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Winter Wonderland

30 January 2018

Dave1All the critters in Florida are dealing with the cold snap, including this rattle snake, trying to get some sun, at Pensacola Beach.

While we’re not hearing a lot of sleigh bells, and there’s no snow glistening in the lane, there’s no doubt: it’s winter in Florida. 

We’re at Pensacola for a month and loving it, in spite of the current cold snap.  We’ve enjoyed really nice weather, in the mid to high 20s, right up to Christmas Eve.  But, we’re now faced with a week of nightly temperatures below freezing.  We’ve seen a whole lot of negative chatter on Facebook pages about 4 season rigs freezing up, and not living up to the expectations of the owners.  The issue isn’t necessarily that of inadequate design, but more of just what constitutes 4 seasons, and what owners need to do to stay warm and have everything function properly.  I’ve read a ton of posts about water and sewer lines freezing up, and owners blaming their rigs Many owners seem to want to run as little propane as possible, especially if they are at an RV park, with included electricity.  This is a bit of a problem though for your heated underbelly.  It’s only getting heat if you’re running the propane furnace.  By running your electric fireplace, and space heaters, and not the furnace, you’re asking for trouble.  You need that heat running underneath to keep your tanks and lines from freezing up!  

I’ve seen a lot of posts about people flooding their rigs due to leaving a tap dripping at night, hoping to keep lines from freezing.  Problem is, where the water goes.  People have either run water, leaving grey tanks closed, and flooded their rigs, or they’ve left their tanks open, and the sewer hose has frozen up, again causing a flood.  Here’s what we did.  We filled both propane tanks, and filled our fresh water tank. Then we disconnected and drained water and sewer hoses. We can refill during the day, when the temperature climbs above freezing.  Grey and blackwater tanks were emptied, then some plumbers’ antifreeze added.  This will help keep the tank valves from freezing up.  Pensacola RV Park has great amenities, including spotless restrooms, with topnotch showers, so we can use them, and minimize what goes into our tanks.  

Your second enemy when cold weather camping is humidity.  Again, I’m reading a lot of complaints about condensation, mould and mildew.  As I’m typing, we’re sitting at a comfortable temperature, and even with outside humidity levels hitting the high 80% range, we’re sitting at 35%.  It’s easy to do, boaters have long figured out how to keep their liveaboards warm and dry.  All you need are two simple things.  Ventilation, and airflow.  Use of the fireplace fan, furnace, and a small fan in the bedroom will circulate the air.  Crack open all cupboard/cabinet doors and closet, allowing airflow to pick up any condensation.  Cracking vents open, draws the warm moist air up and out. 

Each rig is slightly different, so play around with yours until you get it warm and dry, and enjoy the results.

When it’s cold, switch to some indoor exploring, such as the Pensacola Museum. 

Dave2

First warm day, we were back out, enjoying the outdoors.  Paddling at Blackwater River State Park.

Dave3

 

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