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Rpod? What about those who camp in the winter?

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JEFFandJEN View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Nov 2013 at 11:59pm
My wife and I bought an Rpod a short while back and we've really enjoyed ourselves camping in Texas Parks. We've reached the age where sleeping in a tent is a bit too much on the ol back (and other parts). We generally have mild winters, but it can get below freezing from time to time. It's unusual, but it's supposed to get down into the upper teens a few nights this week.

We enjoy camping in the winter. I realize the Rpod wasn't designed as a year round camper, but we love being in the parks and hunting lease this time of year. Do we run a heavy risk of winter pipe damage this time of year even if we drain our tanks after each use?

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Kenn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kenn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 6:44am
Originally posted by JEFFandJEN JEFFandJEN wrote:

Do we run a heavy risk of winter pipe damage this time of year even if we drain our tanks after each use?
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Jeff and Jen


The pipes that are inside the coach and receiving heat would be fine. However, the pipes that are outside/underneath for an extended period of time without heat would be affected.

There are a few ways to enjoy winter in the POD:
1. Don't use the POD's water system.
2. Skirt and heat below.
3. Add heating pads.

If you're going to conduct winter camping, then you may think about the EVO trailers as they have an artic package option. Then, you can enjoy winter camping in an extra lite trailer and not worry about freezing pipes.


Enjoy!

2010 RPOD 176 (Silly-POD), 2011 Forest River Stealth 2612, and 2014 Forest River XLR 380AMP
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kymooses View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kymooses Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 10:56am
Originally posted by JEFFandJEN JEFFandJEN wrote:

My wife and I bought an Rpod a short while back and we've really enjoyed ourselves camping in Texas Parks. We've reached the age where sleeping in a tent is a bit too much on the ol back (and other parts). We generally have mild winters, but it can get below freezing from time to time. It's unusual, but it's supposed to get down into the upper teens a few nights this week.

We enjoy camping in the winter. I realize the Rpod wasn't designed as a year round camper, but we love being in the parks and hunting lease this time of year. Do we run a heavy risk of winter pipe damage this time of year even if we drain our tanks after each use?

Camper newbies

Jeff and Jen

How often and how long do temperatures stay below freezing?  If often and or a lot then yes you risk damage to things.  Probably not a lot of risk but some for sure.

Do you use your water pump regularly?
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JEFFandJEN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JEFFandJEN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 8:53pm
Originally posted by kymooses kymooses wrote:

Originally posted by JEFFandJEN JEFFandJEN wrote:

My wife and I bought an Rpod a short while back and we've really enjoyed ourselves camping in Texas Parks. We've reached the age where sleeping in a tent is a bit too much on the ol back (and other parts). We generally have mild winters, but it can get below freezing from time to time. It's unusual, but it's supposed to get down into the upper teens a few nights this week.

We enjoy camping in the winter. I realize the Rpod wasn't designed as a year round camper, but we love being in the parks and hunting lease this time of year. Do we run a heavy risk of winter pipe damage this time of year even if we drain our tanks after each use?

Camper newbies

Jeff and Jen

How often and how long do temperatures stay below freezing?  If often and or a lot then yes you risk damage to things.  Probably not a lot of risk but some for sure.

Do you use your water pump regularly?

We use our Rpod every 6 weeks or so. Texas weather is unpredictable, temperatures below freezing in my area don't occur very often during the day, but it does get below freezing at night on occasion.

I suppose we could skip using the pump and use bottle/jugs for water, pouring excess water down the sink. We always camp at sites with power and sewage hookups.
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rollinstone View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rollinstone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Dec 2013 at 5:30pm
I winter camp in freezing temps...but I don't use the water systems...they're winterized. I use bottled water for cooking....heat a pot of water for a quick sponge bath if needed. Use the campground toilets instead of the Pod's. Use a ceramic heater if I have electrical hookup, propane if not. Nothing goes in the holding tanks. Ya gotta strategize this 'cause it ain't summer!

If you're dry camping personal hygiene issues can be problematic if you're using the onboard toilet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote XPod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2014 at 6:41am

I used mine to go snowboarding so...it'll do winters BUT

The R-Pod needs some fairly extensive mods to do winters BUT once you do them its a really good winter camper because of the extruded styrofoam walls.That is the first point.

The R-Pod, for all its faults, has (IMHO) very good construction for winters...here is why. Your normal RV in this price range has wood walls with regular "fiberglass" insulation which will fall down/degrade an collect in the bottom of the walls. The R-Pods walls are an empty frame which they extrude styrofoam into giving you very good and uniform insulation. So..there is that :-)

Mods that are needed/I did to mine...plus a couple of extras.

0. Tank heaters, elbow heaters, pipe heaters. Thing is you HAVE to be careful because the RPOD power supply can only source so much juice. So do the power calculations. I had a complete package installed and I only ran the freshwater and the fresh water hose heater (keep reading). We flushed the toilet with RV antifreeze and the same in the Grey tank....used a lot of RV antifreeze...but it's pretty cheap and its not that big of a deal to do.

1. Replace the garden hose...yes garden hose! The freshwater tank has a GARDEN HOSE coming out of the top that feeds the pump. Yep..it'll freeze and split like crazy. Replace it with a pex hose and AND wrap it in the smallest pad heater you can find (I used Ultraheat). Works great.

2. Buy a case of expandable insulation spray foam and FILL THE HOLES. First time I used the RPod in the winter, the heater ran almost continuously and you could feel freezing air pour in. Not so bad in the summer, not good in the winter. Here is a list of the holes I filled.
 - Behind the fridge, there are open seams, in the winter, cold air pours
            in around the fridge and I mean POURS. Remove the outside cover, fill the gaps.
        - Under the sink - When they build these things, they cut about a 2 inch hole to
     install a 1" piece of PVC. Under the sink, where the water hose comes into the
            pump...hole...fill it.
        - Under the sink, on the wall, you'll see the back of the outside electric and cable
            outlet. It's pretty much a thin piece of plastic between the inside and outside.
        - Under the seat (where the water heater is) there are some cut outs for the water
            fill etc... spray foam em'
        - Under the shower...I saved the worst for last. There are at least 4 pvc pipes under
            the shower. In my pod each of the holes were about 1.5 times the size of the
     PVC an cold air POURS through them. These were so big, I used some screen along
            with the spray foam. How to get to them? I took the small vent off the front, but
            could only get to a couple of them. So I cut a hole in the wall, very near the
            floor, under the bottom bunk. Spent a couple of hours crawling and worming
            around, and filled all of them.

****Ok thats the basics...here are a couple of extras that I did to make it REALLY toasty.
 1. Bought a sheet of 1" pink styrofoam insulation and cut pieces to place
             on the floor. Then bought the Rpod rug from forest river to cover them.
             REALLY warms the floor up and they don't "squish" when you walk on it.
        2. Bought sheet of 2" pink styrofoam and lined the hidden walls
             (even under the bunk). So I lined the walls inside the cabinents, both floor
             and ceiling, under the bunk, under the seats in the storage are and where
             the water heater is, and under the bench seat where I cut fitted pieces
             and installed them through the storage area below the seat.

Wheww....lots of work....but the result. 2 years ago, camped over winter holiday break,
         at 10,000 feet in the Rockies. Cold blowing wind...warm as toast.
         camped 11 days and used 3/4 tank of LP!

It takes some work...but the RPOD makes a very good winter camper.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote XPod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2014 at 6:43am
Oh..one more thing....in the winter, you have ...  HAVE to clear the h20 lines after using it EVERY trip. Getcha a cheapie Harbor Freight compressor, clear them out.  I did this, without winterizing and never had any issues. Hope this helped !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kymooses Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2014 at 4:56pm
that is brilliant to see someone has made a winter pod!

well done Xpod!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sleepless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2014 at 9:41pm
The list is comprehensive, but I would add one more item.  That is a roll of foil faced insulation for inside the windows, under the mattress and cushions, etc.  We full-timed for over 6 months and attached the foil faced insulation over all the windows with short spots of velcro to keep out the heat of day and the cold of night.  The single pane windows of a pod are one of the biggest losses of heating/cooling there is and the insulation makes a world of difference.  We did line our storage areas with it, too, but also found that it helped to add a layer under the mattress.  Even here in Florida, we keep the windows covered while in storage to keep the sun from fading and dry-rotting interior fabrics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cody91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2014 at 9:07pm
Originally posted by XPod XPod wrote:

Oh..one more thing....in the winter, you have ...  HAVE to clear the h20 lines after using it EVERY trip. Getcha a cheapie Harbor Freight compressor, clear them out.  I did this, without winterizing and never had any issues. Hope this helped !

Which Harbor Freight compressor do you recommend?  The 1/3 HP, 3 gallon pancake compressor?

Thanks
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