Using MH in Freezing Weather....any advice ? (1 Viewer)

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Baggers53

Free Member
Dec 30, 2013
187
221
Stafford
Funster No
29,491
MH
C Class
Exp
2013
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.
 

camocam1

Free Member
Aug 28, 2012
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788
Elgin,Moray,Scotland
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22,620
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bailey approach 760 se
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since 2012
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
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
19,679
31,699
Guisborough
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29,351
MH
MORELO palace
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since 2012
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.
 

Jimbost

Free Member
Aug 12, 2014
21
25
Rochester Kent
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32,786
MH
Looking for an RV
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MH Since 2011 Caravaning since 1978
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.
 

joncris

Free Member
Jan 11, 2011
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Where it matters
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14,936
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Rimor Katamarano 12p +
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2011
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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sdc77

Free Member
Jan 28, 2013
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Weardale, Co Durham
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Coachbuilt
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since 2011
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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Baggers53

Baggers53

Free Member
Dec 30, 2013
187
221
Stafford
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29,491
MH
C Class
Exp
2013
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
 
Apr 27, 2008
11,882
14,157
Eastbourne East Sussex
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2,327
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Hymer low profile
Exp
Since 1972
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.
 
Apr 19, 2008
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Kent coast Hythe
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brought first van 16 yrs ago
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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Feb 9, 2008
4,124
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SW Scotland
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1,453
MH
LP Coachbuilt
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Since 2008 after caravanning for 20 years
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.
 

Theonlysue

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Sep 14, 2009
6,111
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Not long enough!
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.
 

jonandshell

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Dec 12, 2010
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Since 2006
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!!!
 
Feb 27, 2011
14,996
78,338
UK
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15,452
MH
Self Build
Exp
Since 2005
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:
 

DanielFord

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Jun 1, 2013
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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!

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Forestboy

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 31, 2007
5,023
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Forest of Dean
Funster No
46
MH
A Class Hymer B694 tag
Exp
9
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:
 
Nov 25, 2014
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Since 2006
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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T

Tackle man

Deleted User
@Baggers53 You haven"t said where you are going.
If you are staying in the UK the BBC weather App predicts temperatures well above zero.
We will be in North Yorkshire for 12 days over Christmas and New Year but will be ready in case the weather changes. I always keep Snowsocks tucked into the spare wheel in the garage "Just in case". :xsmile:
 

sadlonelygit

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Jan 28, 2014
155
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forest of dean
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29,903
MH
Rapido
Exp
since 1975
we used a stellplatz in the black mountains many moons ago and foolishly turned off the heater! once the temp dropped well below -10 the dump valve turned the car park into a skating rink. oh how we laaarfed!!!!
 

Minxy

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Aug 22, 2007
32,800
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E Yorks
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149
MH
Carthago Compactline
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Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
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:
You wet the bed and shorted it out didn't you ... c'mon be honest!!!!! :xdoh:
 
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Baggers53

Baggers53

Free Member
Dec 30, 2013
187
221
Stafford
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29,491
MH
C Class
Exp
2013
Many thanks for the replies.....some good info amongst this lot!!!!!

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Oct 20, 2014
1,357
6,029
Hampshire
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33,905
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Adria Coral 680 SL
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Since 2014
Never had a problem while Skiing in my 1995 Hymer, :clap:

I
Does your MH look anything like this inside? :whistle::whistle:
image.jpg
 

Ian

Aug 6, 2014
36
33
Funster No
32,697
MH
coach built
Exp
since feb 2010
As new members, skiing is something we are interested in with the motorhome now I am retired (hooray!). We own a Burstner Nexxo with an indoor water tank & an external waste tank (with a heater although not used it yet). However in the recent cold weather the water tank drained itself. On reading the manual it seems that Truma heaters have an auto drain that operates when the temp is as low as 3degC. Also it cannot be filled until the temp reaches 10degC unless you purchase a special bit that allows you to fill up a bit quicker. Considering the ski areas are likely to be below this how can I avoid this happening. any suggestions are welcome.
 
Sep 23, 2013
2,595
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Lincs
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MH
Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 2008 (started in a VW T4 campervan)
While you are using the van, leave the heating on 24/7 & it won't dump the water. If you would normally turn the heating off overnight or when you are out of the van, just turn it down to it's lowest setting instead.

If you need to fill at the start of the trip & the temperature is below the 10deg (that's high, most hold shut once at 7deg), then if your Truma is a Combi model, you can run it without any water in to heat the van first, then close the dump valve & add water. However, I believe that some Truma models do need water in before you can use them at all - others may know more about these. Your manual should tell you which type you have.
 

Ian

Aug 6, 2014
36
33
Funster No
32,697
MH
coach built
Exp
since feb 2010
Thanks for that. I just had a look at the manual and you are correct, it is 7deg before you can fill. but there is a spare part heating element (about £35) that you can install which heats it to 10deg meaning I assume you can heat to above 7deg so you can fill earlier. If you have heating on within the van does this stop the freezing whatever the weather outside?? at the time it did drain on the drive we were not using it so it did not matter but just wondered if we were away & lost all our water suddenly it would be a bit of a blow.. I did not realize you could use the heaer without water though so that is a benefit.
 
C

Chockswahay

Deleted User
@Ian We have been staying in our van for a few weeks in Aberdeen and the temperature outside has been very low during the day (3 to 4c) and below zero at night. We have been heating the van with convector heaters (on EHU) but to stop the water dumping we simply leave the heater on 'water only' 24/7. Over the last 18 days our gas consumption for cooking and keeping the water boiler (therefore the dump valve) warm amounted to 0.77 litres per day..... cheap:)

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