Extreme Cold - Am I Doing the Right Things?

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chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
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322
Location
Poulsbo WA
We're getting a very unusual cold snap here in the NW. Down into the teens the last few nights. We're expecting a gradual warm-up into the weekend.

I've done nothing to winterize my rig - like I said, this is record-setting cold. In all my years here, just touching 32 a night or two might be usual but not this. I figure it's better to burn some propane than let the rig get ice cold inside for days. BTW - how many gallons of propane will my MH hold? Remember - I received no manuals with it ... I'm down to 1/4 tank according to the meter. When/if it runs out before I can get it filled, will the furnace automatically stop running? Or will the blower continue to cycle on?

These things MUST be well insulated. It gets real warm real quick in there.

I've left the propane heater running last night and will tonight, set at about 55-60 degrees. Just doesn't seem right to let it get that ice cold inside. I also ran a small portable electric heater out into the waste water compartment that abuts the clean water tank, in hopes of keeping pipes from freezing.

Are these both advisable things? Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous ...

Thanks in advance -

Danny
Poulsbo WA
1999 Bounder 34J
 

On The Road Again

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Apr 29, 2006
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Everett, Washington
Hi Danny. I am in Everett, Wa. It is down to 16 here.  I have a South Wind and went out the day before I know it was going to hit low marks and drained all my tanks and water line just to play it safe. I know from experence from being in the Swimming Pool business for 36 years, that if anything is going to freeze up, it has already done it.  Hopefully, you will be safe, but I rather be safe by draining the lines as to being sorry later after it warms up.  If the water pump is full of water and no heat getting to that, it could cause you a problem. You just got to wait it now now. Besides, it will be warmer in a day or so. Up to 29 degrees tonight. Best of Luck. Bud
 

chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
I kind of thought that might be the answer. I don't know if I'm typical or not but I have two vehicles, a motorhome, a garden tractor, gas engine tools, a big motorcycle for touring, a scooter for commuting, a generator - yikes!!! I'm the maintenance guy for all of them and sometimes I just can't juggle it all. I should have run the lines dry but ... don't ya love the word "but" ... I didn't expect this once in 20 years cold spell. I guess I'd rather have a pump go out than burst pipes. I'm going out to the rig in a bit before hitting the sack to check on things. If/when I run out of propane, it will be awhile before I can get the MH down our dirt road for a refill.

I was thinking - why don't MH's come with a dual heating system, both propane and electric? Make it an option. I mean, I'm using shore power from the house - it would be wonderful to have built-in electric heat and save the propane for boondocking, power failures, etc.

I'm sure there's a reason an RV vet will know ... 
 

Ned

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USA
You could add an external propane bottle with an Extend-a-Stay kit, then just take the bottle for refilling and save your onboard propane.

Some RVs, like our motorhome, have heat pumps, but since the ducting is in the ceiling, they won't keep the bays or floor warm and are only good down to the high 30s.  Electric radiant heat would be very expensive to put in an RV, but some higher end motorhomes do have in floor radiant heat using a diesel fired boiler.
 

tyefighter

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Aug 12, 2005
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58
Location
Bend OR
Danny, my Bounder is older than yours, but is pretty much the same plumbing as far as I've seen looking at all the newer Bounders.  I have thought the same thing about electric heat with shore power. I have been thinking of adding a couple of small space heaters in the tanks just to keep things from freezing.  Over here on the cold side of the mountains, low of 5 degrees yesterday.  Several times in the winter the in laws come over for a few days and it would be really nice to have water in the tanks for them.  I sure don't want to keep the propane going with shore power plugged in.  I figure a couple of the small ceramic heaters would do the trick, will need to add 110 down there.  Just have to get a wireless probe to keep an eye on the temp.

Mike
 

chaajoad

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May 29, 2006
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322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Tye -

Stupid question, but ... would you use the probe in your freshwater tank? And if it hits 34, 33 - then what do you do to keep it warm UNDER the MH? From what I gather, that's trick - keeping it warm underneath ...
 

Ned

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Oregon Scientific and others make remote wireless thermometers that you can place in the appropriate bays to monitor the temperature.  They typically have the ability to monitor 3 channels and you can set an alarm to go off if the temperature drops to a set point.
 

tyefighter

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Aug 12, 2005
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Bend OR
I think I can get  by with the small cermic heaters in the storage bays where the tanks are if I get another Oregon Scientific thermometer for the bay like Ned said.  Bought one last year to do that but the wireless remoter died and the base moved into the house.
 

Ned

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You do know that the remotes have batteries?  They need replacing about every year or so.
 

tyefighter

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Aug 12, 2005
Posts
58
Location
Bend OR
That's the first thing that I tried Ned.  I should have sent it in while still under warranty, now it's too late.  I'll wait until they go on sale again for 10 bucks.
 

Ned

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You could try contacting Oregon Scientific, they may still replace it for you.  Or they may have some suggestions to get it working again.
 
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