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Old 12-13-2017, 11:44 AM   #1
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Will pipes and tanks survive a short trip in subfreezing weather?

We are debating whether to attempt a Christmas trip from Texas up into Missouri where forecast lows are 15 deg. The water lines and holding tanks (incl fresh water) are fully exposed underneath our 2009 Fleetwood gas MH, so I assume they would freeze even while driving. Does anyone ever travel in winter with a similar setup? If we drained the fresh water tank and lines before leaving, could we get by just driving and sleeping in the coach -- keeping it heated inside but not using water?
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:57 AM   #2
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I thought most MH's could be used if you kept the furnace on when it's really cold.
If you're sure this is not the case then go ahead and winterize. You could still use the toilet if you flush with the pick stuff.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:58 AM   #3
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Many many years ago, as back in the 50's, my cousin didn't have money for anti freeze or his car, so he drained the water that night. The next morning he filled it with water thinking the engine would keep it from freezing with the heat from the engine. Well he only went a few miles and split that radiator open like a watermelon. It seems the cold air moving across a surface can freeze in an instant. Exposed pipes would likely do the same.

So take the 20 minutes or so and $3 worth of antifreeze and save yourself some heartache.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:08 PM   #4
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Iím in Mo.
I also suggest once you get closer to the freezing weather to do the winterizing.
Then fill a number of gallon jugs and store in the shower area.
This will allow you to use the toilet while traveling and staying in Mo.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:10 PM   #5
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I suggest adding some rv antifreeze to the holding tank.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:31 PM   #6
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You can RV anytime if the water is drained and not required. You can keep a 5gal supply jug inside for washing and flushing if you can't do without. A bit in your tanks won't hurt just don't fill your fresh water holding tank. Make sure your heat is on and when done , fill your p-traps with RV antifreeze.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:47 PM   #7
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I suggest adding some rv antifreeze to the holding tank.
Just to be clear; Are you talking about the Black/grey tanks? I wouldn't add Pink to the fresh water.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:50 PM   #8
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My son brought my 5th wheel home several years ago in sub-freezing weather. The only damage was a frozen and split hot water heater that had been turned off before he traveled. Short trip of 200 miles.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:00 PM   #9
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I am also surprised a 2009 RV wouldn't have at least some basic insulated lines & tanks. But if not you are right they would likely freeze in temps that cold. What part of MO are you going ? I'm in KC & we have short sleeve weather for the next seven days. Kansas City Weather by fox4kc.com – WDAF Television | FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:57 PM   #10
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We have travelled from Canada to Florida in January for the past 7 years.
As the weather gets colder in November we drain the tanks and lines, add the inexpensive Pink "Plumbing Anti-freeze" from any dealer or Home Depot.
No need to actually put any anti-freeze into the empty fresh water tank, just the lines.
The day before leaving, I drain any anti-freeze from the fresh water lines and water heater.
Fill the fresh water tank and away we go.
We had an auxiliary rear heater coming from the motor's radiator lines which provided heat to the tank area.
I would leave at least 2 just of anti-freeze in each black and grey tanks.
By the time we needed to dump, we are in warmer climates.
We now have a 2014 Fleetwood Southwind and the basement is heated.
From everything I have been told we will follow the same procedure, except we will leave the propane furnace running 24/7 while we drive until into warmer climates.
Because this is our first year with this RV, I will fill the fresh water tank at home to ensure we have good water as it can be difficult to fill along the way in the Winter, and also take a few jugs of water for washing etc. until we are in warmer temps.
If you try this, you should be fine.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twojayhawks View Post
I am also surprised a 2009 RV wouldn't have at least some basic insulated lines & tanks.
I find that hard to believe as well. Our previous MH was a 1994 Fleetwood Bounder and the tanks and all plumbing were enclosed in the basement.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powderman View Post
Many many years ago, as back in the 50's, my cousin didn't have money for anti freeze or his car, so he drained the water that night. The next morning he filled it with water thinking the engine would keep it from freezing with the heat from the engine. Well he only went a few miles and split that radiator open like a watermelon. It seems the cold air moving across a surface can freeze in an instant. Exposed pipes would likely do the same.

So take the 20 minutes or so and $3 worth of antifreeze and save yourself some heartache.
Couple years ago I had to move one of my my big carpet machines to a job 45 minutes away and my van was down for service. I put it in the bed of a pickup and figured it was only 45 minutes and the machine was warm.

Nope, froze and split an expensive valve.

Stuff freezes and expands a lot faster then we think.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:35 PM   #13
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To be clear , drain the hot water and make sure you bypass it when adding RV antifreeze.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumboJet View Post
My son brought my 5th wheel home several years ago in sub-freezing weather. The only damage was a frozen and split hot water heater that had been turned off before he traveled. Short trip of 200 miles.
Hot water tanks should be drained, hoses in heater bypass mode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim.B1 View Post
We have travelled from Canada to Florida in January for the past 7 years.
As the weather gets colder in November we drain the tanks and lines, add the inexpensive Pink "Plumbing Anti-freeze" from any dealer or Home Depot.
No need to actually put any anti-freeze into the empty fresh water tank, just the lines.
The day before leaving, I drain any anti-freeze from the fresh water lines and water heater.
Fill the fresh water tank and away we go.
We had an auxiliary rear heater coming from the motor's radiator lines which provided heat to the tank area.
I would leave at least 2 just of anti-freeze in each black and grey tanks.
By the time we needed to dump, we are in warmer climates.
We now have a 2014 Fleetwood Southwind and the basement is heated.
From everything I have been told we will follow the same procedure, except we will leave the propane furnace running 24/7 while we drive until into warmer climates.
Because this is our first year with this RV, I will fill the fresh water tank at home to ensure we have good water as it can be difficult to fill along the way in the Winter, and also take a few jugs of water for washing etc. until we are in warmer temps.
If you try this, you should be fine.
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