Fulltime Weather Survival

Travel Journal – December 26, 2015
Looking up towards Usery Mountain

Looking up towards Usery Mountain

I woke to a clear windy sky, but much colder temps today. The weather service is warning of freezing temperatures the next few days here in the Mesa Arizona area. Since I am not boondocking, Jagger and I should be very toasty during the cold nights. I have my fireplace (5,000 BTU) that will comfortably keep the Coach warm, plus the forced air furnace (35,000 BTU), which I try not to use as much. Also I have a small space electric heater in the bathroom area.

[one_sixth][/one_sixth]If I were boondocking, my forced air heating would still work using my solar power, but it would soon deplete the batteries if the days were heavily overcast. My solar package as of this blog is a Zamp portable 120 watt package. It wasn’t the cheapest way to go, but after researching, that is what I chose. I will discuss this in another blog post soon.

As a back up I purchased a portable propane Mr Heater Buddy over a year ago and have used it many times. I usually don’t use the the propane heater at night, even though they advertise that it’s safe (leaving a window or vent open slightly for fresh air). Mr Heater advertises: “Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen levels”. Of course the Coach is also equipped with carbon monoxide, smoke and propane sensors with alarms. Which I test and replace the batteries every 6 months.

Freezing Temps

My Coach was built for “four seasons” and as such it has a heated basement, which operates in conjunction with the forced air furnace.  When the temps fall into the freezing range I need to insure the furnace is on during the night. As I stated in a previous blog post, I set my heater at 60 degrees, the lowest my thermostat can be set.

  • If Jagger and I were camping short term in the snow, I would fill my freshwater tank in the basement, then disconnect the fresh water hose and the sewer lines, stowing them.
  • I don’t plan on long term camping in freezing temps it would require another strategy. I would wrap my hoses using “Valve and Pipe Heating Cable” for my fresh water and sewer lines to keep them from freezing, leaving them connected.
  • Entire season camping, I would purchase some skirting for my Coach to seal in the area under it. Make some insulated panels out of bubble wrap material for the windows. Finally make arrangements with a propane supplier to drop a larger propane tank to connect to the Coach.

Note Fireplace Below the TV

When shopping for my Coach I was interested the “Four Season” and “Extended Stay” packages, especially since I didn’t know exactly what type of camping I would enjoy.

I found that many models had fireplaces. I thought there is no way I will need or use a fireplace, but I was wrong. Not only does it keep the living area comfortable in cold weather, it’s very relaxing to have on while lounging around having that morning cup while looking at the cold weather through my Coach’s windows.

Getting Out

I’ve accomplished a few maintenance items around the Coach this morning, including dumping the tanks and troubleshooting a leak that has developed in the toilet area. I will be tackling that project next week, it’s going to be involved. I may even call the RV Doctor again to come and bail me out. For now I’m cleaning up and going to hang out with the grand kids. Maybe a movie night to escape 🙂

Until next time, Safe travels…Gary

6 replies

  1. dont know if you know this little trick but you can buy a valve to put on your 20lb cylinder propane tank and fill your 1 lb bottles with…much cheaper than buying new ones every time you run out……
    keep up the good work on your blog….


  2. So, on your Mr. Buddy, are you using 1 pound cylinders like me? I went to hook it up to a larger external tank, but learned if you do that then to shut the heater down you have to go outside and shut off the flow at the tank…..getting up from a warm bed to go OUTSIDE in freezing cold to shut off the tank kind of defeated the purpose!!


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