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Old 02-11-2007, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wyoming
39 posts, read 196,967 times
Reputation: 34

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I would like to know if anyone has ever lived in a fifth wheel, in Wyoming, in the winter. I hear stories of "winterized" fifth wheels, what to do's and not to do's, and am really curious if it can really be so. I have been traveling in an RV, but I don't have a four season one. I am thinking with all the lack of housing issues right now, that this might work...if it is feasible.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,045 posts, read 23,016,546 times
Reputation: 11132
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdumars View Post
I would like to know if anyone has ever lived in a fifth wheel, in Wyoming, in the winter. I hear stories of "winterized" fifth wheels, what to do's and not to do's, and am really curious if it can really be so. I have been traveling in an RV, but I don't have a four season one. I am thinking with all the lack of housing issues right now, that this might work...if it is feasible.
Very feasible. I've lived several winters up here in a trailer (camping type). But you really have to prepare it. By the way, the best trailer I had was a Teton. But they have become the cadilac of trailers now runing well over $100,000. for one of decent size. Here are some pointers.

1. Insulate the underneath as best you can. Use spray foam on all seams so that you can stop drafts.
2. Skirt your trailer with insulated skirting. Or as I've seen some people do, skirt it and then ring your place with straw bails stacked right up against the skirting.
3. Put a couple of drop lights under your trailer. If it get's down to about 10 degrees, plug in the drop lights. They will create some warmth and help out the next step.
4. Put heat tape on your water line coming from the spiket to the trailer and put that insulated foam tubing over the hose.
5. Most all plumbing runs inside your cupboards. When it gets really cold out, open all your cupboard doors where water pipes run. You'd be surprised that inside that cupboard it gets really cold and will freeze pipes although you are plenty warm watching tv.
6. I purchased two 100 lb propane tanks and got long hoses so I could hook them up instead of the smaller tanks. Smaller tanks tend to run out, every other day. Or, get ahold of the local propane dealer and have him bring a large pig out.

Any questions on these, feel free to ask away. I've probably forgot a few things so I'll add when I can.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wyoming
39 posts, read 196,967 times
Reputation: 34
Default Sounds good!

I have looked at several "Arctic" package fifth wheels. They have the heated underbellies and fairly good insulation ratings. Having the heating lamps would probably add extra protection....thank you for the idea, as well as the other suggestions.

This will take off a lot of the pressure trying to find a house right away. It will give us time to get settled and figure out where we want to live. Is there any acreage around(an acre or two) that could be rented for the fifth wheel?
My daughter is really wanting to get horses again. I know my grandsons are going to love it...cold over heat??? Anyday...

I will be looking for those other ideas that come to you!

Thanks again...
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: mid wyoming
1,919 posts, read 3,996,325 times
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Maybe I wasn't smart enough to know better. But I lived in a 22 foot camper full time from 1974 to the middle of 1977. I was a roughneck and followed the rigs around the rockymountains. Some times I lived at a KOA, mostly I lived at the rigsite. It was a great experience, that I hope to never do again. It wasn't winterized when I bought it but was when I sold it.
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,045 posts, read 23,016,546 times
Reputation: 11132
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
Maybe I wasn't smart enough to know better. But I lived in a 22 foot camper full time from 1974 to the middle of 1977. I was a roughneck and followed the rigs around the rockymountains. Some times I lived at a KOA, mostly I lived at the rigsite. It was a great experience, that I hope to never do again. It wasn't winterized when I bought it but was when I sold it.
I know exactly what you are saying. haha First year, you have a waterline freeze. You fix it and come summer, you fix it right. Next year, your water line freezes inside. Fix the problem and come summer, fix it right. About the time you get the trailer perfect, it's got 50,000 miles on it and it's time to get a new trailer. but the second one gets prepared before the first winter.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,045 posts, read 23,016,546 times
Reputation: 11132
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdumars View Post
I have looked at several "Arctic" package fifth wheels. They have the heated underbellies and fairly good insulation ratings. Having the heating lamps would probably add extra protection....thank you for the idea, as well as the other suggestions.

This will take off a lot of the pressure trying to find a house right away. It will give us time to get settled and figure out where we want to live. Is there any acreage around(an acre or two) that could be rented for the fifth wheel?
My daughter is really wanting to get horses again. I know my grandsons are going to love it...cold over heat??? Anyday...

I will be looking for those other ideas that come to you!

Thanks again...

I've parked/camped in RV parks all over the country and normally, they do not allow any kind of wooden platform/porch of any sort. Not so in all the campgrounds up here. You'd be well advised to build a small, 4x6 foot entry. 3 sided with a door on one side. Then slide it up to the trailer door so you have a enclosed porch. With the cold winds we get during storms, it only takes a couple of seconds to allow half the snowstorm into your trailer. It's nice to step into the porch, close the door, knock the snow off or even take off snow boots, and then open the trailer door and go into the house.

Another thing I did was to take plastic and tape up all windows except one on each side of the trailer. You are going to periodically want to allow fresh air through on a good day. Really saves on heat because 99% of trailer windows leak. You may not think so, but let a norther come ripping in with 45 mph winds and 30 below and you'll find the leaks. haha

Roof sky lights. I bought some 6 inch thick foam and cut it about 1 inch larger then the hole. Then stuffed it into the vent to insulate it. Most of your heat inside is lost through those. 1/8 inch of plastic is not much of an insulator. Plus, being foam rubber, it's easily taken out on a nice day to allow for ventilation.
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Old 02-14-2007, 01:33 AM
 
Location: Sheridan, Wyoming
39 posts, read 196,967 times
Reputation: 34
Default PVC Pipe

I have a 26' travel trailer now and the fellow that was the previous owner had replaced the water lines with PVC pipe. He was from Oregon and I was curious if this would prevent water lines from freezing.

I don't plan on keeping this, but want to know if this would be something to do in the fifth wheel.

I appreciate the insight you all have shared...and the stories...
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,045 posts, read 23,016,546 times
Reputation: 11132
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdumars View Post
I have a 26' travel trailer now and the fellow that was the previous owner had replaced the water lines with PVC pipe. He was from Oregon and I was curious if this would prevent water lines from freezing.

I don't plan on keeping this, but want to know if this would be something to do in the fifth wheel.

I appreciate the insight you all have shared...and the stories...
I've done the same to every trailer/5th wheel I've ever owned. A trailer comes with very minimul for plumbing. Ever notice they tell you to use a pressure reducer? That's because your plumbing, faucets and such are designed for no more then 55 psi. Normal city water runs about 105-110 and sometimes even higher. So if you don't run a pressure reducer you stand a chance of blowing out joints and elbow's after a couple of years. I replaced all the plumbing in my trailers. Was less then $150 and now I can hook up to normal water and don't have to worry. Plus the shower feels so much better. haha
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 34,493 times
Reputation: 11
I am a lady who is recently separated. i live in Des Moines Ia where can one take a 5th wheel to get these things done winterization and changing out pipes>
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:21 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
11,268 posts, read 18,932,579 times
Reputation: 8137
Any of your local RV repair places in IA should be able to help you out. I would ask in the IA forum, but being the home of Winnebago and Itasca, there have to be some very capable RV repair shops.

I get my parts from these guys (Forest City, IA), I'm sure they can refer you to someone closer to you
We have a fully staffed service department at Lichtsinn Motors Forest City Ia Winnebago Motor Homes

BTW, there are some better choices for pipes these days (Which are capable of surviving a freeze). Unfortunately the faucets can't survive, so you want to be sure they are 'open' if the water has been shut off, or gets frozen up.

There are lots of steps to take to protect from freeze damage, hopefully someone can point to an informative web site.

Leave water dripping, as mentioned... cabinet doors open, lights + heat on (this can be tough when the power goes out for a few days...). putting straw bales around perimeter (Being VERY careful of stove / furnace exhaust areas)
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