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Author Topic: Winter camping  (Read 412 times)

analemma77

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Winter camping
« on: November 14, 2019, 08:55:18 AM »
Just wondering how it works if you are camping and the temp drops below freezing.  If I need to winterize for temps below freezing when in storage, how does it work if I am actually living in the RV at a site on the weekend and it drops below freezing?  Obviously I won't have antifreeze in the lines and they won't be blown out, so does that mean that everything will freeze and stuff will break?  Thanks

Rene T

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Re: Winter camping
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2019, 09:04:39 AM »
Just wondering how it works if you are camping and the temp drops below freezing.  If I need to winterize for temps below freezing when in storage, how does it work if I am actually living in the RV at a site on the weekend and it drops below freezing?  Obviously I won't have antifreeze in the lines and they won't be blown out, so does that mean that everything will freeze and stuff will break?  Thanks

It all depends how low the temperatures will fall and how long it will stay below freezing.  At a minimum, you will need to fill your fresh water tank, disconnect and drain your water hose, then just run the water pump.
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glen54737

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Re: Winter camping
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2019, 06:28:06 PM »
If you heat the inside to a reasonably comfortable temp the pipes shouldn't freeze it depends on how they are routed and how cold it gets.
Even if they freeze as long as the whole system doesn't freeze it usually won't break. The PEX that modern RVs use is very durable.
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HappyWanderer

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Re: Winter camping
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 07:06:06 PM »
There’s nothing magic or mysterious - water freezes at a known temperature. It will expand and potentially damage whatever is attempting to contain it when that happens.

That doesn’t mean that everything freezes solid at 32 degrees, but continued exposure to below freezing temperatures will produce expected results. Exactly when that happens depends of the plumbing of your specific camper.
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IBTripping

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Re: Winter camping
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2019, 08:11:52 PM »
Empty your gray and black water tanks. You don't want them freezing and breaking. I also pour a couple of gallons of RV antifreeze in both after dumping. It is also a good idea to open the cabinet doors under the sinks. I also carry a Buddy propane heater which will fight off single digit temps if the house furnace can't handle really low temperatures. The Buddy heater can put out up to 9,000 BTUs. TOASTY!!!  :D
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 08:14:22 PM by IBTripping »
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SpencerPJ

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Re: Winter camping
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2019, 07:46:39 AM »
I would think the outside shower if you have one, would be most vulnerable. 
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richclover

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Re: Winter camping
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2019, 10:14:45 AM »
Just wondering how it works if you are camping and the temp drops below freezing.  If I need to winterize for temps below freezing when in storage, how does it work if I am actually living in the RV at a site on the weekend and it drops below freezing?  Obviously I won't have antifreeze in the lines and they won't be blown out, so does that mean that everything will freeze and stuff will break?  Thanks

What Paul said.  My first concern would be the outside shower if you have one.  Open the door and stuff it with insulation for starters.

I posted this in another thread, FWIW:

“...As previously mentioned “all season” will depend on temperature extremes. 

At 97degF, last April in Mesquite, NV, our air conditioning just barely kept our trailer in the mid-70’s. 

At the other end we’ve found that our “all season” water system freezes up at about 20degF.  Not all of it.  There’s heat duct from the furnace around the water tank, which hangs, enclosed, underneath the kitchen area.  The water pump is also heated, below the kitchen sink. So after freezing somewhere in the back of the trailer, we still have cold water in the kitchen sink. No hot water and nothing at all in the back where the bathroom and hot water heater are located.  Until the temperatures warm up...

My winter project (parked in Mesquite), will be dropping the bottom plastic liner and “exploring” heating and insulation options for the water supply pipe to the back of the trailer.  I’ll need to figure it out since the city water inlet is in the back, bathroom.  If, however, there’s a freeze warning for Mesquite the city water will be disconnected  ;)

I had already disconnected, capped off and insulated the outside shower and installed vents in the panels under the bathroom sink to allow heat circulation to the plumbing.  Tank dump valves are enclosed and, so far, haven’t been a problem...”

Good luck!
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Hanr3

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Re: Winter camping
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2019, 09:12:02 PM »
My camper has the Artic package. Heated and enclosed underbelly. Which is great at keeping the tanks from freezing. Plus all my water lines are protected. I run the propane heater, and two electric heaters to supplement heat. Never a problem. The propane heat keeps the tanks from freezing, so I keep it on. Only issue I have is when it comes time to drain the tanks. For some reason KZ left the drain valves outside and exposed to the elements. Last year they froze. This summer I moved the drain valves closer to the tank drain and built a box around them. Insulated and exposed them to the heat from the underbelly. I got to test it out last weekend, 3" of snow Veterans weekend and no issues. Tanks drained.

If your tanks aren't enclosed, start there.
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