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Old 09-07-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
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Water and Power for winter issues

We just bought our first RV a class A motorhome. We are about 5 yrs. from retirement but plan on using the home for short trips frequently until then. We will probably use the unit at least once a month for weekends and possible every other weekend for a couple of days until then. My question is we live in SC where the winters get below freezing quite often. I don't want to winterize it so we can just drive off without planning much. How can I keep the tanks and lines from freezing. I keep it in a metal carport with half sides. not enclosed. Can we keep the unit plugged in to power with heat on low, what can we do to not have to winterize. It isn't under sun so solar isn't option to keep batteries charged. Thanks for all help as we are newbies to all this.

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Old 09-07-2015, 04:56 PM   #2
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Put a trouble light in the wet bay and run it when its going to go below 32. When its going into the 20s put a small heater in there. I live in maryland and dont winterize. This is what i do.

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Old 09-07-2015, 05:09 PM   #3
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I live in East TN, I run one electric heater in the coach portion and one electric heater in the basement, use 2 extension cords on separate house breakers, use a thermostatic plug in (bought at Lowes), and I also use remote temperature sensors upstairs and basement with the displays in the house so I know exactly how cold it is getting.
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:28 PM   #4
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First thing: Keep it plugged in to 110 for your BATTERIES and make sure you do battery service every 3mos. for water level. Keep the refrig ON.

Second thing: You have to keep the HEAT on inside the RV. Just set the thermostat at 60 and open up all the cabinets under the sinks. Remember, you have to keep the water lines from freezing below the floor.

Because you don't want to winterize everytime..........you are taking a big chance for damage behind walls.
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:39 PM   #5
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In addition to what others mentioned I also turned the water heater on when it got real cold.
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:44 PM   #6
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Unless you're going to use the RV in the winter season, I've never understood why some people are reluctant to winterize their RV. It only takes me about 10 minutes tops to drain the water tank and heater, blow the water lines out, and pump the antifreeze through, takes 2 gallons of antifreeze and I'm done. No worries during winter about everything being ok.

Now, when we retire and go south for the winter that will change, but for now it's pretty easy to do. I see you said you don't want to winterize so you can take off without planning ahead. If you're really convinced you'll use the RV in the winter it may be worth the effort it'll take to not winterize but still keep everything from freezing, but many people who RV in the winter in northern states still winterize, they just don't use the in RV plumbing. They stay at all year RV parks that have heated restrooms and showers.

Either way, good luck and enjoy your RV!
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:01 PM   #7
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I used to stay at home during the winter, but am now a snowbird. We used to use our motorhome at least once a month in winter. I just used my air compressor to blow out the water lines and put trouble lights in the bays where pipes were. I keep the fresh water tank at about 2/3 full (water retains heat longer). I put a cup of RV antifreeze in each drain. I only do this when the weather is forecast to be below 32 for more than 6 hours. One year I did it 6 times.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:46 PM   #8
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Draining and flushing out antifreeze takes longer than 10 minutes unless you like the taste.

If you have shore power, do what the above have advised and you will be OK. (Use to store our older motorhome in Lake Wylie, SC. Full time now - winter in the South, summer in the North).
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:49 PM   #9
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Look up the winter camping video that RVGEEKS put on YouTube. It shows many of the ideas discussed above, plus some other tips. I used their video to make my own heated fw hose and it works great. In the end, it was no cheaper than the ones you can buy pre-made, but it has the insulation too so I feel like it's better. It was also a fun project when I was itching for something RV to do!
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:58 PM   #10
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I used to do exactly what you are talking about only a bit more often. I have lived in South Carolina and the winters are not all that much different than what I have in Arkansas. Here is what I did:

1. open fresh water tank drain valve.
2. turn off hot water heater and then drain hot water tank with Hot water bypass valve in bypass position
3. Purchase the Air line chuck to male water faucett Adapter.
4. Set pressure regulator on Air compressor to 50 PSI
5 Attach air line to water hose with adapter.
6. Open hot and cold water valves to faucett in kitchen sink then close when only air coming out
7. Open Hot and cold water valves to faucett in bathroom sink then close when only air coming out.
8. Flush commode
9 Open hot and cold water valves to faucett in shower. put shower in shower mode where water is running out of shower head and close when only air coming out.
10. Leaving the drain plug out of the hot water heater open the bypass valve until only air coming out of the drain plug.
11. Repeat 6-10 several times until every time you do it only air comes out. Do one faucett at a time.
12. Open valves to outside shower.
13. AFter all faucetts drained. put about a cup Of pink Rv antifreeze in each one of the drains to protect the P trap. I also put a cup in the commode.

I did not have an ice maker or a washing machine. I would guess if you had ice maker you could empty all of the ice cubes from refrigerator and let it run water with air pushing it until all water out of lines. Or disconnect water line at back of refrigerator and let air push water out of line and line at refrigerator drain.

Washing machine might have to take hoses loose and run into bucket after you have drained rest of coach or disconnect air pressure from water line and let water drain back to lower point and hopefully be able to flush it out at faucett. I had water connection which had water in them but they never froze and I turned off pressure a couple of times letting water drain back to other places and then repeated procedure.

I did this when i returned from camping. Of course I completely emptied the grey and black tanks before leaving the campground. When i was finished draining all of the lines. I removed the air line and adapter I put the drain plug back into the hot water heater. Closed the fresh tank drain and then left everything ready to go. When I wanted to go camping just before I left home I hooked up to fresh water put water in my fresh water tank. opened up the faucetts one at a time until water coming out and was ready to go. Make sure you open a hot water valve so you can tell when you have water in your hot water tank ( this is of course after you make sure the hot water bypass valve is in the normal use position) I used to go camping every couple of weeks in the winter unless it was snowing and this procedure kept me ready to go and only took about 20 to 30 minutes to winterize after I got home.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:15 PM   #11
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Once you winterized your rig a few times, it really does go quite swiftly. Less then One hour start-to-finish to winterize our Class A. We live in Michigan and have taken mid-winter trips in our coach.

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