Sitting in 75, At Last

We finally found the right latitude

We finally found the right latitude

We found this excellent temperature when we parked in Cottonwood, AZ, this afternoon. We have ARRIVED, finally.

Hated to skip through so much beautiful country between Salt Lake City, UT and Cottonwood, AZ. But we had finally reached our limit. We left Vancouver, B.C. and really nice weather approx Sep 12. We enjoyed a week of excellent weather in Washington state. Then we hit Idaho. The temperatures just kept getting colder and colder, day and night.

We had committed to working at the Sun Valley Jazz Festival. We would have fled south earlier, upon encountering unrelenting chilly weather. Instead we stayed in Ketchum for ten days. The place is gorgeous and nice and interesting. We’re glad we stayed despite snow showers, rain, and chilly weather. The music alone was worthwhile, and we enjoyed the music and much more.

A couple of days later we pulled into North Salt Lake City. We found a really excellent RV park, Pony Express, just off I-215. Very well run and nicely designed, this park is a great one and was reasonably priced (for the proximity to SLC) at $28.50. Nice showers, clubhouse, laundry, management, appearance, and location.

SLC was interesting to visit. We spent all our day in the Temple Square, listening to an organ recital on the world’s fifth (?) largest organ in the Tabernacle, touring one of Brigham Young’s houses, the Beehive House, peering up at the Temple, and visiting the Joseph Smith Memorial Center (apparently a very grand hotel from 1910 until 1970). We spent almost three hours on the LDS Church’s computers peering into our past. Very interesting, the information they have collected on us all.

But still it was darned cold. So south we headed. Don’t get me wrong, we understand many of you love your home location whether it becomes cold or not. We both grew up in western North Carolina and experienced a wide range of temperatures. But our present home has wheels. We choose warm weather.

So we thought, anyway. We haven’t done a superb job of attaining 75 degrees. Then again, we would limit our venue terribly if we first sought 75 degrees. Our goal of helping at the Jazz Festival interfered with getting south in time to avoid freezing weather. And the Jazz Festival is totally worth it.

This morning, with the windows frosty on the inside, we decided 24 degrees is just a little cooler than we have to tolerate. So southward we headed, and not by any small measure. The first hour of our drive the outside thermometer varied between 24 and 25 F degrees. We quickly decided to drive until we were in a warmer clime. We found it — Cottonwood, AZ.

We could have felt disappointed to have skipped so much great territory as Zion Canyon, Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Grand Canyon. Instead, we are expecting to haunt these same areas thoroughly next April and May with the WBCCI Southwest Caravan, led by Jay and Elna Thompson and Winston and Carol Montague. The excitement of seeing all these wonders is still in store for us. And tonight we can sleep at 3,500 feet above sea level instead of 7,000 feet. It will be warmer, thank you.

We’re wearing shorts again for the first time in almost a month. 75 degrees feels good!

Jim and Debbie
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5 responses to “Sitting in 75, At Last

  1. We are so glad you caught back up to your 75 degree goal. Question: Did you winterize your water system during travel in the 20 degree driving? Can you drive with the propane furnace on? When we go south in January, we wait until we hit above freezing before un-winterizing our water system. Any ideas or suggestions?

    • We left the furnace at 45F degrees at night to keep the RV’s plumbing and tanks above freezing. We warmed the cabin to a toasty 60F or so before we hitched up and shut down the systems for towing.

      We once previously had accidentally left the furnace on for part of an hour of towing. Highway speeds and winds had apparently not blown the flame out, or the electronic ignition had successfully relit it when we stopped and discovered this.

      I haven’t done the research but have heard running the furnace while towing is illegal in some states. I would imagine, if any, the laws might date to standing pilots and potential gas valve failures. You could, worst case, flood your furnace’s combustion chamber with propane just waiting for accidental ignition and BOOM. Bad case.

      Then again some RVers (including WBCCI’s Safety Chairman) turn off all propane to the RV at their gas bottles valves. We almost always run the refrigerator on propane on travel days except at truck refueling. We stop outside the gasoline filling station, turn off the refrigerator, pull up to the gas pumps and fill the truck, pull at least 50′ away from the gas pumps, then restart the refrigerator.

      We were worried about towing in 24 – 25F degrees and the potential risk of freezing our pipes. The trailer started out warmed, from heating overnight. The duration of the cold temperatures was just less than an hour. Then we saw the outside temperature jump to 31, then 40, then briefly to 50 as we headed south of Panguitch through canyonlands and Indian Reserves. The remainder of the day the temperature fluctuated but stayed well above freezing.

      We have not antifreezed our RV’s plumbing since December 2006. While we stored our RV near our house we drained the plumbing and blew it out with a very small air compressor. We used a small electric heater to keep the RV interior between 45 and 50. All the cabinet doors were open, and we watched the interior temperature with a remote reading thermometer from our house.

      We have not drained our RV’s plumbing since we started full-timing Summer 2007. A few times the outside temperature has dipped below freezing — once to 19 and last week to 24. We need to study this more, probably on AirForums and Escapees Discussion pages. We’re driving this December from Phoenix, AZ, to Charlotte, NC, and then to south Florida immediately after Christmas (see our travel map on dreamstreamr dot com).

      Even as we try to maintain a southern route from AZ through Louisiana, we will have to head north to Charlotte at some point. If we are fortunate the weather will be routinely temperate and we’ll have no issues. Such was the case last December (and the prior February) when we drove from Charlotte to south Florida — temperatures were in the 50s and higher across NC, SC, and GA, and when we hit FL we found 75 degrees!

      How about you other folks? Chime in, all you experienced readers. What have you experienced and can share with the Hunts and Dreamstreamrs?


  2. I’m grrrrreen with envy of your 75 degrees. So glad that you found it, and I think you were really tough to withstand the temps in Sun Valley without being hooked up to 50 amps. I would have climbed the mountain and hibernated with the bears…

    • Awww Faith, thanks for your comment. We sure loved being in Garden Valley with you all, and getting to meet Jen and her babies. It will be great to see you in Mesa SOON — it’s almost warm there. Today our high in Congress, AZ, was 74F, and the next few nights are getting cooler (maybe to 30F). Not so bad since we know we are very close to warmer weather. We’re liking Arizona, come join us!

      Jim and Debbie

  3. Generally speaking, you don’t need to winterize for a brief spell of below-32 degrees. The thermal mass of the trailer and the water will take time to freeze solid. Start towing with a warm trailer and you should not encounter a freezing problem for many hours.

    However, if the trailer were already winterized, then yes, I’d wait until reaching a spot where daytime temps were above freezing before removing the antifreeze.

    We avoid the issue of whether to run the furnace while towing by avoiding cold places!

    A lot of people ask me about overnighting in cold temps in an Airstream. The Airstream can easily handle temperatures in the teens overnight, thanks to good insulation and ducted heat to the holding tanks — but the furnace will use a LOT of propane and electricity. It’s a better idea to find a warmer spot to camp.

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