Sunday, January 11, 2015

When The Mattress Is Freezing To The Wall And The Fridge Needs To Be Heated

Doing camping during an Alberta winter can be a real adventure. We had never done this before and had to make adjustments to our equipment and it sure makes for an interesting life style.
Here are a few things which can occur on a regular basis.

- locks and handles for compartment doors are freezing so they can’t be operated without thawing them out.

- one morning after freezing rain our entry door was frozen shut and needed to be warmed up with a hairdryer

- when electric heaters are running on the same circuit the breaker kicks out and the heater dies. That in turn will result in freezing up your water line before you notice the problem. We now know that and have 2 heaters on 2 different circuits.

- below the windows we find ice build-ups, which when thawing turn into lots of water. In order to avoid damage the water needs to be wiped off every morning after the furnace has warmed up the trailer.

- when outside temps are reaching arctic-level, inside temps have problems to reach 20C. (68F) and your mattress is freezing to the wall.  Woolen sweaters and extra bedcovers become a necessity.

- also under arctic temps you need to heat the fridge. RV-fridges tend to freeze up when temps are going under –30C. Ours is now frozen and our food is outside in a cooler. Saves a lot of energy but a little trouble lamp put in from the outside would have helped tp prevent the problem.

- under our mattress we have a layer of 1.5” heat- radiant Styrofoam, otherwise our butts would freeze to the mattress.

- our entry door step is turning into a slide which may or may not result in a broken leg.

- in order to survive ANY winter temps we needed a radiant Styrofoam skirting. Ours is 1.5” thick and is taped to the body of the trailer. The radiant foil is turned inward. Without a skirting we would have no way of heating the underbelly of the trailer and our shoes would freeze to the lino.

- Our windows are covered with bubble-wrap which helps reduce condensation.

- cupboards and closets are clad inside with silver reflective insulation foil.

- all wall openings like for water-and power lines needed to be “stuffed” with fiberglass insulation.

- with fresh fallen snow piling up, we need to leave our shoes at the door. Snow off the shoes needs to be thrown out to where it came from, that is unless you thrive with puddles on the floor.

- we have a “battery” of 6 propane tanks to keep us warm.

That is in the short what we have been dealing with so far. 7 more sleeps and we will move into a house.
We will leave our trailer in storage mode in the park as it would be a rather grueling undertaking to move it.

With all that in mind be sure not to venture north any time soon. You WILL be sorry.

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. I plan on being in southern Ontario this afternoon and park our coach, with couple electric heaters inside. It is winterized and we are stay at my in laws for the rest of the winter, not our choice but needs to be done, 'cause we can and need to. Won't be as bad here as what you are experiencing, but not great.

    1. Consider to put the mattresses up and take all pillows off the wall so that air can circulate around and humidity dry up/out . Otherwise you might find mildew and mold spots on them in the spring.

    2. I will be checking it almost every day, but have 2 electric heaters going an a small window open. Dual pane windows really help too

  2. Something like what you are going through right now will probably make you reconsider heading back south for the winter months.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. oh my, hard to imagine going through this. I hope the house has a really good furnace.

  4. It is amazing what you can put up with if you have to. Good news about a house on the horizon. I do be believe you have had one of the worst Edmonton winters in a long while.

    1. Matter of fact this winter is one of the mildest Edmonton has had for years.

  5. And here I thought life back on the farm was a bit rough. It was an old farm house built before the turn of the LAST century, so insulation was non-existent, and the water line froze on a regular basis. Sure wasn't fun going out to that outhouse, and I'm also damned sure glad I don't have to put up with anything close to that these days. Good Luck.

  6. You sound like pioneers out on the prairies. Brr! That's quite a list you have to deal with.

  7. I just can't imagine being so cold. Hang in there guys. It has got to warm up sometime.

  8. I simply cannot fathom being in those type of temperatures in my RV. Jeeze, I freeze in here when I have to go back to Canada in the Spring !!

  9. Funny, just this morning I was thinking about George, and then as I read your post I was thinking about him again, sure enough, he was your first to comment! I can't imagine! I know some people manage to live in RV's in cold climates, but then again maybe not well. Sounds difficult and not fun. Congrats on the house!

  10. I know some RVs are made to live in year-round, maybe they are insulated more than others. Either way, where you are sounds tooooo cold. Thank goodness you're heading into a house soon. You'll appreciate it EVEN MORE after what you've gone though in the RV. You guys are hearty souls, for sure! It's a super tough time for now, but think of all the stories you'll have to tell in the future. I'll bet Molly has been cold, too, even with all her fur.


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