How many camp during colder months?

Discussion in 'Cold Weather Camping' started by tcbrady, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    Hello all!

    This is our first season with our Flagstaff MAC 228! When out this weekend camping the girlfriend and I were planning some remaining trips and started talking about camping in the colder months. (October/November in Central PA) Anyone in this area camp during this season? How well do these campers hold heat when using the furnace and does the furnace burn through propane quickly? (We have two propane tanks and mostly do weekend camping.) We have the heated mattresses so we think that will definitely help too! Any advise or comments are appreciated!

    Troy
     
  2. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Active Member

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    Jun 11, 2014
    Houghton MI
    Troy, We camp in cooler temps all the time. Well at least in the fall and spring [:D]. Our camper doesn't even have a furnace but like many folks here, we have a Mr Buddy propane heater. We have warmer sleeping bags for this time of the year, then use the heater just a bit when we get into bed, or in the morning. Yes, we still sleep comfortably. Point is you can do it!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  3. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Thornville, OH
    We live in central ohio, which is about the same climate. We do a lot of camping during the early spring and late fall were we needed heat. latest we campers was until dec 23 and eareist was early march. Have woke up to several inches of snow on the camper a couple of times.
     
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  4. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    We'll get an electrical site that time of year and use a ceramic heater and the onboard furnace to supplement if needed
     
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  5. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    Perry, MI
    We love camping early and late. Fewer campers in the parks and simply wonderful weather. (even cold rain means you get to snuggle up and read all day!)
    We use Popup Gizmos on the bunk ends and we have the bunk end liners for the inside too! A little electric heater and couple of extra blankets and it's quite cozy. If you're not going to use one bunk close off the open area with a blanket or curtains to keep the warm air in the occupied space.
    Enjoy!
     
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  6. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    I have the Mr. Buddy and the pup was so hot you could sweat with the outside temp 23 deg.
     
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  7. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    No way! Does your camper seem to hold heat decently?
     
  8. tcbrady

    tcbrady Member

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    Apr 30, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    Good to know! We're definitely going to do it, especially since that time of year is less busy at work (for me) and the views in our local State Parks are amazing that time of year! I think rather than relying on the on board propane furnace we might look into getting a small electric space heater. (We don't camp without electric.)

    I think one of my main concerns is do we have to worry about the water tank/lines freezing this time of year? Is keeping the cabin of the pop up warm going to prevent this or are there other measure we should look into. I'd hate for our first season camping in that kind of weather to ruin a water line or the tank itself.
     
  9. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Active Member

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    Jun 15, 2018
    Virginia
    I will on occasion, used to pitch a 1 man bivy during hunting season & camp on a mountainside for a week at a time, been a few years though, the older, the colder...now that we have an Aliner, wife is more apt to join me, especially if the site is electric; we carry our own water & heat it up for dishes etc... I have a Mr Buddy, also have a little elect. heater, & will get the wife an electric blanket & a coffee maker...I like to yak in the cooler months & have neoprene gear for cold water, the scenery & quiet are outstanding after the crowds are gone...
     
  10. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Dec 22, 2002
    Malvern, PA
    I try to get out every two weeks unless the camper and/or campgrounds are snowed in already.

    If you have a heated mattress you better make sure your campsite has electric.

    These photos are from December 2017 at French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania. Got about 5 inches of snow on Saturday night and I expected to see that on the roof of the camper as I was taking down. But no snow on the roof so you can figure from that these are not very well insulated. But I was nice and toasty inside during the snow with the furnace running.

    7E56333A-4D7A-442B-807F-670BE5F777F6.jpeg 0A399961-A7FC-4B20-93D1-889409CF795A.jpeg
     
  11. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    May 19, 2010

    If it'll be constantly below freezing don't use the onboard water system , make sure it's winterized and just bring water with you
     
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  12. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Active Member

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    Jun 11, 2014
    Houghton MI
    My on-going cool weather camping point is its very doable and even comfortable. What we normally do is what called here "boon docking" and occasionally do that in below frezzign temps. Yes you can do it!
     
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  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    The pups extended our camping season over the tent season, and the TT still more, so we do encounter more cold weather. We can also have lows in the 30s in the summer in the mountains or heading north at times. Heat retention measures - Gizmos, rugs on the floor, insulated curtains or such, liners in the bunk ends all help. We used the PUGs bunk end liners, as well as clipping fleece up around the inside of the bunk end, both worked very well. It is important to maintain air circulation to prevent condensation issues.
    If we know it's likely to be cold, we try to get a site with power, both for an electric mattress pad, and a ceramic heater to supplement the furnace. In our first pup, the heater we didn't have a furnace, so the heater was it. Both pups were small and we had enough trouble finding a place to put the ceramic heater, so we never considered the My Buddy and the like heaters. The TT is also small, and placement for the ceramic heater is iffy, especially to reach the corner where the bathroom wall blocks a lot of the heat from the furnace.
    We camped into the 20-30s fairly regularly in the popups. We had trips where the lows were in the teens, but that was not deliberate - just weather systems.
     

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  14. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Thornville, OH
    Our canvas popup the furnace would run about 50% of the time keeping it at 68. If we have elect. We bring 2 elect space heaters. The small 1500 watt ones. One we run an extension cord. Now dry camping ..we use a wave 8 plus the propane furnace.

    When we had the canvas popup we had the popup gizmos bunked covers with the inside bunked blankets, or what ever they are called. Well worth the money. Thankgiven day they normally have a sale.
     
  15. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Active Member

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    Nov 25, 2016
    Chicago suburbs
    We don't camp nearly as cold as some here, but in to the fall a bit.

    I would highly recommend adding foam anti-fatigue floor tiles under your mattresses. They add both some extra cushion and insulation underneath. Made a big difference for me!
     
  16. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    It’s been decades since I winter camped with soft sides, but we winter camped every year in the Aliner, leaving the water system winterized and using a ceramic heater when we had power or just the furnace without power. The Aliners hold heat very well. Earlier this spring we camped in freezing temps for about a week in the new TT when we picked it up. We just left the water system winterized and flushed the toilet with anti-freeze. I enjoy camping all year and my wife tolerates the cold as long as our final destination is someplace warm. ;)
     
  17. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I draw the line if it's going to snow, but I have campped many many times in the cold. However a lot of campgrounds close late fall for winter. Some may stay open but the bathroom may be closed. So you may need to check into it.
    You will go through propane fast but depending how often you keep the furnace on will be the judge if you need a second tank or not on a weekend trip. You will need to do and buy a few things to help keep the heat in.
    Pugs on the roof, reflectix in the windows, moving blanket or something under the mattress to keep the drafts from sneaking in from below. You will have to winterize your water system, but I have used my toilet without a problem. I do use my sleeping bag if it's below freezing as there is bound to be a draft that can find it's way in especially if it's windy as well. In the colder months I perfer to camp with electricity so I can save on propane and use my electric heater to warm things during the day or even supplement the furnace so it doesn't have to kick on so much.
     
  18. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    We have camped in below 30 degree weather and we're able to keep plenty warm by hanging heavy blankets on the walls and closing the unused bunk. Normally it doesn't get that cold in November here in New Hampshire so we camp right up to Thanksgiving.
     
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  19. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Active Member

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    Jun 11, 2014
    Houghton MI
    Staying warm is pretty easy in the campers most people have here. Just get warmer bags and ours zip together. That does help. And if its really cool, wear some undergarments and a stocking cap. Very doable and fun.
     
  20. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Graceville, Florida
    We do not have the really cold weather here in north Fl. but I have camped when it was below freezing. I have also canoe camped when the towels were frozen next morning. I love winter camping as there are less bugs and I can see the animals thru the canopy, this is the only time I really enjoy a campfire . We always camp where we have AC too, so we use a ceramic heater in the unit and I usually have to turn it down as it gets too hot.
     

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