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Using Your RV : Tips & tricks

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Cold weather RV tips
Russ and Tina DeMaris

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Brrr! Photo: AliciaV on flickr.com
It may be near springtime, but it's still plenty cold around many parts of the country. If cabin fever's got a hold on you, cold weather shouldn't keep your RV "grounded." Here are some quick tips to make a cold weather RV excursion workable.

Camping in snow? You'll need to keep your vents clear--not just your heater and water heater, but your refrigerator vent (up roof top) free from snow.

Down below, if your holding tanks aren't in heated compartments, add a little RV antifreeze to keep from freeze ups.

A fresh-water hose hooked up can easily freeze. Best to fill your fresh water tank, then use "tank" water for RV use. Be sure to completely drain your fresh water hose after filling up.

Inspect your outside compartment doors to ensure they're weather-tight. If a compartment door lock freezes, pre-heat the key with a match or lighter before inserting in the lock.

Keep lower cabinets inside the rig open to ensure pipes running through them don't freeze up.

Plan on using electric space heat? Don't run more than one heater on any given RV circuit, and make sure the service the rig is plugged into is adequate. If heating with non-vented LP or kerosene heaters, make sure you have plenty of fresh air ventilation.

Choose campsites carefully. Sheltering trees at the north will help, but make sure there are no dead trees or dead limbs hanging above your rig.

Lots of snow and there a while? Pile up snow around the base of the RV to form an ersatz "skirt" to keep the wind from blowing cold under the rig.

A container of DRY sand is helpful. Things get too slick for traction, toss a little sand under the drive wheels. Wet sand will freeze up and leave you with a useless block.

Boondocking? Be sure to file a "flight plan" with a friend, indicating where you'll be camping and when you'll return. Tell them you'll check in on return, so if you don't they can call out the troops.



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