I Hate Cold Weather

Written by on December 20, 2013 in Campskunk with 9 Comments

As a fulltimer, I am not in the habit of putting up with bad weather. As I have written before, I usually travel around the continent in a route designed to give me pleasant temperatures twelve months of the year. However, that silver-tongued devil, Jim Hammill, talked me into coming to Kitchener, Ontario for some secret goings-on three months ago, and the longer I stayed the worse it got. I now know for a fact that I hate cold weather.

Me in happier times - September.

Me in happier times – September.

Sure, everything was nice back in September. We enjoyed the cool mornings and beautiful fall foliage, and drove around in the countryside on weekends to see the sights.  But then October turned into November, and all the leaves went away. The sun went away too – that far north it’s never overhead like I’m used to, and at this latitude had dipped to an alarming 23 degrees above the horizon at noon by the time I left last week – barely above the treetops. It’s just not natural, I tell you.

This is what your car looks like for four months of the year up here. Poor things.

This is what your car looks like for four months of the year up here. Poor things.

Then there’s the snow. I am a son of the south – when I was about ten we got a freak six inch snowfall in Mississippi, and they closed the whole town for a week, so we got to play in it.  That’s all the snow I have ever seen – until the past two months.  I remember it as clean and beautiful, but then I was way too young to have to worry about driving. Snow turns into this ugly mess on the roads, making your vehicular footing treacherous and depositing a fine salty grayish film all over your paint and windows which dries to a powdery coating that is deceptively tenacious. One time I wiped my windows down, and it dried to a positively opaque film, making it worse than before I did anything. And it’s too cold for you to use water to clean your windows so you can see.  Very frustrating. Your vehicle is an aesthetic disaster area all winter.

I had never actually seen this before - snow on the windowsill.  It really does fill the corners and leave a circular opening in the middle.

I had never actually seen this before – snow on the windowsill. It really does fill the corners and leave a circular opening in the middle.

And then there’s the cold. I can put up with a few mornings down in the teens because I know the temperature will bounce up to the 70s in a day or two. Up north it doesn’t bounce. I had consistently below-freezing temperatures for over a week before I made my break for freedom.   One time the sky cleared after sunset and the temperature went from ten below Celsius to 23 below – that’s from 14 degrees to minus 9 Fahrenheit – in about three hours. Luckily the clouds came back and the temperature went back up, but before they did you could just feel the last vestiges of warmth radiating out into space as if you were on the dark side of the moon. Scary. It hurts to breathe when it’s that cold.

Then there’s what happens to your RV because of the cold. Sadly, after seven years of Roadtrek ownership, I finally had to winterize. Once the water is gone, your ability to cook and keep things clean goes away too. You are tracking this slushy mess in, so the floors are a disaster. Yuck. You have to run the heat all the time, and there’s no air circulation. My poor Roadtrek was a depressing sight, especially with all the fond memories we had of sunnier times.

I finally made a break for freedom, dodging the steady snow and random chunks of ice flying off the roofs of passing semis, to cross the border and head south. By the time we got to southern Ohio the snow was patchy, and it actually got up to 40 degrees. On the second day, we left all the snow and ice behind and made it down to South Carolina for the night.  The third day of traveling will be to Florida, where the sun shines and the palm trees rustle in the sea breeze. Ah, now THIS is the way to spend the winter.  I am just not cut out for that cold stuff.



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About the Author

About the Author: "Campskunk" is a blissfully retired former public servant who has left the challenges of how to run the government to younger and less cynical hands, and wanders the continent in his Roadtrek Class B RV with his wife and cat. In addition to his work in the public sector, he has also at various times been a mechanic and delivery driver, skills which come in handy in his new role. Because his former job involved the forensic evaluation and sometimes the subsequent detention of some not-so-nice people, he uses the name Campskunk instead of his legal name on the Internet. His was not the type of job where customer service feedback would be welcome. .

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  1. Cliff says:

    You may hate the cold but you are a coldhearted man! I live and work in ON. and don’t own a Roadtrek ( yet ) so have to stick out the two converging winter storms this weekend! By pointing out the palm trees would soon be rustling for you, proves you are coldhearted! Enjoy your ” winter ” lol!

    • Campskunk says:

      it’s gonna be 80 F (27 C) tomorrow. i’m taking photos of my rig under the palm trees to send to all the folks who were kidding me in the Roadtrek factory. they had a low opinion of my cold weather skills ;-)

  2. Cliff says:

    Get him Ontarians!!!

  3. Pogo says:

    The South shall Fry again! Indeed, Snow is not everybody’s cup of tea. Grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa and now my work in shipbuilding has drawn me to the gulf coast. I have lived in both climates. I considered it the best of both worlds? Where else in the world can one travel to different climates and landscapes by simply pulling out of your driveway. Brings me back to my favorite movie line! The Hunt for the Red October: Capt. Vasili Borodin:
    I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck… maybe a “recreational vehicle.” And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?
    Captain Ramius: I suppose.
    Capt. Vasili Borodin: No papers?
    Captain Ramius: No papers, state to state.
    Capt. Vasili Borodin: Well then, in winter I will live in… Arizona. Actually, I think I will need two wives.
    Captain Ramius: Oh, at least.

    • Bergalpin says:

      Love the Red October lines! We survived the cold snap here in Oregon and cannot cannot wait to travel, “without papers”, to Arizona in February. Now tell Mike just to join you in FL and not go back to MI from his GA trip.

  4. Berdie Stephenson says:

    So where is your ideal Florida location. I am from Wisconsin headed to FL for some warmth.

    • campskunk says:

      florida suffers from a severe supply/demand imbalance from thanksgiving to easter as far as camping spots goes – my favorite spot is relatives’ driveways, but that won’t work for you. state parks are $30ish a night, but are frequently all booked up. there’s a little camping in the ocala national forest. south florida is nearly impossible – most walmarts etc forbid overnight camping, and commercial campsites are very expensive – approaching hotel room money per night as you get down to the keys.

  5. John Benson says:

    I’ve lived in Minnesota for the past 14 years. This year has been the coldest with several -20F days. I have tremendous admiration for the American Indians who lived here and had to rely on fire and buffalo skins to stay warm.

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