Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Winter RV'ing in Northern NWT/Yukon
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 > Winter RV'ing in Northern NWT/Yukon

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peter-hs

USA

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Posted: 10/20/19 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Even during a short day solar can provide a noticeable amount of amps per 100 watt panel...10-15 if positioned well with a clear sky. No fuel to replace, no noise. Don’t blow it off.

Lwiddis - Good points. But, going months with either complete darkness or only a few hours per day of sunshine at most and the likelihood that many of those days might be cloudy might make it difficult to rely on solar power for what is effectively life support (i.e. heat to make the inside of the RV liveable and to maintain the vehicle--keep parts from breaking, bursting, etc.). That's not to say it wouldn't be of any help. But, probably not as a primary means for providing power.

That said, since I don't know how best to power the RV in this scenario, I could be wrong and am open to all suggestions.

peter-hs

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Posted: 10/20/19 08:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DownTheAvenue wrote:

You can't be serious trying to over winter in the Yukon or Northwest Territories in a RV. Keeping warm, keeping pipes from freezing, and keeping the absorption refrigerator operating will be a challenge for even the most experienced. One snafu could be life threatening.

You asked how to power. Only two ways from the grid or a full time generator with am limitless fuel source. Power consumption will be excessive!

DownTheAvenue - I'm serious, though I realize I might find you are right. Still, without consideration, without asking for thoughts and suggestions, without investigating, and without hope, this and thousands of other "adventures" could and would never happen. If at the end of the day I determine there is no realistic way to do this without major funding (think multimillion-dollar sponsorship) or something along the lines of a miracle, then I know I will have at least tried. But, if I never put any effort into asking questions and doing some investigation, I won’t be able to even say that.

peter-hs

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Posted: 10/20/19 09:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi,

What communities do you expect to be in?

What you wish to do is possible--but much easier if there is a reliable source of electricity. There is a thread on winter camping in the full time forum.

pianotuna - None decided on yet, though I would like to be at or north of ~67-68 degrees latitude (the further north, the better). If there were some way to power an overland RV for an extended period in the arctic winter, I would locate as far north as possible without regard to available hookup. But, if this isn’t possible, I have to determine the furthest north location where I can hookup.

That said, I don’t plan on “glamping”. I will likely depend on food that requires minimal to no cooking, have arctic expedition gear (i.e. clothing, etc.) with me (for both emergencies and for short to medium-distance treks), take a minimal number of showers over the period, etc. In essence, my focus will be on conserving power and water unless I have a very reliable hookup.

HollardawgUSMC

Anywhere we park it (Full Time since 2007)

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Posted: 10/20/19 09:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you ever considered putting in a small wood burning stove for heat and cooking? Wood is a very plentiful up there.

Just a thought.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 10/20/19 11:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Peter-hs,

https://www.yukoninfo.com/listing/eagle-plains-hotel-service-station/

66.504070, -136.688115

Inuvik, Northwest Territories 68.560742, -133.383327

https://www.inuvik.ca/en/index.asp

and

https://www.inuvik.ca/en/discovering-inu........urces/FLAT-SHEET_CAMPS-AND-PARKS-web.pdf

Unless you are an extremely seasoned winter camper, I would not go away from other human habitation. You really don't wish to end up as Robert Falcon Scott did.

What you are attempting is dangerous and any mistakes won't be forgiven. You will need a way to call for help. A satellite phone would be a requirement. Even if you call, assistance may be days away from you. Helicopters and planes do have cold weather "no fly" temperatures.

Likely you will be required to file a proposal (permission may be denied) and may have to buy "rescue" insurance.

I've boondocked at -37 C, and been storm stayed by a four day blizzard where the daily high was -27, but I was in a town. That allowed me to replenish fuel supplies. I burned 50 pounds of propane in 48 hours. I ran a Kipor 2800 electric start generator for about 6 hours per day and burned 44 liters of fuel in 4 days.

Winter diesel gels at -40 C, and the boiling point for propane is -42 C. That means using some kind of tank heater in truly cold weather. I have a "magnetic mount" block heater that I can use on the propane tank. It can be used on the bottom of my generator as well.

My RV has been highly modified for cold weather use. I can heat 100% electrically--but the peak load is 7700 watts (about 26274 BTU's). That is more than the output from my propane furnace.

A wind mill that would produce significant power and be reliable may cost more than your RV. Steel doesn't behave the same way in extreme cold. There are documented reports of hammers shattering. Two commercial wind turbines in Rankin Inlet lasted less than two years.

Your diet will need to be calorie rich, so forget about eating sparingly. You will need LOTS of water. Tonight, where I am, it is currently -4 C. Relative humidity in the RV is only 30%. I've measured as low as 5% RH inside my unit.

If you still want to do this, plan on triple redundancy for ALL the necessary systems. I've been camping and boondocking in extreme cold since 2000. I'd not attempt what you seem to want to do.

* This post was last edited 10/21/19 12:16am by pianotuna *   View edit history


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

garyhaupt

Penticton, BC..land of wine, sun, retirees....

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Posted: 10/22/19 10:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

js218 wrote:

^^^ Custom ordered from Haulmark built to my specifications, 6 month build time.
I'm a retired process engineer so I can get pretty anal but the Haulmark folks were up to the challenge and great group of people to work with. Showhauler also does custom builds.


Thanks for this info.

Gary


I have a Blog..about stuff, some of which is RV'ing.

http://mrgwh.blogspot.ca/

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 10/24/19 03:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What kinda RV you got?
One location or mobile through the winter months?
Not trying to foil your plan, but dta is correct, this a huge undertaking and borderline foolish IF you're experienced in survival in this type of weather. You're talking basically tundra living.
What are you going to do for months at -20 to -50 F?
Sorry to get off track....
Solar...nyet.
Wind power? Possible, but not portable. And how are your skills anchoring sails into permafrost with your handyman tool kit and some frozen tools?
Without internal combustion engine generators I don't see how you'll make enough power to power electric heat. Even propane/forced air is super difficult up there. You have to keep tanks heated or they'll literally freeze over when you need them the most.
Basically your 2 options are 1. ALOT of fuel and multiple generators with backup plans or 2. die.
Seriously, I've spent a couple winters up there and if you're serious about this, your rig, your gear, your training and your mindset will need to be 100% expedition quality.
Know why you don't see people living in RVs like they do in most other places (warmer)? Because they'd be broke then dead.
If doing something like this, you'd be miles ahead to secure a structure, someone's cabin, spend a year making wood (south of where your aspirations are taking you, where there's actually trees) and winter over in a cabin.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 10/24/19 06:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

But I also greatly admire your sense of adventure and I would absolutely do something similar if afforded the time and opportunity to.
However, it wouldn't be in a RV, would have to be a decent cabin and enough time to lay up enough firewood (although cutting wood sure warms you up when it's -20 out as long as it's dry...) and supplies combined with a good snomachine and all the means of foot transportation, sno shoes, xc skis. Not much to do up there in the winter though, would have to try my hand at trapping or something. Cabin fever is the real deal when you don't see the sun for 2 months and 0 degrees is a heat wave!

free radical

Canada

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Posted: 10/24/19 09:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

peter-hs wrote:

I am looking for ways to power an RV for several weeks/months during the winter in the northern half of the Northwest Territories or Yukon. Assuming the RV is parked most of this period, most of the power will be needed for heating, LED lights, and infrequent bathing. Note the RV will have only one person.

Does anyone know of any places on or off-road that provide a hookup during the November-March period?

If none are available, are there any alternative sources of power that could be used?

Given the number of hours of darkness, solar power might be of little use, so the only other options I know of are either wind energy or very large fuel tanks.

I've read wind turbines, such as the Airdolphin Wind Turbine Mark Zero 24V, might work, though I don't know how well, how durable they are, etc.

I haven't encountered any information about very large auxiliary fuel tanks or fuel trailers, though I thought this could be an option, at least in theory.

I wouldnt atempt living up North in RV unless it was purpose built for the severe conditions

Rusian Burlak comes to mind
https://youtu.be/LnLfCIWOL8w

There are plenty of others,just look up expedition camper winter.

I believe this wind turbine is the most eficient and reliable one tested all over the world including Antarctica

https://www.windside.com/



https://youtu.be/sgFrV9W46bA

EEWally

Missoula, MT and Tahuya, WA

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Posted: 10/25/19 12:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't become the subject of "Into the Wild. Part 2." by Krakauer.


1997 Lance Squire 5000, 10-foot camper
2001 Dodge Ram, Cummins, Ext. Cab, 2WD
Our Trip Journal


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