North Dakota Winters
(First Time Living in an RV in ND's Cold Weather)
North Dakota winters … and I'm going to live in a pull style older bumper pull trailer. I live in north Idaho. I have a 1991 454 3/4 ton truck, that will be pulling the trailer over there and MAYBE stay there so I can get back and forth to work. I understand the wind blows and can expect -50 below temps. this winter. I see almost everyone running diesel pickups. I know how to winterize my truck, and winterize my trailer, kinda. I will not have hookups. So, I can skirt the trailer, and add heat under the trailer, by running a generator 24/7, while I'm away at work. Straw bales under the sides, tinfoil the windows add insulation to windows, etc.
I'm just worried about the tanks. I can place heater tape and insulation to the tanks and exposed lines, but when I have to go dump the tanks, how can I go dump my tanks without them freezing in that temp? I know at that temp the built-in heater will not keep up, so I will supplement with other electric heaters. Please give any advise. The trailer is a 1973, so I know the insulation isn't the best, but that is what I have to try and make $$$ to support my family.
Coleen, the RVing editor comments:
We haven't spent a winter RVing in North Dakota, but we have in both South Dakota (Hill City) and Alaska. And, we've lived in Fargo and Dickinson, ND, in traditional houses, so I do have firsthand experience with ND winters.
You didn't say what part of ND you are going to, but I question those minus 50 degree temps. I don't think we ever saw it that cold in all the years we lived there.
As for dumping your tanks, you may want to use a blue boy portable tank. Empty into the portable tank and take that to the dump station. That way, you can leave your RV parked. Moving your trailer each time would mean that you'd need to undo much of your winterizing first, dump, and then go back and winterize again. I think it would be better to leave your trailer in place for the season.
Do you plan to come home midday to refill the gas tank on your generator? Depending on what kind you have, it may not run your full workday without running out of fuel.
There are several articles on the website about our cold weather RVing experiences and how we prepared and handled things. Also, answers we've given to others who've asked similar questions. Here's a link to that section:
Cold weather RVing.
Report back later on and let us know how things went with your first camping experience with North Dakota winters.
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