Friday, November 21, 2014

Roadrunner Camping in the Cold Weather

We are in very cold weather right now as are many of you.  Three nights ago the temperature got down to 14 degrees.  Right now in the early morning it is 23 degrees.  But the good news is that we are doing fine and are warm in the Roadrunner.
We are currently at Cedars of Lebanon State Park not far from Murfreesboro, TN.  We will be here until Sunday morning and go to Maynardville, TN for Thanksgiving.

But back to how we have handled the cold cold weather and some things we have done to get ready for it.  The issue is freezing weather.  We need to be prepared when it gets below 32 degrees.

First thing we did we face the fact we are not going to be in Florida during the winter and get used to it.  We adjusted our mind and accepted it.  And we don't complain about the cold weather.  No one likes whiners and 200 million Americans are in very cold weather right now.  And so are we.

One thing we did was to re-evalutate our heaters in the motor home:
  • Gas/propane furnace heater.  We made sure we filled up the propane tank last week at the Holiday Trav-L-Park campground outside of Chattanooga.  
  • Electric ceramic heaters.  We have two space ceramic heaters and put them is use during the day.  We have to monitor things so we don't have them both turned on plus the micro wave etc. We don't want to pop a circuit breaker.
  • Space heater.  Not sure what to call this but it also is electric, just not a ceramic heater.
We felt we needed to get this Soleil heater heater at Lowe's.  We set  it a certain degree temperature during the night and have some confidence it would go on and off properly.

A major concern is freezing water and broken water lines.  Its not something we want to deal with. To make sure that didn't happen we:
  • Filled our water tank to 80+ percent.  The more water in the tank makes it easier to keep it from freezing.
  • Reeled in the water hoses and drained the water.  We just keep the water pump turned on.  (Note:  if you are an earlier rise, you may want to fill the coffee pot the night before so you don't wake anyone up.)
  • When the tank gets below 50 percent wind out the hose, hook it up and refill refill the clear water tank.  We wait until the middle of the day when it warms up.  It is going to get below freezing most every night, we again empty the hose, drain it and rewind it on the reel.
  • We also hooked up two mechanics lights (50 watt) and placed them in the wet bay and keep them turned on all day.  That small amount of extra heat helps keep the pipes and tank from freezing.
Sewer Hose
  • We don't have hook ups at our site at the State Park, but even if we did, we wouldn't bring out the sewer hose and hook it up when its freezing.  We keep it stowed. We will hook it up and use it to empty the tanks in a few days when we get ready to leave this campground.
Ceiling Fans/Skylights
  • We have two ceiling fans that having an outside opening in the roof:  one in the living room and one in the bathroom.  In cold weather we 'plug' the holes with tight fitting foam cushion fillers that are made especially for that purpose.
  • The skylight above the shower also gets plugged up with a similar tight fitting cushion.

  • Layers layers layers.  Inside we both wear an assortment of long sleeve tee shirts, sweat shirts, fleece sweat pants, wool socks etc.  If my neck is warm, I am usually fine, so I wear mock turtle necks or zip up my light fleece jacket.
  • Afghans/comforters.  Always nice to have one laying around when we read or watch TV.
  • Hats/gloves.  Need to pull out the gloves and baseball cap or stocking cap. Those $1 pair of knit gloves work great so I have a few pairs to those.  A scarf is a good idea too.
  • We got the day night and black out shades mainly for the direct sunlight on the windshield.  The currents we had at the time weren't cutting it.  But these two kinds of shades deflect the hot summer sunlight.  They also serve to block some of the cold air off the glass windows in the cold weather.  After the sun goes down, we pull the shades, even though it is not completely dark outside.  It does help keep some of the warm air inside.
  • I really don't want to think about that too much, but in case that happens, we will need to keep our toppers over our slide outs cleaned off so they don't sag from the weight or melt and re-freeze.
  • We also want to keep the heater/air conditioner units free from any snow as much as we can.  The main thing here is getting on top of the RV and being very careful so one doesn't slip and fall or worse..

How We Have Done So Far:

So far so good.  The gas furnace heater in the front worked great the first night but stopped mid morning the day after we got here.  We left it alone for a day and tried turning it on again when it wasn't so completely cold and it has worked fine ever since then.

No freezing pipes or clear water tank.  We find ourselves adjusting a little bit with a sweat shirt or a blanket if we are sitting around watching TV but we would be doing that at our old house too, even by the fire place.

That's about how it's going at the moment and really its not bad at all.  There are thousands and thousands of people living in mobile homes and RVs in the winter time, I've just never met them.  So I don't know exactly what they do to keep warm.

But this is what we are doing.  Hope you are enjoying your weather, wherever you are and are warm!

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

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