If We’d Known It Would Be This Cold . . .

An oft touted benefit of full time RVing (or, full timing) is the freedom to go where you want, when you want, for as long as you want. We asked some friends in Minnesota why they stay there in the winter. “Winter sports!” Well, sure.

We haven’t carefully investigated how we fell into “Chasing 75 Degrees”. We could burn 7 gallons of propane daily and still stay in cold weather cheaper than paying $25/night or more for a sunny, warm, inviting, recreational campground. The sunny, warm, inviting venues in southern and southwestern USA are beckoning nonetheless.


We’ve been enjoying staying as often and as many days as we can on our small acreage in Ashe County. We’re at 3,500 feet. Views to the west and north open with leaf fall. This very quiet section has long been held within one family, and remains largely owned by that family’s members. The weather and atmosphere has been perfectly enjoyable for the past month.


Enjoyment turned to a little something else — perhaps chill — with the sudden onset of wintry weather two days ago. We received over 4″ snowfall, considerably less than the 24″ measured in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains. Startling how rapidly the air can cool and, without sunshine, stay cold. Last night the outside temperature dropped to 25 degrees. The furnace seemed to run constantly to keep the inside above 44 degrees.


Our hillside was pretty with snow on the sides of the driveway and the forest floor carpeted in white. Snow on the driveway melted away early, but with only slight sunshine peaking through it didn’t have as great an impact upon solar charging our batteries. And who knew you can’t fully charge batteries under 41 degrees Farenheit?

In four weeks we’ve loaded our portable 1kw generator more than in the previous seven years. It’s worked well with a two-three hour run on some cloudy days. I started the generator this morning and the batteries were registering only 1 to 2 amps of charge, instead of the normal 20 amps initial charging rate. Gradually the batteries warmed from the slow charging and started taking more. By noon the sun broke through, the temperature is up to 40, and the solar panels have taken over to a rate of over 11 amps charging.


The snowy and cold weather didn’t keep us inside. We walked to the bottom of the hill and up again several times throughout the day. Sneakers sufficed since the driveway’s snow had already melted. The cold air still braced us and, you can see, caused at least one of us to bundle up well.


If we’d known it would be this cold, we might have built a house instead of a road!

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
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14 responses to “If We’d Known It Would Be This Cold . . .

  1. Brrrr!!!! You definitely need to be below Ocala to get back in the mid-70s today!! But that looks terribly cold! Hugh’s brother owns a cabin in Ashe County. They left for Central Florida recently! Safe travels!

    • Hugh’s brother didn’t tell us he was leaving, nor that we might shoulda too. But really we wouldn’t have missed this for the world. It was a pretty snowfall and like the best ones, didn’t stay around to be a bother. We hiked this afternoon through our woods and enjoyed crunching on some snow, it was just right.

  2. We will be the campground host at Mystic Springs in McDavid Fl in December if you decide to travel south. We would love to meet you!
    Stan & Ann

    • Stan and Ann,
      Sounds wonderful. From the looks of things this weekend, we’re likely to be spending some December, and maybe a little Nov too, in FL. Thx for the invite — we’ll let you know if we can get there.

  3. Greetings fellow Streamers, long time, no hear.
    Boy, I sure don’t like those cold temperatures you two are experiencing! We got into the low 20’s in Texas last February and, like you, saw our furnace running almost constantly to keep our little aluminum house warm. We are pretty set on trying to locate in 70 degree places as well as we can. Are our Airstreams even considered 4 season trailers?
    It is now 9 months since we began full-timing in our 25′ 1997 safari. And we are still loving it. We have slowed down – a lot. After 6,500-7,000 miles of trailering around the US west of the Mississippi, we are holed up in Imperial Beach California (near San Diego) for 7 weeks. After this, we are staying 4 months in Desert Hot Springs California before taking a month to travel in Arizona and a month in Utah. And then, because we loved it so much this past summer, we are going to stay in Bandon Oregon for 3 1/2 months over next summer/fall. And then we may park the trailer for several months while we travel to South America. We will plan a US east coast and Canada journey for 2016 perhaps. Life is an adventure and this experience has been, and still is really great for us. Thanks for being an inspiration to us and best wishes always!
    Bob and Lisa

  4. I enjoyed the photographs of the snow in Ashe Country. It shouldn’t be around very long. I can remember ‘trick or treating’ in snow in Boone while growing up. On the other hand, I can also remember riding in a top-down convertible at Christmas. It looks like you are enjoying your new property. Lots of 75 degree days are ahead.

    • Yep Richard, this is apparently a somewhat typical first snow, happens at the end of Oct. And assuredly there’ll be some gorgeous afternoons now and then. The number of 75 degree days will be vastly outnumbered by cold nights up here in the next four months, tho. We’ll enjoy the quiet and calm as long this season as we can, then head your way. Y’all take care.

  5. I’d rather chase the 75 degrees. Getting cold in Philly.

    • Karen, you and Will come on down and catch us, we’ll chase 75 with you. We’re heading to Myrtle Beach next Thu, and hoping for warm welcoming wx. No guarantees, but we’ll enjoy warm WBCCI hospitality regardless while we convene with our local club, Carolinas Unit of NC. Good luck with Philly wx, think about heading south.

  6. Time to head south :-)

    • Yep Ingrid, you’re right on that. The temptation, however, is very strong to stay on our new property and watch as it morphs through the seasons. We walk through the woods and envision a future trail here and there, here a nice tent spot, there an orchard or bench. When we can visit, we can enjoy and not feel pressure to complete any particular project. No hurries, no timeline whatsoever. Just a restful spot away from nearly everything. Heading south will be nice, eventually.

  7. Hi Jim and Debbie, We mailed you guys a big bundle of firewood but may not have put enough postage on it. Stay warm!

    • Good one, you two. We’d have to return it undelivered. No invasive species allowed, and all that. We are staying warm. Lots of calories from working and walking. Lit off our burn pile today, our faces feel sunburned from all the heat. Smaller burn pile next time, instead of a bonfire. Too, we won’t so much be building more burn piles. Just learned about creating brush piles for critter habitat. We’re on it.


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