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Planning Our Secret Weapon For Winter RVing

Planning Our Secret Weapon For Winter RVing

When we’ve wintered in cold climates in the past, some people have asked “Why?” We’ll not only talk about why even us full-timers don’t always snowbird, but explain how we’re planning to make a cool mod to our rig to keep us warmer than ever RVing in cold weather.

We’ll be spending this entire winter in a cold climate, but on a 30-amp site, and with propane not readily available. We’ve mapped out a new secret weapon for winter RVing, allowing us to heat only with electric power, even on a 30-amp campsite.

After this explanatory video explains the “Why” of winter RVing, our follow-up video will provide a step-by-step tutorial of “How” we’re doing it. Stay tuned for that detailed DIY where we complete our mod, coming up in our next video (UPDATE: the installation video is now live. View it here.)


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Jean-Daniel Houde

Sunday 4th of February 2018

Good morning guys. I am not big on reading, but I have to admit that when your messages hit the mailbox, I read it carefully. I've bought a few things you tested and recommended; The level mate pro, the compressor, the syphons and the heater. Some would think that you make me spend money, but I like to think that you save me money, not to mention saving me trial and error time and expense. I am very pleased with it all. The only thing I have to figure out is the battery life on the level mate pro. Must be a setting on our phone or??? But when that thing works, it is amazing. A little note about the heater: We are finishing our hangar at the airport. Inside, I am putting up a room 8' X 12', insulated and finished to keep tools, parts and the all important port-o-potti for, well, you know... The hangar will eventually get completely insulated and heated. In the mean time, I will use the heater there in the RV dormant season. Voilà! The wife loves the idea. When the RV comes out of the moth balls in a couple of months, we will have the heater for those cold or humid evenings. The whole family, (MHarley our black Lab, Missy Davidson the cat Wendy and I) will continue to be grateful. Best regards and many thanks, JD

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 4th of February 2018

Hi Jean-Daniel! Thanks so much for the nice note. It's great to hear about your hangar plans, and that you've been pleased with the gear we've recommended. Regarding the battery life on the LevelMatePRO.... we assume you have the 1st Generation model (the one without the on/off switch). We had some issues with the battery in ours as well, until they updated the app to allow you to set the sleep time as low as one hour, which solved the problem for us. If you check out the manufacturers website, they have a section about maximizing battery life that you may find helpful: https://logicbluetech.com/troubleshooting/

As far as having a hangar, do you also have a plane? In case you didn't know it, we sold our Bellanca Viking to buy our first motorhome! Here's a little bit about that, including a photo: https://www.thervgeeks.com/miscellaneous/lakefront-campground-aerial-quadcopter-video/

Bud Barnes

Thursday 25th of January 2018

Great, great idea. Now DW can use her hair dryer all she wants. And, we'll stay toasty in the CA winters. (Though planning a trip from CA, across Canada to Nova Scotia in a few months).

TheRVgeeks

Thursday 25th of January 2018

Now THERE'S a coincidence. We're staying toasty in a CA winter (in BC), and planning a trip across CA to Nova Scotia in a few months, too. Are you stalking us? ;-) Stay warm, and have a great trip East!

Rob McKenzie

Thursday 28th of December 2017

Great advice guys, love your videos. A word to the wise, I was trying to leave home this week with my 40 ft Diesel pusher. It has been minus 30 C (-22 F) and lower for the last week or so and when I tried to retract my leveling jacks it blew my hydraulic motor. Apparently below - 20 F you shouldn't operate your jacks unless you have extreme cold weather fluid in your system (now I know). They can still be retracted manually by releasing the hydraulic locks in the generator compartment (it took me a a few hours to find this tidbit by searching HWHs site). BTW the trans fluid isn't happy either at those temps, all of mine is now on my driveway as it blew out through the core of the trans cooler. HAPPY DAYS!!! Still waiting for mobile repair before I can start my journey south.

TheRVgeeks

Thursday 28th of December 2017

Holy crap, Rob! As you started mentioning temperature in C, can we assume that you're a fellow Canuck? Another clue is that we can't imagine temps that low anywhere other than northern Manitoba! Sorry to hear about your ordeal. We think you might have to adjust your schedule a bit (September maybe?) ;-) Hope your repair and escape go off without another hitch.

Lauren

Tuesday 26th of December 2017

Hey guys,

Super stoked I found your site!! We're new to the winter RV life and are travelling around BC, Canada skiing. We have winterized the motorhome and its going very well. The only issue we have is that the rear tyre's do not like to spin when we first start her up. Even with idling and warming up the engine. Reversing is fine, its when we put her into drive the back tyres drag and don't spin. I feel like its only the back left tyre which is close to where the exhaust pipe blows out. We have been lucky enough to get it working after some persistence and luck (being parked on big flat locations where we can reverse and eventually kick in.

Is there something we are doing wrong? Is this common? Or does it more so sound like a mechanical issue to you?

I would really appreciate any comments/advice!!!

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 26th of December 2017

Hi Lauren! Sounds like you're having a great skiing winter so far. I was on top of Grouse Mountain on Saturday (for lunch with my Mom, not to ski), and am actually looking directly at the mountain while typing this from a high-rise AirBnB apartment overlooking Vancouver Harbour. :)

If we could get a little more information/clarification, it might be helpful. First, can we assume that when you say the "rear" tyres drag / don't like to spin, that you are referring to tag axle tyres and not the drive axle? And when you back up, do they roll freely, but then immediately drag again when you try to drive forward? And does this only happen at very low temperatures, or after being parked in one spot for an extended period, or when driving on slick surfaces? Also, what's the year, make, model and length of your motorhome? The more detail we have the better chance we have of sleuthing this out.

Cheers, Peter & John

Mike Angles

Friday 22nd of December 2017

Hi guys. Look forward to your next video. Adding a "good" 20 amp circuit is sound thinking.

I think we have all added the extension cord circuit in cold climate.

We used to have a 30' 5th wheel in which I melted the electrical plug on a "heavy duty" 20 amp extension cord while in Zion doing just what you did/do. Now we have a 50 amp rig with radiant floors that are great for cold weather. Now you video makes me take pause as I had not factored in a 30 amp service limitation. But this is also why I carry heavy duty extension cords and a cheap Wally World space heater that is pet safe.

The drop light in the basement is typical as is a water supply host with a built in heater. Although in real bad weather we just depend on holding tank water.

All these heat producing devices are great, but our rig still leaks air around the slide-outs, so I carry wide blue painters tape which I apply inside at the drafty slide-out locations. As an FYI, our Tiffin leaks lots of air around the windshield and front dash. Always cold in this area unless I stuff blankets (or blue tape) against the dash to windshield seams. Tiffin uses the corner front windshield channels for wiring. In our rig, I can see that someone at the factory sprayed some foam in these channels, but he/she must have been smoking something good as their aim was off and they insulated the front headlights instead.

re, mike

TheRVgeeks

Friday 22nd of December 2017

Wow Mike! It sounds like you've had lots of great experience with cold weather RVing, and are in good shape. Thanks for all the info and insight.

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