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Old 11-18-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
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ACE 29.2 Cold Weather Report

Just returned from a 4 day trip of extreme cold temperatures for camping and thought i'd post some observations for folks that have wondered about the capability of this model in cold temperature camping(overnight lows in the teens and highs not above freezing).

Mine was in storage winterized and had to get it ready for a trip. First observation was that after loading the rig up and topping off the fresh water tank with water the water pump would not function. I put a heater in that bay to raise the temperature of the pump and then it functioned as expected.

Once setup with electrical only hookups I used a small space heater in the front of the motorhome to help balance the heat. The furnace kept the unit warm. However it was a roller coaster of temperature that fluctuated from 64 deg to 75.

After my concern on fill up with the water pump bay temperature i put a 100watt bulb in that compartment for the duration of my stay. It kept that bay warm and I had no issues with the water pump operation or any freezing of pipes.

We received 3 inches of snow during my stay and the unit maintained temperature and was pleasant to stay in. The shower and all utilities worked great with no issue. The floor of the motorhome was always pretty cold as were the external walls, so pack slippers.

Upon departure we did have to manually clear the snow from the slideout topper, and whether it was the cold temps or the snow we still had to provide a little push to get the full slide to come in as the motor was struggling.

Now the only real issue I encountered. When we went to dump our tanks before leaving. The macerator was pumping and nothing was happening. After further inspection i found ice in the macerator hose. Probably reminents from the prevous use this fall. It was not going to push out the hose. I had to plan "B", I always carry a slinky hose for emergencies and it finally paid off. I disconnected the macerator slinky and attached my slinky hose to dump directy out the tank from the macerator bin. It was still a messy operation as there was already some stuff in the existing hose and short run from the valve to the slinky attachement. I was able to successfully dump both tanks and a little clean up and it was all good.

All in all it was a succcessful trip and the ACE did well for these temps. Next time i would not even attempt to use the macerator and just connect the slinky to the outlet in these temps. Over 4 days I used about a 1/4 tank of propane(88gal tank) and kept the furnace at 71deg and took hot showers and cooked daily. Long report but hopefully useful for folks that were curious of how it handles the cold weather.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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Are you sure you have an 88 gallon propane tank? That's one BIG tank!!! Our Winnebago 36G has a 30 gallon tank and in Dallas this past February the temps dipped to 14 degrees for 3 days. During that cold snap I used about 1/3 of my tanks capacity to keep us warm at 68*.

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Old 11-18-2014, 11:00 AM   #3
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According to the specs, you have an 88 POUND LP tank.

http://thormotorcoach.com/media/docu...re-12-2013.pdf

88 pounds of propane is equivalent of ~21.3 GALLONS of propane.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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All in all it was a succcessful trip and the ACE did well for these temps. Next time i would not even attempt to use the macerator and just connect the slinky to the outlet in these temps. Over 4 days I used about a 1/4 tank of propane(88gal tank) and kept the furnace at 71deg and took hot showers and cooked daily. Long report but hopefully useful for folks that were curious of how it handles the cold weather.
Thanks for the info, we're about to do some COLD weather camping over thanksgiving. So with the furnace running it wasn't enough to keep things from freezing up? The ACE is supposed to heat the water/sewer compartment while running the furnace, I guess I'll have to get a little heater to put down there, don't want my macerator freezing up!
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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yes 88 lb tank not gallon that would be huge..

All pipes were not frozen only the macerator hose was froze up. I suppose if you could guarantee that you started off with your macerator hose completely empty you might be ok. but it runs under the floor to the opposite side bin and apparantly the heat is not enough to keep that thawed as it doesn't run through the floor and runs under it.

BTW, I called thor before i left to check on things as i was unsure of where pipes might be vulnerable. They also indicated that the water pump compartment was not heated but would be ok down to 20deg. I used the lightbulb to keep it warm.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:59 AM   #6
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How did your HM handle driving on the road? We are headed out to So.Calif. in a few days and I'm wondering how it drives on packed snow.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:21 PM   #7
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Harlee
How did your HM handle driving on the road? We are headed out to So.Calif. in a few days and I'm wondering how it drives on packed snow.
I have driven through snow one time, not this time as the roads were clear. I would not recommend driving it through a driving snow storm. Previously when i did that the windshield wipers would not keep the windshield clean and the defroster would not keep them thawed. They would continually ice up and snow was melting and forming ice on the windshield. This was traveling doing 40mph on the highway. As for handling it drove fine as its a heavy unit traction was good. However as you would expect breaking was very cautious as its hard to stop a heavy vehicle moving on slick surfaces. In short it handled fine, but the wipers and freazing windshield were very bad in my experience.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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yes 88 lb tank not gallon that would be huge..

All pipes were not frozen only the macerator hose was froze up. I suppose if you could guarantee that you started off with your macerator hose completely empty you might be ok.
Ok, mine is winterized right now, temps down in single digits tonight. I ran antifreeze through the macerator so it shouldn't be froze to start out. I might leave it winterized till we get to the campground, I'll have to call ahead make sure they have water available.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:42 PM   #9
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I have driven through snow one time, not this time as the roads were clear. I would not recommend driving it through a driving snow storm. Previously when i did that the windshield wipers would not keep the windshield clean and the defroster would not keep them thawed. They would continually ice up and snow was melting and forming ice on the windshield. This was traveling doing 40mph on the highway. As for handling it drove fine as its a heavy unit traction was good. However as you would expect breaking was very cautious as its hard to stop a heavy vehicle moving on slick surfaces. In short it handled fine, but the wipers and freazing windshield were very bad in my experience.
Thanks...I think we are going for it. I'll take extra windshield wiper fluid and consider insulating the defroster ducts under the hood. Of course if it gets bad we will just pull over. (if it takes 3 days to get there so be it)
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
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BTW, I called thor before i left to check on things as i was unsure of where pipes might be vulnerable. They also indicated that the water pump compartment was not heated but would be ok down to 20deg. I used the lightbulb to keep it warm.
Hmm, the thor spec sheet says the storage tanks are enclosed and heated. The water pump is located right next to the black tank so I would think it's also heated? Just the usual thor customer service, you can call and talk to 3 people and get 3 different answers...
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
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Hmm, the thor spec sheet says the storage tanks are enclosed and heated. The water pump is located right next to the black tank so I would think it's also heated? Just the usual thor customer service, you can call and talk to 3 people and get 3 different answers...
To be clear that compartment might not have froze up, but Thor indicated that there was not a heat vent that fed that compartment and without that they would only recommend down to 20deg. I knew it would be colder so i added the 100watt bulb light and just plugged it into the outside oulet and squeezed the cord through the door. Perhaps it would have been ok but i wasn't going to chance it. As for the macerator hose, it was deffinately frozen in the alternate bay.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:10 PM   #12
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Also, my FW manual has an adjusting heat level to keep tanks from freezing....so at 50 degrees it keeps the tanks from freezing down to say 32...then 60 degrees to 28 then 65 degrees to 25, etc....the colder the outdoor gets, the higher the furnace must go to keep the tanks from freezing. These are all approximate and used for example numbers.

I know that when I run the little ceramic heater up front the thermostat for the furnace is in the middle wall of the coach on the open area (salon/galley) and if I close off my bedroom, boy does it get cold back there because up front the electric heat is nice and toasty and the thermostat won't come on to warm the back of the coach.....same theory of relativity to the tanks...keep the furnace temp up when the temps drop down into the teens and low twenties....

I bought a 3 remote sensor display for temps in the utility (water) bay, fresh water tank, and the bay forward of the fresh tank where the water pump is and that way I can monitor the temps when in the cold weather...

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-23-2014, 05:34 AM   #13
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Great post with awesome info. Thank you guys
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