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Old 09-21-2021, 05:14 PM   #1
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"Partial" Winterizing?

Hi everyone
Hoping to gather some insight from you fine folks. We recently purchased a camping site at a private camping club, and plan to store our Montana 3120 there year-round.

Our plan is to hopefully go up once a month or so in winter, in addition to lots of spring/fall/winter camping. My question is do you think a full "winterization" is needed after every time we camp in winter? For reference, it will be in Gold Bar, Washington, which has an average low temp of 34 or so in winter. We only live about 30 miles away, so it's pretty accessible to us in an extreme cold snap but you never know what roads will look like to get there. We did notice some of the folks in the camp have small boxes with a light bulb in them around their connections to keep from freezing. I guess we were wondering if there was something similar we could do to keep the camper at a low but not freezing temperature, heated pads, etc. We have access to hookups that are billed to us, so maybe a small heater in the kitchen and one in the garage? It is very wet here in western washington and I will be running a fan at all times regardless.

Second question, if you are still with me at this point, do you leave linens, towels, etc on the beds and in cupboards? Sure would not like to walk into a musty smelling mess!

We are not retired, so would be coming up after work on Friday nights...the idea of de-winterizing in the dark every time we want to do that and re-doing it on Sunday afternoon is not very appealing!

Any suggestions appreciated!

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Old 09-22-2021, 04:56 AM   #2
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If it's not too cold you could probably get by with just blowing out the water lines with compressed air and draining the water heater, rather than putting the pink stuff through the lines and dealing with dewinterizing multiple times a year. That's all I do as I go up to norther WV for hunting season where it gets to single digits consistently. Sometimes below zero, but not as much these days.
As far as musty smells, I use the Damp Rid containers with the big tablet. They tend to last about 3-4 weeks before the tablet disintegrates and needs to be replaced. I put 3 or 4 in the rig when in storage for a month or more.
I actually found the replacement tabs cheaper at our local Lowe's than on Amazon. I keep a pretty good stock of them in the rig.
You might also consider how reliable power is where you store the rig. Any heaters, fans, etc. may not help if power goes out for long periods.
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:23 AM   #3
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This might not be the answer you are looking for, considering I really have no idea of what your winter conditions are like where you live, but this is what I do.

We use our Montana (actually all of our previous travel trailers too), year round. And we live in Indiana where temperatures can get down to -20 (yes... below zero). Last winter it got down to -10 a couple times. In other words, from December to the end of March, we can expect below freezing weather. But that does not stop us from using our camper.

When we are not on the road, we practically live in our camper in our drive way. We simply do not use the house, we enjoy the camper that much. And we are in a position where we can use the camper at home.

However, when November rolls around, I'll do the full winterizing process, including cleaning black and grey tanks, winterizing with the pink-stuff, everything.

Inside the camper we use a port-a-potty and will dump it inside the house or directly into our septic tank (which I can do with no issues at all). We keep 5 gallon jugs of water in the camper and catch all water in a tub kept in the sink for washing dishes.

However, we do take showers in the house during this time.

Except for showers, we still cook, eat, sleep, and play in the camper with it completely winterized.

I know, you are saying, but isn't your Montana good to use to zero degrees without pipes freezing, and doesn't it have tank heaters?

Yes, you are correct. But it takes an incredible amount of propane to keep the underbelly heated once temps reach about 20 degrees or less. We supplement the furnace with electric heat, the fire place and a couple space heaters. Once the propane usage reaches 1 - 30 pound tank of propane every 2 days, we move back into the house.

What I'm suggesting is, if you really do not want to go through the process of winterizing and unwinterizing ever time you visit the camper, then winterize, and when you are the camper .... dry camp.

Once you force yourself to not use any water through the camper's water system, and once you find alternative methods for your water consumption and disposal, you'll find you can really, really enjoy your camper .... even in the coldest weather.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion, and this is how we do it.

(we have on many, many occasions winterized and unwinterized up 4 times over the winter. Why? Because we take off with the camper from Indiana and travel South during these months, and then return back home. A couple years ago, we did this 4 times over the Winter months. We unwinterize once we get out of the freeze states and winterize again when returning back to frozen Indiana.)
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