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schiplovers

New member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Posts
2
Location
Mid-Atlantic
Hi, everybody.  We're retired seniors from the DC area and have been RVing for about two years in a Terry Dakota 30' TT.  We are "destination" travelers; we're usually going to doggy events (shows, conventions, etc.) or to visit family and friends.  Last winter we left home on 2/28 and took three days to get to St. Louis (headed south after a dog show and family visit there).  It was about 28 degrees each of the first three mornings, and we had water problems.  This coming winter we're leaving Feb. 1 for northern Florida.  We think our only option is to keep the rig dry until we get south and do hotels, though with three dogs, that's a bit problematic.  Any nifty ideas we haven't thought of?  many thanks.

Don, Dot, Teddy, Allie, and Serena (and sometimes Sally, the Maine Coon Cat)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,535
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Your water problems were freeze-ups?  Fresh water or waste tanks?

28 degrees isn't very cold and usually isn't a problem, so I would thing that a bit of insulation or warmth in the appropriate place would solve the problem.  Can ou give us more detail? Maybe we can suggest something
 

schiplovers

New member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Posts
2
Location
Mid-Atlantic
Thanks both of you for response.  Last Feb. we left on the last day of the month.  The temps in WV and KY (our first two overnights) were both mid-high 20's overnight.  In both cases, we had no water in FW tank but hooked up city water, and both times it would not flow by morning.  Holding tanks did not seem to be a problem.  We heated the TT overnight, of course, which helped a bit.  By the third day (Belleview, IL), we were fine -- nothing below freezing for the balance of the trip.  This year, the bad news is that we are leaving four weeks earlier, when temps are high teems to low 20's in AM and may never get out of the 30's.  The good news is that we are heading straight south and will be in NC the first night, then SC and FL.  I am very reluctant to put water aboard before leaving.  I am also not too anxious to run the TT heating system all day while we're traveling (I prefer not even to leave propane on for the refrig.)  Also, it will be that cold or colder when we are prepping for the trip.  I thought of carrying jugs in the truck and putting some non-toxic antifreeze in the holding tanks (and pouring a little down the drains each morning.).  I don't think it's worth trying to insulate all the pipes.  We may be at a dead end -- but RV-ers are so resourceful that I'm hoping there's that one great idea we haven't thought of!  Does this help at all?  Again, many thanks.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
We have been hitting the low 20's here and haven't had a problem. We open the cabinet doors at night to let the warm air in. We don't hook up to a water supply and just fill our fresh water tank every few days or so. We disconnect the hose and empty the water from it......FYI
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
If you are worried about water in the FW tank, check its relationship to the interior of the RV.  Ift, as is likely, it is exposed to the interior, I would not worry. 

Water is a funny stuff.  At 0?C in order to freeze has to lose the amount of heat that it would lose cooling to 0 from 80?C.    That is a lot of heat.  Furthermore, as water  temperature falls below 4?C  (39?F) the stuff expands!  Because it is less dense than warm water, cold water will rise to the top of the tank.

If the interior of the RV is heated, the water cannot lose heat there, and in fact will warm again and sink bring more cold water up.  As long as the trailer interior is heated that tank is not going to freeze.  So simply turn on the heater before you leave and warm up the interior of the trailer.  Then fill your water tank almost full -- say 2/3rds to 3/4ths.  Leave your heater on and take off.  Even if your heater should go out on the road, RVs are well insulated and the interior will stay warm for hours as long as windows and vents are closed.  That water is not going to freeze in 20 degrees F temps.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,535
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
In both cases, we had no water in FW tank but hooked up city water, and both times it would not flow by morning.

It sounds as though your fresh water inlet hose simply froze up, probably at one end or the other near a metal valve (conducts heat away more quickly).  I suggest that you do not leave the hose connected overnight if the late evening temps drop below freezing.  Reconnect in the morning when you need it.  As Carl notes, it takes several hours of "soaking" at below freezing temps for the water to lose enough heat to freeze.

An alternative, if you have a sewer hook-up, is to simply let the water run a bit so there is a continual flow through the city water inlet and out through the sewer line. Running water won't freeze at any temperature you are lkley to encounter.

Chances are you could carry some wate rin your tank to use overnight, since the trailer is heated. Some trailer tanks are exposed to outside air, but I suspect a Terry has a full "belly cover" hat should reatin some of the interior heataround the tank. I doubt if it would be necesary to heat it while driving during the day, but obvoulsy it depends on the outside temps. You could stop and run the furnace a couple times during the dayif yu thought it was too cold.
 
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