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Old 08-28-2017, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default Winter Camping in a Class B

I am thinking about getting a class B, but I want to make sure what I want to use it for is possible before I go out and buy one.

My wife and I are frequent skiers, and several of the ski resorts around us allow overnight camping in the parking lot. With that, I am looking for a camper that will keep us warm and allow me to use the toilet. I don't need running water or shower facilities, but being able to use the toilet is key. Will I be warm enough in a class B over night or will the batteries keep a small heater or heated blankets going through the night? Will the black water tank freeze if I put antifreeze in it while still being able to use the toilet?

Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:47 PM   #2
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I would suggest LPG/Propex or Diesel Van/Espar D2 for heating and Cassette toilette like Thetford C402. Adding antifreeze to flush water tank would prevent freezing. 200Ah AGM batteries would be enough to power heaters and flush pump.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:35 PM   #3
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Not all RVs have freeze protected water tanks, so you need to keep that in mind as you shop.
"GeorgeRa" suggestion of anti freeze in the water tank should work if you don't ever need to use the water for other uses.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:39 AM   #4
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Not all RVs have freeze protected water tanks, so you need to keep that in mind as you shop.
"GeorgeRa" suggestion of anti freeze in the water tank should work if you don't ever need to use the water for other uses.
OP stated no need for running water. I suggested cassette toilet and use antifreeze in the cassette toiletís flush water tank.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by filmschooljefe View Post
I am thinking about getting a class B, but I want to make sure what I want to use it for is possible before I go out and buy one.

My wife and I are frequent skiers, and several of the ski resorts around us allow overnight camping in the parking lot. With that, I am looking for a camper that will keep us warm and allow me to use the toilet. I don't need running water or shower facilities, but being able to use the toilet is key. Will I be warm enough in a class B over night or will the batteries keep a small heater or heated blankets going through the night? Will the black water tank freeze if I put antifreeze in it while still being able to use the toilet?

Thanks!
If you just need to overnight,
ie you can use the washroom/shower/dinning/bar facilities in the ski resort during the day,
then all you need is a bucket for the night. Not flushing.

Bear in mind most of the ClassB are not well insulated.
Think of it as one step above a car.

You can sleep in the RV in arctic sleeping bags.
You can cover the windows with comforters and blankets.
You are out of the wind, you should be ok.
The propane or diesel heater will give you some warmth. (watch out for CO)
You will produce a lot of moisture, which will fog up and turn to frost.

Why not. It will be a lot of fun... until you found it is too uncomfortable to save a few buck.

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Old 08-29-2017, 01:25 PM   #6
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sometimes people make it too hard.

Use a portable porta potti in the van when winter camping. it contains it's own reservoir of anti freeze. easy to dump in the ski areas main bathrooms


buy an rv with a decent propane furnace.

voila. then any decent B works.

Creating heat from batteries uses them fast.

Avoid lithium batteries for a winter van. they will use their power to keep themselves above 32 degrees. they will use up quickly because of that

I agree with above posters that b's are not 4 season campers. it will get cold even with the propane furnace which will keep a minimum temp.


https://www.amazon.com/Thetford-9236...ds=porta+potty
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gerrym51 View Post
sometimes people make it too hard.

Use a portable porta potti in the van when winter camping. it contains it's own reservoir of anti freeze.

buy an rv with a decent propane furnace.

voila. then any decent B works.
I agree, the easiest way. The Thetford video shows a fellow which likely never emptied a porta patti with a real stuff. Usually, to eliminate the splash-back the nozzle needs to be at the lowest position not from 2' height.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:10 PM   #8
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I agree with above posters that b's are not 4 season campers. it will get cold even with the propane furnace which will keep a minimum temp.
It is quite possible to make a very comfortable 4-season B-van.

I converted our GWV Legend to year-round operation, with all systems functional. The van had a head-start by coming equipped with an Espar hydronic heating/hot-water system. Borrowing a trick from ARV, I extended the glycol loop and bundled the hoses with all external plumbing lines and wrapped them in insulation:

IMG_6059.jpg

IMG_6065.jpg



I made a diversion valve that lets me bypass the extended loop in the summertime:

IMG_6203.jpg

Dump lines were protected in the same way

IMG_6265.jpg

I insulated all exposed tanks and ran the glycol lines along them to keep them warm as well:

IMG_6215.jpg

Of course, I added insulation in the spots that Great West missed (such as inside the cavities of the Sprinter doors. I did use 12VDC strip tape and heating pads in a few places, which work fine while under way, although extreme conditions require shore power or genset use when camped.

We don't do a LOT of camping in the dead of winter, but the times we have have been some of our most memorable trips. Great fun and a bit of a challenge. Usually don't have much trouble finding a campsite, either.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by avanti View Post
It is quite possible to make a very comfortable 4-season B-van.

I converted our GWV Legend to year-round operation, with all systems functional. The van had a head-start by coming equipped with an Espar hydronic heating/hot-water system. Borrowing a trick from ARV, I extended the glycol loop and bundled the hoses with all external plumbing lines and wrapped them in insulation:

Attachment 4768

Attachment 4769



I made a diversion valve that lets me bypass the extended loop in the summertime:

Attachment 4770

Dump lines were protected in the same way

Attachment 4771

I insulated all exposed tanks and ran the glycol lines along them to keep them warm as well:

Attachment 4772

Of course, I added insulation in the spots that Great West missed (such as inside the cavities of the Sprinter doors. I did use 12VDC strip tape and heating pads in a few places, which work fine while under way, although extreme conditions require shore power or genset use when camped.

We don't do a LOT of camping in the dead of winter, but the times we have have been some of our most memorable trips. Great fun and a bit of a challenge. Usually don't have much trouble finding a campsite, either.
sell yours to the OP.
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Old 08-30-2017, 02:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
It is quite possible to make a very comfortable 4-season B-van.
I still disagree with this statement unless it is attached with a caveat of minimum temperatures.

At -10 Celcius it isn't too hard to have a 4 season van. At -25 it's hard. And at -40 with a 20kph wind it's going to be darn hard to keep warm without shore power.
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Old 08-30-2017, 03:14 AM   #11
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I still disagree with this statement unless it is attached with a caveat of minimum temperatures.

At -10 Celcius it isn't too hard to have a 4 season van. At -25 it's hard. And at -40 with a 20kph wind it's going to be darn hard to keep warm without shore power.
Well, of course there will always be a practical limit. However, do not underestimate the awesomeness of the Espar diesel heaters. They can produce a LOT of heat with reasonable fuel and electric consumption. I have comfortably camped below zero F, admittedly not at -40 (C or F) and 20kph winds. But I think RVs other than B-vans would struggle at that point as well.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:41 PM   #12
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You guys are making it too hard. Any temp above 10F just keep the interior at 55F. All will be well. Of course you can't dump till you get into warmer territory. You may need to put antifreeze in the shower P trap and leave the exterior water tank empty. I've done it, no problem. If you lose your furnace you are screwed!
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:48 PM   #13
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Those are some real winter camping temps. Would be cool to be able to do that more or less comfortably. I always think that it must be so much nicer in the winter without all the summer tourists.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:38 AM   #14
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We camp in the Virginia winters in our class B. I fill the fresh water tank with antifreeze and by pass the hot water heater. We live on bottled water and flush with pink stuff. I bought a roll of Reflectix at Lowe's and we cut pieces for each window (about 1/2 inch extra all around) and vent and use Velcro stickyback tape to affix it to the carpeted ceiling and push it in to each window. We have a snooze bonnet for the windshield. A small electric space heater will run us out of there usually. Before I turn off the van, I shut all of the AC/heat vents and turn the fan off. Otherwise, I do get some cold through them.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:44 AM   #15
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I fill the fresh water tank with antifreeze
Really???!!!
That is a LOT of antifreeze. Even if you insist on putting that stuff in your fresh system, this is pointless. Why don't you just drain it?
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:51 AM   #16
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I would guess our definition of winter camping is a bit different than most.

Winter camping = camping on a warm southern beach or in a nice warm other area in the winter.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:16 AM   #17
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I would guess our definition of winter camping is a bit different than most.

Winter camping = camping on a warm southern beach or in a nice warm other area in the winter.
+1 +1 +1

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Old 09-14-2017, 02:07 AM   #18
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Really???!!!
That is a LOT of antifreeze. Even if you insist on putting that stuff in your fresh system, this is pointless. Why don't you just drain it?
"Fill" was an overstatement...I thought about it after I posted. I put a couple of gallons in to make flushing easier.
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