Using MH in Freezing Weather....any advice ?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Tips Tricks and modifications for skiing' started by Baggers53, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Baggers53

    Baggers53 Funster

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    We will be using our MH over the Christmas period and having just checked on
    the weather forecast it appears that the temperatures will be at or below freezing.
    Do you have any advice on heating, we will be on EHU so can use electric or gas, or both.
    What about ventilation and condensation?
    Many thanks.
     
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  2. camocam1

    camocam1 Read Only Funster

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    I would suggest that you keep heating on low overnight with a window on the catch yes you may get some condensation but just dry it down
    Roof vent open when showering as normal
    Leave waste tap open and drain into a pail as waste pipe very likely to freeze.
    Have used ours in -8 with no problems

    Best fit silver screens if you don't already have and take small portable fan heater but just enjoy yourselves
     
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  3. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Silver screens certainly work preventing condensation on cold windows but the moisture is still in the air so ventilation is a must. We turn the heating off at night and open the windows in the bedroom to get fresh air even well below freezing we still do this.
     
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  4. Jimbost

    Jimbost Read Only Funster

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    Karcher window cleaner works for us for condensation. Silver screens, bucket for waste, fan heater for back up all very good advice from Camocam, Keep the heating on a low electric setting to keep the motorhome warm when you venture out and about. It can get cold very quickly if you leave it off. Warm van and hot water ready for your return.
     
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  5. joncris

    joncris Read Only Funster

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    We will also be using ours and I agree make sure you have silver screens to cover the windscreen and cab door windows as they make a hell of a difference in keeping the van warm. As suggested a small fan heater is a good idea and keep your vans heating on low.
    We leave the waste pipe open but our water tank is inboard so there's no need for us to worry about that. We also fill a large container with fresh water just in case where we are the water pipes freeze. This allows us to have a cuppa,wash dishes etc no matter what
     
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  6. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    If you're staying in the UK then firstly don't worry too much.
    Before anything else ensure your van in mechanically ready for winter with correct fluids etc and your heater and boiler works correctly. Ensure you have a carbon monoxide alarm.
    If your van is winterised then in most of the UK you're not going to have a problem. If not.. Or you're not sure then it may be wise to drain your water down.
    In our case the vans fine with water on board and well insulated.
    You don't say what your heater is so can't answer that one except to say just use it so your comfy. If it's stuffy the open a window slightly.. Or a vent (if its not snowing)
    You shouldn't be having a problem with condensation really if everything's working correctly (if your avatars correct.. Some people have had probs with condensation in the overcab)
    Your windscreen is where you will get condensation.. Simplest remedy is external silver Screen from silverscreen or Taylor made.
    There are Funsters who may be along in a min who go skiing regularly.. They cope easily.
    Main thing is.. Enjoy.. Have a great time.
     
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  7. Baggers53

    Baggers53 Funster

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    Thanks for the replies........additional information is that we use external silver thermal blinds
    ( but these have been used mainly in the summer to keep the MH cool ) and we have a carbon
    monoxide detector in the MH...our fresh water tank is inside the MH but our grey waste is underslung...
    any additional tips ????...thanks
     
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  8. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Although there is conflicting advice above I would recommend heating on 24/7 as if its very cold pipes could freeze inside overnight. Keep windows open a crack to avoid condensation. If you have ehu take a fan heater or oil filled radiator as the electric heating on Truma is not usually adequately on its own and you don't want to use your gas if you are already paying for electricity. Leave your gray water drain open with a bucket under it as you can empty a bucket even if its frozen solid, don't use a waste master type as you won't be able to empty it if it freezes.
     
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  9. scousebird

    scousebird Funster

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    Take your slippers as I find the floor of the MH can be draughty
     
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  10. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    Never had a problem while Skiing in my 1995 Hymer, no E HU mostly wild camping. If condensation is present wipe windows with washing up liquid, ensure no draughts around water pipe work. layer of warm comfortable clothing, waste water tap open and nice snug warm thoughts. this should do the job:clap:
     
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  11. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Just spent the weekend at Keswick and there was a very hard frost and snow on Friday night. In the winter we always have our heating on low overnight and make sure that we have a full kettle and a jug of water for tea in the morning. The water tank on our van is underslung so may freeze, that's when you need the kettle, just pour into the tank and it should defrost if frozen though we have never had to do this to date.

    First one up turns the heating back up.
     
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  12. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    Have good bedding.
    I leave my heating and hot water on all the time on a constant setting. Thick curtains and carpets help.
    if you can, put a blanket where the foot pedals are.
    I dont bother keeping a window open.
    Heating on electric only gives out 1.5 kw, but on gas its about 3,5 kw.
    if its very cold, the electric heating on its own may not be sufficient, as its not what it is designed for.
    have camped in minus 12, no reason why you cant enjoy your van in winter.
     
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  13. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    We keep heating at a constant temperature. I figure that allowing the air in the van to cool will result in it dumping its water content in the form of condensation.
    We do, however open a few windows in the morning to vent the warm wet air outside. This seems to keep condensation down.
    The heating needs to be going all night to dry our ski gear and keep boots soft and pliable otherwise they are a bugger to get on in the morning!!!
     
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  14. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I keep my heating on all night, turned down a bit for comfort. I don't crack windows as that to me is just letting warm air escape.
    I use a convector heater 400 Watt wall mounted and my gas heater which comes on intermittently when needed.

    I am a fulltimer and have done this even in the first couple of years when we had -20C weather.

    Waste valve open is a good idea. However watch out for the last trickle causing icicles which eventually block the outlet. Make sure there is at least 4" gap between exit of outlet and top of waste container. I ended up with them welded together my first year. I couldn't drive with my waste hog physically and mechanically glued to my van by a huge chunk of ice.:xdoh::xrofl:
     
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  15. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    We have winterised our van, so at the moment no problem. However, she is coming back into service for the family runs on boxing day.

    I too am worried about the cold weather on the way, and have to say, the bucket under waste is a brilliant idea. However, I am going to have to top up the fresh water, any tips on this? I was intending to fill the tank to about 50%, and at night, turn off the water pump and leave the taps open to allow for ice expansion, is there anything else I can do to prevent disaster?

    Our heating is dead efficient, so it will be toastie warm inside, just worried about the underslung tank!
     
  16. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Electric under-blanket as you simply cannot beat getting into a warm bed to help you to keep warm all night. :xThumb:
     
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  17. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    We use our van all year round no matter what the weather and for skiing at altitude where minus 20 or worse is normal. Keep the heating set at 15c all night with windows and vents tightly shut, why would you let the heat out through vents.:xeek: In the morning first up whacks the heating up to 25c puts the kettle on and cracks the big vent a fraction we never suffer any condensation and the van is always toasty warm. As for leaving drain valves open be very careful seen so many frozen solid right up the pipe back into the tank and that's a nightmare to free up. Make sure its completely empty if you leave it open or you can have a big problem.
    Like the sound of electric blanket but no chance last one I had set fire to the house:xsurprised: (my fault) so its hot water bottle for us, or a cuddle:xrofl:
     
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  18. bernardfeay

    bernardfeay Read Only Funster

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    I do have thoughts on this topic but I'm just going to put the leccy blanket on...
     
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  19. Tackle man

    Tackle man Deleted User

    Jeez! must be cold in your van! :xwink::xwink::xrofl::xrofl:
     
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  20. Richard Birkett

    Richard Birkett Funster

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    All of the above advice is good but I'd add a couple of things to consider: First, if you also expect snow remember to keep your roof chimney/vent clear if your heater/boiler vents vertically and second, on one particularly cold night in Poland the condensation dripping from the flue of our auxilary Truma froze and the icicle cracked the wheel trim below it.
     
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