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Old 12-11-2012, 10:45 PM   #1
JBG
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Winter Camping and Schralping

Hey powder hounds just wanted to see what you all do to have a comfortable winter camping experience. I've got a home build 4x4 E350 with a new house bat, sink that drains to the outside ground, and a propane cat heater. I am going to get my honda generator into it so that will be available. I've got a vent installed so the Cat doesn't kill us My main concerns are how to keep water from freezing w/o a hot water heater. My water source is a 2 or 3 gal plastic jerry can that goes to an electric pump. Maybe i'll just put it next to the heater when we get off the slopes. Also how important is a portapotti. We will have modern conveniences near by but i would like to not have to rely on them. I guess i would just like to hear about your set ups for winter and what worked and what didn't.
Happy Schralping
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:34 AM   #2
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

RE: winter camping in comfort things to consider: Is your van prepared for the lowest outside temps you might encounter at your destination while sleeping and relaxing in your van? will it be really windy pulling heat off the metal van surfaces? does your van have supplemental insulation in the walls, doors, roof and floor? do you have insulation panels or blankets for the windows? A small heater that works fine for spring and fall camping may not provide enough output for minimal indoor sedentary comfort (i.e. above 45F inside the van) depending on weather and the amount of van insulation. With the catalytic heater and 2 or more people and any inside cooking you are likely to have a lot of condensation /frost on unprotected glass and metal depending on outside temps and liquids in metal containers may freeze from the bottom up from heat loss to the floor deck. letting the van get really really cold during the day will not help condensation problems. leave a window or vent open a crack when you leave to reduce the relative humidity if you do not keep the van heated. Start the engine and use your van engine heater and fan to reheat and flush out some of the humidity when you get back from a day of skiing assuming you have adequate fuel left in the tank. Check to make sure your engine exhaust system has no leaks to avoid carbon monoxide problems while idling. you can keep water and fresh food from freezing without heat for several hours (the time depending on outside temps) by storing these items in well insulated coolers. If you are at a ski resort, does it have indoor gear lockers for rent? you could stash some water and fresh stuff while out skiing. Avoid bringing beverages and food items in glass bottles and jars that could crack if the items freeze. Some RV trim items made out of vinyl or plastic get really brittle in subzero temperatures. Regarding a toilet, consider using the disposable bag with dry chemicals type as the flushing porta potties can freeze up in subzero temperatures and then waiting for the contents to thaw to empty.....-eeeewwwh.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenard
RE: winter camping in comfort things to consider:

Well Said. Listen to the voice of experience.

It must get cold or something up there in Alaska.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:35 AM   #4
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

We use our SMB for staying overnight at Ski resorts. Buying 2 rolls of Reflectix (1 for penthouse and 1 for covering windows) has been the best investment I've done. Keeps inside about 5~10 degrees warmer. Fold it and store in between Penthouse and bed.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_13357-56291-...tix&facetInfo=
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

Thanks for the ideas. Hopefully i can get out this weekend in some 40's temps for a dry run.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

I also use a catalytic heater (no propane furnace), and that mostly works great for me. Between the catalytic heater and stove heat from cooking, I'm comfortable until I go to sleep, at which point I switch off the cat heater and use thick blankets.

The only trouble I have is pipes freezing & bursting -- at temperatures well below freezing. At 15 degrees F, I've had my water freeze: sink sprayer nozzle popped off in the middle of the night, water pump damaged, and my freshwater backflow preventer developed a crack/leak.



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Old 12-13-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

The reflectex in the penthouse makes a huge difference on inside temps. We regularly camp in the winter time in temps down to the single digits. I have had my share of frozen pipes but I have come up with a couple of things to help prevent it.
1) Always keep the furnace on at night at least on the lowest setting.
2) Keep the door for the water tank/pump area open and the under sink cabinet cracked a bit.
(In your case you don't have these cabinets so it shouldn't be an issue)
3) Add insulation to every nook and cranny in the van. In the doors, walls etc. There is a huge voice space above and behind the taillights!!!
4) Turn the control on the dash to off. Leaving it on vent will allow outside cold air to come in.
5) I re-routed the water lines in my EB-50 to all be interior, not in the walls. The factory routing was asinine to say the least.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

We don't have pumps or piping to freeze up, and haven't ever frozen a jug. A 1/2 gallon milk jug works well as a water dispenser. We keep the heater on low and some vents cracked open during the day while we're skiing.

Yes we like the porta potti for ski parking lots - those midnight trips outside are too cold.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:51 PM   #9
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

We live in our van for months at a time in winter to ski.
I've been doing this every winter since '99 With four and
a half years of full time van dwelling in between
The most important piece of equipment in all the
Vans I've owned is the suburban propane furnace
Set the thermostat to 68 and watch the snow pile up

ski ya out there
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:11 PM   #10
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Re: Winter Camping and Schralping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanca
We live in our van for months at a time in winter to ski.
I've been doing this every winter since '99 With four and
a half years of full time van dwelling in between
The most important piece of equipment in all the
Vans I've owned is the suburban propane furnace
Set the thermostat to 68 and watch the snow pile up

ski ya out there
Yes indeed. I don't use my suburban heater often, but when I do it is the bomb!

R
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