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Old 03-13-2014, 10:32 PM   #1
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WI Cold to FL Warm- Plumbing?

New to Class A and have a 2007 Excursion 40E. It presently is winterized and was wondering how and when to de-winterize the coach for our trip south. How do I keep the plumbing from freezing for the next two weeks without having the furnace running? How long will the propane last with the furnace running?
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:52 AM   #2
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For your first two questions, read the sticky at the top of this forum that is all about winterizing. I can't answer how long your propane will last because I am not familiar with your coach, your furnace(s), what temperature you set the thermostat to or where, when and how long you will use it. I will tell you that furnaces do not sip propane.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:00 AM   #3
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From my experience ...if you set the thermostat to a lowest setting...you can expect about 5-8 days of propane from the average MH installed tank. I think you can expect the same from yours in WI even this time of year. I would dewinterize just before leaving for FL. This would buy you a less costly travel scenario and save that propane for your on the road experience. I drive with furnace on for comfort and water system protection in the cold. Remember to turn the hotwater heater on too after you dewinterize.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:19 AM   #4
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We plan on leaving SW Michigan heading to Washington D.C. the second week of April and face a similar issue. Way too cold here in Michigan to even consider de-winterizing at this point. It is spring break for our 14 yr. old grandson that week.

We are hoping that the DC weather will be mild and will probably wait until we arrive there to de-winterize at the RV park (Cherry Hill). While traveling we will carry a couple gallons of bottled water (from our tap at home) for use on the road. I'll also have a couple gallons of antifreeze on board in case we need to re-winterize heading home.

Heat is not a problem for us as our Winnebago has a seperate heater that runs off the engine coolant system. I've used this system in the past and it is really quite efficient. It is essentially an additional furnace that blows warm air throughout the coach while traveling in cold weather. The same system also heats the water in the water heater while under way.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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We used to make those WI to FL winter trips every year. I'd just leave the rig winterized until we got somewhere south of where it would be a problem for it not to be. Some years that wasn't until we got to Florida. We might stay in a Motel 6, or other budget motel right off the freeway on our way down, and again on our way back. I'd winterize the rig again the morning we were leaving Florida.

Very cold weather will help you burn through your LP tank very quickly (below freezing). Weather cool enough to require the heat be on all night and day will likely have you hunting for a refill sometime during your vacation.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:18 AM   #6
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We make the same trip each year from Michigan. Depending on the weather, we dewinterize the day we leave, or if it's cold like this year we wait until we get far enough south where it was Nashville (side trip) which took two days. Bottled water does the trick for bathroom needs.

As a point of information, we travelled from Michigan to Wisconsin and then to Iowa to tailgate this last October (0 degrees at night) and had to run the furnace 24/7 for 3 1/2 days which depleted a 20 gallon propane tank. More "normal" conditions should get you 5+ days as stated previously.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:42 PM   #7
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Since I wasn't the one to winterize the coach, I am planning on checking the water system next week and then will winterize again. That will have multiple benefits, I learn how the system works, find out any problems before heading out and fiqure out how to get it back in running order when I hit warm weather. Hopefully the company that winterized it knew how to do it correctly. It was a repo last fall and I purchased in December.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:53 PM   #8
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Beaner: Keep the HOTWATER htr in bypass...during your test and use the RV Antifreeze in the system as part of your test...then you do not need to dewinterize for your testing. You will be able to see the pink stuff flow thru the RV plumbing .... into toilet and shower and sinks. You will not even need to add more antifreeze. If you need to test the hotwater heater...you will need to fully dewinterize or RV antifreeze will get in the now empty heater
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:19 PM   #9
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We just came back from a trip from Colorado to south Texas. Left CO in sub-freezing temperatures and got to south TX where it was a balmy 84. We left the water winterized for the first day or so where it was cold and then didn't put anything into the clean tank (just hooked up to shore water) for the whole trip. When we were ready to leave TX, it was 76. When we crossed Raton pass back into Colorado, it was snowing and foggy. We pulled into a Home Depot in Trinidad, emptied the hot water tank, by-passed it, and pumped in new pink stuff. With no fresh water on board (except in gallon containers), the switch back was short and sweet.

So I guess, it depends upon how how you plan to spend in Florida and whether or not it will be cold when you get back as well.
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