50 minutes | Feb 17, 2021

11 Crucial Emergency Winterization Tips for Campers Caught in Sudden Cold

We have emergency winterization tips for RVers and campers caught in sudden cold. What a mess. Historic low temperatures, snow in places where it is all but unheard of. Power outages. Freezing water pipes. All this has been the plight of thousands of RVers whose getaways to what they thought would be warm places turned out to be anything but! Many of the campers caught in sudden cold were not ready! The campers hit by the February 2021 cold snap have been for the most part totally unprepared. Areas, where snowbird RVers would normally expect temperatures to be in the 60s and 70s, have plunged to the single digits. Heavy snow and ice have resulted in massive power outages. And RVers, snowbound and stuck in sometimes powerless campgrounds, are finding their RVs getting uncomfortable cold, pipes freezing and propane needed for heating and gasoline needed for generators running low. In Episode 332 of the RV Podcast, we hear from several of them. You can hear their firsthand reports in the player below, staring about 21:30 in. Campers caught in sudden cold share their stories and emergency winterization tips It's no fun for campers caught in sudden cold if unprepared! That's what happened to many snowbirds who thought they were heading to nice warm southern weather. A cold motorhome in Memphis RV Lifestyle Facebook Group Member Laurie Sollas was camping in her 34-foot motorhome in Memphis, TN, when the cold and snow hit. "We filled our propane tank on Sunday ahead of the snow," she said. "We are now below a half of a tank and hoping not to run out. Temps won’t be above freezing until Saturday and we have six inches of snow on the ground. We are expecting another 3 to 4 inches later this week. Our gray water tank froze. We finally managed to thaw and drain it. So, we are putting nothing in any of the tanks. We are using bottled water. This is no fun." Waterless in Waco Marlene Hacenfuss Wacek was at a Corps of Engineers campground in Waco, TX where the cold and unusual snow brought rolling power blackouts. "There is no water," she said.  "The low last night was about 4 degrees and the high today was about 17. This is colder than home, which is the Buffalo, NY area! Marlene and her family were in a popup camper with "a huge tarp thrown over the whole thing to help with the howling winds." The good news is the propane furnace in the camper works great, she reported. "We're keeping at the lowest setting so we don't burn through as much as fast, so we're about 60-65 degrees. Also have two ceramic heaters to help. Had the foresight to get water in gallon jugs before the spigots froze. There's no water anywhere in the campground or the bathroom and the stores are completely wiped out. This is nuts! Frozen in Ft. Polk Jennifer Romeyn was amping in Ft. Polk, LA, where the temperature dropped to 12 degrees at night. "We knew it was coming, said Jennifer. "We emptied the black and gray tanks yesterday and added pink stuff (RV antifreeze)  to them. We filled the freshwater tank and disconnected from city water. We woke up this morning and the supply line to the toilet was frozen. We put a heater on the floor and it thawed quickly. Other neighbors in the park are frozen and have no water." Putting a skirt around the trailer in Alabama Sharon Hamilton was camping in her trailer in Town Creek, AL when the freeze warnings were issued. "I bought black plastic sheeting and gorilla tape," she said. "With those, I made make-shift skirting around the trailer. Unhooked the water. Using bottled water. I have all the faucets open. Am keeping the furnace on 60 so I won’t use as much propane and it will heat the underbelly. So far we still have electricity, but I have an onboard generator and 30 gal of gas, just in case. Hoping the propane doesn’t run out before this is over." Throughout a huge swath of the country, from Texas to the Florida panhandle, RVers reported long lines for propane,
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