Monday, January 27, 2014


Due to a tragic death in the family, we are still in WV during the Polar Vortex's cold assault on North America.  On average the temperature gets down to around zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower each night. 

We planned on being in SC or one of the other southern states by this time, but life threw a monkey wrench in to the works and so we are still here, freezing off our behinds.

We are aware that the cold temperatures extend further south than normal, but at least they warm up above freezing during the day, more so then where we are in WV.

Wintering in frozen West Virginia.
Even if we wanted to leave now, I would be afraid to put in the slides as cold as it, that something would break or tear.  I probably should climb up on the RV and sweep off all of the snow off the slide covers.  Twice I have climbed up on top of the RV to sweep off the satellite dish dome so that we could watch TV using our Dish Network.
Satellite dome swept off so we can watch Dish Network.

One thing I had to do was buy an Extend-A-Stay tee to hook up an external propane tank so that we would not have to break camp when we ran out of propane with the on board tank.  

I got it installed fine, but still need to support the regulator by screwing it down so the valves will not break while traveling down the road.
Extend-A-Stay tee installed to the on board propane tank.
With the Extend-A-Stay valve, I can rotate propane tanks and not have to take the RV to get more propane.  Currently I am using two 30 pound tanks.
30 pound propane tank hooked up to Extend-A-Stay tee.
I always fill up the empty 30 pound tank as soon as I hook up the full one.  This way when I run out, I always have a backup.  Depending upon the temperatures and if I keep the thermostat on 65 degrees, one 30 pound tank will last us 3 or 4 days.  Each tank costs right at $28.00 to fill up, so it is pretty expensive to heat with gas.

I supplement with electric space heaters, which this RV park does not have a problem with, but they do not heat the basement of the RV, so you really need to use your propane heaters to do that and if the temperature gets really low, you have to supplement that heat with electric too or at least I do.
My two 30 pound propane tanks used to heat the RV.
When the temperature drops down to single digits I have to put an electric heater in the water hook-up compartment to keep it from freezing up.  I guess since we do not have an Arctic package on this RV, it sometimes need the extra heat to keep my black and grey tanks' valves from freezing up.

Also since the sewer line does not have a perfect elevation from the RV to the sewer, every time I drain either the black or grey tanks, you have to make sure you get all the liquid out of the line so that it does not freeze up.  If it does freeze then it will either bust your line or not let you drain your tanks or both.
Electric heater to keep everything from freezing up when temps get into single digits.
Last year I wrapped my water hose with heat tape, but since the park here does not have their faucets wrapped, I cannot leave my hose hooked up or the park's water faucet freezes up.  So I have to fill up our fresh water storage tank every other day or so.
Filling up the fresh water storage tank the lazy way.
Luckily I can keep the hose in the filler hole by closing the compartment door on the hose.  The reason this is nice is because it takes a good thirty to forty minutes to fill up the tank and standing there holding the hose you get pretty cold and tired.  I just watch the tank gauge and when it shows full, I run out and turn off the water.  When I'm done I take the hose back inside the RV so it does not freeze up.
Filling up the fresh water tank.
Even though the temperature gets below zero at times and we have been fighting frozen water lines, there is still beauty to behold from the hills of West Virginia.
Beautiful hills of West Virginia.
The kids love to pull the ice cycles off of the RV and crunch on them.  I'm not sure if that is a good thing, but I survived eating them as a kid, so I guess mine will too.
Ice cycles on the RV.
I probably really need to get back on top of the RV and clean off all the snow and ice that is building up.  I was hoping for a short warm spell that would do this for me, but it does not look like one is coming any time soon and last night we got another inch of snow.
Ice and snow building up on slide covers.
We went a couple days with no water and four days without hot water during last week's cold spell.  Luckily I got everything thawed out and insulated and now do not have any issues.  Lets hope it stays that way.

Kenny, the owner of the park, came to our aid when he found out we were frozen up, which we really appreciate!  He has offered us heaters, tools, and skirting material to help us out.  He is another great person, like so many other park owners we have met in our travels. 

I will probably put some type of skirting around the RV to keep the cold air from blowing underneath, which should help some too, but just have not done it as of yet.

When we bought the RV we always said that we would winter in warm climates and summer in cool climates, but life does not always cooperate with your plans and sometimes seems to work against them.

We were already going through a rough time with a death in the family and now we get to have more grief with the cold temperatures.  I guess that is just the way it is and that it could be much, much worse, so we will take what we have.

Even though we have to adjust and it may seem like we are struggling with the cold, we still love our RV lifestyle and do not plan on quitting it any time soon.  Once you learn how to prep for the extreme temperatures, that is one more problem beat and then you can concentrate on something else be it good or bad.

It is all what you make of it, so make it good!

Please pray for us and our family during this time of struggle while we pray for God to bless you.

Don, Misty, and Kids...


  1. I am sorry to hear that you have gotten stuck in such bitterly cold weather. We also are going through a lot of propane lately. Thankfully, we are not as North as you are, but it is still pretty chilly here. Not sure if you have a Good Sam's card or not, but you can save money on propane, fuel, camp sites, etc. We use ours as Camping world's and get ours for $1.99 on Tues. & Wed. Here is Good Sam's website if you are interested in finding out more about their program and where you can use it.
    Hope this info can help save you some money and I am also sorry to hear about your loss, I will pray for your family.

    1. Wendy,

      Thanks for the information and prayers. We are Good Sam's members and we do try to take advantage of any and all discounts. Currently we purchase our propane from a local hardware store that does not give a Good Sam's discount, but they are the cheapest in our area.

      God bless and thanks again!
      Don, Misty, and Kids...

  2. Oh my, Im so shock to see you amidst the snow and freezing temps. I pray that the kids are doing fine despite being homebound these days. I can not imagine what you are going through there in the cold.
    I pray that you will be comforted and strengthened during this very tough time.

    1. MonaLiza,

      Thanks for the prayers and concern!

      We are doing fine and as long as it does not get into the single digits, we keep the water from freezing and such. The worse part is the cost of propane to keep warm, but as long as we do not run out, I can keep the RV more than warm enough.

      We have taken advantage of the ice to play on the creek some which you can check out at if you are interested.

      We are not 100% sure when we will leave, but probably around the end of Feb, we hope.

      Thanks again and God bless!