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Old 11-13-2014, 03:40 PM   #1
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Getting cold tomorrow night

My motorhome is stored in covered storage in Crestview, Florida. Tomorrow night lows are predicted to hit 25 degrees F. The black and gray tanks are basically empty, with just the standard small amount of deodorant and water in the black tank, and an empty gray tank. The fresh water tank has maybe one gallon in it maximum. Freezing temps are unusual here in northwest Florida. I have read many threads here concerning winterizing. From what I have read, I believe I am safe for 25 degrees as I am without further action. Would you do anything more if it were your class A MH? Thanks for reading.
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:14 PM   #2
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I was planning on running my furnace so I didn't have to winterize but then this morning they started forecasting overnight lows in the low 20's here in DFW for tomorrow then again later in the weekend and into next week so I am not going to run the furnace to keep everything from freezing for that long. I initially thought we would only have a couple of days below freezing, but that's not how it turned out SO:

I drained all the lines and put the antifreeze (pink stuff) in the p traps in the kitchen sink, shower, bathroom sink, (gray tank) and also the black tank (and toilet). Drained my fresh water tank, blew out the lines, drained the water heater (I had drained the WH 2 days ago and moved the valve to bypass) and the bypass valve also has a drain below it (that's what froze last year in the 18 degree winter, so I was keenly aware of it this year, and when I opened that drain I was amazed at how much water there still was in there). This took about 15 minutes. No worries now.

I am not in the coach right now, so it was an easy decision. You should be just fine, but if you are concerned, keep your furnace on low at night, it will keep the tanks from freezing and open your cabinet doors under the sinks). I wouldn't worry if I were staying in the coach with the temp dropping down into the lower 20's because I'd be running the furnace and it wouldn't be a problem, but I can't justify running it while the coach is sitting out in the back yard not in use.

You should be fine if its just an overnight low then heating back up during the day, but sustained day and night below freezing I might be concerned about.

Hope all this helps.

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Old 11-13-2014, 05:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the post Lincolnboy. I know that a fluid tank that is empty is not a problem. You mentioned the hot water heater and I had forgotten all about that bad boy. I assume it stays full all the time. Guess I had better get over to Crestview tomorrow and pull the plug on that hot water heater. Since I'm going, I might as well pour some anti-freeze down the drains also, just for safeties sake. Think I'll be OK with the black, gray, and fresh water tanks, unless it gets much colder.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:35 PM   #4
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The freeze problem areas are not the big semi empty tanks they will expand and have room. The lines will expand and should not break. The solid plastic elbows and connectors do not expand and they do break. If you have a hot water heater and not aqua hot you have issues and should blow out lines and empty the hot water heater. The P traps are soild and can break so pink stuff is a necessity.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:56 PM   #5
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If your day temperatures are above freezing its going to take a while before any freeze ups and your furnace is on plus the water heater you should not have a problem.
Have camped in 1* temps with these functioning and its like we are in FL.
If you are concerned this link may help you out for winter camping.
In any case stay warm.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #6
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You are worried for nothing. It will take at least 24-48 hours of temps staying below freezing to cause any problems. I know this for a fact. Yes, the temperature will drop below freezing but in an enclosed compartment, it will take a few hours to reach the same temperature, by that time, the temperature will climb above freezing the next day.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dupdyke View Post
The freeze problem areas are not the big semi empty tanks they will expand and have room. The lines will expand and should not break. The solid plastic elbows and connectors do not expand and they do break. If you have a hot water heater and not aqua hot you have issues and should blow out lines and empty the hot water heater. The P traps are soild and can break so pink stuff is a necessity.
I had exactly that happen last year with multiple times temps dipped into the mid teens here in north Texas last year. The drain valve at the water heater bypass (see pic) plastic elbow froze and when I re-energized the system last spring a small dripping leak told me all I needed to know. Had to replace the drain valve. This was MY FAULT because I never drained that (see pic) setup at the bottom is a drain valve. I did drain it this year!

ALSO: I did not remove my shower hose/nozzle from the connection, and there was water left in that line because the shutoff valve was not opened when I drained everything....it wound up freezing the base of my hand held shower head. But that's not applicable here when you are full timing...just for folks storing their coach for winter......
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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Did you drain the ice maker?
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:33 AM   #9
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Did you drain the ice maker?


I don't have one but good point!!
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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I do not know if the thor has the ability to use the fresh water pump to draw antifreeze into the system. If it does why take a chance. buy a gallon of rv antifreeze. put the hot water on bypass put the intake hose into the RV antifreeze and open the various faucets until pink stuff comes out. You have the MH in storage for the winter so one time and you are done and then if more colder weather comes you wont have to worry. if you have a compressor you can do the same thing with air. I winterized my MH every time I came home from using it during the winter even if there was not below freezing temps forecast. I used air so was not any expense just time but I did it every time. Why risk a repair bill when rv antifreeze is cheap.
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:27 PM   #11
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Like gemini said, and you won't have to worry. I do and I did.


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Old 11-14-2014, 08:52 PM   #12
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What I used last year when it got down to 15 degrees F was use a manual pump to pump anti-freeze into the fresh water tank, then used the pump to push it into the faucets, showers, and everything else. I went to Crestview today and drained the water heater, and poured anti-freeze down all the drains. I do not have an ice maker in my MH. Because of my temporary handicap after the foot surgery, I hope to not have to pump anti-freeze into the entire system, but if we have a severe freeze like last year, I will have to go back over and pump that back into the entire system. Freezing temps are a rarity in the Florida Panhandle, but looks like climate change is affecting us. Wish I had that system that you were talking about, Gemini. How does it work?
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:15 PM   #13
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That term, "climate change", cracks me up In less PC times, it was called seasonal weather.

Tonight I powered up an electric space heater in the MBR compartment of our MH in order to learn how warm it keeps things ( set at 65/expected temps dropping to 29)

Tomorrow night I'll use it and another unit in the main cabin; both at 65.

I don't plan to touch the fluids as far as winterizing. Next week, we leave for a 10-day trip to NC, and don't plan to winterize up there, either, because some heat will be ON in the MH.

My question will become relevant when we get back and park it for the next 3 months. Is it proper to think that the WH is the first thing we need to drain?
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:58 PM   #14
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Plain water in the pipe next the black tank drain valve is a problem in <32*F weather IF it stays that temp. overnight, and doesn't warm up to near 50*F next day.
My rule of thumb for winterizing is; if lows stay above 27, and daytime highs are 50 or above winterizing is unnecessary. That must have some validity because I've never had a water line with freeze damage in over 30 years.
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