The Great Freeze Out

The life saving access panel w/ my trusty hair dryer

Man oh man was this winter a harsh one. A record year for us here in Idaho really, labeling us ‘coldest in the nation’ at one point. I can’t even remember the last time we had this much snow fall down in the valley. So, when temperatures drop into the single digits and living in a fifth wheel , we often got asked ‘how we stay warm?’ or ‘if we’re staying warm enough’?

Thankfully this winter our furnace was back in working order, however that just meant more propane expense. We’ve been refilling our tanks about every other week. (Also doesn’t help I’ve been on a baking streak either!) During the months of December and January, we even needed to add two space heaters in our living area just to keep up. (Our power bill was almost $200! yikes) Our sweet dog Manko also has a hard time keeping warm with her tiny stick legs and minimal fur, so she can often be found traveling from one heater vent to the next. We do stay pretty cozy though, just always have a sweater handy or an extra blanket on the couch.

Of course with the frigid temps, one of our biggest worries was our pipes freezing. Jeff has covered just about every inch of hose and necessary pipe outside with heat tape, so we felt we had it covered. However, one very chilly morning I prepared myself for a shower and as I stood there in my birthday suit shivering, I turned the knobs of the faucet and got nothing. We had water every where else in trailer but the shower, not even a drop dripped from the faucet. We have an access panel in the wall of our bedroom that thankfully gives access to the backside of the shower. So with the power of ingenuity, we thawed out the shower using my hair dryer from the access panel. The access panel (and blow dryer!) became a life saver several times over the winter.

Keeping snow off our roof was another big concern. Jeff climbed up on top several times to scrape snow and ice our roof. A couple neighbors down the street had carports collapse with the weight of the snow, so we felt pretty lucky to not have any major issues this winter. We did have a couple leaks come through from the roof but nothing Jeff can’t fix this summer.

Now that spring is here, we can crawl out of our den and start enjoying the great outdoors.