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Old 11-12-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
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New TT owner, expecting temps in the 20's

Hi guys! I have another question and I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction. We live in the south, so we don't have to "winterize" because we can use the trailer year round. However, we just returned from weekend camping, and won't be using it again for 2 weeks, AND the low temps are expected to dip into the mid 20's here for the next couple of nights. My question is: What do I need to do to prevent the pipes from freezing? We don't have any water in the onboard tank, and we've only used the campground water source when we're camping. I'm wondering if there is any water in the lines that should be drained out prior to the freezing temps, and how to do that. Also, I always put about 2 gals in the black tank after we empty it so there's at least 2 gals in there now. At home, you just leave your faucets flowing a little, but you can't do that in a trailer with no water pressure. While there's no water being fed into the lines, I feel certain there's water in the lines from the previous weekend. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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Well that is a tough one, never heard anyone ask this before. I will say living in Florida and times we have been in the 30's i do nothing with ours. As with what you do I plug it in at home but no water hook up. I think you should be ok if the temps are going to go up.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:04 AM   #3
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Yes you need to drain the water lines and the water heater or you might have problems with burst pipes. I blow air in the city water connection from an air compressor with all the valves open inside until nothing but air comes out. Don't forget the toilet flush and shower or toilet sprayers also. I also run the water pump till its dry.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
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go to walmart and buy the air fitting that goes to you city water hook up. open all valves even toilet and shower pump air threw the lines till only air comes out. (don't pump air in till all are open) then close all valves and pull the plug on the hot water heater.( it is located out side behind a square panel) then add air again till only air comes out. then get some rv anti freeze and put it in all your p traps and with 2 gal. of water in your black water put a half gal of anti freeze down your toilet. the other half gal. in you p traps. so you only need 1 gal. of anti freeze. then you are totally safe.
hope this helps.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
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I assuming you are referring to some kind of antifreeze that is specific for use in RVs? Or would it be a regular auto type antifreeze?
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #6
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They make RV antifreeze. It is non toxic and red in color.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smonagle View Post
They make RV antifreeze. It is non toxic and red in color.
Its for sale EVERYWHERE.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:15 PM   #8
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The PINK stuff...
Your trailer should have 'low point drains'--you need to open them and open a hot and cold faucet inside. That should drain all the lines and the water heater. The water tank should be ok. Use the antifreeze in the sink, lav and shower drains. Put the left over in the toilet for the 2 gal in the black tank.
Remember, it will only be below freezing for several hours early in the morning, then it should rise to above freezing before dropping again for the 2nd night. Our fiver has been fine over several of these nights/cycles without draining anything. I only worry about it if the temps go down and stay there for over 10-12 hours. If you have sunlight on the trailer, that will help a lot.
But, you can do it all--drain, blow it out, add AF-- if it is going to worry you a lot. Better safe than sorry...
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:46 PM   #9
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Thanks Wingnut! I saw the valves for hot and cold on the outside underneath the back corner of the trailer, just after the hot water heater panel. I realize these were drain valves, so could that be the low point drain? I can pick up some of the pink stuff on the way home from work and get it in the drains pretty easily by myself, so that's likely what I will do. You are right in that the temps will only drop that low for a few hours, and it won't be anything like below freezing for days on end. The trailer is parked in a good sunny spot too. I just don't want to chance anything bursting after just buying the trailer a couple months ago. I like your suggestion, and with my beloved having some pretty bad back pain right now, he will not have to suffer to get us protected temporarily for the cold.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
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Low point drains are just what they say--the lowest point in the water distribution system. Remember to open a faucet--both hot and cold--that will allow air to come in as the water runs out. And the trailer should be near level. Any water left in the lines will not be filling the lines and will have room for expansion if any freezing does occur.
If they are labeled hot and cold, and water runs out if you open them, then it is the drain lines. AND, when you are ready to camp again, always think to close the faucets--bad things happen with open faucets when turning on the hose connection...my wife makes sure I don't ever forget that again.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #11
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...my wife makes sure I don't ever forget that again.


BAHAHAHAHA! I won't even ask about that one! I'm glad you mentioned "remember to close the faucets"... I didn't realize that the faucets should remain open after the low point drains are open.
Does it all need to stay "open" the whole time?
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
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The open faucets allow air in when the water wants to drain out--no air, no water drain, or very slowly. A one-handle faucet would work in the middle; if two handles, both have to be open, especially the hot, as the water heater won't drain otherwise. And they should be open til the water finishes draining, then close them.
My mistake was in leaving the kitchen faucet open after my wife put the sink covers in place--when next I hooked the water hose up and turned it on (before the covers were removed!) the water went everywhere.
If you are only facing a couple of below-freezing nights, it might just be easier to leave the furnace on 40 and trust the batteries to run the heater for just a few hours.
Lots of options for a short-term under freezing temps. The real problems happen when the temp never goes above freezing from one night to the next. One of these days/nights when the opportunity presents itself, set a thermometer in the trailer with min/max readings and see what you get--it doesn't get bad until the temps never go above freezing for many hours.
But the water hose will freeze in maybe 2 hours below 32d....
Camping is so much fun in the warmer climes. We will be at 27d tonight, and I haven't done a thing to the trailer to prep it. But it is inside a covered/sided shed, so I fully expect to be ok in the morning. But will let you know if I screwed up...
Joe
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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So jealous. It was 25 last night and made it up to a balmy 31 degrees today and now back into the low 20's tonight. Sure wish I could love down south where I could camp most of the year! I hate seeing my camper with snow on it, especially this early in the winter :/
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:59 PM   #14
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Yeah, but you don't need 2 15k ACs to keep ahead of the heat for 3 months...guess it evens out, unless you are in San Diego.
Joe
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