View Poll Results: Best Camper Van / Class B RV Motorhome for Winter DryCamping
New-West RV 0 0%
Roadtrek 2 33.33%
Great West RV 1 16.67%
Pleasure-way 2 33.33%
VW Westfalia/Vanagon/Eurovan 0 0%
Any others... (please post in comments, and I'll add to list) 0 0%
OR do you suggest using a small towed Trailer like Wolf Pup? 1 16.67%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-11-2011, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Which is the best camper van/ Class B RV for winter camping?

Hi, I'm trying to find my first RV and, of course, am overwhelmed by the choices. I'm wondering if anyone can suggest a camper van or Class B RV that can survive Canadian winters. I'd probably just sleep and eat in it, and then use facilities elsewhere.

Any suggestions/recommendations?

Thanks

ps - you can vote for more than one. Any comments or explanations and feedback are appreciated, too.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Which is the best camper van/ Class B RV for winter camping?

I doubt one could comfortably survive a Canadian winter in any camper van. Water is out. Propane for heat is limited unless you tether to an auxiliary tank outside the van. Waste disposal dumping generally closes down with the parks. Places to stay get extremely limited. My experience is a camper van is easily survivable with temperatures down to 20F overnight but not continuously. In other words Maple sugaring time is the survivable winter period when the temperatures rise above freezing during the day. With maybe 2" at most to insulate no furnace could keep up with colder temperatures. The manufacturers will tout various winterizing things they do but I don't think any of them design for temperatures more severe than I mentioned. That is why the USA and Mexico have snow birds.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Which is the best camper van/ Class B RV for winter camping?

Thank you so much for the helpful explanation. I guess my idea of full-timing, while docking in Ontario for the winter season is not a realistic one.

Hmm, will figure out another plan, but still keen to get the RV.
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Great sites:
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http://tinyurl.com/6ky2sgx (compost toilet)
http://www.rv-dreams.com
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Which is the best camper van/ Class B RV for winter camping?

You might be able to make it work, if you could keep your RV inside a well insulated garage, and maintain the garage temp above freezing.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Which is the best camper van/ Class B RV for winter camping?

We have limited experience (Jan-Feb 2011), but here's our take on it: Yes, it is doable. We have an 09/10 Roadtrek C190P, and used it in moderate sub-freezing weather (high teens to low twenties for several days). We drained the exterior/outside fresh water tank, and used the interior/inside fresh water tank and the hot water tank (can't fathom why they tell you to bypass the hot water tank: using it keeps it from freezing and warms the surrounding water lines). Whenever we drained the gray and black tanks, we put a gallon of antifreeze plus a gallon of Geo-method mixture (water,Calgon, & dish-washing soap) in each (obviously, other chemicals could be substituted in the tanks, but we like "green"). If the gray tank gets filled more than half way (it rarely does as we mostly use the campground showers), we dump in another gallon of antifreeze, and as the weather gets colder, you might want to do two gallons in each tank initially rather than one. I don't know if makes other than Roadtrek have the inside tank, and that would be a showstopper without it in our opinion.

Traps: If you do use the shower, you need to dump some antifreeze down the trap afterwards, as the shower trap is under the floor and is subject to freezing. The kitchen and bathroom sink traps are inside the cabin on ours, so aren't a problem if the cabin is kept warm. The other trap that most don't think about is the hose on the macerator. The hose from the pump runs uphill through the transmission crossmember before going to it's storage bin. All this will contain whatever you last pumped through it, and could freeze. After dumping, we add the antifreeze to both tanks and pump each again until we get antifreeze coming out, so the macerator and hose is protected "full strength". If you have another make of camper, YMMV on all this.

We found the windows around the "bedroom area" to be chilly, and jury-rigged some blankets there in addition to the curtains. Marti has made some insulated pads to go there for the coming season. We like being out in fall-winter-spring because it is a lot less crowded!

One other point: In snow/freezing rain conditions, this stuff will melt off the roof and sides of the van (and you can see the spots that they were sloppy about the insulation!), and especially on the windshield and windows. There is a Chevy (not Roadtrek) problem that this water will run down the windshield into the heater plenum (the grill at the bottom of the windshield) where the water is drained down the front door posts past the hinges. It freezes there, and eventually you can't open the door. Some water also drains down the rear door posts/hinges, and can hinder opening the rear doors. The "fix" is to break this stuff out of there (using a broomstick or similar) before it gets real bad.

Good luck, Dick & Marti Tillinger Allegany NY
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Which is the best camper van/ Class B RV for winter camping?

You could probably do it but you would need an RV with a heated "basement", meaning the wet tanks and everything that could be adversely affected by our winters is inside the heated inside area of the RV. I know of no class B van conversion which has a heated basement, but there are some larger Cs that do, Royal Coachman comes to mind (I think?). You could check with your local RV dealer and ask, or try asking on RVNet.com, or better still 4scf.com for more info on the different winter handling capabilities of some larger trailers and class C motorhomes.
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