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first trip to colder weather.

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hello to all!


new here. . 

planning our first excursion to colder climates in Dec.

rolling with a Cougar 5th wheeler that appears to have the original sheet of whatever that is they closed up the bottom of the trailer with still intact.

i have heard of the electric hose to keep the water supply liquid.

looking for suggestions as to what else to watch/prep for to keep pipes from freezing.

what else should i prep for?

planning to be in and around Reno during the week of Christmas. not yet sure what sort of weather to expect.


thanx for anyinput.




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Welcome to the Escapee forums!

Reno in December will probably have below freezing temperatures most nights but warm into the 40's or 50's. It is possible that you could experience much colder weather as it has been below 0°F but not often.  Your RV should be acceptable for the temperatures that you will experience as long as you keep temperatures inside at comfortable levels but without knowing more about the RV and the model year one has to guess what you have. 

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I don't have a Cougar so I don't know your winter rating but some common practices are;

When you arrive at your location put some water in your fresh water tank and then disconnect your outside hose when the outside temperatures are below freezing.

Since many pipes are run through the basement area, rely of your furnace for primary heat as a supplement electric heat would cause the furnace to run less thus a cooler basement area.

Clay DRV MS 38PS3

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I camp in colder weather during hunting season.

On my 5th wheel, my water lines freeze up when temperatures drop to 25 degrees. I am guessing that your 5th wheel will freeze up at that temperature or slightly above.

As others have mentioned keep the temperature up in the trailer and disconnect the outside water line.  But at 25 degrees it is the water lines inside the trailer that will freeze.

I have gotten up many times in the middle of cold nights to run a couple of faucets and watched the faucet gurgle and then finally run water!!  A couple of times I  didn't wake up to run water.....and I had to defrost in the morning.

You might want to keep your trailer temperatures warm at night......I don't and didn't.

My water lines were pretty much limited to one basement storage unit and on really cold nights I would put an electric heater and run it for a half hour or so......I never did feel comfortable leaving the electric heater running down there without me being around.

Hope this helps.


Edited by Vladimir

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On 11/1/2019 at 8:09 AM, Indian4dirt said:

we have a 2010 Cougar 5th wheeler.

it is 29' long. looks  all original, including the seal across the bottom.

I am unable to locate a full set of specs on that year model but from all that I can find it would seem that you should do fine in the Reno area unless they experience unusually cold weather. How long do you expect to stay there? If it will be an extended stay you should plan to skirt it in order to keep cold winds out from under it, but as long as you keep the interior warm you should be OK. 

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If your dump valves are located outside rather than in a bay, they may freeze as may the water in the exposed drain pipe. I leave the gray valve open. If necessary, the black tank has always thawed with some warm water poured over it and the exposed pipe.

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During cold weather it helps to leave cabinet door, and drawers open if there are water lines behind them, this also helps prevent moisture accumulation on the exterior walls that are also the back side of cabinets

I 2nd the recommendation to operate "self-contained" ie:  only put out fresh water and waste hoses when required, otherwise store them away.  Yes, it may be inconvenient, however it is much more inconvenient to thaw frozen water hoses, or worse yet be without either hose because it froze and was destroyed.

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The time you've selected for RVing surely you will experience freezing cold. However, you can follow the below instructions:

Use heat tape on pipes and hoses. Wrap your freshwater hose and sewer hose with heat strips to keep the lines warm and prevent freezing. Heat tape can be applied around valves and connections most at risk of freeze-ups. You can also add foam insulation in addition to heat tape for extra protection.

Use a space heater. If your RV water lines or water pump are not protected by a heat source, you can also use a small space heater to help prevent freezing. Practice safety precautions by keeping space heaters the appropriate distance away from RV components and vents.

Add antifreeze. Adding a small amount of antifreeze in holding tanks can protect the valves from freezing.

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