Cold Weather Use of MH

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

ncluley

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Posts
13
We have no cold weather camping experience.  But, when we trade in our 5th-Wheel at the end of Dec. for a new Tiffin Phaeton MH we will be taking a trip to the cold mountains for a week or more.  Is there anything I should know about that a new cold weather RV user may not think about on his own?  I am assured by the dealer that the fresh, gray water and black water tanks are heated and will not be damaged until some temps below sub-zero are reached.  However, I am concerned about the drain lines up to the drain valve.  The last several inches of the gray and black drain lines (before the valves) are in an unheated storage bay.

Any experience or advice will be appreciated.

 

Steve CDN

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Posts
2,388
Location
Canada/U.S.A
Norman,

Consider placing some fiberglass insulation bats around the drain valves to insulate them from the cold.  Also check the refrigerator compartment from the outside panel.  There should be a 110VAC solenoid which supplies the ice maker in the refrigerator (if so equipped).  Since the solenoid is plastic, it should be emptied and the ice maker line evacuated to prevent freezing.  If your motorhome will be in use and the interior heated, then you should be OK, but if you plan to leave the coach unheated, then blow out all the lines, empty the hot water heater, and pay particular attention to the toilet water valve and vacuum breaker.  These are all plastic and vulnerable. 

Expect some condensation on your windshield and any single pane windows during cold weather camping.  It's a good idea to leave a roof vent cracked open to allow moist air to escape.

Let us know how you make out in this experience.
 

ncluley

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Posts
13
Thanks!  I had not thought about the ice maker.  We Will have the coach heated the entire time and since I will miss not having ice for my evening drink, I may have to just go buy an ice tray!

And, what is the "vacuum breaker?"

 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,950
Location
Davison Michigan
I bought ice cube trays There is another thing about the ice maker. It don't work w/o 120 vac (That is when runing on 12v or gas) so you don't get any ice made while driving.  With ice cube trays... Not a problem, you have ice when you get there
 

Steve CDN

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Posts
2,388
Location
Canada/U.S.A
what is the "vacuum breaker?"

Depending on how your coach is designed, there may be several vacuum breakers in the plumbing system.? A vacuum breaker is a device that prevents water from being sucked back into the water supply system in case a vacuum occurs in the supply line.  It functions as a one way valve, or anti siphon device

The most important location for a vacuum breaker is at the supply point of the toilet bowl.? ?It's usually a plastic device that looks like the device that is installed at the top of residential hot water tanks.? If you have a holding tank flushing system there may be vacuum breakers in that line as well.

The vacuum breaker on an RV toilet usually has a nipple to which is connected the hose for hand spraying your toilet bowl, if your toilet is so equipped..
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,732
John In Detroit said:
There is another thing about the ice maker. It don't work w/o 120 vac (That is when runing on 12v or gas) so you don't get any ice made while driving.

John, does your coach have an inverter? Some do, some don't. Some have the inverter batteries charging from the engine alternator, some don't. Some have the icemaker &/or refridgerator hooked to the inverter, some don't. Ours happens to have the outlets behind the refrdigerator powered from the inverter and the inverter batteries are charged while the engine is running.

Not all outlets on our coach were originally hooked to the inverter, although the refi ones were. I had the factory change some of the others. It was a simple switching of wires in a junction box located, in our case, beneath the floor af a cabinet in the WC.

It seems that Monaco has been somewhat inconsistent in the way they wire the 110V stuff on their coaches. I kept hearing all kinds of excuses, but finally insisted they rewire the coach the way it should be. I was told "if you can produce a schematic showing the coach was supposed to be wired that way, we'll do it". So I popped one on the counter. Now that I know where the box is, it would have taken me a couple of minutes tops to do it.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

Site Team
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
2,969
Location
Camp Verde, AZ
John In Detroit said:
I bought ice cube trays There is another thing about the ice maker. It don't work w/o 120 vac (That is when runing on 12v or gas) so you don't get any ice made while driving.  With ice cube trays... Not a problem, you have ice when you get there

John,

Check the back of your refer (outside). Some have two 120 VAC plugs. One for the cooling unit and one for the ice maker. The one for the ice maker on mine is plugged into an outlet that is powered by the inverter. I make ice all the time.  ;D
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,950
Location
Davison Michigan
Alaskansnowbirds said:
John,

Check the back of your refer (outside). Some have two 120 VAC plugs. One for the cooling unit and one for the ice maker. The one for the ice maker on mine is plugged into an outlet that is powered by the inverter. I make ice all the time.  ;D

Beat you to that thought.. Alas, it's hard wried, no outlets,,,, I may get ahold of the manafacturer, get the wireing diagram and re-wire it some day.. Very easy to do,,, Just need to get the old round-tuit
 

BruceinFL

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Posts
3,205
We do cold weather camping all the time even when, here in FL, the temperature actually gets close to 32F (0C). Doesn't present any problem.

Sorry, couldn't pass that up.  ;D
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,950
Location
Davison Michigan
BruceinFL said:
We do cold weather camping all the time even when, here in FL, the temperature actually gets close to 32F (0C). Doesn't present any problem.

Sorry, couldn't pass that up.  ;D

What do you mean "Close to"  In the Orlando area it often freezes.. You got to get to about allegator alley before you can be sure of above freezing tempertures.
 

Marsha/CA

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Posts
4,489
Location
Home base-Kernville, CA
ncluley,

We have an Allegro Bus and love it.  I'm sure you will enjoy your Phaeton.  Welcome to the Allegro Family.

Our bus is set up so that the inverter will keep the ice maker working.  You just have to remember to have the inverter turned on.  As others have mentioned to see if you are plugged in to the inverter, remove the outside vent cover and look in.  Ours has a dual plug marked with "inverter" on it.  The icemaker was plugged into that outlet.  However, the refrigerator will not work on the inverter, so it is on propane while we travel.

Enjoy!
Marsha!
So. Calif
 

Merry

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Posts
14
The vacuum breaker on an RV toilet usually has a nipple to which is connected the hose for hand spraying your toilet bowl, if your toilet is so equipped..

Now...nobody laugh, okay?

We were looking at buying a nice used Class A today and I saw that sprayer thing and thought "Wow, a portable bidet!"

I feel so silly. 

Merry  ;D
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,950
Location
Davison Michigan
Merry said:
Now...nobody laugh, okay?

We were looking at buying a nice used Class A today and I saw that sprayer thing and thought "Wow, a portable bidet!"

I feel so silly. 

Actually... Would work that way too.... It sprays nothing but fresh water after all
 

Jeannine

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Posts
481
ncluley said:
Is there anything I should know about that a new cold weather RV user may not think about on his own?

We often take our 5W to ski areas. If it gets cold enough, you'll need the "heat" the refrigerator. Most people put a (lighted) light bulb behind the refrigerator, near the vent.  Or, you can tape up most of the vent.  If it is below freezing, we disconnect the city water and run off the internal water tank.  We don't leave the sewer hose outside.  We fill the water tank and hook up and dump our holding tanks during the warmest part of the day. 
 

Merry

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Posts
14
Fresh COLD water
Ohhhh...BRRRR.  I was thinking, wow, fresh clean water...okay....but not cold!  No. 

Merry
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,950
Location
Davison Michigan
Slight twist of topic....

Though it is still, techincally "Fall" for another 8 or 9 days,  Back when it was still well above freezing I took the time to blow out the lines, Drain the heater, and re-fill with antifreeze (THE RV stuff, supposed to be good well below zero.

Imagine my surprise when I checked the other day, at about 25 degrees, and found the stuff well slushed (no damage that I can detect but it would not pump, nor could I open the drain valve)

Put a string of C-9 size christmas bulbs in the fresh water bay under the tank (30 bulbs, 29 working (one B.O.) and put a few 100 watt bulbs 1 each in the opp-fresh water compartment (Black, gray, fresh fill, city water, etc), the other gray water compartment, (under the rear, master, bath) and one in the compartment between them (This leaves only the "Wheel" compartment (That is the space where there would be a compartment if the rear axel and wheels were not there)  Today the liquid in the main tank was liquid and I was able to open the drain valve and it dripped.

The pump ran when I turned it on, pressurised the lines and shut (and stayed) off,  (A good thing I suspect)

I do know the main tank will not drain fully dry but I put a lot of anti-freeze in there relative to the little bit of water left.. Kind of wondering why it froze
 
Top Bottom