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Blue Ridge Winter RVing

(Victor from Florida asks...)

I am planning a trip to the Blue Ridge and they are saying the temp at night will be 16, 17, or some in the 20 degree range. What do I need to do to my Class C motorhome for the four days and nights I will be there? I have a 2005 31-foot Winnebago. I have never been in cold weather with it.

Coleen, the RVing editor replies:

Some Cold Weather RVing Suggestions

Hi Victor,

It depends how your Winnebago is equipped, what facilities you will have, and how you will be using it.

Do you know if your gray and black water tanks are heated or if they have heating pads on them?

Is your fresh water tank outside? Is it in a basement that can have heat from your furnace? Or, is it in an upper, heated area of the motorhome?

Will you have utility hook-ups?

If you have shore electric it may make it easier to keep tanks in your basement from freezing. If you won't have shore electric, running your furnace that much will likely drain your batteries very quickly.

It would probably be easier use your tanks and not to not use water and sewer hook-ups.

Since you will only be using the RV in cold weather for such a short time, the easiest thing is probably to use jug water and not bother with your RV water system.

Easiest thing with your black and gray water tanks is probably to add salt to them to keep them from freezing.

If you have a water heater with a tank outside (outside of a heated compartment) you'll need to drain it. You may have a bypass in your system.

There may be other things you'll need to do, depending on your rig. For instance, water filters, water purification systems, or an ice maker.

For general information, look at what we have posted in our Cold Weather RVing section.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.

Comments for Blue Ridge Winter RVing

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Winter RVing
by: victor haley

I have a blanket on my fresh water tank, but what I did find out is your gray water and black water will not work in cold weather; the valves will not pull. And do not use the hose anywhere.

And buy a can of ice remover because the locks on the doors will not work when it is a wet, cold and snowing.

Other than that, I did not have any more problems.

Thanks for the Tip and More iInfo
by: Motty and Patti

Thank you so much for the great blog about cold weather. If you could elaborate a little more about this subject - that would be great (and relevant for the season).

We have 5th wheel, and we are trying to avoid the cold weather, but an "Arctic front" is going to hit TX this week and the temp will drop at night to 28-30 degrees.

My question is...

At what temp should we be concerned about damage? Is 30 still safe for one night? 28?

We can not winterize our RV. Is there a risk of frozen pipes? (We will not be connected during those nights to water/sewer, and we will add salt to our tanks).

Thanks again,

A Few Degrees Below Freezing
by: Coleen, the RVing editor

Hi Motty,

We've spent a few nights in below freezing temps without any problems. I asked Bob and he said there's been times we've been down to about 18 degrees without having done anything as far as winterizing goes. Those temps were overnight temps, when it did warm up during the day.

On most fifth-wheels, at least the newer ones, the fresh water tank is enclosed. That does provide some protection.

Running your RV furnace (as opposed to an electric space heater) will likely put some heat in your basement, if you have one. If your furnace ducting runs along the inside backs of your under counter and under sink cabinets, running the furnace will also help keep that area warm to help protect your RV's plumbing.

Disconnecting from water and sewer hook-ups is definitely a good idea.

I suspect this cold snap in the southern states is harder on the RVers than it is on the RVs.

Hair Dryer is a Handy RV Tool
by: Coleen, the RVing editor

Hi Victor,

A tip for next time....

Use a hand held hair dryer to thaw those frozen valves. It also works to thaw and help dry out frozen door locks, too, on both RV and tow vehicles.

I don't remember when I used a hair dryer on my hair last, but we always make sure we have one in the RV.

Heated Water Hose
by: Elaine

A solution for your water freezing...

Try a heated water hose from No Freeze Water Hose. It's a must-have for anyone who's subjected to freezing temps.

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