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Motorhome Ski Travel

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wasn't really sure where post this.

It seems like I remember someone (that posts here) who travels by motor home.

I need info on winter prep for a motor home, or a link to some info., if possible.

post #2 of 16
Both Ott Gangle and Pierre have used motorhomes or campers for skiing.

I have friends who spend 6-8 weeks each season skiing in Montana from their motorhome. For their latest motorhome they started with a model designed for winter use. They added insulation to what the "winterized" version provided and installed a generator they could use 24/7. Then they taped all the plumbing with those electric tapes that heat in response to frost and insulated over that. Their model has a "basement" area under the floor where they installed a couple ceramic heaters. They report these measures have made the vehicle fine for their use. They pull a car to drive behind their motorhome.
post #3 of 16

Who needs them?

One year I travelled the west, resort to resort in an old Impala. I could sleep in the back of it with blankets and a cheap Woolco Sleeping Bag. At Jackson Hole, it was 20 below when I rose. I got snowed in the Sierra's, spending 24 hours in the car. At Alta I spent one night in the parking lot and went skiing on a powder day. So, why would you need any kind of prep? When you get to the foothills buy some chains and fasteners. Tune your skiis. Get up and Go!!!!
post #4 of 16
I spent a winter with a Tacoma pulling a scamp up in Canada for 5 months.
No prep needed. My way I could just drive around my truck and leave the
housing behind, obvious advantages.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I believe the only prep has to do with the plumbing & holding tanks.
Also, in the south we blend anti-freeze & water @ a 50/50 mix. Not sure if that will do up north.
Thanks, I believe it was OTT that posted a thread regarding motorhome travel during ski season.

post #6 of 16
Ray - I believe there's a bit more to it than that, but I'm no expert, except -

50/50 is the mix I've used every year, and never had a problem. That includes growing up in Winnipeg, where -40 (C or F doesn't matter) was normal winter weather.
post #7 of 16
I will post my experiences with campers and hunting as we own a 30 footer...in the winter you fill the pipes with a tastless anti-freeze that is relatively harmless...you can buy it at a camper store...you DO NOT put this in your hot water tank...the hot water tank just needs to be drained and left dry....you can then use the camper as normal you just don't have running water....I imagine if you want running water you have to ALWAYS keep things above freezing....this would require alot of work....when you buy a camper buy a 3 or 4 season one....they have heaters and what not that will keep you warm and cozy....good luck towing a camper on a snowy road though....I say get a cargo van and install a heater and some beds
post #8 of 16
I did a trip around Colorado ski areas between Christmas and New Years in an large (6-8 per person) RV many years ago. My two most vivid memories are how much we spent on gas at about 7 mpg, and trying to find a place to park in the resort towns, both for skiing and overnight stay.
post #9 of 16
I want to build a 4x4 conversion van for skiing Aspen Extreme style...put ina couple bunks and a propane heater
post #10 of 16
Well, I guess I better chime in. We have owned and used two fifth-wheel trailers, both 28 ft long, the present one has a slide out that makes the living area really great. We go most every year to Colorado and camp in the Tiger Run RV resort just outside of Breckenridge. We have encountered -15 degrees weather and not had any problems because of our preparations.

First, we pull our 10,000 pound trailer with an extended cab Dodge 2500 with a Cummings Diesel engine and plug it's engine heater into 110 volts every night so it is ready to go in the morning.

The first trailer, a 1985 Jayco had an enclosed underbody, a necessity for winter camping, but the holding tanks had only a couple of inches of fiberglass insulation so I put a self sticking 110v/12v heating pad on the undersides of the tanks, they are available at Camping World. Next I rerouted a waterline from the water tank, which was under the sofa in the living area and not subject to freezing, because it ran a short piece inside the wall and was subject to freezing.

Our present trailer is a 1997 model and the water tank is in the basement and the holding tanks are in the shallow sub-basement underneath. The bottom is enclosed too and it has the holding tanks in it and is heated by a duct from the gas furnace and we had no problem of it freezing up. Whereas we could use an electric heater and be OK in our previous trailer we now have to heat with propane. But all in all it isn't that expensive and keeps the trailer warmer than an electric heater.

In the basement where the water tank is I have an 110volt outlet and I hooked up a light socket I could plug in, and when it gets real cold I can put either a 100watt or a 300 watt bulb in it to keep it from freezing, I never needed the 300w bulb and very seldom used the light bulbs at all.

I installed an indoor/outdoor thermometer on the inside and routed the outdoor sensor to the basement so I can check the temperature there at any time from inside.

During the stay for three weeks at 6000+ ft elevation in Summit county I do not use any antfreeze (the pink stuff really tastes sickly sweet even when diluted). Do not let any hoses hooked up or they will be ruined. Work out of your water tank and when it gets low, fill it and drain your water hose right away, the same with your sewer hose, dump and drain it and put it away, if not, you will have a stiff broken mess of wires and plastic.

I have storm windows that attach from the inside over all the windows, also on the old trailer, almost a must for winter camping. If your trailer or motor home does not have them, consider those plastic shrink-wrap ones.

Driving in skiing season has had it's moments but nothing serious ever happened, justy stay cool.

Anything else I can help you with just let me know...

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all.

I'll probably start off traveling to Taos, as this seems to be the closest for us..

Also, I guess I need to make a trip to the local camper supply to see just what I may need.

I'm in hopes that this will give us the opportunity to add a couple extra ski trips to our yearly vacation.

Thanks Ott for the info. I may need to PM you in the future, if thats ok.

post #12 of 16
You might want to try some of the Rv forums for this information they will have more and better info. See: http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/search/parms/sw{skiing}|km{exact}|kl{m}|fm{}|pd{365}|ma{}/sr/1.cfm for example.

We motorhome camp for about 20 days each winter. After you look up some info at the above site, if you need more info, let me know.

post #13 of 16
I have traveled and skied with two RV's. One a motorhome and one an Airstream trailer.

I spent considerable time modifying the class C motorhome. moved the sewage tanks slightly and modifed the dump valves so that I could enclose them in a steel covered insulated box. I set it up with forced hot air from the furnace to circulate down into the tank areas and then up through the water pipe areas under the sinks. I put in a thermostate set at 45 degrees that would turn on a fan that would positively draw the air down into the box should it fall below that temperature.

I set the rest of the vehicle up with a large battery bank of four golf cart batteries so that I would have enough power to run the furnace for three days unplugged from power. Its hard to find good camping sites in the winter.

The whole rig worked fantastic and all I needed to do was remember to fill with propane often. The lowest temperature I had it to was at Almont Colorado and that was to -30 deg. At that temp the furnace would barely keep up. Lining areas with Reflectix, like in the closets and under the beds and over some windows helped considerably with drafts, heating and the amount of propane I went through.

I had a small motorhome and ski storage was a bit of a problem. Using slope side storage usually did the trick.

The Airstream was much larger and already set up for winter camping although the Airstream would only go down to about zero before I had some trouble with water pipes. The trailer worked better for campgrounds where the motorhome worked better for overnight in parking lots and such.

Overnight stays become second nature. When enroute you can overnight in 24 hours store lots or follow the signs to the Hospital. There are always a couple of out of town folks visiting someone in a hospital in the parking lot. You will awake at 7:00 am shift change and be on your way again. Truck stop gas stations is another but don't park in truck spots unless you have a very big rig. Go to the back of the auto parking areas.

Some truck stops like Flying J really cater to RV's and you can find propane, water, air, sewage dump and fuel all at one stop.

RV's are probably enconmical for short haul under 200 miles type stuff with short stays like weekends. On long hauls and week long vacations you can often find overnight accomodations just as cheap as the RV spot and extra fuel they burn to travel.
post #14 of 16

Heading West for the season this week

Hi Ott and Pierre,
I am heading West in my HondaElement from Cleveland this week. No definite plans and no special preparations - will play it by ear. I am on sabbatical and plan to be a ski bum for the season (doing the research and write at night on my laptop). I hope to find something (instructing and a place to stay) either in Colorado or Utah. Any input will be appreciated.
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by AE
Hi Ott and Pierre,
I am heading West in my HondaElement from Cleveland this week. No definite plans and no special preparations - will play it by ear. I am on sabbatical and plan to be a ski bum for the season (doing the research and write at night on my laptop). I hope to find something (instructing and a place to stay) either in Colorado or Utah. Any input will be appreciated.
You need little input to be a total bum, good luck. Find Harold Harb.
post #16 of 16
You think BM still holds a grudge?

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