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RP196 - Winter Camping in the South

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Colonel Podder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Colonel Podder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: RP196 - Winter Camping in the South
    Posted: 13 Oct 2020 at 4:11pm
Hello All,

Newbie here again looking for more answers! We have had an RP-196 on order since early September. But we do not have an estimated delivery date yet. However, we do expect the time frame to be in the December - January range. So it will most likely be winter when we take delivery, and of course we will be eager to head out somewhere close to start learning and enjoying. Living in South Carolina our winters stay mostly above freezing, and we would plan the first couple of trips to the warmer areas of the state if we should decide to venture out this time year.  

With that, I have a question about winter camping in the general area where we live. Not sure if we should take delivery with the camper winterized, and wait until warmer months for the first few adventures? We don't have many days below freezing, but do have a few, mostly in January and February. Also, I have noticed that the RP-196 has a membrane on the bottom of the camper that covers all the plumbing and structure from exposure, maybe this helps with the winter weather? Or maybe it is purely cosmetic? I am not sure of the true function. I know the furnace will keep the camper warm which will also help with the plumbing, but what about when you are towing? Seams like there would be additional cooling going down the road? Just trying to plan way ahead and research things we know nothing about!

Sorry for the very long question, but I would appreciate any information you would care to provide. 

Thanks!
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 2020 at 6:04pm
It will probably depend on how close to the coast you are. I used to live in the Outer Banks and generally winterized the trailer around Christmas. Depending on the year we might get temps that never got lower than just around freezing or they could be down in the 20's for some considerable time. Water lines in unheated unwinterized houses would freeze in the latter but not the former. A few dozen miles inland it was a lot colder. 

You could just wait to winterize till you knew you were going to have a hard freeze and maybe not even have to. The bottom cover is supposed to help with freezing but won't do anything unless you heat the interior. True 4 season RV's have insulated and heated basements. But in your case it might be enough to get you through. I guess you could also place a heat source under there too, like a couple of strategically placed incandescent light bulbs. 
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ArenaBlanca View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ArenaBlanca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2020 at 10:24am
We live in southern NM and seldom experience temperatures low enough to warrant wintering.  We have a 195 and I have been in discussion with Forest River on how to winterize it.  Forest River recommends winterizing when the temperature is going to be 40 degrees or lower.  They probably got that recommendation from their lawyers in the warranty department.

The problem I am having is how to access the water heater by-pass valves as they are located behind the converter and under the refrigerator.  It appears that one would need to remove the converter into to get to them.  

So, I can't or won't be using the nasty pink stuff to winterize.  I use the air method although it meant buying a fitting and takes two people.  The only thing I worry about is any residual water left in the toilet valve as it can freeze and crack the valve.  The solution has been drain all the tanks and to plug the Pod in (we had a 30 amp line run outside the house) and leave a small heater on inside the camper.

I'm thinking the same would work for most of y'all in South Carolina.   Happy camping!

Enjoy Life!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mcarter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2020 at 11:36am
Arena,

You can block open the flush valve, with a board or a device called a Johnny Chock, put air pressure to the Pod and it will clear the toilet valve. You will see the toilet flush blow air. I used air pressure for 5 years here in TN, no freeze damage. I do put a bit of pink stuff in toilet bowl and drain traps.
Mike Carter
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furpod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2020 at 12:12pm
Where will the camper be stored? If at home, just turn on the heat, or plug in a small ceramic heater on the days/nights it's going to be to cold..
as a side note we go to SC for part of Dec and Jan every year, to HBSP.
Here at home, we have FHUs, so I just leave a small electric heater running, set around 50F, and the propane heat set as a backup at 40F, JIC. Just drain the low points and WH when we get from the beach in January.
A note.. it's really only the fixtures and valves you are protecting, the pex plumbing itself is freeze proof.
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2020 at 1:22pm
Originally posted by furpod

A note.. it's really only the fixtures and valves you are protecting, the pex plumbing itself is freeze proof.

While it is more freeze tolerant than other plumbing, Pex is not freeze proof. There are all sorts of cases where it has frozen and burst. Drain it or fill it with antifreeze, its not worth the risk. 


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Colt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Colt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2020 at 3:50pm
That's a great question for your dealer's service dept.  The membrane may well be enough protection for a 30 to 32F night preceded by a sunny day.  Keep the pod shut up so it traps heat from the sun.    
John
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Colonel Podder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Colonel Podder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Oct 2020 at 9:41am
Thanks for the information, that helps a great deal!

I will store the pod outside behind the house, and plan to run power to where it will be parked. The compressed air method of removing the water sounds like the best bet for me. I may also rig up an indoor/outdoor thermometer and make adjustments as needed. I could run the outdoor probe under the floor and above the membrane to monitor temps there. 

Thanks Again!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dirt Sifter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2020 at 9:55am
Originally posted by Colonel Podder

Thanks for the information, that helps a great deal!
......make adjustments as needed. I could run the outdoor probe under the floor and above the membrane to monitor temps there. 

Ya know, that's actually a great idea. Think I'll try in the next time I go out on those days when its warm all day and below freezing at night just to see what happens. I love this forum.
Greg n Deb 2020 195 HRE
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