I am a cold weather neophyte (cut me some slack here, I was born and raised in Southern California). This is my first experience RVing in freezing weather up here in Washington State.
What tips and tricks should I know about using my motorhomeís awning in freezing weather? Itís an electric one Ė Iím lazy.
A day or two ago, it was raining and windy so I rolled up my awning. Last night it froze. Anticipating rain tonight, without much wind, I rolled out the awning to cover my entry doorway. It was like peeling the wrapper off of an ice cream bar.
Aside from common sense and the wisdom of getting out of here and heading south, is there anything more I should know about freezing awnings?
Any other cold weather tips that youíd like to share? Iíve already learned about frozen city water hoses (I learned the hard way). Iíve already installed an Extend-a-stay external propane tank hookup (Iím going through propane like its going out of style).
No help on awnings - we've had our motorhome two years now, and have yet to pull the awning down. But as to propane, you might want to get a couple of small electric space space heaters. AC is usually included in park rent, so they'd be essentially free, and they can either totally replace or greatly reduce propane consumption. Might also want to consider an electric blanket. And, although some are rexhall brand specific, there are some good cold weather tips at rexhalltips.com.
You can also try some Florida Keys pictures for your screensaver.
-------------------- al Millenicom/Verizon - F1 on standby Posts: 176 | From: On the move | Registered: Apr 2007
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Gary I think you need to learn to keep a sharper eye on the weather while you are there. If it will be raining and freezing consider rolling up the awning and leaving it rolled up. Do not unroll it until the temps have relented. You have got to stay ahead of the weather. Easy to do with your datastorm. When you move the awning and it is frozen you take a chance of ruining it. If it is out and water freezes on it then you must wait for it to thaw out. Always have electric space heaters to use.
-------------------- Chris the Bigfoot 2006 Alfa See Ya 2008 Saturn Outlook Living our dreams See where we are. Posts: 524 | From: Full timing someplace | Registered: May 2004
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I'd forget you have an awning anytime there is any chance of frost. We use an electric blanket with his and hers controls for the nights when it starts to get cold (or for when we are between here and the warm weather). Maybe someone who is used to the heat can sleep when its hot but personally I like nothing better than snuggling under the blankets on a cold night with the room so cold that your nose gets cold if it pokes out from under the covers during the night. It helps if you have a warm woman to snuggle with.
Most motorhome furnaces include a register into the basement area to keep the plumbing from freezing, so we set our thermostat to 55 degrees during the night to ensure that the furnace runs a little during the night. We also keep the inside cabinet doors ajar where there is plumbing (i.e. under the sinks) to keep the pipes from freezing in really cold weather. The electric space heaters get a lot of use 'round the clock. Forget the big awning (a big snow or ice storm could ruin it). Window awnings, if you have them, work fine but plan to leave them out until spring (knock the snow off between storms so they don't get too heavy).
One of our favorite cartoons is a drawing of a confused RV'er in a phone booth with a snow-bound RV in the background, with the person on the other end of the phone saying "No! No! It's NORTH in the summer, SOUTH in the winter!"
Keep repeating that.
-------------------- "Always gone yet always at home."
Fulltiming in Monaco Windsor towing Jeep Grand Cherokee F1 Datastorm | D2 | DW7000 | 117/990 | Vista Ultimate 64 Posts: 138 | From: Full-time RV'ers | Registered: Mar 2004
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I camp a lot in cold weather locations in my 5th wheel. The advice about electric heaters is right on the money. I managed to make 7 gallons last about 8 or 9 days in freezing temps by using my electric heater for most of my heating and just using the propane one at 55 or 60.
Not sure if this will help with awnings, and it depends on how cold it is, but once I was leaving Tuba City, AZ and it had snowed the night before and my slide outs were covered with ice and snow. I used my green hose and nozzle to blast the ice and snow off so I could bring the slide out in. This might work on your awning if you need to roll it up and it is frozen. Of course, it if is cold, it will freeze rolled up!
Propane solution (provided your at a campground w/electrical hookup). Get electric heaters. I use one in the living area and one in the bedroom.
Posts: 4 | From: Las Cruces, NM | Registered: May 2006
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To keep the chill off on those cold nights when no electricity is available I installed an Olympian Wave6 in the front of our travel trailer. Cracking the top air vent about 1/4" satisfies the manufactures recommendations without too much heat loss and we can leave it on at night and maintain a reasonable temperature while sleeping. I mounted it to a flat piece of plywood over the space previously occupied by 2 small cupboards and routed the gas line through the floor and into a T-Fitting in the propane line. This is a catalytic heater and mounted in the kitchen, which the wife likes. It gets moderately hot ... and is more suited for supplemental heat than primary heat in our 30' trailer. In my elk hunting trailer I have a ceramic propane heater (Glo Warm) with 2 panels which will keep a 24' trailer very warm with one panel on. It gets quite hot .... and I don't leave this one on at night. But between the 2, this one definitely heats up better ... but I'm more cautious with it. But both serve their intended purpose.