Welcome to RVForums.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest RV Community on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, review campgrounds
  • Get the most out of the RV Lifestyle
  • Invite everyone to RVForums.com and let's have fun
  • Commercial/Vendors welcome

Update on cold weather camping at 6000 ft in the Sierra Nevada

Welcome to RVForums.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends and let's have fun
  • Commercial/Vendors welcome
  • Friendliest RV community on the web

HughA

RVF Regular
Joined
Oct 26, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Twin Bridges, California
RV Year
2021
RV Make
Keystone
RV Model
Outback 301UBH
RV Length
35
Good evening all!
When I joined the RVforums and introduced myself I promised an update and some photos. To recap: we own a lot off of highway 50 between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe up at 6000 ft. The Caldor fire took out our old 1950's cabin in 2020 and we are now having a new one built. Since our home is down in the SF Bay Area we decided to park a travel trailer on the lot so we could monitor progress and help out the contractor. The big question was, could a trailer handle the heavy snow load which we get in this area. Our Keystone Outback has a full walk on roof so we could go up an shovel the snow off after every storm. But what about the pop outs? Would we have to pull them in for every snow fall? We opted to buy a Navigloo RV cover and so far it has worked out well. As you can see in the photo it has a plastic frame on top of the trailer and a huge (45 x 30) tarp. We opted to hold the tarp down with cinder blocks and a few solid concrete pier blocks.
So far we have been thru two good storms with 2-4 ft accumulations over 2 to 3 days. Despite being pretty taught the tarp still shakes a lot in the wind and this causes it to shead the snow, even over the large side pop out. The down side is it can be very noisy and sleeping thru the night during a storm wasn't possible. The other down side is all of the windows are covered so there is no seeing out. But overall it is working well so far. The only concern is I am seeing some chaffing where the tarp is pulled over corners and I am working on better padding to prevent that.
Other winterizing: One complaint about the Outback is the aft grey water tank drain line hangs under the trailer and runs 7' forward to tie into the forward sewage connection with the forward black water and grey water tank drains. I put a heat tracer on it and double wrapped it with insulation. The valve froze shut once but I improved my insulation job on it and so far it's opened every time. I wish I understood the frame and tank construction better. You would think the aft black water and aft grey water drains would connect, but instead the aft grey water drain runs forward.
I have been keeping an eye out for condensation issues and just found one in the bunkroom pop out. The lower bunk is set over two good sized drawers. Very good storage area. But there is no air circulation under the bunk where the drawers are so it must get very cold . This causes water to condense on the shelf supporting the mattress. I am dealing with this by lifting the mattress each morning and setting a fan to dry the shelf. I may try to put an electric heater in that area if I can find a small one I feel safe enclosing in the storage area.
The styra-foam skirting is holding up well and doing it's job. I have a temperature transmitter under the trailer and it says the area stays 10 to 15 deg F above the outside air temperature. I do have a heater under the trailer but have not used it. The only time the fresh water froze was when the power company had a black out for 3 days. I don't know if it froze in the trailer or where it comes out of the ground and jumps to the trailer. I didn't want to run my generator all night. I should get a better one.
I alternate between using the propane heater (which is quite noisy) and a electric heater. I keep it 60 to 65 all day. I have no cost data yet.
I am happy to answer questions and will post again in January.

Hugh
 

Attachments

  • House & RV late Nov 22.JPG
    House & RV late Nov 22.JPG
    3.2 MB · Views: 49
  • Navigloo tarp over pop out.JPG
    Navigloo tarp over pop out.JPG
    2.4 MB · Views: 49
  • Navigloo frame.JPG
    Navigloo frame.JPG
    2.7 MB · Views: 49

Rich W.

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
1,680
Location
Grass Valley Ca
RV Year
2016
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 3427
RV Length
35
Chassis
Freightliner XCR
Engine
6.7 ISB 360/800
TOW/TOAD
2001 Jeep Wrangler, M&G air brake system, Blue Ox bar
Fulltimer
No
Looks like you’ve got ot handled for now. Maybe build a garage/shop next year? Some of those epic snows over the last 25 years would have been a challenge, but looks ok so far. After over 20 years living near Alta (4200’) I decided I’d had enough and I don’t miss it (this doesnt look like fun to me) but I admire your effort and resilience.
 

HughA

RVF Regular
Joined
Oct 26, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Twin Bridges, California
RV Year
2021
RV Make
Keystone
RV Model
Outback 301UBH
RV Length
35
Good evening all!
When I joined the RVforums and introduced myself I promised an update and some photos. To recap: we own a lot off of highway 50 between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe up at 6000 ft. The Caldor fire took out our old 1950's cabin in 2020 and we are now having a new one built. Since our home is down in the SF Bay Area we decided to park a travel trailer on the lot so we could monitor progress and help out the contractor. The big question was, could a trailer handle the heavy snow load which we get in this area. Our Keystone Outback has a full walk on roof so we could go up an shovel the snow off after every storm. But what about the pop outs? Would we have to pull them in for every snow fall? We opted to buy a Navigloo RV cover and so far it has worked out well. As you can see in the photo it has a plastic frame on top of the trailer and a huge (45 x 30) tarp. We opted to hold the tarp down with cinder blocks and a few solid concrete pier blocks.
So far we have been thru two good storms with 2-4 ft accumulations over 2 to 3 days. Despite being pretty taught the tarp still shakes a lot in the wind and this causes it to shead the snow, even over the large side pop out. The down side is it can be very noisy and sleeping thru the night during a storm wasn't possible. The other down side is all of the windows are covered so there is no seeing out. But overall it is working well so far. The only concern is I am seeing some chaffing where the tarp is pulled over corners and I am working on better padding to prevent that.
Other winterizing: One complaint about the Outback is the aft grey water tank drain line hangs under the trailer and runs 7' forward to tie into the forward sewage connection with the forward black water and grey water tank drains. I put a heat tracer on it and double wrapped it with insulation. The valve froze shut once but I improved my insulation job on it and so far it's opened every time. I wish I understood the frame and tank construction better. You would think the aft black water and aft grey water drains would connect, but instead the aft grey water drain runs forward.
I have been keeping an eye out for condensation issues and just found one in the bunkroom pop out. The lower bunk is set over two good sized drawers. Very good storage area. But there is no air circulation under the bunk where the drawers are so it must get very cold . This causes water to condense on the shelf supporting the mattress. I am dealing with this by lifting the mattress each morning and setting a fan to dry the shelf. I may try to put an electric heater in that area if I can find a small one I feel safe enclosing in the storage area.
The styra-foam skirting is holding up well and doing it's job. I have a temperature transmitter under the trailer and it says the area stays 10 to 15 deg F above the outside air temperature. I do have a heater under the trailer but have not used it. The only time the fresh water froze was when the power company had a black out for 3 days. I don't know if it froze in the trailer or where it comes out of the ground and jumps to the trailer. I didn't want to run my generator all night. I should get a better one.
I alternate between using the propane heater (which is quite noisy) and a electric heater. I keep it 60 to 65 all day. I have no cost data yet.
I am happy to answer questions and will post again in January.

Hugh
Thanks for the reply! Yes, I am hoping for a lighter snow season. At 65 this is probably the last time I'll make an effort like this.
 

Rich W.

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
1,680
Location
Grass Valley Ca
RV Year
2016
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 3427
RV Length
35
Chassis
Freightliner XCR
Engine
6.7 ISB 360/800
TOW/TOAD
2001 Jeep Wrangler, M&G air brake system, Blue Ox bar
Fulltimer
No
How’s it looking right now? They closed 80 between Colfax and the state line yesterday afternoon.
 

John&Andrea

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
467
Location
Dallas Georgia
RV Year
2021
RV Make
Coachmen
RV Model
Concord 300ts
RV Length
31
Chassis
E450
Engine
7.3 gas
TOW/TOAD
Steal Tow Dolly Ford Escape
Fulltimer
No
Looking good. Being in the south east all my life, it’s hard to imagine that amount of snow.
 

TheLooks

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Messages
410
Location
Harrison, TN
RV Year
2011
RV Make
Jayco
RV Model
26 BH
RV Length
29 ft
Fulltimer
No
More power to ya. I grew up in Maine and after 52 years of shoveling, driving, fixing frozen things, I left for Tenn. I had hoped to never see another snowflake. Didn't move far enough South for that.
That is just to much work. Thanks for the reminder of how much I hate snow....in all its forms.
 

HughA

RVF Regular
Joined
Oct 26, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Twin Bridges, California
RV Year
2021
RV Make
Keystone
RV Model
Outback 301UBH
RV Length
35
Thanks, all for your comments.
Yeah, we got little over 4 ft. of snow. One issue was that the storm came in warm at first so the first foot or so was wet and heavy. The other issue was the power company (PG&E) had a 24 hr long black out. I got the generator dug out and running but it's a cheep unit from Harbor Freight. I should upgrade to a Honda Inverter type so I can run it all night. As it is, mine would run out of gas if I leave it running.
So the trailer was 36 deg F this morning. I went out at 6 a.m. to start the generator and noted the power was on to the neighbors. I could use a transfer switch because crawling under the rear pop out to switch power cables isn't real easy.
The Navigloo cover is developing what might be an issue: The snow sheds off he top nicely but as it piles up it is putting a stain where it is held out for the entry.
And I will be digging again to get at the waist tank drain valves.

Hoping for some clear weather!
Hugh
 

Rich W.

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
1,680
Location
Grass Valley Ca
RV Year
2016
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 3427
RV Length
35
Chassis
Freightliner XCR
Engine
6.7 ISB 360/800
TOW/TOAD
2001 Jeep Wrangler, M&G air brake system, Blue Ox bar
Fulltimer
No
A little vestibule in front of one door would make a big difference. You probably have enough materials lying around to build one - hopefully inside the cabin and not burried under 4’ of snow. Some studs and a few sheets of OSB would suffice. Got any new pics?
 

TheLooks

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Messages
410
Location
Harrison, TN
RV Year
2011
RV Make
Jayco
RV Model
26 BH
RV Length
29 ft
Fulltimer
No
Snow makes a good insulator as well, just hard to get under it when you need to. It being the camper
 

bpaikman

RVF Supporter
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
739
Location
Lake Jackson, Texas
RV Year
2014
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana LE 3436
RV Length
35 feet
Chassis
Freightliner
Engine
Cummins 340 hp
TOW/TOAD
2013 Subaru Crosstrek - manual, flat tow
Fulltimer
No
Wow, that looks great! and I envy you!
 

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon for all of your needs.
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top