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Need advise, I have an old camper that I'm fixing up. It does have a propane furnace in it although I do not know that it works yet. I am going through a divorce and I am keeping my 15 acre pasture. It used to have a house there so utilities are on the land I just got to get the electic company to come put a new box on the pole and turn it on. I plan on building a Tiny House in the spring. Has anyone here lived in one during winter and were you able to keep it warm enough and not freeze or have frozen pipes? Any ideas are greatly appreciated
 

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Where you are matters quite a lot. If you're pretty far south and the temps don't give you a lot of way below zero kinds of stretches, it's quite doable. If you're pretty far north, it's gonna be more of a challenge.

If you can have electricity, it makes it easy to use both gas and electric (assuming your gas rv furnace still works).

My wife and I have been fulltime rvers for the past 9+ years. Last year, we spent a good portion of the winter in Kentucky. There was at least one week that was pretty rough but mostly, it wasn't that bad. We used a fair amount of propane keeping warm. And an electric blanket on the bed made things more comfortable. But we did just fine.

More details might give you better info.
 

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Lots of people working the oil fields up here in North Dakota live in Rv's and it gets down well below zero. They insulate and skirt them real well, probably wrap the pipes with heat tape or winterize and don't use the plumbing in the winter. So yes it's possible to do.
 

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I lived in a trailer for 2 years when we first moved here. Me and Bette and 3 dogs and a cat in a 32 foot travel trailer. it was tight but ok Went through a lot of propane to keep it warm. but we were ok it got to around 10 below Zero for a week and nothing froze.
 

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Lots of people working the oil fields up here in North Dakota live in Rv's and it gets down well below zero. They insulate and skirt them real well, probably wrap the pipes with heat tape or winterize and don't use the plumbing in the winter. So yes it's possible to do.
Best advice! Also, be sure and install a carbon monoxide detector & smoke detector in it. Get blinds for the windows, and heavy curtains to go over them. Also, seal around everything area that may be leaking air. Get thick foam and press that up around the bed against the inner walls of the camper, then tape or otherwise secure a thick blanket over your barrier border. This will keep you from getting too cold when you sleep. When my DH and I camp in the Winter, I use big pillows to accomplish the same thing.

As far as a furnace goes, I'd forego that and use an electric space heater. Get one with safety features.

When it gets very cold, you won't want to open the window while you cook. You can't cook with propane without ventilation, so bypass using the stove. Instead, get an electric multi-burner unit.

A slanted roof carport would be easy to build. See if you can get the materials. Anything sturdy you could build would really help (keep the snow off your camper). Is there a place you can park it where there are windbreaks?
 

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look your topic up in the archives - this topic comes up every year with many good suggestions.

Also, if you'd put your general location in in the upper right, you'll get answers more specific to your needs. Helps with gardening questions also.
 

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Get bails of hay and put them around the entire camper - put tarps over the hay - don't use propane except in an emergency - use the electric to heat and cook - have a generator in the event the power goes out - to be safe winterize the water system and don't use it - the sanitary system should be ok - to flush use a bucket of water - have plenty of warm clothing and blankets - every once in awhile air out the camper to get rid of the humidity - you don't want the inside of camper get wet from the cooking and breathing - then just imagine that you are camping and have fun -
 

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You didn't say how big your camper was, but if you elect to drain your lines and winterize? I'd recommend a composting toilet. You can build one very easily yourself:

http://humanurehandbook.com/humanure_toilet.html

Where we live, everyone has outhouses on their properties. If you don't have one, building one is fast and fairly simple.

We use a Honda Generator for camping; it is a great little generator!

More great suggestions- the hay bales!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok I figured out how to add my location, and I'll start reading up on the old threads as well. But if I don't hook up the water what do you do about bathing? I don't mind building a little out house but don't want to stink all the time

ETA: it's 24ft 1976 trailer
 

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What kind of shower/bath does it have? Melt snow for water warm it up use for shower. camp showers should be on sale.
 

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For what it is worth.
We tried living in a camper for about 6 months. (Upstate S.C.). Temps about 30-40 at night. We closed underneath. I almost froze, could not take it. I had to scrape ice off the windows (inside) every morning. Shower so small and never warm.
We took what money we had (delayed house building for a while) and bought a small mobile home. It was not equipped and was almost like a boxcar but tight. We stripped the camper and used what we could, sold the rest.
It was warmer and comfortable.
Took almost 2 years, but worth every penny. It is now a storage unit.
Good luck.
 

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For what it is worth.
We tried living in a camper for about 6 months. (Upstate S.C.). Temps about 30-40 at night. We closed underneath. I almost froze, could not take it. I had to scrape ice off the windows (inside) every morning. Shower so small and never warm.
We took what money we had (delayed house building for a while) and bought a small mobile home. It was not equipped and was almost like a boxcar but tight. We stripped the camper and used what we could, sold the rest.
It was warmer and comfortable.
Took almost 2 years, but worth every penny. It is now a storage unit.
Good luck.
You bring up an interesting aspect of rv living... Not all rvs are created equal!

Seriously, there are some pretty nice and well built ones, and then there are some pretty dumpy and poorly constructed ones. The later category is probably the majority of rvs built these days.

Some of the better ones really are capable of keeping you nice and cozy warm in below freezing temperatures. They often have more and better insulation and double pane windows.

That said, there is a place for the cheap rv. They're often used as weekenders and are not really expected to be used in very cold weather as most of the family weekend play time associated with rving is more likely to be needing the air conditioner than the heater. Most were never intended to live in for any extended length of time.

Just sayin'... :)
 

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Need advise, I have an old camper that I'm fixing up. It does have a propane furnace in it although I do not know that it works yet. I am going through a divorce and I am keeping my 15 acre pasture. It used to have a house there so utilities are on the land I just got to get the electic company to come put a new box on the pole and turn it on. I plan on building a Tiny House in the spring. Has anyone here lived in one during winter and were you able to keep it warm enough and not freeze or have frozen pipes? Any ideas are greatly appreciated
.............UNderpin the entire perimeter of the RV , once temps reach 20f , for 48 hours all your water lines , and your holding tanks will freeze solid......thus rupturing their walls and then the fun starts ! To offset this , you can purchase the 'RED' RV antifreeze in gallons and pour some into your holding tanks , although If you dump some into your fresh water tank I don't think you'd want to brush your teeth with it . It will allow you to use the commode . You'll need to purchase potable water for all drinking and cooking . Ceramic , 1500 watt heaters work nicely , but you'll only beable to run two at the same time with a 30 amp electricial system . , fordy
 

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I did two Winters in 1975 and 1976 in a 1952 30' New Moon House trailer.
The first one alone and the second on with my new wife.
The windows were not at all tight so we covered them first with plastic then heavy quilts.
We had a furnace setting there but we couldn't run it because we only had a very thin power cord. The furnace only hummed so I unhooked it.
We had a steel metal wood stove so that is what we used.
The thin cord did good with the electric blanket.
I remember one morning feeling all toasty under that blanket then having to get out of bed into the 22F trailer to start a fire then climbing back into bed for a few minutes until the thermometer on the wall said it was okay to get up.
I had sheets of asbestos on the two close walls spaced two inches out from the wall. Yes we are in Northern Lower Michigan and we can deal with cold and just make do.
If it helps at all the next use of that trailer was as a chicken coop. :grin:
 
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