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Old 01-13-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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When what freezes over?

The indoor/outdoor thermometer in my MH said it got down to 30 (28 officially), in Phx early this morning. When I turned on the pump and checked water flow this morning, the kitchen, toilet and shower worked fine, but the lavatory just trickled. After a few minutes it flowed normal and there was no water leaking from underneath. This is the middle of my camping season, and I don't want to winterize for this one weekend. We're only going to have this cold snap for a couple more days with the highs in the mid 40s to low 50s. It's been since 1988 that it got and stayed this cold in Phx.

The lavatory is on the opposite side from the kitchen, sink, shower and water heater. I haven't removed any panels to see where the water feed is to the lavatory, but I suspect it is on the side away from my house. If I leave a couple of basement lights on, will that be enough to protect the pipes or could they melt the lenses or reflectors. I'm hooked up to shore power with a 2-4-8 amp BatteryMinder, so there it no danger of running my batteries down. There is also some water in my holding tanks.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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In the rare instance that I feel the need to heat my compartments that have freeze exposure , I use trouble lights with 75 watt bulbs.

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Old 01-13-2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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I can do that too, but what about just a 1156 bulb? Too hot for the lens/reflector?
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:07 PM   #4
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Great Idea

I've been running a 1200w space heater and wondering if the heat is getting to the right places. I'm going to 'borrow' the trouble light idea as soon as I can get to Harbor Freight and get 4 or 5 cheap ones.

I'm partially winterized - Compressed air & antifreeze, drained water heater etc.

Another way to prevent freezing is to let the faucets drip just a bit. But not a good idea if you're 'on the tank'.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:31 PM   #5
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Dunner, 16 up here in Spring Valley this morning. I checked mine yesterday and the only thing funny is the propane readout has gone to 0. The on-tank gauge still reads Ok.
It is sorta winterized.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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Sounds pretty toasty down there - it was -21F this morning in SW Colorado...I'm envious. Yup - the coach is winterized/parked until Spring.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
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Somewhere there should be somekind of chart. Like 25 degrees fox X hours will freeze solid. Same for other all the temps below 32. What if you have PEX water lines. What if you have other insulation etc. Seems there is always a guessing game.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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It takes a long, hard freeze to turn large volumes of water into blocks. My specs say I have a heated basement, but only because the heat ducts go through the basement and I am not going to run my furnace.

I take it the drop light needs to be hung so it can't start a fire.

Been RV'n since `97 and never had this problem in the valley before.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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I was in 19 degree temps for about 5 hrs in a 3 season trailer. I had no problems but the trailer did have real cold areas like window glass, and corners of bed that was over the pass thru storage. Lucky the for that day was 60 degrees.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:51 PM   #10
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Went to the storage space to check on our ACE early this morning and so far so good.
We have water in our tank and we left the faucets open. The bottled water in the outside storage compartments were not frozen so we are hoping we will be ok. I think last night was the worst and we will slowly be getting warmer. Can only wait and see.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #11
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A couple thoughts , if you choose to let a faucet drip make sure your grey tank valve is open. Somebody I know forgot to check and woke up in the middle of the night with soaked carpet, not good. Another thing is put your remote temp sensor in the compartment with the plumbing with no heat and see how 'warm' it stays without any heat/lights and you can get a idea how low you are protected to. If your going to leave camp in the morning... if you can do without your hydro jacks for the night it will save you time as when its real cold it takes forever to retract them, because the fluid so thick and cold.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
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Do the trouble lite thing "clifftall" suggested. Not sure you 12v basement lights would give off enough heat or if leaving them on for that long would be enough to melt the lens or housing. We must be getting your winter here in TN as it is 65 outside now.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunner View Post
I can do that too, but what about just a 1156 bulb? Too hot for the lens/reflector?
No, but you might need 3 of 'em. 1156 is, as I recall 28 watts, but please look it up.

I have a string of C-9 christmas tree lights (about 9 watts each) under the fresh tank, I think the string is over 200 watts, but each "heat element" is only 9 watts, they do not get hot enough to melt plastic.

I have a "Caged" 100 watt in the black/gray end of the compartment.

Total improvement per thermometer is about 10 degrees.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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I sure am glad that I have basement heat, it sure reduces the stress when it gets cold. Jim
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