EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Winterizing water lines  (Read 492 times)

Mickey G

  • ---
  • Posts: 45
Winterizing water lines
« on: November 03, 2017, 05:50:30 PM »
Thinking of fulltiming it with my 5th wheel.
How difficult is it to prep the water lines so they dont freeze in the winter months?
Will I also have to wrap some sort of heat tape around the black and gray tanks?
Not to take the easy way out, but would it be better to spend a few dollars at the RV dealer and have him prep my rig?

JackL

  • ---
  • Posts: 551
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 06:01:04 PM »
Where will you be  full timing ????

Jack L

steveblonde

  • ---
  • Posts: 2217
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 08:26:18 PM »
What type of 5er do you have? Where do you plan to stay? Geographically
2015 Voltage 3305 Toy Hauler - loaded
2017 Ford Escape my Daily driver - first Ford in 25 yrs
2017 Black on Black F350 Diesel Dually loaded (First Ford Truck after 17 GMs) 5200lbs cargo/weight capacity named Kong


" If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space"
From Canada Eh?

kdbgoat

  • ---
  • Posts: 4121
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 05:56:32 AM »
Unless the dealer is a personal friend, it's pretty much never worth it to have a dealer do anything for you. Just my opinion. Winterizing an RV isn't difficult, and prepping one for cold weather use isn't really all that hard if one has decent health. If you are going to be parked in one place, I would recommend starting with skirting first.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Mickey G

  • ---
  • Posts: 45
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 11:46:00 AM »
What type of 5er do you have? Where do you plan to stay? Geographically
I have a 30' Keystone Cougar, and I will be staying in Michigan due to my health issues.
Do I need a heat tape to wrap the water and sewer lines and tanks?

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60773
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 12:42:25 PM »
You don't want to "winterize" in the usual RV sense, since you want to continue to use the fresh & waste water systems. The susceptibility of a given RV to sub-freezing weather varies greatly, but all trailers have some exposure at the fresh water inlet and the waste tank drains, but of which are at the surface or in the open. They will need extra insulation for sub-freezing temperatures. The tanks themselves may also be partially exposed, but trailers with a covered underbelly handle the cold pretty well as long as the interior is warm enough for huam comfort. Some trailers have heated pads under the tanks too (requires electric power).

How will you get fresh water and dispose of waste water in the winter? Generally you cannot leave hoses outside when it is below freezing, so most winter RVers put them ut only when needed to fill or drain tanks, and operate off the tanks the rest of the time. But will your RV site have fresh water available in the winter? And a usable sewer line or waste dump?

You will also want plenty of electric power because the LP furnace runs a lot and gobbles LP. At least one electric space heater is all but mandatory.  Hope you have 50A shore power available.

Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Memtb

  • ---
  • Posts: 168
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 09:23:42 AM »
   Mickey,   It truly depends upon “how cold is cold”! We lived in our old Teton for two (2) Wyoming winters, and saw quite a few -20 to -30 F mornings. We never froze a water line inside the unit. It was only a 34 foot unit with a single (34000 btu Heater I think) and stayed very comfortable. We did have some frost on windows (the old louver crank type) and in a couple places at slide seals.  But....it was designed for cold weather use.

    For the camper. If you have a heated ( forced air to basement, tank and line area) underbelly. You may not need to heat trace the  piping, or put heat pads (generally 12 volt) on your tanks. If your dump valves are “not” in the heated area, you will need to heat trace and insulate (preferably all the way to the connect). If you do not have dual pane windows, you may want to cover some windows (decide which ones you can live without) with “quilted” foil type insulation. Your heat loss through single pane is pretty ugly! Also...there some (fairly attractive) insulation pillows that you can put into the recess area of your roof vents/fantastic fan (another large heat loss area.

   For the outside. To have a constant water supply...your outside supply faucet must have electrical heat trace (heat traced and insulated to below frost line). We put water hose connections on a pex type plastic line (heated and insulated) to our camper. Not a must, but helpful would be skirting! You can have custom made, snap-on type vinyl skirting made for your unit at a fairLynn reasonable price (though it will probably be a grand or more). When your ready to relocate, unsnap, roll it up, put it in the basement and “hit the road”! If you are going to stay in one spot for an extended time, a small (50 to 200 or so gallon) propane tank could be rented and tied into your system. We have a 50 gallon tank that we bring with us when winter boondocking....as we are right now. It was 10 F when we left camp and headed up the mountain this morning (typing this via my wife’s smartphone, we have reception here at about 7300 feet)!
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

QZ

  • ---
  • Posts: 310
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 09:45:00 AM »
As they said about the water. It will depend the model of your RV somewhat but plan on buying a lot of propane. I was caught in cold temps a few years ago when it was down to 7 degrees at night and I was burning 30 pounds a day plus I had an electric heater running . I had also skirted in the area around the tanks with black celotex panels and placed another heater down there on the coldest nights. I would figure out or get an RV tech to walk you through the winterizing process then keep enough RV antifreeze on hand in case the furnace quits so you can dump the water and winterize it. An electric heater will never come close to keeping it from freezing. It may also help to keep cabinet doors open so things dont freeze. I understand that we all have certain situations but I will never do that again. If there is any way inn the world that you can drag it down to even north Florida or Georgia,  do it.    Good luck to you, I know how cold it gets in Mich.

Memtb

  • ---
  • Posts: 168
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 10:41:10 AM »
 You will certainly us more propane. We’ve been here for six nights (yesterday’s high was in the upper twenties, this morning 10 F when we left camp) and have used about 11 gallons. But... we keep our unit cool, so we don’t use as much fuel and we can be a little more acclimated to the out of doors. As we’re boondocking, we can’t supplement with electric heat (a little hard on batteries  ;) )!


 I was wrong on propane consumption! Got back to camp around noon, and checked tank. Apparently, I hadn’t looked lately. It appears as though we’ve used  about 20 gallons. Wow....it hurts to be honest! 
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 04:56:08 PM by Memtb »
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Memtb

  • ---
  • Posts: 168
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2017, 10:43:57 AM »
    Well it’s time to correct my previous post. Left camp to fill our “auxiliary” propane tank yesterday. First... I was wrong on tank size, only 42.8 gallon capacity, which is approximately 34.4 gallons to 80%. We had approximately 4.3 gallons remaining in tank. Meaning that in 7 days/8 nights we used approximately 30 gallons or 123 pounds of propane. Approximately 17.5 lbs/day. Not too bad... considering we only had a couple of days where we got over 30F for the high. But... we keep the inside temperatures between 55 and 63 degrees to save on batteries,propane, and help us acclimate to the cool outside temps!
Todd and Marianne
Miniature Schnauzers - Sundai, Nellie and Maggie Mae
2007 Dodge Ram 3500,  6.7 Ram 6 speed manual, 4x4
2004 Teton Grand Freedom
2007 Bigfoot Class C

Frank B

  • ---
  • Posts: 716
Re: Winterizing water lines
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2017, 07:45:08 PM »
QZ:

Quote
then keep enough RV antifreeze on hand in case the furnace quits so you can dump the water and winterize it

Yep!  We had a furnace quit in our previous trailer while we were on the road going home back into the snow belt.  Oven kept it warm enough for meals, and to warm it up again in the morning, but not to keep the plumbing from freezing.  Always take antifreeze when traveling wet in sub freezing temperatures.

Frank.
Linux:  Free, open, elegant.
06 GMC 3500 Duramax crew/long pulling 2010 Arctic Fox 30U with 1700 lb Reese Titan Class 5.
1.2 kw solar

 

Hosted by Over The Network