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Old 09-27-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
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We been FTing for 3.5 years now and for the first time we'll be here in Portland, OR problably through the end of the year. We have no experience with doing winter in the rig. Guess my main thought or concern is the fresh water hose. We're told it doesn't get too bad here, whatever that means, but still colder than south TX! Any help you can share with SirKnowNothingAboutWintering would be much appreciated. Thanks! rockin'
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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We been FTing for 3.5 years now and for the first time we'll be here in Portland, OR problably through the end of the year. We have no experience with doing winter in the rig. Guess my main thought or concern is the fresh water hose. We're told it doesn't get too bad here, whatever that means, but still colder than south TX! Any help you can share with SirKnowNothingAboutWintering would be much appreciated. Thanks! rockin'
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:39 PM   #3
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Will for once I be serious with you.

Not knowing how cold it gets, I would go to a local hardware store and buy some heat tape to run on the side of your hose. Put pipe insulation over the hose and heat tape. I would then tape the joints of the insulation and at the joints between each piece. You will also have to this to the water faucet if it is above ground. Don't leave any part of the water line that is above ground uninsulated.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
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Thanks Still,
It is REAL hard being serious ain't it. I appreciate the info. The weather here can be mild, but last couple of years they have had a few nights in the teens. But averages say 35* and 36* in Dec/Jan. As you saw from the Watts regulator post/pic my faucet is in a box slightly below the ground level. Wonder if I can insulate the water softener? If I can't it won't a big deal as the water here is about 15 grain....which ain't too bad. Softer than that snooty neighborhood we lived in at Overland Park KS! Thanks again Still!
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:56 AM   #5
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Tom,
We have made sure to use our gas heater during the cold times to keep the basement warm. Those ceramic heaters don't do a thing for the pipes & tanks in the basement.

I also keep about 1/3 fresh water just in case the supply water line is frozen or shut off by the park.

For your water softener, you might want to look at wrapping it in insulation, "the pink stuff" and then a black plastic bag. Great heat sink to keep it warm and usable.

The mosst important thing to remember is to keep yourself "winterized" and keep Ms Donna toasty warm with lots of snuggles under the down comforter.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:09 AM   #6
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Tom,
One important thing is to NOT overlap the heat tape or it will burn out. You won't know it until you have no water.Buy one just long enough to go from the bottom of the spigot to the connection on Journey. If you have some extra, you can circle the water line as long as the tape doesn't touch itself.
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Old 09-28-2008, 06:03 AM   #7
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Thanks to all for the input. Again never been confronted with a winter type situation....I am really dumb. Googled but didn't find much on heat tape. Can I assume its a 120V plugin with a thermostat. I know I could go over to CW or Lowes and find out, but I like hearing it from you guys!
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:08 AM   #8
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Rockin

Yes, it works off of 120v supply. As stated above don't cross it. My guess is that Lowes or HD will be cheaper than CW. The tape comes in various lengths, get a measurement before you go to buy. Use pipe insulation and make sure all areas are not exposed to the elements.

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Old 09-28-2008, 07:43 AM   #9
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The water pipe heater we used was made by Frost King and bought at Lowes (in the plumbing pipe section - 110vAC). I found a thermostat switch for the tape that would turn the power on when the temps dropped to a certain point. Worked well for the NE TN winter. I used the neoprene pipe insulation and duct taped the whole thing (used a whole roll but then we were also running a long distance) but the cheaper urethane insulation will work as well. Best to do this before its snowing and sleeting! It's not fun doing it in freezing temps... been there & done that.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:07 AM   #10
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Thanks again all! I assumed the thermostat set up would automatic come with heat tape. The heat tape at Lowes or HD is OK to use on a regular white water hose? If you didn't have the thermostat, does it come with a on and off switch or just a plug in that you control?
As you see, I don't DO winter well!
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:08 AM   #11
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Tom, as you mentioned that you will be there for an undetermined period of time, have you considered making a semi-perminent arrangement? Using 3/4" CPVC pipe, used in home water systems, installing hose bib fittings on the ends and running it to your unit. Make up a short hose connection if your not able to obtain one to connect to the outside water connection on the Excel. Can't say I remember your water filter arrangement, Would they fit inside a medium/large tote that can be purchased under $10.00. Hole on each end for hose/pipe to run in/out, insulate or small light to heat. Most everything can be purchased from HD or Lowes. Don't think it would cost that much, save the hose and wrap with pipe insulation foam and guess heat tape if necessary.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:38 PM   #12
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Thanks Workhorse! I hope we're not here that permanently....hopefully to the end of the year. My wholehouse filter is in the heated basement (electrical utility center) so not a problem. Been shopping at HD and Lowes today and found a 24ft heat tape set up with thermo for $36.00. Appears the foam insulation would be about $2.00 per 6 ft section. Do I need to use 5/8" or 3/4" ID foam to fit my white hose? And the directions on the heat tape say to use the heat tape only on plastic and metal pipe only... get me some reassurance that it'll be OK on white hose. Thanks Ya'll! rockyhead
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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Well, I'm worried about the sewer pipe. I had a buddy who winters in Kansas in a Montana and his sewer pipe froze because he left the gray open. He would tell you to leave the traps closed and to make sure you drain the hose thoroughly when you drain the gray or black tanks.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:22 PM   #14
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Rockin,

The white hose will be fine as the thermosat turns on and shuts off at certain degrees. Usually around 38* to 40*. Your instructions should say. Go with the 3/4" or if you can find it 1"

Virgil also has it right about dumping the gray water. When it get below 25* for any lenght of time, shut the gray water valve until the gray water tank is about full then dump. Use the gray water to flush the hose of black water as you normally do.

And last but not least, DON'T MAKE US (LARRY,LARRY & DARYL), COME OUT THERE AND SHOW YOU HOW TO DO THIS.

As always during these times give Ms Donna extra hugs.
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