Winter camping?

Claymore417

Member
Jun 5, 2021
13
So… I’m going camping in Algonquin next week for a couple nights. The weather looks to be above 0c during the day and below over night.

Any tips or tricks for staying warm in my tent trailer? It has a propane heater and I’m planning to bring an electric space heater too.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,400
Northern Virginia
Check out the section called cold weather camping on this forum. There was actually recently a thread going on about this very subject earlier. I will say to look into something called "popup Gizmo's" PUGS for short. Also look into getting some reflectix from the home improvement store. Key is to help insulate as much as you can.
 

Claymore417

Member
Jun 5, 2021
13
It’s -20c and doing great!

So far it’s toasty warm with a couple space heaters running. But of a chilly draft when the wind blows. I’m only using the propane heater to quick heat the space when I’ve been out for a bit.
 

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Dave2514g

Active Member
Sep 2, 2019
156
Ontario, Canada
It’s -20c and doing great!

So far it’s toasty warm with a couple space heaters running. But of a chilly draft when the wind blows. I’m only using the propane heater to quick heat the space when I’ve been out for a bit.
That's impressive to take on -20C!

We had some unexpected cold weather move in on us and it got down to -8C one night. I thought that was enough for a tent trailer. You might be breaking records here !
 

Claymore417

Member
Jun 5, 2021
13
I used to winter camp in tents or by building shelters. So the tent trailer with heat is an upgrade. Once everything inside the trailer got warm, the heaters are doing a great job of keeping it comfy. It’s about 18c inside, but I guess the real test will be over night.
 

Mytime

Active Member
Mar 20, 2022
132
SE Missouri
I used to winter camp in tents or by building shelters. So the tent trailer with heat is an upgrade. Once everything inside the trailer got warm, the heaters are doing a great job of keeping it comfy. It’s about 18c inside, but I guess the real test will be over night.
Did some tent camping at about 30 f. Never below that though . Yep a pup is a hothouse compared to a tent.
 

JimmyM

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2014
3,283
Franklin, MA
I love camping when it's cold. I love a big sleeping bag or 2 and the electric mattress pad.
Getting up in the morning is rough. Quick dash to the thermostat and back under the covers. Every time I want a remote thermostat.
I have a hybrid, so it doesn't hemorrhage heat quite as badly as a pup. But those bunk ends get chilly.
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,312
Popup Gizmos help retain some heat in the bunk-end areas so the furnace doesn't have to stay on as much. At night, plan on warm bedding such as a 15f sleeping bag, and wear a knit cap, since a lot of body heat is lost through your head.

An electric space heater puts out 5kbtu of heat. A typical popup furnace puts out 16kbtu. However, RV furnaces generally wouldn't be running 100% of the time; they'll cycle on and off. Using Popup Gizmos will cause the RV furnace to cycle on fewer times per hour at a given ambient outdoor temperature than going without. Let's say that you're able to keep the RV furnace only cycling on about 1/3rd of the time (without an electric space heater). Well, in those conditions, an electric heater running 100% of the time would be a perfectly adequate replacement for the built in furnace running 33% of the time. On the other hand, if your furnace needs to kick on half the time, or in other words putting out 8k BTU/hr, your space heater running 100% of the time in place of the furnace would fall short by 3kbtu, and the trailer would feel cold inside.

If you have electrical hookups available, definitely bring the space heater, and use it for heat. That way you're not burning propane. If the space heater can't keep up, the furnace can kick on once in awhile to catch up.
 

John6239

Member
Aug 17, 2020
36
Ohio
Popup Gizmos help retain some heat in the bunk-end areas so the furnace doesn't have to stay on as much. At night, plan on warm bedding such as a 15f sleeping bag, and wear a knit cap, since a lot of body heat is lost through your head.

An electric space heater puts out 5kbtu of heat. A typical popup furnace puts out 16kbtu. However, RV furnaces generally wouldn't be running 100% of the time; they'll cycle on and off. Using Popup Gizmos will cause the RV furnace to cycle on fewer times per hour at a given ambient outdoor temperature than going without. Let's say that you're able to keep the RV furnace only cycling on about 1/3rd of the time (without an electric space heater). Well, in those conditions, an electric heater running 100% of the time would be a perfectly adequate replacement for the built in furnace running 33% of the time. On the other hand, if your furnace needs to kick on half the time, or in other words putting out 8k BTU/hr, your space heater running 100% of the time in place of the furnace would fall short by 3kbtu, and the trailer would feel cold inside.

If you have electrical hookups available, definitely bring the space heater, and use it for heat. That way you're not burning propane. If the space heater can't keep up, the furnace can kick on once in awhile to catch up.
Yeah, we don't tons if super cold camping, but we will camp with lows around/little below freezing. The space heater usually does the trick. We just had lows right below freezing out camping last weekend. At night would set the furnace to kick on at 59f and it never once turned on.
 




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