leaving your leveling jacks down - if you get a flat over the winter those jacks are NOT designed to hold the entire weight of the trailer - the jack will either collapse or will cause the trailer frame to twist and bend into shapes it was never meant for...which then translates to stress on the outside and inside of your trailer.

Regarding covers...I've seen far more damage done to trailers from ill fitting or makeshift covers/tarps over the period of a winter than I've ever seen from trailers just left alone... Tarps and covers will flap incessantly no matter how well you secure them - that flapping over many, many months WILL rub and wear on things.

Millions of RV's survive every single winter just fine for decades. In the old days of aluminum riveted roofs covering made sense, but in the reality of todays 1-piece membrane roofs...it's not really worthwhile anymore, and has more possible negative results versus positive.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
turnpike
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My unit (pictured) will only raise the temperature about 25 degrees C. So at minus 5 C, the interior is maybe near 20C, and the furnace is running 60 minutes of each hour. Been there done that. So, any colder and the lines will freeze. And a 30 pounder (seven US gallon) jug a day is expensive. Some of the construction crews around here, have the units all skirted in, installation on the windows and two large propane pigs out side, just to try to keep warm. They usually move indoors at about minus 30C.

I only pump RV antifreeze through the lines to displace the water. Two gallons does it.

I cover the tires when not in use. They are square to start with, but become round by the time we get out of town.

My unit sits beside the house until we go south near Christmas. I leave it plugged in all the time. The trailer convertor is set about 13.8 volts and the battery doesn't use any water, and doesn't freeze.
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