defrosting the windshield

Prepare your Monaco Vesta RV for a Winter Trip

jason wynn freezing

This is now a much older post, for the most up to date info and helpful videos please see this post: How To Prepare an RV for a Freezing Winter Adventure

***UPDATE 2013***
We’ve had some interesting freezing experiences which we’ve shared on our Prepare your RV for a Winter Adventure post, if you want to learn a little more about our more recent issues make sure your read the article.

If you plan to take your Monaco Vesta out this winter season there are a few things you should know before going out in freezing temperatures. I’ve spoken with service technicians and the good people from Monaco Coach and come up with this list specifically made for Monaco Vesta owners.

Keep your Wet Bay Warm:
The most important thing you can do is keep your wet bay (the bay with the water connections) warm. I run a tiny little ceramic heater in the bay and it works wonders. This will keep everything from your water lines to your water filtration system from freezing. Also the heat rises into the area with your holding tanks and helps keep them from freezing. We’ve been in subzero temperatures and this tiny heater has managed to keep our water running.

frosty RV

The Propane Furnace is Awesome:
When the exterior temperature drops below 45 degrees you’ll have a difficult time warming the coach with the heat pump built into the A/C. For this you have 2 options:
1. run the propane furnace – It works extremely well on keeping the coach warm and toasty.
2. run a ceramic space heater with fan – If you’re plugged into 30a or 50a you might as well save your money and not pay for propane.
What we do is run a 1500 watt space heater inside just behind the driver’s area. This one heater will keep the coach pretty warm. I’ll set the furnace to turn on at 55 degrees in case it gets extremely cold (or if the heater trips a fuse). This options seems to work pretty well for our needs.

How much does it cost to run my Propane RV Furnace?:
Seems like an easy enough question right? Well after emailing Atwood the company that makes the furnace, and emailing my contacts at Monaco I found the answer is complicated. Here is the lowdown on the Monaco Vesta
Atwood told me: “the outlet pressure is 10.5 inches of water column (approx. 1/2psi)” I’m not a scientist so this was unhelpful.
Monaco gave me a little more info: “This is a long unanswered question, typically a gallon of propane contains 92,000 BTU’s so a 30,000 BTU furnace would burn around a third of a gallon of propane per hour. These numbers are useless unless you incorporate the variables of your location: outside temperature, the quality/contents of the propane itself, altitude, and humidity. Ignoring the specifics and just generalizing, the short answer; about 1/3 of a gallon per hour at max output.
Hey, it’s not a perfect answer, but it’ll give us an idea of the cost of running our propane furnace.

Condensation is Bad:
Compared to most RV’s the Monaco Vesta does a pretty good job of keeping the condensation to a minimum. This is likely due to the dual pane eco-friendly windows, and the insulation in the walls. You’ll notice the majority of your condensation accumulating on the windshield. Because the windshield is exposed to the greatest temperature change (front area will get warm in the sun) and because it’s not a dual pane window, it can get pretty wet overnight. Make it your first priority to wipe the windshield with a towel to remove any water.
I’ve also noticed a tiny bit of condensation on the wall around the slide wall, make sure you dry this area as well.
To keep condensation to a minimum keep a window or vent cracked. I know it sounds crazy but it will help. Also you can run a fan to move the air around the coach, but if you’re already using a space heater with fan you won’t need to worry about this.

Insulate under slide floor:
I can feel a little cold air seaping in under the slide floor. I have cut some pipe insulation that I squeeze in under the slide floor to help keep out the cold. I’ve asked Monaco about fixing this and apparently it’s a common problem with slides. Don’t get me wrong, air isn’t pouring in, its just a little cooler under there.
Use your Tank Heater:
There is a tank heater blanket wrapped

Plug in your Engine:
In the first bay under the driver’s seat you’ll find an outlet and a 3 prong plug. This plug warms the core of your diesel engine and helps keep your deisel from freezing. I’ve also noticed the engine will warm up faster when you finally start the coach after that winter vacation, and another bonus is the heater inside the coach is almost instantly warm! Cool.

This is all based on our personal experience and we can’t guarantee anything and we always recommend you do extra research.

If you have additional questions or tips please post them in the comment box below.  We would love to hear what you have to say!

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (4)

  • Doron

    So when you were underway, you did not use the heater?

  • "...nice man from Germany"

    Hi Jason, I just read your post on winterizing Windy. Thanks for all the info! Were did you plug in the little space heater in the wet bay? Bernard


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