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Old 10-31-2018, 11:31 AM   #1
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Cold winter wx with a Ford e350 Sportsmobile

Hi there - I'm new to the Sportsmobile community, and have a question re winter camping. Live in Colorado and spend much of the winter in the high country engaged in AT skiing. I'm interested in feedback on the pop-up type van Sportsmobiles as a suitable winter camping vehicle in temps down to around 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks!

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Old 10-31-2018, 11:57 AM   #2
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You should have no problems. Plenty of members here do the same thing, you just need a suitable heater and as much insulation as you can reasonably install.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:09 PM   #3
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Yep ^^^

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Old 10-31-2018, 07:18 PM   #4
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We do a bit of winter camping, camping up at the ski mountain and if it is just to cold for our Espar diesel heater to keep up we just keep the pop top down.
2010 E350 6.0 4x4 EB 50 SMB
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:46 PM   #5
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Been in single digits & low teens for several days at a time - Espar heater was our savior, but then we have the cold weather insulation along with then sound deadening, so that helps considerably. A good sleeping bag removes any regrets from the equation!
Bellpilot offers sound advice - keep the top down if you have concerns.

In the scenario you presented, Also need to take into account (if you have it) where your water lines run.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:42 AM   #6
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Add me to the list of folks with popup van that sleeps with the top down in the winter. Cozy warm but only two of us with a dog. We camp in some super cold conditions. Well below zero.
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:49 AM   #7
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We have done several week long ski trips in our van with our 12 y/o so have to keep the Pop-top up Suburban Propane heater... 0-low teens the lowest.

Never had an issue with heat, moisture is the biggest challenge - getting stuff dry after storm days takes patience.

Also, not sure what your rig is but starting a diesel at 0f after a few days can be a challenge as well
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:20 AM   #8
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I've never camped in weather much colder than 15* or so. Once I still was able to tolerate 8* with the top up and the Espar cab heater running. Even slept up top. The canvas radiated the cold but I was sleeping in a 0* bag. I can see where some kind of insulated barrier would help. The worst part of my build is the exposed water pipes on the bottom of the frame. Driving in certain snowy conditions can ice up the pipes and freeze em. Another is a frozen flat plate which SMB tucks up along the frame. If I'm in cold weather I usually run the Espar water heater early in the morning to pre warm the motor & help keep things thawed, but for very cold weather you should drain the water system. At least that's how it has worked for my 2006.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:20 PM   #9
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Cold weather camping

Our coldest winter camping in our SMB 350 Ford Diesel was on 7,000 foot Galena pass near Sun Valley Idaho, Dec. 27. We kept the top (penthouse) down and slept on the bottom bed with 0-degree sleeping bags. It got down to 9 degrees in the van and 0 outside.
The van is totally winterized in the colder months. We carry water and actually use a Mr. Buddy heater (with well ventilation). We only use it when we are awake at night and in the morning. No Mr. Buddy heater running during the night.
We used bottled water for cooking and coffee and the propane range in the camper helped heat the living space.
It's not that bad. Of course, we were cross-country skiing during the day in sunshine and that helped.
Sleeping bags are the key. We zip our two sleeping bags together so we are snug together. (more body heat).
I was worried the diesel wouldn't start the next morning because of the freezing weather but it did.
Pete, Boise getoutdoorsnorthwest
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:51 AM   #10
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^^^ we spent a night on galena summit and ran out of propane in a slide in camper. 7.3 would not start the next morning. we flagged down the plow driver to see if he happened to have some starting fluid. he didn't, but informed us that with the nasty winds blowing it was -30 degrees that previous night. freaking frigid... our buddies in a tent were fine, but we froze, lol.

we bought a 0 degree double sleeping bag. a few years ago at my sisters house in wonderful rigby Idaho we were visiting for thanksgiving. after a few drinks I talked my wife into trying out the new bag out in front of their house. I said if its too cold we can just run inside. wife was game to try. it got down to -5. it was fine inside the bag, but lordy was it tough getting out of said bag. I got up at 7am to use the bathroom but wife stayed out there until about 10.

we now have a mr buddy that we use to preheat prior to bed and when we get up. its a lifesaver for my wife with her condition. its completely changed her ability to get out of bed in the mornings.
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