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Old 11-17-2018, 11:38 PM   #1
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100 gal fresh water tank

I live at 3300 feet in the Eldorado National Forest. In Pioneer CA. Nov temp gets down at night to maybe 35. Dec - Jan and Feb it might drop to 29 on occasions. On those low nights the daytime highs are around 45. My coach stays plugged in to 50 amps 24/7. I usually set the inside temp at 50 just to keep things from getting too cold. I also have the system heat on in the water bay just in case.
Hereís my question: Do you really think I need to drain the fresh water tank? I have a hard time believing it will freeze at the above temps. I think something like Wisconsin or Illinois winter temp would freeze it. Something in the consistent 20s. We take off periodically through those months. Unless we get too much snow. Plus I like to keep the tank full for fire evacuation emergencies. Last year I was new to the area and got nervous about the temp and drained the whole system lines and tank. I donít think I will do that this year and just monitor the temps. I have remote temps inside and in the water bay.

If anyone has any input on the contrary to my thinking, please tell me.

Dave
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:46 PM   #2
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Open lower cabinet doors so heat can easily circulate around inside the cabinets/next to walls.


Wet bay heater on ...good idea


Drain fresh water tank down just enough to allow for any expansion.


Question:
Is underside covered, insulated, heated???
If YES....good to go
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:54 AM   #3
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No, coach sits on gravel driveway open underneath. I do have a complete cover for it, I plan on using, only problem is furnace exhaust needs to be clear of cover.
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:58 AM   #4
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On the expansion issue....it would only expand if it froze solid right? Itís not cold enough for that to happen.
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:15 AM   #5
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If you have the system heat, you may have a heating pad under the tank. have you confirmed the snap disc and heater works?

The tank is flat, and if it freezes over and bursts, youíll regret it.

Consider locating small heaters or light bulbs in strategic locations. Remember the ice maker plumbing is in the breeze.

If any part of the plumbing freezes, not only do you have a waterlogged area, but a repair to make in a difficult location.

Weather extremes for pioneer: http://www.intellicast.com/Local/His...ation=USCA0869

If you live near or in the coach and it plugged in you can always winterize or turn up the heater if here is a cold snap.
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:12 AM   #6
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Yes had the snap disc and heater out last year and bench tested it. Works fine.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:49 AM   #7
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Your fresh tank, full of water, is a tremendous "heat sink", and even a protective source of residual warmth for the two holding tanks and adjacent plumbing. When Old-Biscuit asked about your basement, I am guessing he meant the belly of your coach, not skirting like on a mobile home. If you don't have your coach brochure from new, you might see if you can download one, or go thru the manual, and see if they were marketing your coach as an all-season coach.

You've done everything right, as I see it. Here's a thought. If you can get, or have, a digital (or otherwise) thermometer that records lows and highs, put it in the basement bay where your pump and filters and other major plumbing is located, and take a look at it after each cold night. After going thru a few really cold nights and seeing how well the heat stays up should give you a lot of peace of mind.

Old-Biscuit is right, too, about keeping cupboard doors open, under your sinks. And, keep your water heater on. RV water heaters have quite a bit of tank attached metal exposed to the ambient air, and they'll freeze relatively easily. I would also leave my refrigerator on, if it is going below freezing, as that would put some heat in the area of your ice maker plumbing. Your three biggest vulnerabilities in sub-freezing environments are your plumbing that is "buried" in an unheated area adjacent to an outside wall, your water heater, and your ice maker plumbing behind the fridge, if you have one.

Check on it at least daily to make sure the furnace is working. I wouldn't set my furnace any lower than 50 degrees, like you've done. On our own coach, I watch the weather. If the daily highs are, let's say in the low 50's, I don't worry if the lows get down to even the upper mid-20's, even without any heat on in the coach. That would be a daily average around 40, and while the temps in your basement are going to follow the ups and downs, they aren't going to get anywhere near the actual ambient highs and lows. Keep it plugged in, the heat on to at least 50 degrees, and the under-sink cupboard doors open, and you really should be fine. If it starts dropping into the low 20's or the teens, kick that furnace up to at least 60 degrees, just to give you the margin.

In my own thinking, the piece that truly worries me the most, is the plumbing that is under the cupboard floors, near an outside wall, where really no air circulates to get furnace heat to it. As long as those areas don't drop below freezing, you're good to go.

Oh, one last thing. I am pretty sure your black and gray valves are not exposed to the ambient air. If they are not where heat can get to them, I'd make sure the tanks are 100% empty, or that there is anti-freeze to the valves, to protect them. I would NOT want those to freeze and crack.
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:13 AM   #8
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Don't know about your coach...and it sounds like good advice so far. What we do in Southern Oregon (sometimes as low as 10 degrees) is set the furnace for 50 degrees with the sink inside cabinets open...and put a automobile drop light with metal shield and a 75 watt bulb....inside the sewer outlet compartment. Also use an add-on plug that switches on at 32 deg and shuts off at 45 deg, for this drop light. Forget the name but it is common.
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