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Getting ready for Cold Weather RV Camping

When you're living the RV life, you have to be able to adapt.


We had to head north unexpectedly, which normally isn't a problem, but we weren't "prepared" to head north so soon. It's meant traveling while resolving problems which will definitely be "cold weather problems" for the RV.


The first issue was a minor fresh water leak. This is the water we use for the sinks, shower, and toilet. I thought I had dealt with this before, but on our way north, the water leak returned.


When parked somewhere, we attach a hose to a nearby faucet, and set the valves to "CITY FIXTURES". The water pressure from the spigot forces water throughout our plumbing - like in a house - and nothing else functions to make water flow. When we're on the road, we carry up to 100 gallons of fresh water, and have a water pump which forces water from the tank to the various faucets. The pump was found to be the culprit, and after installing a new pump, we had fresh water flowing and no more leaking.


The next problem which had to be dealt with is our new house batteries. Last spring, I installed new Lithium house batteries. The system has worked great, but lithium batteries can't be charged if they're below freezing - and Massachusetts will be below freezing more often than not for the rest of the winter.


The house batteries run our lights, the water pump, and many other 12 volt functions on the RV. Then, we have other things which need 120 power for the TVs, X-box, etc., and our on board inverter takes the 12 volts in the batteries and converts it to 120 volts (like in your wall sockets in your house).


The lithium batteries will discharge down to -4° Fahrenheit, but if we can't charge the batteries, we will eventually run out of power to run the stuff in the RV.


Today, we stopped at a rest area in South Carolina, and I installed some new wiring so that we could run a small space heater to keep the battery bay warm. The heater was about $35 at Walmart and the low setting only draws 750 watts (6.25 amps), and the wire and other stuff was another $30 at Lowes. We have 400 amp hours of battery power available - plenty of stored power to run the heater - and the batteries get recharged while we drive.


Now we have heat in the battery bay. We don't need a LOT of heat in the bay, it just has to stay above freezing down there. We have a temperature monitor in the bay to make sure the temperature stays warm enough to keep the batteries warm. :)


Quick updates on a budget so we can do what we hadn't originally planned to do! Flexibility and ingenuity keeping us on the road and making tracks! 😉


-Scott


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