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Author Topic: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks  (Read 1022 times)

Free Spirit

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Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:23:51 PM »
I have a Denali 293RKS with the Thermal Package. I am under the impression that as long as the furnace is running to keep the RV at 65*F inside, my tanks and pipes wont freeze at temps of 10-12*F and actually at zero according to the salesman. Is this a good assessment of capability or was the salesman full of balogna? The dealership didnt answer my e-mail and the customer service guy was as useful as balls on the pope.
What is your strategy to keep pipes and tanks from freezing?

Thanks in advance
TonyB
Retired and full time living aboard our Denali 293RKS.
Don't know much about RV"s in general and are still learning. First lesson learned is that dealerships are not responsible for anything and warranties can be used for toilet paper.

ArdraF

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 06:48:45 PM »
I don't know about your Denali because some manufacturers protect their tanks and others do not.  One trick though is to crack your lower cabinet doors so that warm inside air flows into and around the cabinets to reach the pipes and tanks.  I've also heard of tank heating pads but don't know anything about them.  For better sleeping I made bedroom window covers of room darkening fabric.  It turns out these covers also keep the warmth inside in the winter and the heat outside during the summer.  We also use foam "plugs" in the overhead vent covers.  You can buy them at camping stores.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Larry N.

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 08:21:34 PM »
If the "Thermal Package" lives up to its name, then your salesman was probably right -- lots of rigs have such features. If your rig has a water bay (as opposed to just a water connection and just a sewer connection on the outside), then you can put a thermostat in that bay when it gets cold and be sure.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG

Redrockerstl55

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 05:33:24 AM »
Here is what we did with out travel trailer.  Same techniques could apply.  We encountered temps as low as 5F and wind chills at -20F.  We kept warm and had no freeze ups. 

https://youtu.be/wYUBqwd7riw
Tow vehicle:  2017 F250 6.7 PSD CCSB

RV: 2017 Mesa Ridge 328 BHS TT
Meet Rosalita...our TT
https://youtu.be/rldE075eK24

Adventuring Today intro:

https://youtu.be/2Sw62UyVbPY

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 08:01:22 AM »
Without having any particular knowledge of your rig, I would say that the 10-12 F. is optimistic and 0 F. a poor bet.  Some rigs do better than others, and there may well be differences within the same brand/model due to differences in floor plan or options. They don't do any real engineering analysis for this and do not test it at all. They just route some heat to the general areas and provide some insulation that someone in the engineering department thinks be sufficient.

Be concerned that the outer ends of the water lines are probably not protected at all, i.e. the waste drains & valves, the city water inlet, and low point drains.    Those have to come out to the skin of the RV and rarely have any protection at all. Don't be surprised if those freeze and you can't get water in/out via them until there is a thaw.  A few rigs place the waste drain valves inside the belly of the RV and operate them with a remote - that's a plus in freezing weather (but a negative for maintenance).

Chances are you will be OK, but don't be shocked if you get a freeze-up in near-zero weather.

Quote
...or was the salesman full of balogna?

Is the Pope Catholic?  ;)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 08:03:38 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Old_Crow

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 08:32:14 AM »
I had a heater in the belly compartments, but it failed the night it dropped into the single digits here in Arkansas.  I also had left faucets dripping, so I still had water in the morning.  Later on, when the temp rose above freezing, I noticed no water pressure.  Went outside to see what happened, and saw water pouring out of the bottom of the coach.  After drying things out, emptying storage compartments and doing some searching I've discovered that the pipe that broke was the outlet pipe from the water pump to the main water system.  There is no water movement in this pipe when you're hooked to city water, so I figure that's why it froze.
I'm going to try and cap it off where it's broken today, put pressure back to the coach and make sure nothing else is broken.  If it comes out all right, I'll re-plumb the connection to the water pump myself.  If something else is broken, I'll get insurance involved, as the black tank will probably have to come out to fix anything beyond what I've found so far.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Rene T

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 09:21:05 AM »
I had a heater in the belly compartments, but it failed the night it dropped into the single digits here in Arkansas.  I also had left faucets dripping, so I still had water in the morning.  Later on, when the temp rose above freezing, I noticed no water pressure.  Went outside to see what happened, and saw water pouring out of the bottom of the coach.  After drying things out, emptying storage compartments and doing some searching I've discovered that the pipe that broke was the outlet pipe from the water pump to the main water system.  There is no water movement in this pipe when you're hooked to city water, so I figure that's why it froze.
I'm going to try and cap it off where it's broken today, put pressure back to the coach and make sure nothing else is broken.  If it comes out all right, I'll re-plumb the connection to the water pump myself.  If something else is broken, I'll get insurance involved, as the black tank will probably have to come out to fix anything beyond what I've found so far.

Stuff the entire area with fiberglass insulation
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

John From Detroit

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 09:41:18 AM »
My Class A has heated tanks. I( have been down to 11 degrees with it (actually -6 but I was froze solid asty -6, did $10.00 plus labor worth of damage.. Good thing I know how to do my own labor)

at 11 I had a line (cold water crossover. Will explain crossover). freeze, HOT did not.  Thawed soon as sun came up.. AS I RECALL I was NOT using the furnasce (had I been using it no freeze woudl have hapend)  I've been down into the teens more recently with no problems. RV claims minimum 20 but I did some stuff

Ther eis a gap between the bottom of the fresh tank and the "Fl;oor' of the wet bay. I layed a string of about 30 C-9 Christmas tree lamps (These have a larger base) in the gap. NOTE DO NOT USE 15 WATT LAMPS use only genuine Christmas tree lights. The 15s get TOO HOT and will melt the plastic the C-9 Christmas tree lights do not do this.> Next ZChristmas I need to replace these 12 year old lights.

I put a 100 watt (And at very low temp an additional 150 watts) in the valve end of the wet bay.

Cross over explained.. I have plumbing on both sides of the RV. Kitchen, heater, water pump and most of the fresh tank on the curb side.
Toilets and restroom plumbing on the driver's side..

Monday  (New Years Day)_ it hit 14 degrees.. and nothing froze. but I hit the furnasce switch when the mercury dropped to about 22.  I use electric space heaters here in the RV.  and keep it abut 65 for my comfort.   But when it gets real cld the furnace will cycle.

I replaced 17 heat elements (Light bulbs)  Thankfully half price after Christmas.  on Saturday ( Got to do that when it gets cold :)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Old_Crow

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 09:54:50 AM »
Stuff the entire area with fiberglass insulation

Until I started cleaning things out, the area that froze was closed off with carpeted pieces of masonite type stuff.  Entire area is about 3' wide and maybe 4' deep.  I will be leaving the trim panels out when I get it fixed and replacing the stupid heater that failed.
In addition to the heater, I had a 60w light in the wet bay and another 60w light in the bay with the water pump.  If those trim panels weren't there, I believe I'd have been alright, even with the heater failure.
Plus side is, I can use the area for a bit more storage once I get the plumbing fixed.  Won't add any more weight, just re-distribute some of what I now have stored elsewhere in the coach.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Memtb

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 10:06:10 AM »
Stuff the entire area with fiberglass insulation


   No disrespect to Rene....”if” you have forced air heat to your basement area ( plumbing, tanks, etc.), you need to have air circulation to provide heat to all areas. Insulating the entire area will....insulate the plumbing “from” the heat!
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
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

Armchair52

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 01:18:26 PM »
We are set up here in Canada and already had -20 celcius.  We have heated tanks and keep our furnace on cold days/nights at 70f.  We also have a heater underneath the floor and we are skirted and insulated.  Sofar no problems.  Our trailer is also a 4 season with enclosed underbelly, but better safe than sorry.  Inaddition to all that we also keep a 60 watt lightbulb on under the bathroom sink where the parkwater comes into the trailer.  And when temps dip below -10celcius we drip the bathroom faucet.....
Cheers

Dennis and Monika

Utclmjmpr

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 03:25:00 PM »
 The "wind chill factor" will have NO BEARING on freeze up temps,, it applies only to warm blooded mammals.>>>Dan
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Memtb

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2018, 04:18:24 PM »
The "wind chill factor" will have NO BEARING on freeze up temps,, it applies only to warm blooded mammals.>>>Dan


    Correct...
 Wind will only bring the temperature of an inanimate object, down to ambient faster than calm air will.
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
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

kjansen

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 08:57:27 AM »
I may be crazy, most of my friends agree on this, but I added foam just above the plastic belly covering and at the same time added  thermometer in the belly.  When I run the furnace my belly temp gets up to 80 degrees while the living space is set at 68 degrees.  I did this because I do hunt northern Minnesota in November and it can get down to 0.  I wonder how low the temps can get now before I have freezing problems.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

Hog3loves

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 06:40:28 AM »
...I wonder how low the temps can get now before I have freezing problems.

I hope you don't find out, since it probably means an expensive repair bill, or at the very least, a significant inconvenience...
Rick H
USAF Ret
2016 Chev 2500 HD
2018 Jayco 5th Wheel

Memtb

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Re: Freezing Weather - Pipes and Tanks
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2018, 09:07:50 PM »
I may be crazy, most of my friends agree on this, but I added foam just above the plastic belly covering and at the same time added  thermometer in the belly.  When I run the furnace my belly temp gets up to 80 degrees while the living space is set at 68 degrees.  I did this because I do hunt northern Minnesota in November and it can get down to 0.  I wonder how low the temps can get now before I have freezing problems.

   I may have to put a thermometer into the belly area....might be interesting to observe. I know we’re good to a -20 F and a bit colder. Would be interesting to see belly temps at a minus 20 or so!
Todd and Marianne
Home Base: Winchester, Wy.
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