Cold temperature R/Ving

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Oldude

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Sep 15, 2005
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Texas
Is there a rule of thumb or any guidance as to how to best protect your R/V from freeze ups without having to completely drain the systems or adding anti-freeze type chemicals?  If one wants to protect the R/V but does not want to place it in "moth balls" for the winter can it still be protected and be ready to use on a moments notice?
Inquiring minds want to know.....
 

JayRaymer

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Oct 18, 2005
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Atlanta, GA area
Having a rental fleet of over 70 units, it is impractical for me to "properly" winterize every unit everytime they come back from a rental. There are several steps that we take however, that have served me well over the years.

After dumping the waste water tanks

1) Open every water valve. Including the outside shower (if you have one), and the valve on the toilet.

2) Open the fresh water drain. This will then pull MOST of the water out of your water lines.

3) After all of the water is drained from the fresh water tank, turn on your water pump(s) and let them run for a few minutes. This will then force more water from the lines and OUT OF THE PUMP. Water left in the pump will rupture the diaphram and render it useless.

This is probably not a perfect system for places that have hard winters, but in 10 years, the only time I've had a problem here in GA is when something was over looked by in-attentive lot porters and water was left behind.

Jay
 

Ned

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If you don't drain the water systems, the only way to keep them from freezing is to keep them warm.  Either a heated garage or move far enough south.  There is no easy way to winterize and still keep the systems operational.
 

Ron

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When we lived in the frozen North we had to winterize the RV draining/blowing out water lines adding the pink antifreeze etc. ?But now we use the very best method for winterizing possible. ?We simply head South to AZ for the cold months where we see many of the framily that has learned the same winterizing procedure. ;D
 

John From Detroit

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I did the full drain and blow and anti-freeze bit,  I put enough anti-freeze to allow me to use the toilet (just flush with AF instead of water) for a day or two.... I'll carry water inside the MH when I pull out in January for drinking/ etc (at least 10 gallons, perhaps more,  as I have that much portable storage for other non-MH use)

Then when I get far enough south, and the rig has had enough time to get good and toasty warm... I'll fill & flush & etc over a 2 or 3 day period.  By the time I reach Nevada I should be lugging 80 gallons of drinking quality water in my 80 gallon tank (and perhaps 10 more inside)
 

Lowell

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Tempe, AZ
I know water freezes at 32 F but I would expect one can get by without antifreeze at temperatures below this for a short period.  At what night time temperatures do you begin to drain tanks & lines if you are camping vs storage?
Jake
 

Jim Godward

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Hillsboro, Oregon
Jake,

First of all it depends on the RV and whether the tanks are exposed or not.? Then do you have tank heaters, does furnace air go to the tank area and a few other things.

Now to answer your question, If camping and with electrical hookups,? My Dutch Star is good down to something below zero.? I have had it down to below -30 with only a minor freeze up but I now know how to avoid even that.? With no electricity and no furnace, outside temperatures down to the low 20s are OK IF the daytime temperatures are such that the Mh gets to the high 40s inside.? If the temps do not go above freezing in the daytime, the high 20s may cause a freeze at night with no heat during the day or night.

Right now I have the furnace set at 40 degrees and the water bays are getting down to the mid 30s at night.

Hope this helps
 

John From Detroit

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Jake said:
I know water freezes at 32 F but I would expect one can get by without antifreeze at temperatures below this for a short period.  At what night time temperatures do you begin to drain tanks & lines if you are camping vs storage?
Jake

Storage take no chances.  Consider Freezing to be Freezing (It was about 55 out when I drained my tanks, 35 the next morning, rapidly changing weather here)

Using... What the otherposters said,  If the tanks are enclosed (mine are) the furnance will help keep them warm, I'm  not sure what the safe temperture is and to be honest it will very from rig to righ but I'd say I'm likely good with most any positive "F" temperture.  And I knwo a few tricks should I start to get worried (and have the hardware to implement them)

You can also get tank heaters.. Far too costly in my not so humble opinion, but you can get them
 

Oldude

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Texas
John In Detroit said:
' And I knwo a few tricks should I start to get worried (and have the hardware to implement them)

"A few tricks"......Such As???
Thanks
John
 

JohnSandyWhite

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Oct 9, 2005
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England
:eek: Our new-to-us Newmar froze up this morning (overnight?). We had the furnace going full blast last night until bedtime, along with the generator running 2 electric heaters. We were parked at the rest area/Information centre on the I40 West entrance to Arizona. When the pipes thawed out, we had the drain pipe connections leaking. We have Basement storage but with little in them at the moment because all our usual things are back in the UK. I think it's time to start moving SOUTH.  ;)
 

Ron

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That is not good.  Sorry to hear about the freeze up.  Did you have one furnace on all night set to 55F?  In our Eagle the basement heating comes from the rear furnace so if we are in an area where it might freeze we leave the rear furnace on all night and set to 55F.  Did the same with our previous coach a 93 Bounder.  We were in an area where it got down to 8F overnight with no freeze up. 
 

JohnSandyWhite

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England
:-[ Hi Ron. No we didn't leave the Furnace on overnight because the Batteries (2 new 115 amps from Walmarts) don't seem to be holding up too well.  :mad: I've also been using quite a lot of power on the laptop.
 

Smoky

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wherever we are parked
Our 2005 Newmar pusher came standard with heat pads for the tanks (switch is located in the bathroom) and a basement blower to move the furnace air around. ?We have had it in mid 20s, but likely it would handle things lower, as Jim G suggests. ?My main concern would be the sewage hose. ?Wonder how people manage their sewage hose in sub freezing weather? ?Must be a way as I know lots of RVers hit the ski areas.
 

Smoky

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As an afterthought it occurred to me that perhaps the answer on the sewage hose is to simply pull it in after each use and store it empty till next use?  And I thin k I have seen insulated sewage hoses at year round campgrounds in the northern areas.
 
E

Ernest Ekberg

Guest
we have 3 freeze protection heaters in the water heater compartment, water tank area and under the kitchen  sink. also have 4 more built in electric heaters in salon, dining and bedroom and bath. just watching the electric meter makes me dizzy .  ernie
 

John From Detroit

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Oldude said:
A few tricks, Such as?

Well, for one I have a pair of Freeze switch plugs, These are thermostatically controlled outlet adapters which turn on at 35 to 40 degrees... Plug some 100 watt light bulbs into them (put the bulbs in the compartments under the tanks) and you have an istant heater system.. Course it burns up electricty, but that is the current plan (I may use one of those plugs in the entainterment compartment to prevent freezing of some of the electronics I want to work year round, even when the rig is parked,,,, IE: Sat TV stuff)  I may also run a 100' coax line so I can watch the rig's Sat TV while parked at home)

That is the big one... Insulation (Adding it) can help, you have to know where to add though.  Skirting may also help, however you need a skirt that is easily removed... I would suggest getting some tarp (possibly rip-stop nylon) and cutting it in strips about 2x distance between the bottom of your compartments and ground... Along the "Bottom" you are going to hem the fabric but you will sew somethign like a sand sock or a chain into the fabric (Weight to keep it on the ground... Needs to be flexable cause when have you seen perfectly flat ground) top end gets a dowel rod  Place dowel in the storage compartment and close the door to skirt the rig,  You will need to get inventive around wheel wells and/or front/rear of the rig however.. This keeps cold air from blowing under the rig and can actually help.... (Method 2, for long term parking,  bales of straw under the rig..  Again use something soft and flexable however to finsih the skirt cause you don't want to bring the rig down on the straw (less you bring frame rales down on it) due to the fact that you might damage your rig.

I like the tarp idea best though, Custom cut a tarp for the job... I may hae to build one of those

That and the light bulbs or other tank heater options

NOTE problem with tank heaters... They heat the tank, NOT the water lines that run around the rig
 

Ron

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JohnSandyWhite said:
:-[ Hi Ron. No we didn't leave the Furnace on overnight because the Batteries (2 new 115 amps from Walmarts) don't seem to be holding up too well.? :mad: I've also been using quite a lot of power on the laptop.

Better head on down further South then.  We haven't had any freezes or snow in Yuma yet. ;D ;D
 

Carl L

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Smoky said:
As an afterthought it occurred to me that perhaps the answer on the sewage hose is to simply pull it in after each use and store it empty till next use?? And I thin k I have seen insulated sewage hoses at year round campgrounds in the northern areas.

Another possibility is to leave your gray and black tanks shut until they fill over 2/3.  As each reaches that point dump all at once.  After the dump, close the tank again and  take care to empty the hose out.  If there is no fluid in the hose, it cannot freeze.
 
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