Keeping water lines from freezing with no electric hook up

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slowrider

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Jun 30, 2016
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Would like any suggestions on some kind of heat for waterlines where water tank is located.  I will b doing primitive RVing, no electric hook up.  Thanks
 

slowrider

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Jun 30, 2016
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Ah yes, sorry.  Will just b using it at night when temp gets below 28 degrees. Just max of 7 nights.
 

Back2PA

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Motorhome? Trailer? Heated wet bay? Enclosed belly? Not enough info.


My current rig and my last one (motorhome) could take a night at 28 unplugged, although my current one would be battery challenged due to furnace usage - I'd probably have the generator ready in case I needed it. Both have heated wet bays
 

darsben

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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
28 degrees should be okay for  water lines inside the rig,  Leave cabinet doors open so the heat gets to the pipes.

running the furnace should be sufficient but the batteries on the rig will need to be kept charged..The furnace will use a lot of the battery power to run the blower
 

Rene T

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slowrider said:
Ah yes, sorry.  Will just b using it at night when temp gets below 28 degrees. Just max of 7 nights.

How low below 28. Makes a big difference if it's going to be 27 degrees or down to 10 degrees
 

slowrider

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I know that everyone has an opinion on how cold it needs to b, before the waterlines, ect. Will freeze.  With that being said, I just want to know what anyone has done to attack this problem, when your RV is not plugged into an electric source, and the nts r below freezing.  Attach a light bulb to the battery to put by the water Tank? If so, how do u do this?  Any other solutions and how did u set it up.
Thanks
 

Skookum

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slowrider said:
I know that everyone has an opinion on how cold it needs to b, before the waterlines, ect. Will freeze.  With that being said, I just want to know what anyone has done to attack this problem, when your RV is not plugged into an electric source, and the nts r below freezing.  Attach a light bulb to the battery to put by the water Tank? If so, how do u do this?  Any other solutions and how did u set it up.
Thanks

I think the subtext is that there is no way to "attack" this. Every RV is different, and nobody knows what the exposure will be. The small lines and valves that are exposed will freeze first. The water tank itself will take a while longer to freeze solid because there's significant mass there. Most of what people have gotten away with when using RV water systems in freezing weather has been luck, if the RV isn't built for it. Would never recommend "rigging" things like lightbulbs, etc. The risk isn't worth it.

Without electricity, you can try to wrap exposed lines with insulation, but then you've still got stuff with exposure in walls, etc. Safest thing to do would be to winterize the water system so there is no worry, and carry water for drinking and daily activities in containers that won't burst if they freeze.

The information you know is that potable water freezes around 32F, and the weather on your trip is supposed to drop below that. You can eliminate worry, or chance it, and hope something works. I've camped in a dry RV before for the same reason, so I wouldn't have to worry.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Slowrider, you are posting in the motorhome section so I assume that?s what you have. Motorhomes are designed to keep the water lines within the heated space of the rig. In particular, the are heated with the propane furnace or the AquaHot (or equivalent) system. Since you didn?t say what you of rig you have, we are left guessing. I am going to assume you have traditional propane heat all-electric coaches are different. Electricity is needed for a propane heater to run the fan, and that is really all you need until well below freezing, like 20 degrees or so. It will run off your battery bank. Below 20, we put an incandescent trouble light in the wet bay that can run off the battery/inverter system. That assumes you have enough battery power to operate the light and furnace fan during the cold temps. You should certainly disconnect all hoses that are outside the heated space since they will freeze up.
 

slowrider

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Jun 30, 2016
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Yes, I do have a 31' class A Winnebago with forced propane heat. Thanks for everybody's feedback, and in my nxt post I will first describe my RV and go from there. Lots of good info. Thanks
 

Chakara

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Rio Rancho, NM
In my experience with un-insulated trailers, 28F was fine.  That said, I live in a desert where we typically have 30 degree swings from the low to the high.  I'd guess in an un-insulated unit with warm days you'd be fine.  If it stays below freezing (or even doesn't warm up significantly) you will likely freeze the lines.

Insulated and with heat introduces a lot more complexity - but also a lot more options for getting through cold weather....

-Kyle
 

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