Home sweet home

Cathouse in the Snow

Cathouse in the Snow
What a lovely day in Paradise

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cold and Snow

So, how do we deal with the cold in an RV?  If you think it is the same as in your stick and brick home, it is not.  Depends on the type of RV you have and how well it is insulated.  That is one thing I have learned is to check those type of specs when looking at RV's.  Some have R14 on the floor and roof and R10 on the walls, by the way that is what I have in my rig.  I saw one at the RV show two weeks ago that had R40 on the floor, R28 on the roof, and R10 on the walls.  By the way most have R10 on the walls, get any higher would be quite heavy.  Also where you plan to RV is also a consideration, being from SD I would like to be up there in the cooler weather in the fall (hunting season etc.)  So it is what you desire, how much can you afford etc. 

What have I done to cope?  Well, I use two space heaters in the living room/kitchen.  One is on the GFI circuit and the other is on another circuit, otherwise would blow breakers.  I also have one in the bedroom, but only use it at night and the one in the living room is shut down.  The main concern is that I only have 30 amps so have to ration where the power goes.  If you use the microwave, shut off the living room heater.  Have to develop new habits, after breakers blow right in the middle of a favorite TV show such as Hawaii 5-0, you learn real quick as it takes a few minutes for the satellite system to wake up and get back to work.  I have tried to limit the use of the furnace but sometimes you need it.  I run it more at night.  Main reason to run the furnace - there is a heat duct that goes into the basement compartment where the water lines are located and you need to keep it warm.  Believe me, propane is cheaper than dealing with the hassle of frozen lines and those types of repairs.  I also have an indoor/outdoor temp sensor located in the basement compartment and keep an eye on the temps.  I also have it to monitor the indoor temps as well.  A great little device, you can get at a hardware store etc. 

What about the water coming into the rig?  That is the biggest challenge.  Hard to use the water when it turns to ice.  Did I tell you that the only good place for ice is in your whiskey or in your cooler?:)  Same thing we say when flying airplanes and have to deal with in flight icing conditions.  The good news here is that the hydrant at the rig is covered with heat tape and I keep it plugged in at all times.  I also have a heated water hose that is good to -42.  Both of these are plugged into the shore power pole.  In addition, I keep the gray valves open and black closed (for well known reasons.)  What I have learned is to have a faucet valve open and keep movement in the lines, old trick as a kid on the farm in SD.  I leave the hot and cold open in the bathroom sink with a small trickle.  I have heard tales of sewer lines getting iced up and that has already happened to me.  Not good when you come home and the kitchen sink is 1/3 full already - gets your attention.  My sewer hose is one of those Rhino Flex type and works good.  I keep it as short as possible and check the outlet on the rig to make sure water is coming out.  The hose has stayed clear so far.  On my kitchen when I was running a water trickle there, the sewer line under the rig somewhere froze, just had to wait for temps to come up and thaw it out. When the weather gets above freezing, and it will, I dump the black tank.  I try to flush it at least every two weeks.  So far all is good:)

Last Friday and Saturday we had highs in the 70's and then the bottom fell out and "old man winter" let us know again who is in charge.  Lows last week got below 0 and wind chills to -20.  You find out how airtight your rig is when the wind is blowing at 40+ knots and snow is flying.  Furnace ran almost non-stop and used over 4 bottles propane, that is one expense you had better plan for in this type of weather, you will drink propane like a thirsty elephant.  Last Tuesday was the worst as the temp in here did not get much past 68 if we were lucky.  Water held out, so all went well.  Wednesday nite the wind died down and once again the rig got toasty warm in spite of outside air temps down to 0.  It was one heck of a storm, but other parts of the country had it way worse so cannot complain.  Where my daughter is in IN, they had over an inch of ice and the power was out.  If you do not like the weather here, wait an hour.  In SD, just wait 15 minutes. 

I know some of my friends in TX had a heck of a time.  I can see why, hydrants are not heated - they freeze up, water lines are only 6 inches below the ground.  In SD we bury them at least 6 feet - get below the frost line.  I know many had to take precautions.  And why do we all want to go to TX in the winter?  Well, it is not supposed to get that cold and snow.  Ask the folks in DFW, dealing with the elements and the super bowl being today.  Go Packers!!!  Good news, hopefully this will be short-lived and spring will be soon.  By the way, the groundhog did not see his shadow.  Yeah, tell that to the folks on the east coast! 

So, some of the tale of how we cope with the weather, temps in the 30's today, but all I have going right now is two of the space heaters and keeping quite warm:).  Looks like it will get cold later this week, so need to be ready.  Going to a Super Bowl party later and cheer on the Packers.  Wish the Dallas Cowboys were in there, but let's see what happens next season. 

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