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Old 11-30-2011, 07:04 PM   #1
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winter time rving

Hello we are new to the whole world of rving ... We have a class a and were hoping to drive from tn to pa at Christmas.. can anyone give us pointers on using water and tanks if it drops below freezing while up there .
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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Keep the furnace on and put a electric heater in the water bay and watch the temp in the compartment. Do you have a ice maker? If so check to see if it is heat traced, if not drain it. Other than that........merry christmas..... Enjoy!
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkmk721
Hello we are new to the whole world of rving ... We have a class a and were hoping to drive from tn to pa at Christmas.. can anyone give us pointers on using water and tanks if it drops below freezing while up there .
If the temp drops below freezing for a few straight days you could have some problems. There are probably cold weather RV's out on this site and I'm sure a few would weigh in. I would disconnect your black water sewer hose to prevent from freezing and only hook up when ready to dump. I would consider doing the same with potable water and rely on your fresh water tank. Some folks would put antifreeze ( specific to RV) into the toilet and sinks to keep tanks and valves from freezing. Check with your manufacturer and see if an "arctic option" is available. Dress warm and drink heavily ( just kidding)...better yet have the PA folks meet you in Florida for Christmas. Good luck
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by palehorse89 View Post
Keep the furnace on and put a electric heater in the water bay and watch the temp in the compartment. Do you have a ice maker? If so check to see if it is heat traced, if not drain it. Other than that........merry christmas..... Enjoy!
What do you mean by "heat traced"?

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Old 11-30-2011, 08:08 PM   #5
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The first thing you have to take care of is the sewer/plumbing compartment with all the plumbing and your pump. There is lots of stored energy in your fresh water tank but all of the plumbing and pump are extremely vulnerable. The small amount of water in the pipes and the pump means they will likely freeze first. I have a wireless thermometer hanging beside the pump in the compartment with the display in the RV to monitor the actual temperature. I use a trouble lamp with a 60 watt bulb hanging beside the pump to provide a little warmth in the compartment. It keeps the temperature in the compartment above freezing until the outside temperature drops to about 20 degrees. I would not leave the water line connected as others have suggested. The back flow preventer is easily damaged. It is difficult to be more precise not knowing your particular RV - I am sure your common sense will prevail and your trip will be successful.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:26 PM   #6
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Depending on exactly where you are going, the weather may dictate a full winterizing or just keeping the heat on and using a trouble light. We used to make a journey to that part of the country for the holidays until I wised up and told the kids they could come south or we would talk Christmas day on the phone - no more snow and ice for me.

Most years we were ok just running the heat. Finding a campground open can be a problem unless you are going to driveway camp. You will probably use a lot of propane for the furnace and finding somewhere to refill over the holidays can be an issue. A couple of years we got blasted with really cold weather - so cold we essentially could not use the motorhome. A lot of people do what you are planning successfully. We found it too much trouble and would probably drive and hotel it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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What do you mean by "heat traced"?

Don
The water line from the inlet valve on the back of the refer up to the ice maker will have a heating wire inside the cover. Keeps the line from freezing in cold weather.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:42 PM   #8
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It would be a good idea to get familiar with the winterizing process using antifreeze. At about $4 a gallon, and 2-3 gallons per application it is the cheapest insurance you can get if the temps get really low. I carry 4 gallons with me all the time, so I never have to worry.

If you haven't actually done it, read the manual and actually do a full winterization yourself so that you are familiar with the process. The manual that came with my MH is poorly written, with different sections applying to optional equipment such as icemaker and clothes washer. It took me about 90 minutes the first time I did it, because I had to read all the different sections in the manual. I wrote a "Cheat Sheet" for myself, as well as taking some photos. The second time took me less than 30 minutes, and I expect it will be even faster the next time.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:34 PM   #9
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Here is a thread that will cover just about all you need to know before, during and after.
Welcome to irv2.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:36 AM   #10
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Thank y'all so much. Hopefully our first trip goes well and with your advice I know it will surely help
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:03 AM   #11
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Let us know how it goes. Hopefully your experience will help others. Have a safe holiday..
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:59 AM   #12
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The OP is asking about using the RV in cold weather, not storing it. The posts about disconnecting external water/sewer lines and heating the bays and icemaker line are right on, but why are people talking about anti-freeze? Anti-freeze makes the water system unusable until it is removed and flushed and is therefore used only for cold weather storage. Am I missing something?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA-HODAG
The OP is asking about using the RV in cold weather, not storing it. The posts about disconnecting external water/sewer lines and heating the bays and icemaker line are right on, but why are people talking about anti-freeze? Anti-freeze makes the water system unusable until it is removed and flushed and is therefore used only for cold weather storage. Am I missing something?
I think the comment of antifreeze was meant for outbound water. Grey water and black water tanks. It keeps those tanks and valves from freezing. Not meant for antifreeze in fresh water tank.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA-HODAG View Post
The OP is asking about using the RV in cold weather, not storing it. The posts about disconnecting external water/sewer lines and heating the bays and icemaker line are right on, but why are people talking about anti-freeze? Anti-freeze makes the water system unusable until it is removed and flushed and is therefore used only for cold weather storage. Am I missing something?
When we were young and foolish, we sometimes would find ourselves driveway camping in weather that turned pretty nasty - a couple of times below zero. The only way to keep the water lines from freezing was to do a full winterizing - using water from jugs if we needed to use the commode overnight, etc. Snowbirds traveling from the frozen north will do this for one or two overnights sometimes on their way to Florida, dewinterizing when they are far enough south.
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