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Old 10-14-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
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Keeping pipes, hoses and tanks from freezing

We have a "3 Season" 5th wheel and wondering if there is a safe way to keep things from freezing when parked at a ski resort. All suggestions or warnings will be appreciated. This will be our first winter to try it. Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:36 PM   #2
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Not advisable to spend time in snow country with a rig not built for it. Strong chance your water lines will freeze, your holding tanks will freeze and nothing is going to work like you want it to. Not to mention the lack of proper insulation to keep the interior warm.

My Everest, as an example, is zero degree rated as it has specially insulated holding tanks and the under-floor area has heater vents to keep the tanks and water lines from freezing. The trailer floors, walls and ceiling also have extra insulation to keep the cold out. Plus the roof trusses are designed for snow load.

Last month we were in Yellowstone and the overnight low was 27*. The only inconvenience we had to deal with was the city water supply hose froze solid but our internal water tank was fine.

Hope this helps your decision making.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
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A) Do you have a covered underbelly?
B) If so, do you have furnace heat going to it?
C) Will you be hooked up to electricity?

If your underbelly is covered, then that will help reduce freezing tanks/pipes. If you have furnace heat to the underbelly, then you should be ok for a short term (weekend) if you don't have REALLY cold overnight temps. If you have hookups to electricity, then you will need some space heaters inside to keep from overworking the furnace, and running out of propane. Whatever, you will need to have the water tank full and run off of it, and only refill the tank with a water hose if needed.

If you have exposed holding tanks, then I would not try to do it.

At any rate, it will be a stressful situation to keep from freezing up/running out of propane/keeping the humidity down inside.

Good luck if you try it.

Are you just going to be parked in the parking lot? If so, I don't think you'll enjoy what happens. A lot would depend on whether or not it is sunny during the day and the temps go above freezing.

Joe
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:21 PM   #4
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Freezing pipes

Joe, did you get my thanks?

Jim
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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Jim,
Yes, thanks. You have most of the situation covered--definitely keep an electric heater in the basement area and the service doors to utility lines open.
But you have to be careful of how many heaters are in use on the 15amp circuits. The heaters may be ok, but you may not be able to use the microwave and such at same time--these trailers are notorious for having too many items on one circuit.
And based on my living in a trailer in WY/CO--if you have more than one person inside for very long, the humidity level rises quickly and will condense on the window frames--if cold enough outside it will freeze and build an ice berm. Then the temp rises, the ice melts and runs down into the wall areas inside.
Judicious use of the furnace will keep propane use down.
Hope the skiing goes well.
Joe
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
Jim,
But you have to be careful of how many heaters are in use on the 15amp circuits. The heaters may be ok, but you may not be able to use the microwave and such at same time--these trailers are notorious for having too many items on one circuit.
15 amps is 1650 watts, most electric heaters are 1500 watts input so just one heater will take almost all the available power
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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general rule of thumb. one heating elemet per circuit at a time. curling iron, blow dryer, toaster, waffel iron, iron, crock pot, space heater, coffee pot, etc.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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Thanks to all!! What have I gotten myself into???
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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Unless you have a full 50 amps available a motel might be a better option and cheaper in the long run
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:37 PM   #10
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Pawjaw3,

I see you live in Afton, MO. The weather gets cold enough there. I live in Columbia, MO.

Do a test camp in the driveway when the temps drop. Work out the kinks.

Electric heat tape and foam pipe insulation goes a long way to keep a hose from freezing.
Thermostat controlled space heater will keep the dump bay and tanks from freezing.

We live full time in our class a. Insulated basement and furnace vent into the dump/water bay.
Heat tape on the water and sewer connection. Space heater in basement for extra safety.
Survived the 20"+ snow storm a few years back without incident.

If your tanks are exposed, cold is a no-no, as stated by others.

Good luck on your adventure!
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