Winter Camping at Valens 2016

January 

We began our second year of winter camping at Valens on New Years eve! This year my work schedule allowed for us arrive early enough to ring in the new year! We decided to book a new campsite #56. It was a beautiful private site in Ironwood campground. It was a bit of a chore setting up our new fifth wheel which we had only used a couple times and were still getting used to. We couldn’t make the auto level system work where we wanted the fiver, so we moved it and finally got things to work. We’ve since learned how to properly use it, so next year we’ll be able to back it in farther. We rang in the New Year with friends and enjoyed a potluck too!

We were out a total of three weekends in January!  The weather although cold was nowhere near what it was in 2015! Also there wasnt a lot of snow. The ice remained unsafe so we never made it out ice fishing.

We found our new fiver to be much warmer and better suited to winter camping than our Spree. Despite this, we didnt use our water system at all this month. Here are some photos from our trips out in January:

February 

We were out a total of two weekends this month. The cold was still not too bad and although we were beginning to see snow accumulating, it was nothing compared to last year! Later in the month I decided to buy a wireless thermometer for the front pass thru to monitor temperatures. We also took down the back wall so heat would circulate better near the pump and tanks. We were really impressed with how warm it stayed in there.

I was fortunate to have Family Day weekend off this year and we were able to enjoy an extra day camping. The final weekend of the month our friends Cindy and John joined us for camping. It was a wonderful treat to have them with us! Here are some photos of our February trips:

March

We spent a record amount of time camping in March. We were out four weekends in a row! The weather was not bad at all other than Easter weekend which started with an ice storm the Thursday we arrived. The temperatures stayed cold until Saturday when the ice finally started to melt off the trees! No damage to our fiver thankfully! We began using our water system in March without any issues. Since we have no gravity fill, we have to use a setting on our water control panel to pump water from our large blue jugs directly into the tank. We weren’t sure how well this would work but as it turns out, it works like a charm!

We spent a lot of time hiking trails and enjoying the decent weather! There were many awesome meals and campfires! We camped a total of nine nights in March! Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Westfield CA for any of their Maple Syrup days which only ran during March. Take a look at some of our photos from the trips out!

April

Our one trip out in April was a big surprise weather wise! The weather was more wintry than any day in the previous three months! I was so hoping like last year, that our last weekend at Valens would feel like Spring. That just wasn’t going to happen! I never did get to hear the Spring peepers in the woods! Despite the weather we had a wonderful final weekend.  We enjoyed having dinner and sharing a couple campfires with our friends Derek and Tatjana. They are also in the Winter Warriors program.

We did have an issue with our water system but I’m not sure if it was caused by the cold. I set up camp on the Friday then dewinterized the system after the front pass thru heated up. Then, I turned off the pump and switched the panel to the option to fill the fresh water system.  As soon as the pump built up pressure,  water spewed out of a line. I isolated which one and quickly realized I couldn’t seal it. I ended up removing the part and tried to find another one. I quickly realized after stopping at two hardware stores that I’d need to go to an RV store. Since I had to pick Dave up in Niagara, I went to Niagara Trailers.  They gave me the part and two spares. Once Dave and I got back to camp, we got the part on and the water tank filled in no time! No further issues.

Sunday we lounged in bed for awhile then decided we’d better get things rolling as the weather forecast was calling for yet another winter storm! We were towing home and wanted no part of that! Here are some photos of our last weekend at Valens!

The winter season seemed to go so fast this year! We spent three more nights at Valens this winter but it didn’t feel like it! We had a wonderful year. The coyotes serenaded us a few nights and we were there this Spring when the swans returned. We spent many nights under a crisp starry sky enjoying campfires and the company of fellow camping friends. As always, we ate well and tried to wear off the great food with many hikes. The ice was never safe enough to ice fish or skate, but we found other things to do! We enjoyed the many different types of birds and many, many types of hungry squirrels that visited our feeders

Our new fifth wheel exceeded our expectations for winter camping. We rarely needed the electric heater we carried just in case and despite blocking the register in the bedroom,  flannel sheets were too hot! We were able to keep moisture off the windows with our ceiling fan and once or twice the stove exhaust fan and our Magic fan. No problems with the walls either.  Our water system worked well too and we were very impressed with how warm the furnace kept the front pass thru! We never had to use the little heater we bought specifically for that purpose!

We’ve already made up our mind we’ll be back next year and we’ll take the same campsite again! In the meantime,  I hope you’ll follow us on our regular season of travel, which starts April 22nd!

If you haven’t yet, why not give winter camping a try?

HAPPY RVING!!!!

 

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