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Keeping cool in the summer and warm in the winter


woman_who_sees

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Our favorite place to RV is New Mexico. We found an inexpensive RV park in Grants that charges $200/mo so that's usually where we stay. But this year, they have upped the price and now charge $200 + electricity. We live on a very small amount and must watch every penny so we are keeping the air conditioner off as much as possible so we won't have to pay a lot for electricity. Any suggestions as to how we can keep it fairly cool in here without the AC? What about the winter? We'll have to stay here this winter (we won't be able to afford a tow dolly until next spring) and the manager tells us that electricity is highest in the winter because everyone keeps their electric heaters on all the time. How can we keep warm?

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Insulate your windows, stick-on storm windows for the ones you need to see out of, reflectrix for the ones you can live with being blocked. Cheap and easy, will pay-back in a single summer and work in winter too, just watch for condensation ouner the reflectrix.

 

Add light colored sun-screen to the outside of your windows, the lighter it is and the less transmission allowed the more good it will do. Of course the light colors disrupt your view more than dark ones and the less transmission the less the view too. Might not pay-back their costs depending on what you pay for them.

 

Vent insulating pillows, reflectrix works too but not as well. Cheap and easy if home-made, store-bought are overpriced.

 

If you have slides add some solid foam insulation to the tops, foil sheathed foam-board shiny side up might be best. Duct tape the edges to prevent peeling. Depending on your slides roof insulation this can be a big money-saver and not expensive.

 

Winter look at skirting the rig, inexpensive foam boards and re-bar stakes are pretty effective and not too expensive.

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I don't usually copy info and save it. This time I did.

 

I already use foam boards and relectex. You might also try an oil filled radiator kept on low power (500w). They have a thermostat and two of them will keep a trailer nice and toasty for less than a convection heater. Alternatively use one and move it around, salon in the day and sleeping and bath at night.

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For the winter try to figure out if it is cheaper for you to use propane or electric heat. (depends on current propane and electric costs) RV furnaces are extremely inefficient especially with a heated underbelly. When it was above freezing we use electric heat (don't need to heat the underbelly and water lines when it is above freezing). the propane also caused us alot of condensation problems. You can also try electric blankets for sleeping at night.

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If you have slides, make sure you check at the front edge of them. We found that there was cold air being drawn in when the furnace ran. It was at the inside bottom. I have a rug in front of the kitchen counter that flips up under the front edge that blocks that cold air. If we were going to be where it stayed cold, we would check the bottom and top of the slides outside to see if foam or something could be added to make it more efficient. We also have windshield curtain with an energy saving foam type backing that works well in cold and heat if you leave the curtains drawn. I have also just purchased other curtains for the windows with tension spring rods that I will hang under the valances. The day-night shades will be closed with the energy saving curtains hanging over that. I am leaving them with extra length so that in the winter I can fold them down and under the window area and fasten then The cold radiates down and under curtains so closing off under the window can help too.

 

We have sofa pillow that turned out to be the right size to stuff into the vent openings, and they match the decor. In the bathroom, DH cut some heavy cardboard the shape of the fan opening and I covered it with insulated comforter fabric, folded around the back, taped it and pushed that up into the opening.

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Our favorite place to RV is New Mexico. We found an inexpensive RV park in Grants that charges $200/mo so that's usually where we stay.

Lavaland? That place was a hoot! Nice people and convenient to everything but some of the weirdest rigs in there I've ever seen.

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Have you decided not to use the state parks with their annual camping permit of $225 for out-of-state residents and $180 for in-state residents? Then you can camp with for an additional daily charge of $4 for electricity. Of course one problem is that you can only camp for 14 days out of 20 days in the same park. But some of them are pretty close to each other and you could rotate without having to drive too far.

 

Cheers John

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all for your responses. We got an oscillating fan and we may get another; one of the tenants in the park has inexpensive skirting and we'll ask where he got it; we'll go to Sears in Albuquerque and get an electric blanket and oil heaters (also boots and winter coats); we bought reflectix and covered front windows and vents; bought 'storm windows' (plastic film) to cover other windows. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful mountains here covered with snow!

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I wintered at Grand Canyon and was pretty much gone during the day volunteering so I did not run electric except at night and found my electric very low. I also put reflextix on the floor with a throw rug over it and closed off the areas at night that I was not using.

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I am not exactly skinny by a long shot. I kept warm primarily just sleeping in my small class b with a travel sack and electric heater in below zero weather. I did not spend a lot of time sitting around during the day in the RV but it did warm up to 30s and 40 often.

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I put a throw rug under my desk--made a huge difference to my comfort level! I also have a lap rug I use there if it gets cold enough. I'm an adopted Minnesotan so I learned how they deal with weather differentials--layers, layers, layers. I also learned their rule, "If your feet are cold, put a hat on." Your head is your body's chimney and, if you've ever had a fireplace, you know how much heat goes up and out of the chimney. Hoodies are great for this since they keep the heat from escaping around your neck, too. For the reverse, try tying a wet bandana over your head or around your neck. If you can cool those arteries in your neck you will feel cooler all over.

 

Linda Sand

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We do not like real hot or real cold weather so since we have a choice and this 5th wheel has wheels we keep in moderate climates. we found it fairly difficult to stay cool in very hot weather or warm in very cold weather when we had no choice and since IMO these things are just not built for those kind of extreme weather swings.

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  • 7 months later...

At Quarzsite AZ there is an affordable option for the cooler months. The BLM has LTVA areas that supply water, dump, and trash. With solar or a small generator it can be an inexpensive way to stay the winter.

 

FEES / PERMITS REQUIRED: A Long Term Visitor Area Permit is required from September 15th through April 15th each season. The cost is $180.00 and is valid for up to 7 months. A Short Term Permit can be purchased for a 14-day stay. This permit is $40.00. Permits may be purchased on site or at the BLM Yuma Field Office.

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As a point of information, the oil filled heaters heat no better than the cube size quartz or ceramic heater. 1500 Watts is 1500 Watts and about 5100 BTUH. The ceramic type with a fan allows the heat to be directed or blown about. With an oil filled, you are dependent on radiant heating only.

 

Ken

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