First winter, looking for advice.

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juhde

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Posts
10
The coach is a '01 Itasca Horizon and I live in SE New Mexico. It rarely drops below 32F here and when it does it's only for a few hours in the early morning. The owners manual seems like it was written for people who already know what they're doing so winterizing it myself seems like a challenge I'd likely fail. I do have constant 30 amp service and I've drained the holding tanks and the fresh water tank.

Here's my question. If I were to set the thermostat to say 50 and switched on the electric heat and turn on the tank heater pad with the water tank empty will the coach be okay for my mild winter? Should I drain the water heater?

Thanks.
 

donn

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Nov 8, 2009
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4,492
Generally speaking you don't have to worry unless the temps drop to 30 or lower for more than 4 or 5  hours.  Water does not instantly freeze at 32 degrees.  So you should be fine.  Are you living in the MH?  if that is the case don't worry a bit.  IF not, a small electric heater should be more than enough.  Leave any cabinet doors open that might have water lines running across them.
 

juhde

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Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Posts
10
Not living in it, what are your thoughts for the water heater and turning on the tank pads? overkill?
 

Alfa38User

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Oct 4, 2007
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6,676
It is always a good idea to drain and flush the water heater if it is not going to be used. If it is a Surburban model, check the anode that is attached to the drain plug at that time. Again, if it is a Suburban model you will need a 1 1/16" socket to remove the steel drain plug. You can buy a plastic hose end tool at Walmart (or elsewhere) for about 8$  that helps a lot in doing a good flush.

Consider draining all the plumbing using the low point drains or blowing out with compressed air. This way no stale water  will be left in the lines and there will be nothing to freeze. A cup or two of RV antifreeze down all sink/shower drains is a good idea too. If you have an icemaker in the fridge, make sure there is no water left in the small plastic tube feeding it or in the ice tray. To drain, disconnect, drain and reconnect it at the water solenoid on the back of the fridge. Being so small (1/4") it could freeze more easily.

Store with the refrigerator off, dry  and the door ajar to prevent a potential mould problem.

Turning on the pads is likely overkill unless the tanks are almost full. Almost no water makes it totally unnecessary as there is plenty of room for expansion should a little ice be formed  in the  bottom of the tanks. Most people don't use heat at all unless they wish to stay in the unit.

Doing this will leave you with no worries about possible freeze damage should it suddenly turn colder than expected and.... you will learn a few things about your new RV!!!!!.
 

John Canfield

Site Team
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
13,544
Location
Texas Hill Country
Good advice so far.  We keep the coach heated to about 50-55 degrees and don't drain anything.

If the weather dips to 32+, no worries.  In the low 30s, forecasted to go lower, I'll set up a ceramic heater and insulation for the plumbing compartment.  The only problem I've ever had was the icemaker water solenoid froze and broke but it took temps in the mid-teens to accomplish that.
 

afchap

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Posts
1,276
Location
...East TX, or on the road...
Winnebago/Itasca coaches don't have "tank pads" from the factory ...tanks, etc are heated from the lp furnace and airways/wireways from the living area. As already stated, temps around 32 should be no problem. I have used an auto trouble light in the refer access area and water bay in extreme cold weather (teens) ...one bulb will keep that area in high 40's or 50's.
 

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